Sciblogs was born in 2009, a time that could now be considered to have been the tail end of the golden age of blogging in general.
Back then, commenting on blog posts was a relatively popular thing, lots of people did it. Then Facebook, Twitter and Reddit came along and much of the commentary shifted to those platforms.
All the while, Sciblogs never had an official policy on comments. We’ve moderated them and used what I think is considerable judgement to keep Sciblogs a reasonable place for discussion. While we’ve deleted a good number of comments from threads over the years, it has, I believe, been for pretty well justified reasons.
We’ve only ever had to block a handful of people form commenting and I think we’ve only ever closed off comments half a dozen times.
We discuss some pretty contentious stuff here, from climate change to water fluoridation, so I think that relatively light touch has served us well.
Some blogs and news outlets have recently abandoned comment sections, happy instead for their content to be discussed elsewhere and the commentary moderated by someone else or not at all.
But we feel that comments are still important and should still be hosted here. When a thread really gets going with thoughtful commentary, it can be as or more enlightening than the post itself. That’s why we are keen to stick with comments.
But we thought it would be useful to lay down the type of conduct we expect from people leaving comments. Sciblogs readers are generally a well-behaved bunch. But we’ve had a few puzzling and annoying situations lately, mainly to do with so-called “sock puppets“. We think it is useful to lay out what we expect of people leaving comments.
You’ll find the comments policy published in our Terms & Conditions and also in the “About Us” section of the site. You can also check out our bloggers’ code of conduct just so you know that it isn’t all just on you – we expect our bloggers to be well-behaved too.
Sciblogs Comments Policy
Your comments are welcomed and encouraged here on Sciblogs. Challenge our writers and each other. Get passionate and make your views heard. But we want Sciblogs to be a forum for intelligent, useful and respectful discussion so there will be some situations where comments will be edited or deleted:
1. Comments deemed to be spam or promoting a business will be deleted.
2. Comments should be relevant to the post topic. Off topic comments will be deleted.
3. Comments that are potentially defamatory or otherwise actionable at law will be deleted.
4. All comments from first time posters to Sciblogs will go into moderation, but once approved, all following comments from that account will be posted automatically. Including a link to relevant content is permitted, but comments containing more than two links will go to moderation to avoid spam.
5. Comments including profanity will be deleted.
6. Comments containing language or concepts that could reasonably be deemed offensive will be deleted.
7. Comments that attack a person individually will be deleted.
8. Sciblogs allows pseudonyms on registered accounts, but a real email address must be used by people posting comments. We require one account per person to be used (to avoid “sock puppets“). If an inactive or fake email address is detected, the account will be deleted. NOTE: Your email address will never be divulged to a third party.
The editor of Sciblogs reserves the right to edit or delete any comments submitted to this blog without notice. This comment policy is subject to change at anytime.