... Such As It Is.
Here's the deal.
Ultimately this IS our blog, and we can do what we want. Any comment is subject to editing or deletion for any reason whatsoever. †(see below)
If you think that our deleting or editing your comment is censorship, get your own blog and post whatever you like. We are under no obligation to disseminate your bile, vitriol, spew, or whatever else you may wish to post.
Commercial spam will of course be deleted forthwith. We also will not tolerate copy/pasting of entire articles into our threads. That's plagiarism, and shows a profound disrespect for the author of the article and the legitimate (in that they interact with the other commenters) users of our comments interface.
Rule of thumb. If you come here to post YOUR screed, but are demonstrably not reading the blog, nor the comments of others, you are not welcome.
We don't mind off-topic comments as a rule. In fact, I personally love it when readers share LINKS (with a brief description and/or excerpt) regarding something that caught their eye while browsing around. It saves me and the other mobsters time, and we might even find material for a post in there. You can pretty much consider any thread an open thread around here. We do.
What we don't like - no make that really, really detest, it pisses us off - and what may earn you a deletion or even banning if you persist, is ad hominem attacks, whether they be directed against individuals or identifiable groups. Absolutely forbidden.
In case you don't know what ad hominem means, it is Latin for 'against the person.' In other words, it's perfectly OK to dispute someone's argument or position, even their 'facts' if you find them questionable. That is fair discourse, and we promise you will never be edited, deleted or banned for disagreement, so long as you limit yourself to civil debate. Besides, if you have a valid point to make, with arguments and/or facts to back it up, there is no need for juvenile name calling. You would only be making yourself look foolish.
You are allowed to criticize other commenters for behavior (like for instance making ad hominem attacks) that you find objectionable. If we agree with you, we'll deal with the situation. Just be aware that we don't have site monitors or anything like that, nor are we ever likely to.
Disagreement is a healthy and necessary thing in a free society. You may have noticed that the unruly mob is inclusive, not ideologically homogeneous on any axis - political, religious, whatever. So we won't assume that you hate any of us just because we don't march in lockstep on whatever issue. Please return the sentiment. And we sincerely hope you appreciate that this is a place where you don't have to 'go along to get along.'
A huge hat-tip to NosyBear Demon for this graphic guide to elevating the discourse. If you stick to techniques shown near the top of the pyramid you'll be doing yourself and the rest of us a big favor. Yourself mostly because you won't come across looking like an asshat (heh heh.)The rest of us because when someone relies on the lower techniques it isn't just offensive by itself, but it precludes you actually stating an opinion of your own that can be argued against. Trying to argue with such has aptly been described as like nailing jelly to a wall. You may also find this helpful:
The Argument Clinic
Furthermore, since this is after all an unruly mob, and each of our members has their own ideas of how things should be, be advised that the rules may be different depending on the author of the post. That is part of the deal between us as bloggers. So where my posts will allow pretty much any kind of language you want to use, others may not. †You may have curse words edited out of your comments some times, but not others.
Unruly enough for you?
And finally, please don't feed the trolls. It only encourages them.