A note to commenters

This site exists for the primary purpose of publishing and publicizing the work of its contributors. Comments are a late addition and secondary feature. We (I) would not have them without moderation. Our Disqus software holds certain comments for moderation. I do not review comments except those withheld for moderation. If I am otherwise engaged or sleeping, they await my arrival.

All comments with links are sent to moderation. This is to avoid the posting of spam. The software has worked wondrously to kill an influx of spam.

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. Scrolling through the comments withheld for moderation 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 comment may be deleted if in my judgment if it is vulgar or worthless or abusive and any commenter may be banned summarily without notice if in our discretion the commenter’s departure would improve the site. I freely exercise this power as I see fit.

We generally afford a wide ambit to the reasonable expression of opinion. Most of our commenters have no problem speaking in polite company. However, every day I 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 “scumbag” or “douche” or the like and their many colorful variants. One commenter specializes in “libtard,” a word which is not acceptable here. Inserting *, $, or similar in lieu of a letter succeeds only in pi$$ing me off.

Our software generally holds such comments and prevents them from appearing without approval, but I am tired of reading them. Words at the far end of the spectrum (in my judgment) will get you banned. I want to minimize the time I have to spend in moderating comments. I have a life to live and want to spend it in productive activity.

Note this: Personal abuse of the proprietors of this site is not okay. You are not welcome to come into our living room and defame or disparage us. It is another way of getting yourself removed from the premises. I am thinking of the abuse routinely dumped on Paul Mirengoff. He doesn’t care (he doesn’t even read comments), but I do (care). If I see such comments, you will be compelled to take your business elsewhere. Don’t make me do it.

By the same token, the false imputation of views to us is extremely distasteful. Example: Commenters who refer to Paul Mirengoff as a NeverTrumper. As Minnesota’s Nobel laureate once put it, let us not talk falsely now, the hour is getting late. It will get you banned if I see it.

Abuse of fellow commenters is discouraged. Even without vulgarity, personal abuse is unwelcome. Commenters who engage in it may be banned summarily without notice. Don’t make me do it. Think of our forum for comments as our living room, as I do, and not a grade school playground.

These are the guidelines I 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. “Crap” is about as far as my ambit extends, but it will get you sent to moderation and the comment may be deleted if in my view it is “crap.”

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.

The proliferation of pseudonyms on Disqus is a cancer. I am inclined to give comments posted under a commenter’s own name a wider ambit than one posted under a pseudonym, however clever.

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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