Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Comments policy

To start with, if this seems rather heavy handed at this stage, I should explain. I did some research about blogging practice and policies before setting up this journal. This seemed to suggest that:
  • It’s helpful to have a comments policy up front so that this enables those who might be shy at posting to ‘know the rules’ and therefore feel more confident about posting.
  • There’s a general consensus that it’s better to publish a comments policy before rather than after you have been visited by a troll or received an abusive post which needs to be removed.
So here goes………….

General Principles

This policy is an amalgam of the best practice that I am sympathetic to that I can find on the net and my own personal experience of what can happen if comments are not moderated. Essentially I want to run with a policy which is derived from and based on what has been referred to by Lisa Williams as the “Living Room Doctrine” (UPDATE: link is now defunct - however I have found the extract which appealed to me - and qUoted it below) and the principles of the the “Friendly Stranger[link now defunct] and Rana’s “Benefit of the Doubt” . I’ll amend this policy as required in the light of experience and the development of even better practice on the net.
I consider my blog to be a virtual extension of my living space. As such, any comments that I would find threatening or offensive if said to me in person in my living room will be deleted. It’s fine to disagree with me (I allow that in my living room). Not fine is unbridled hostility, name calling, etc., either towards me or towards other commenters.The Living Room Doctrine
In essence then:
  1. I hope you will read this journal because you get something out of it and that you want to comment and/or interact with other people who comment on what I post
  2. I will write about things relating to the purposes of this art journal (see under “Making a Mark”) and how they: (a) relate to me personally and certain aspects of my life; (b) relate to wider trends and developments; and (c)might be relevant to others who are developing their own artwork and careers
  3. Learning is a good thing to pursue. Sharing information for mutual benefit is encouraged as are comments which expand our wealth of information.
  4. My journal is a virtual extension of my living space. Consequently, in this journal we will discuss things as if we were speaking face to face in my living space. Comments will always try to be on-topic, informative and polite. Discussions should always be thoughtful and respectful of others – this is not a debating forum.
  5. Private lives and privacy concerns are to be respected. When writing about personal lives and individuals both you and I will only share what has already been made public on the internet by the individual concerned or what we would share if standing in a queue chatting to a friendly stranger.
  6. Comments about specific individuals will generally relate to sharing information about positive experiences and innovation.
  7. Any references to something on another site should have proper attribution and a link.
  8. I will assume you to be a reasonable, thinking person (unless you provide evidence to the contrary) and I expect you to treat me as a reasonable, thoughtful person as well.
  9. My aim is run this site with comments enabled and without active policing on my part. However, comments will be moderated to start with and I will decide whether or not comments are enabled.
  10. If you have a lot to say do please consider setting up your own blog to share your views with others.

Comments that will be removed

This is my blog and, while I welcome comments, all comments will be moderated initially. Please note that using Blogger means that I can only delete a comment rather than edit.
  1. All abusive comments will not be published or will be removed – and I determine what is abusive in my eyes as this is my living space. So any comments that I personally consider to be threatening or offensive if said to me in person in my own living space will be deleted. It is not OK to bristle with hostility or to call either me or other people who comment “names”. Those who indulge in what I regard as anti-social behaviours (e.g. behave like trolls and/or conspire and/or practice deceit such as engineering double acts for false debate or creating conflict) will be banned and their comments will be deleted.
  2. All wildly off-topic comments will be removed.
  3. Any inflammatory statements, allegations or statement likely to generate legal interest and/or action by others will be removed.
  4. Posts will not be published [Update 2nd September 2007] if they are:
    • inappropriate (eg breach privacy considerations)
    • very disruptive to the flow (eg they would have been better sent as e-mails or are excessive in length.)
    • rude and/or disrespectful (eg if the poster comments at length on the topic and in a way which indicates they haven't read the post or subsequent comments. This is a conversation not an opportunity for people to get on a soap box.)
    • Comments on any post which are suggestions of items which could feature in my weekly "Who's making a mark this week" blog posts. These may be read but will not be published. If you have a suggestion use the 'contact me' mechanism. This is because I sometimes need to ask questions but mostly because I never ever accept a suggestion which are anonymous and lack an e-mail address.
  5. Spam (i.e. comments containing irrelevant links to commercial sites) will always be removed. [Update 28th June 2007]
    • I suggest anybody who wants to post a link to a commercial site but isn’t sure whether I will regard it as spam checks with me first via e-mail.
    • Any anonymous comments or otherwise suspicious comments which I suspect may be spam will be deleted. I always check who you are when you post. If I don't get an identifiable response your comment may be left in moderation or deleted. However I've just found that some spammers now have a way of masking their identity and consequently in future all such comments may well be deleted.
    • Bottom line - this blog does not provide link love to spammers
Where I have deleted a post I will indicate the reason why – at the highest level only (e.g. off-topic; spam; abusive). I won’t enter into any sort of debate about what I consider to be appropriate comment in my journal after the event.


  1. I cannot beleive that your website is only a year old. It is completely fabulous, and I wanted to check in and compliment you.
    As a fellow pastellist, I salute your ability to create a blog of such great skill graphically - a delight to look at!
    Your fan, KC

  2. i hear ya! - love all things natural and botanical - just completed a series on 'new york trees'. check out henry moore ex at the new york botanical gardens...wonderful.
    am a recent subscriber to your blog and love it - so informative, intelligent and amazingly comprehensive.
    thank you!


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