(yes, it's long cause we're serious about your safety)
Unlike most of the Internet, we take our readers safety very seriously and any personal attacks will get you banned.
That, most important, statement out of the way, here’s more you should know whether you’re a regular commenter or new to the site.
Although we can’t be everywhere at once, here are some of the kinds of comments we’re going to do our best to curtail:
Promoting your own brand, product, or blog. So you’ve got a product you want us to talk about, try hitting us in the Contacts section and we'll let you know how we can work together.
Impersonating authors or other commenters. We can’t believe we have to say this, but: Don’t do that. It’s weird.
Comments that are completely out of left field. Sometimes discussions veer off a bit, but are still related to the original subject. That is fine. Hijacking the conversation to promote off-topic commentary is not.
Threats — no matter how vague — against the author or other commenters. Things can get heated. Before you casually mention your foe’s home address, think of your Mother Earth. (Bonus points if you never use the phrase “Mother Earth.”)
Racism, sexism, homophobia, you get the drift.
If your comment does not immediately appear on the site after posting, it may have been flagged for review. There are a number of things which will get your comment flagged for review, we ask that you please keep that in mind before resubmitting the comment multiple times or contacting us about it.
- Use of any of the curse words and/or slurs we have on our blacklist will automatically flag a comment so it won’t appear on our site. Sometimes these words are used as part of a good discussion, these comments will be approved by a moderator when appropriate.
- Using a Disqus account without a verified email address will automatically flag a comment.
- Fluctuations in the space time continuum. Sometimes things just get auto-flagged and we don’t know why.
- Comments can also be flagged for review by our readership (please do not abuse this option for other users you simply disagree with, it makes our moderation jobs a lot harder).
Here are some things which will get your comment deleted.
- Personal attacks against another commenter or the writer of the post/website.
- Jokes or aggressive negative comments on the aesthetic appearance of a person (commenters, writers, and folks mentioned in an article alike).
- Hate speech or other clearly intentional jerk behaviour.
Here are some things which will get your account banned.
- Engaging in any of the previously mentioned delete-worthy behaviors consistently and as part of a clear pattern OR presenting a particularly egregious example of one of those behaviours as a first comment (New to the site? Stopped by just to say something horrible? We don’t need you here.)
- Hate reading. If your history of commenting on Everyday Alergen-Free is only targeted at bullying the Allergy community, be sure you will be banned.
- It is at the editors’ discretion to ban anyone whom they determine to be a detriment to the atmosphere of the comments section, the site in general, and our regular readers.
There will be some who look at these rules and think that the moderators of Everyday Allergen-Free have too much power to shut down conversations. We have two responses to this.
First: It’s our site, we get to make the rules. We’re not taking away your freedom of speech by deleting/banning you. You can take your anger elsewhere, we don’t want it.
We try to treat our comment section like a series of dinner parties, where our job as hosts is to foster interesting, free discussion for all our guests, not just the loudest, most assertive, scariest ones. You can be a poor conversationalist, present a different viewpoint, or talk loudly and brashly. But if you threaten, annoy, derail, or in other ways spoil the atmosphere of discussion for others, we reserve the right to not invite you back next time. If that principle is too restrictive for you, there are many other sites out there that share our coverage and have more liberal commenting rules.
Second: We ask everybody who comes to Everyday Allergen-Free to remember that conversations require listening as well as speaking. And we are firm believers in the fact that banning a commenter only prevents them from speaking, not from listening.
A note to our regular readers:
We love you! Everyday Allergen-Free wouldn’t be what it is without your awesome support. As we mentioned above, flagging comments which violate our policy is a great help but please take this responsibility seriously. Flagging a user who isn’t really causing trouble but who you personally feel is just being obtuse is not a good use of this power. Also, engaging with users who are clearly trolls may be fun for some of you but causes us larger headaches (especially with overly large threads). Flag and move on.