A blog comment policy? Who, me?

By Kate Foy

Image: thanks ifindkarma

Day 11 and we’re getting into the pointy end part of the 31 Day Comment Challenge. Today we’re to write a comment policy for our blog. No, I don’t think so … not for me.

This isn’t because I don’t think it’s a good idea to know and respect the boundaries of what constitutes that problematical (apparently for some) notion of appropriate behaviour. I think Neville Hobson’s clearly articulated set of guidelines or ‘terms of use’ which he lays out for his blog is eminently sane. It’s just that I need to operate under the assumption that what moves a visitor to leave a comment is genuine engagement and good will. Did I mention I also have a healthy scepticism for bureaucratic systems and authoritarianism?

Now I’m not so idealistic as to think that my posts don’t get splogged or scraped or whatever synonym we’re currently using when we mean ‘stolen.’ Heck, there are bottom-feeders everywhere, but they don’t rate as commenters. Nor do I imagine that the blog won’t be a target for spam or the occasional commenter with an axe to grind or a point to make at my expense. However I do have Akismet to gate-keep for me, content moderation switched on, and the freedom to choose whether or not to respond to a comment … and indeed, what to do with it. In the real world, I also lock my doors and take out insurance on things I care for. The rest is up to me.

Maybe we need more discretion and common sense, not policies and commandments.

Those old rules that we learned a long time ago about playing nicely and doing unto others? They still hold.