Blog Rules & Policies

Enforcement of discipline is quite lax on this blog, but there are a few rules nonetheless that anyone who wishes to leave feedback here is required to follow in order to preserve their commenting privileges.

Email Policies & Contact | Comments & Moderation

Contact & Email Policies


Please note that any and all emails and other messages I receive are liable to be reposted, in part or in full, on the blog at my sole discretion. I will normally honor requests for anonymity, depending on the courtesy I am shown. But if you don’t want to risk your letter being published here and/or personal information made public, then it’s probably best not to send it.

Secondly, be warned that any emails I receive that contain heightened levels of stupidity or vileness will be posted on the blog for all to see, including any and all personally identifying information (name(s), email address(es), IP address(es), etc.).

Any messages that contain any threats of violence will be forwarded to law enforcement.

Comments & Moderation


You are free to post just about anything you want in any manner you chose, but there are a few basic guidelines I expect all commenters to heed, as follows:

  • No trolling.
    Trolling is the act of writing comments intended solely to anger and create unnecessary conflict, without actually saying anything of substance (not to be confused with commenters who honestly espouse unpopular opinions). Such comments will result in instant comment deletion and banning – no warning, no mercy.

  • Also applies to general skeevy behavior: violating privacy/“doxing”, impersonation, sockpuppetry, etc. None of that is tolerated here.
  • No spamming.
    Spamming is the act of posting material that’s generally regarded as irrelevant or superfluous to the discussion at hand, such as plugs for unrelated websites, repeatedly copy-pasted text from other comments, overly lengthy excerpts (or entire pages) lifted from other websites, etc. I’m rather lenient, seeing as not all commenters are professional writers, but obvious spam posts will be deleted and repeat offenders may be banned if they don’t stop after receiving an appropriate warning.

  • Also applies to motor-mouths – fewer comments from the same person in a row make for a happy moderator. (Double-posts are acceptable, but try to keep it to a minimum.)
  • No thread derailment.
    Thread derailment is the act of writing comments intended not inherently to spawn anger and discord, but simply to skew a comments thread and lead it entirely elsewhere from the matter at hand. Off-topic conversations are perfectly welcome, but I ask that commenters try to remain at least topic-adjacent. Posts intended solely to derail threads will be deleted, and repeat offenders who ignore my warnings may be banned. Comment threads that get out of hand may be closed.

  • No excessive vileness.
    I’m as much a fan of invective as anyone else, but there are limits. I expect a certain standard of discourse on this blog, and while the occasional oath-laced rant is perfectly fine, anyone who can’t seem to type anything without making my eyes bleed is prone to being warned to clean up their act. Refusal to do so may result in comment deletion, and in the very worst case scenario, banning.

  • No threats of violence.
    I hope I don’t really need to point this out, but in addition to being the hallmark of the knuckle-dragger, threats of violence are also very much illegal. No such messages are ever permitted on this blog under any circumstances. Anyone caught making them will face instant comment deletion and will receive a first and final warning. Any further threats will result in instant banning. In addition, threats may also be reported to law enforcement. There are lines that shouldn’t be crossed, and this is one of them.

  • Don’t piss me off (aka my blog, my rules).
    I am the benevolent dictator of Preliator; my power is absolute and my word is law. Even commenters who don’t specifically break the previous guidelines may still be booted if I deem them sufficiently unwelcome here, no ‘if’s or ‘but’s about it. Now, don’t worry; I’m quite fair, and I’m desensitized (and lazy) enough that it generally takes serious effort to get on my bad side. In the end, remember that a blog is like its owner’s metaphorical living room: Everyone’s welcome to stay and chat at first, but anyone who aggravates their host runs the risk of being kicked to the curb.

  • Regarding comment modification: I reserve the right to edit reader comments if:

    • Commenters specifically request it (such as to fix double-spacing or other formatting issues);
    • I find any broken links (I’ll fix them automatically);
    • Empty or unreadably glitched comments are posted (will be cleaned/deleted)
    • Duplicate comments are made (copies of the first will be deleted);
    • Banned commenters attempt to post (instant deletion).

    Registered Disqus users may edit their own comments if they wish.

    I treasure free speech and openness, and as such, I will never subject my blog or its commenters to comment pre-moderation. Only in rare cases where the rules above are breached may one run the risk of losing their commenting privileges.

    Last updated: 03/10/13 1:36 PM ET