Following yesterday's minor controversy, I thought it might be helpful to outline my own policy on blog comments.
As this is my blog, I reserve the right to control what appears on here, which is why I have comment moderation enabled. However, as far as I am concerned, almost anything goes.
The only reason I would refuse to allow a comment on this blog is if it is inciting hatred against a particular person or group of people, or if it is extremely offensive. Thus far, I have not had to stop anything from going on the blog on that basis. Indeed, the only time I have failed to allow a comment through was when there was a duplicate posting of a mildly abusive comment towards myself - I decided people didn't need to read that twice.
As I believe that free, open and honest debate is important, I accept that sometimes that means people will express themselves in a robust fashion, so feel free to let me know that you think I'm talking bollocks. However, the more that postings tend towards contentless abuse, the more likely it is that I will post a sarky response praising your maturity or bravery. I will have far more respect for your opinion if you can provide reasoned arguments than if you just resort to abuse.
I also don't have a problem with anonymous comments. However, I do wonder at the mentality of those who feel the need to hid behind anonymity, especially when it is so easy to supply a name. The name could be anyone: I'm not going to know who you are if you call yourself Tom, Dick or Harry. What's the problem in supplying a name?
It might occasionally be the case that comments take a bit of time to appear, especially if I don't blog for a few days. However, I do try and deal with all comments at the earliest opportunity. You also have my pledge that once a comment appears, there are no circumstances under which I will withdraw it.
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