Comment Policy

In the past few weeks, I’ve been waging all out war with spam (both on the blog and elsewhere on the site). I’m pleased to report that my efforts appear to be paying off, with the exception that Trackback Spam appears to have picked up in the absence of comment spam. So I’m sure this won’t be the last time I need to do something to combat spam.

In any case, many changes have been made and it might benefit everyone if I posted a formal comment policy. I’ve always had a very permissive attitude towards interaction on the site. I usually don’t require most fields and try to allow interactivity with little to no barriers to entry. This won’t change much, but there are some things that will no longer be allowed, so I figured I’d lay out my comment policy:

  • Most comments are published immediately. Sometimes, a comment will be put in moderation and I’ll need to approve it before it will show up. This sort of thing usually has something to do with the number of links you submit in your post. If your comment is moderated, you should get a message indicating this.
  • In order to post a comment, your browser must have javascript enabled. Sorry about that, but one of the anti-spam measures I use requires javascript.
  • On rare occassions, my anti-spam measures may think you’re a spammer and will mark your comment as spam. Now, I don’t generally check stuff marked as spam, so if you think that may be the case, feel free to email me and I should be able to find the comment and publish it…
  • Wildly off-topic comments will be removed.
  • Flames and personal attacks will be removed.
  • Duplicate comments will be removed (well, not the original comment, just the duplicates).
  • Spam (links to commercial sites not relevant to the entry in question) will be denied at time of posting or removed if it isn’t caught by one of my anti-spam measures.
  • In some instances, I may edit a comment. In such cases, an explanation will usually be appended to the comment (i.e. “[profanity removed by editor]” or some such message).
  • The only required field is the “Comments” field, though I prefer you also supply a name. Some places on the site may supply a default name and I may be facetious in choosing such a name (i.e. “[Anonymous Wimp]”).
  • Entries before May 2007 have had their comments closed. One of the ways I dealt with Spam in the past was to close older entries. However, I have new methods now (plus, uh, the plugin I used to automatically close old entries stopped working), so most entries since that date still allow comments.

Repeated failure to comply may result in blacklisting, banning, or various other screwing around as I see fit. Most of this also applies to trackbacks and other areas of interactivity on the site (i.e. the Forum and Tandem Stories). Trackbacks are less moderated as of now, but I’m sure they will eventually fall under stricter regulation as time goes on. The forum now requires registration before you can post (the old forum was having major performance issues in addition to spam woes, so I replaced it).

All rules are applied at my discretion. As such there may be exceptions or changes to this policy without notice. It’s also possible that a legitimate comment will be deleted by accident or just because I feel like it (this section henceforth to be referred to as the ass-covering clause). The biggest difference is that you are no longer able to comment on older entries. Since older entries are seen less often, and since they attract more spam (because older posts have higher search engine rankings), it’s only natural that comments be closed on those posts. Otherwise, nothing has really changed, other than the fact that my unspoken policies have now been explicitly articulated.

Update 12.15.07: This page was a little out of date, so it’s been updated to keep it in line with the various anti-spam measures I actually have in place.