Posting and commenting policy

I do not publish all of the comments on my blog.

Heavens! Censorship you say!

You got me.

Believe me I never thought it would come to this. Me, a humble programmer, consulting not one, but two lawyers about a comment someone made on the blog, and coming to the very difficult decision to delete said comment. Hence, I am forced to create this here policy to explain the rationale behind that action.

Please don’t confuse your right to free speech with my right to not have to deal with your bullshit.

Your right to free speech guarantees that the government won’t put you in jail for what you say – in Canada this right is tempered with reason since we have laws against hate speech. We also have libel and defamation laws which meas that some of the things the government can’t put you in jail for will have real world consequences if they harm someone’s reputation.

Thus, my rules below.

I’m not a newspaper, or a government or any such thing and I am under no obligation to publish anything on this blog that I don’t want to. However, I am fair and open to criticism on any of the things I write about so by default I publish all comments that people make if they meet the following policies (which I am free to change at any time)

  1. You are not promoting a product or service.
    I get thousands of spam comments every month and I have spam software that automatically removes comments that are tagged as spam. It’s not part of the purpose of this blog to promote services or products that are not related to the topics I write about. The “spam” posts clutter the comments, detract from the main subject, and in general do not serve the purpose of this blog.
  2. Your comment is not derogatory, defamatory, sexist, racist or abusive.
    Some people are upset that I hold certain opinions or disagree with them. Those people may decide to vent their frustrations with abusive comments. They are within their rights to do so, as I am within my rights to refuse to publish them. Similar to spam, they promote an agenda that is not related to the rational discussion of the issues in this blog, and detract from the purpose I have in writing here.
  3. You are not needlessly argumentative, or off topic.
    This one is difficult. Some people believe that they need to “win” on the internet, and that “winning” means posting last. While I accept criticism and rational arguments, posts that take the argument needlessly off topic will not be tolerated. Ultimately they are childish, and like the previous two points they detract from the purpose of the blog.
What do you want me to do? LEAVE? Then they'll keep being wrong!
Duty Calls

Spam gets deleted automatically. The other two policies mean I need to intervene. Depending on the tone of the comment I may contact you and ask you to clarify, or to tone it down. If that does not work I may decide to delete it entirely.

If you feel you have made a comment and it has been deleted in error, feel free to contact me.

I’ll leave you with the XKCD definitive comic on the matter

Free Speech