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Common Housefly


I want everyone to feel at home when they post a comment here.  Now, I don’t know what your home is like, but I know how I expect people to behave when they visit mine.  That’s why I reserve the right to delete comments and ban users as needed to keep the comment threads here civil and substantive.

My No. 1 house rule is simple: Please don’t be an idiot.

Do you want to be the kind of contributor I'd love to bring home to meet my family? Here’s what I like to see in comments:

  • Weigh in with smart, informed ideas that contribute further to the story.

  • Give me useful, constructive criticism. Spot a typo or an error? Let me know and the website elves will correct it.

  • Demonstrate and share the intelligence, wisdom, and humour we know you possess.

  • Please don’t feed the trolls.  You wouldn’t dive into a debate with my ill-informed, weird uncle just for the heck of it, and you definitely wouldn’t feed him.  Just downvote and flag comments instead.

Although I can’t be everywhere at once, here are some of the kinds of comments I'll do my best to curtail:

  • Promoting your own brand, product, or blog.  So you’ve got a train that goes faster and further than ever before.  That's great Richard.  Send the information through my contact form.

  • Impersonating authors or other contributors.  I can’t believe I have to say this, but: Don’t do that.

  • Comments that make it clear you didn’t read the article.  Enraged that we didn’t mention that thing in a story about another thing?  Slow down, if you’d made it past paragraph two, you’d see a very well thought-out discussion of that thing you hold so dear.

  • Comments that are completely out of left field.  Sometimes discussions veer off a bit, but are still related to the original subject, and that is fine, but hijacking the conversation to promote off-topic commentary is not.

  • Threats — no matter how vague — against the author or other contributors.  Things can get heated, but before you casually mention your foe’s home address, think how you would like it.

  • Racism, sexism, homophobia, that sort of thing.  Call me the PC Police, fine, but don’t say I didn’t warn you when you get thrown in The Tower (or more likely, banned or deleted.

  • Trolling.  If you’re a climate denier just out for a good trolling and are not contributing meaningfully to the conversation, sorry, but I'll be pushing you back under the bridge.

Thank you!

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