853’s comments policy

21 June 2017: Comments on this site have been switched off as an experiment to see if anybody misses them. I may reopen comments if a story would benefit from a right of reply or an opinion from somebody with experience of the topic.

But on the whole, dealing with comments – particularly from those who have not even taken the time to read the post, or believe they have read something entirely different, which is becoming increasingly common, and is a phenomenon that can be seen in other social and audience-participation media – has become too time-consuming and detracts from the value of the website.

Apologies and thank you to those who have posted constructive and considered thoughts over the years. 

When comments are open, here are the rules: All constructive contributions are gratefully accepted. But to maintain a civilised and welcoming space for people to talk about issues in, and one that’s easy to follow, it has some rules.

It won’t publish comments that are…

* anonymously posted
* defamatory
* abusive (go and shout at the bins by the off-licence instead)
* off-topic or not addressing the subject of the post
* contain ad-hominem attacks (“play the ball, not the man”)
* tediously pedantic (nobody likes a smart-arse)
* promoting hate of any kind
* obviously spam

Comments from those create multiple identities will also be deleted (“Sockpuppets“) – please use one name and stick with it. For this reason, please use a proper e-mail address too.

Those who have caused trouble on other sites may also be blocked from appearing here.

Occasionally WordPress gets overeager and might spam-trap your comment. If you think there’s a problem, let me know. Sometimes comments unexpectedly end up in a moderation queue. Don’t take it personally, it happens.

Don’t like these rules? Go and start your own site, then.

Thank you.