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Sunday, June 10, 2007

Comment Publication Guidelines

We must moderate comments (i.e., view them before they appear on the blog) because, fortunately, our blog has plenty of enemies who attempt to attack it with spam rather than reasoned argument.

Moreover, we want to be clear in saying that this blog is valuable private property, one of the most important voices on Russia in the world. You have no right to publish on it unless you are a member of LR staff. Your ability to publish is a privilege. You should treat it that way. We have an extraordinarily generous policy that freely publishes very harsh critical comments about us, but we will not allow commenters to behave as if they, rather than we, own this blog. They don't, and never will.

The following guidelines will help you make sure your comment gets published (which should happen within hours if not minutes of your submission, except due to occasional technical or human error, in which case simply resubmit -- it's always a good idea to save your comment on your own computer for later resubmission if you think its important):

If thou wants to be sure thine comment
on this blog will be published, then thou shalt:

1. Not be racist. This includes slurs on gender, religion, creed, etc. You can bash "Americans" or "Russians" or "Germans" all you like. Nationalities are fair game. You choose them. Things you can't choose are off limits.

2. Not direct personal abuse at a fellow commenter. You can personally abuse La Russophobe all you like, and if you do you can be sure she'll personally abuse you right back. But see #4. If, violating commandment #1, you direct racial abuse at a fellow commenter, you'll be instantly banned from the blog, like our dear friend Hector the Communist has been.

3. Not be "anonymous". You don't have to tell anyone any real information about yourself, but if you call yourself "anonymous" your comment might be rejected. Choose a name for yourself. Preferably, join blogger and use your identity. We feel free to reject any comment from a non-member for any reason or no reason.

4. Not use obscenity or profanity. It will never be published under any circumstances except if a post you are commenting on already contains it or we want to demonstrate your crime, and maybe not even then.

5. Not SPAM. A comment which does not deal directly with the substance of the post it appears on, or a comment already published on that post, may be rejected. If you want to communicate on a random topic, send LR an e-mail. A comment that makes specific factual claims that are not documented (such as "I'm a PhD" or "Russia's economy grew 3,000% last month") may be rejected.

6. Not accuse us of censorship. The fact that we have these rules and enforce them doesn't mean we are censoring you. If you lie and claim we don't publish comments that attack us, when there are thousands of such comments published on this blog, you'll only humiliate yourself. Generally speaking, we frown on lies.

7. Not make specific unsourced factual claims. Don't tell us that 62.3% of Ukrainians oppose NATO membership unless you post a link to your source. Our blog isn't an opportunity for you to circulate fairytale propaganda.

If you don't violate these simple rules your comment will be almost certainly be published after moderation within a few hours (to block spammers while allowing unregistered comment), technical glitches notwithstanding. If you want be really sure of publication, include a link to source material of interest. That's first, best purpose of any comment on the web.

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