A note to commenters (rated R)

As I have mentioned a time or two before, we seek to maintain a tone appropriate to civil discourse on this site. It is a tone that comes naturally to most of our readers and commenters, but I find it necessary to reiterate our guidelines. Scrolling through the comments on a daily basis, I am continually astounded by the liberties some commenters take. They seem to think they can turn up and say anything they like here, that we aren’t looking, or that we don’t care. They are mistaken.

Posting comments on this site is a privilege and not a right. Any commenter may be banned summarily without notice if in our discretion the commenter’s departure would improve the site.

We generally afford a wide ambit to the reasonable expression of opinion. I review comments. Most of our commenters have no problem speaking in polite company. However, every day I now moderate comments by commenters who routinely cross the line in one way or another. Some commenters appear to be incapable of expressing themselves without recourse to words such as “ass” or “asshole” or “dumbass” or “bastard” or “shit” or “bullshit” or “fuck” or “balls” (of the anatomical variety) or the like and their many colorful variants. One commenter specializes in “libtard,” a word which is not acceptable here.

Our software generally holds such comments and prevents them from appearing without approval, but I am tired of reading them. Those of you who use such language in comments are warned to behave. Those of you who persist in using such language are cordially invited to take your business elsewhere.

Personal abuse of the proprietors of this site or of fellow commenters is discouraged. Even without vulgarity, personal abuse is unwelcome. Commenters who engage in it may be banned summarily without notice.

By the same token, the false imputation of views to us is extremely distasteful. To take one example, a commenter who refers obsessively to the “GOPe” frequently attributes positions to us that we do not take or have not taken. He will be gone if he doesn’t cut it out.

These are the guidelines we apply:

We prize civil discourse and ask our commenters to observe elementary courtesies.

Exceptions may be made, and the line may be blurry, but vulgarity is prohibited.

We have zero tolerance for expressions of anti-Semitism and racial animus.

Personal abuse of Power Line authors and commenters is prohibited. If you seek to disparage John or Paul or Steve or me personally, you are free to do so on a site of your own. Not here.

Anonymous/pseudonymous comments are discouraged. If you have a good reason for hiding behind a pseudonym, send a message to my attention at our email address and I will entertain it.

These guidelines are not exhaustive. They may be applied inconsistently and their violation may result in the deletion of comments and the summary banning of commenters summarily in our discretion without notice.

Thank you for your courtesies and consideration.

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