My Comments Policy

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One of the positive outcomes of the Kathy Sierra case, in my view, was Tim O’Reilly’s Call for a Blogger Code of Conduct. I say positive not because I agree with it all or plan to adhere to it – I do not, for many of the reasons Tim cites and Luis discusses – but rather that it triggered some thoughtful reflection on what, precisely, we are and are not responsible for.

It would be presumptuous of me in the extreme, I think, to attempt to impose my own thoughts and views on you all, but I thought a little commentary on my own policy would not be out of line.

So here it is, in plain English. The only thing that I ask of you – and receive virtually 100% of the time – is respect for your fellow commenters. That’s it. I’m not terribly bothered if you treat my words with something less than total respect, although I wouldn’t mind it if you did, but you will treat each other with respect or your comments will be gone. That’s it. I don’t care, particularly, whether you agree or disagree with me or any of the other commenters here, but I care greatly how you do it. There are bloggers out there that believe strongly in Free Speech and no censorship, and I can both understand and sympathize with that position. Just don’t expect such freedom here; this is my house, such as it is, and just like with your parents, my house = my rules. Besides, it’s not too hard to be respectful if you try – I promise.

This policy is admittedly trivial to enforce around here, because of two factors. First, my B-list status lowers the potential audience and thus incentive for would-be trolls. This is a huge positive for me, although not for our advertising revenue. Second, and more importantly, you all consistently demonstrate the ability to disagree passionately but respectfully – an exceedingly rare combination in my experience. For that, you have my thanks.

Questions or problems, let me know in the comments. Respectfully.