Comment policy

Following some recent comments we now have to implement a new comments policy. This will mean that all comments are held in moderation before they are published. One user in particular has argued that leaving comments on whatever post he likes about whatever subject he likes is his right as a human being, in order for him to tell “the truth”. Unfortunately, one man’s truth is another man’s lawsuit. Comments are entirely at our discretion.

Neither do we tolerate trolling or worse, sock puppetry. Which is especially strange when the same user has been complimenting himself on his own sense of humour via other names, but under the same IP address. I would suggest that he start his own blog, given this fact.

Dan Drezner school of commenting:

1) Every e-mail sent about the blog and every comment posted on the blog is read.

2) We won’t necessarily reply to every e-mail message or respond to every posted query.

3) We’re truly sorry for the non-responses.

4) Unless otherwise indicated, we will not attribute any quote from any email on the blog.

5) When it comes to the comments feature, remember that we control the horizontal and the vertical. Moderation is in operation because of previous abuse of the feature. We will delete comments that we think are personally insulting, completely off-topic from the post, or so incoherent as to pass all understanding. Our space, our rules.

6) When you’re posting your comments, bear in mind that people are watching. Libel rules apply.

6 thoughts on “Comment policy”

  1. doesn’t ‘take down when notified’ rules apply, that seems to be where the law is going, of course you can’ afford legal threats

    but making clear you’d happy to change anything that people can show is wrong would be good policy to have for everything on the site

    just ip ban the persistent trolls

  2. Normally I would agree Steve, but given the nature and content of this site, we have to be extra careful around libel issues.

  3. It seems to me that journalism sites like this are most useful when editorial control is exercised in order to support the factual accuracy and standards of content, including respect for the law. On-line journalists ought to be prepared to do better than “take down when notified” by demonstrating their willingness to observe normal media standards. It seems to me that the new comments policy is both desirable and sensible and allows a brave experiment in sharing research to grow in respect of both reliable content and professional stature.

    Prof. Colum Kenny,
    School of Communications,
    Dublin City University.

  4. take down when notified is fine for comments, many users systems… you don’t get the benefit of many users if you have to pre approve one by one. either this is a ‘crowd’ site or not. u have to take the risks with the benefits

  5. Steve,

    The settled law in Ireland holds that publishers are responsible for what they publish.

    Moderating comments is a must.
    Pre-moderating is nessecary where the alternative has been abused.

    The risks, by the way, which you’re so eager to heap on thestory’s non-millionaire duo are of a law suit which (between costs and damages) could reach over half a million euros.

    The new policy is a sensible one.

  6. i never said i was eager,i just said you have to take the risk if you want responses from the public.

    why would any blog have a comment section if there isn’t a reasonable risk vs benefit in having one, im just discussing the issue not trying to have go, like you are with me.

    your blog doesn’t pre approve, you talk politics too. are you eager to deliver yourself a lawsuit?

    professor column talks about normal media standards, this site isn’t about normal media standards, they wouldn’t be sharing their research and data if it was.

    they still have half their spreadsheets open for anyone to edit, anyone could add whatever they liked to that info, if they lock them all they much less likely to get the extra info they’re looking for from the public.

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