Hi everyone. It is time to remind our commenters, new and old, of their responsibilities when posting on the blog. We have some concerns at the moment that a lot of the comments are lower in quality than usual and we will be taking steps to delete poor quality comments and commenters.
The high-quality comments section is what sets The BFD apart from other forums.
The whole BFD team work hard to provide quality content and articles and to make it an interesting, respectable place. A place where all commenters have an opportunity to express themselves without having to worry about a nasty twitter-like pile on, or being harassed and abused for political affiliation or opinion.
We have a set of rules known as the Ten Commandments which set out what is acceptable and what isn’t in the comments sections. Those Ten Commandments have been designed to protect the blog from those who wish it harm and to keep the comments sections on the blog an interesting, respectful place where robust debate is encouraged.
Commenting is an absolute privilege, not a right. Treat the comments section as if you are a guest in someone else’s living room; be respectful and sensible and polite. Don’t drink too much and be a yob. You can put your opinions and point of view across robustly, just stick to the rules.
Your comments will never be censored, but you will have comments deleted if they break one of The Ten Commandments. There have been and still are, left-wing commenters here who have thrived and been able to put their points across because they understood the Ten Commandments and stuck to the rules.
One or two deleted comments here and there isn’t generally a big deal; if you are regularly getting comments deleted you definitely want to have a read of the Comments Policy and try to understand why your comments are being deleted. If your comments continue being deleted you will likely get a time out of anything from a few days to a few weeks. If you really stuff up, you could be banned from commenting forever.
If you get a comment or two deleted, or you get a [mod] comment or warning, don’t discuss it on the blog, or question the Moderator; that’s highly likely to earn a timeout or ban. Just don’t do it. There is a correct procedure for questioning a deletion or a timeout or ban. Sometimes it is a Disqus fault, sometimes it is the Moderators. Be polite and follow the procedure written in the Comments Policy. Some of the emails sent in questioning Moderation decisions are hilarious and well written and certainly add weight to how lenient the Moderators will be. The reverse is also true….
As a commenter, if you have a concern over a comment made by someone else you can click the drop-down arrow on the top right of the comment and click “Flag as inappropriate”. This will “flag” the comment in Moderation and one of the Moderators will address it. But just because you have flagged a comment doesn’t mean it will be deleted. If it is within the rules it will most likely remain.
If you have a comment deleted or get a warning, just accept that what you have written doesn’t pass the threshold so it has been deleted or you have been warned. The Moderators will sometimes reply directly to you if you have gone off track and will indicate how serious they are by the “tone” of their comment or warning. A Moderator comment prefaced with [mod] is generally nice and friendly. If you get [Mod] it is getting a bit more stern, and if you have really crossed the line you will get a [MOD] or [MOD WARNING] and you are almost certainly going to lose your commenting privileges.
The Moderators have a little “Mod” icon by their username. There are seven of us and between us all, we are on the blog constantly. We have a chat room of our own where we discuss comments and commenters or articles amongst other things, and we have online discussions and talk about how to handle various items or situations.
No one wants the comments section to be a bunch of “good point”, “me too” or “1000 upvotes!” comments. Take your time, consider your comment and what you are trying to say. You don’t have to comment on every post, reply to every comment or have an opinion on every issue.
Stick to the Ten Commandments and you are unlikely to have any issues, and you can continue to enjoy commenting on this awesome blog.
Please share so others can discover The BFD.