Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Setting out a comment policy

When I started this blog my intention was to just point out weird, odd, and curious things that happened in San Antonio. It started as a hobby, but it has gained a decent readership, and I thank you all for taking the time to stop by.

With the increased amount of readers have come more comments. I have a few regular commenters (thank you Alan, Dave, Kels, the good people at San Antonio Daily Photo, Keith, and others!), and there are many more that stop by to comment once or twice. That's great. I like a lively comments section. And so far I have not laid out a comments policy because I never saw the need to. But recent comments on some older posts have prompted me to come up with one.

I generally prefer dialogue, but when people begin flinging their emotions onto the keyboard they sometimes post language that (I hope) they would regret if they had to say it in person. I don't like to delete comments, but I will if I feel they detract from a conversation rather than add to it.

So, to keep deletions to a minimum, I ask all visitors who wish to comment to follow these simple house rules.

1. NO ALL CAPS. This results in an automatic deletion, no matter what your point is. I don't mind occassional capitalization of words or phrases for emphasis, but I can't abide an entire entry written in capital letters. This is still the Internet equivalent of yelling. Please don't yell. The "Caps Lock" key turns off as easily as it turns on.

2. No spam. I don't mind someone going a little off topic, but if you are here to shamefully promote an unrelated good or service in a way that smacks of spamming, I just might delete your comment.

3. No baseless accusations. Sometimes people involved in the stories mentioned on this blog pop into the comments section to present their viewpoint. I don't mind this so much. In fact, such comments could provide an insight not touched on by the local media. (For a good example of this, check out the comments section on this post about a girl selling her plasma for gas money.) But you should not use this blog to accuse anyone of immoral or criminal activity. If you think someone broke the law, take it up with the police. If you want media coverage, call the television stations. If you think I'm being unfair, start your own blog. Just don't bring it here.

4. No personal attacks or threats. Argue a point of view without verbally abusing the person you're talking about or to.

5. Go easy on the profanity. I'm no prude. A few well-placed swear words can add great amounts of emphasis, and you're not going to offend me with these. But don't cuss just for the sake of cussing.

There. I hope I've laid out these rules in a reasonable way, and I hope I don't scare people away from adding to the conversation here. I like to hear different sides of a story, and I welcome comments. But let's try to be civil.

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