Comment Policies

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Anyone may comment on any blog post. We don’t require membership or registration, but we do moderate comments to help prevent spam. Once you have had a comment accepted, future comments should appear without having to be moderated. However, please note the following:

1. Any comment that contains two (2) or more links in the body text will be held for moderation. This is to prevent spam. If your comment has two or more links but is not spam, it will not appear until we approve it. It will be approved when we have a chance to look at it. That could take a few minutes, a few hours, or a few days, depending on how busy we are. In order to have your comment appear as quickly as possible, it is better to have no more than one link in the body of your comment.

2. We would like When Falls the Coliseum to have intelligent discussion and respectful dialogue in the comments sections, when possible. We also, though, don’t object to snark and biting retorts, when commenters feel that is called for. We don’t generally want to dictate etiquette to our commenters and we believe that the best comment communities are self-policing. So we ask for a bit of self-restraint and hope our commenters will develop a shared sense of proportion and propriety, even given that we embrace sarcasm and controversial topics.

3. We will remove outright threats and anything that violates the law or threatens the security of our contributors. We’re all adults, so no need for kids’ gloves. But there are lines that should not be crossed. Note that you are never as anonymous on the Internet as some people think they are. Your IP address is logged when you visit any site or leave a comment. We have no use for this information, unless threatening or illegal activity is taking place, so your privacy is generally assured.

4. Stay on topic. Comments that have nothing to do with the post and the other comments will be deleted. Commenters who use our comment forum as a chance to paste in their own essays or boilerplate propaganda for a political candidate may have their posts deleted and could be banned from commenting.

5. Keep comments reasonably short. If you want to write essays, then write essays and try to get them published. Or start your own blog. Comments should not be longer than the posts themselves (especially the long posts) and in most cases should be significantly shorter. The comments section is an opportunity for a conversation — a back and forth exchange — with other readers about the post. Comments that go on for pages could be deleted at our sole discretion.

6. Try not to be a jerk to our contributors. When Falls the Coliseum is different from the Huffington Post or Reason‘s Hit and Run or National Review in that we have deliberately recruited writers with not only opposing views on some issues, but different political viewpoints. This isn’t a liberal site, or a conservative site, or a libertarian site. So it is certain that all of our readers will disagree with some of our writers. Don’t be surprised by it, or outraged. Just get in there and make your point.

7. We won’t generally remove comments for reasons other than noted in (3) above. We don’t want to exercise a heavy editorial hand and will try to stay out of the fray. However, we do reserve the right to remove comments or ban commenters if we believe that their presence is detrimental to the environment we’d like to see at When Falls the Coliseum. Or because we find them annoying. We value free expression and don’t expect to have to delete comments frequently or ban commenters. But it’s our site, and we can delete comments or ban commenters for any reason or no reason. Our tolerance for trolls — for people who type in all caps or don’t engage in discussion and just want to insult our writers and not discuss the topic of the post — has limits.

8. It should go without saying, but just in case it needs to be said — comments made by our readers do not represent the views of the editors, owner, contributors, or other readers of When Falls the Coliseum. As stated above, we do not remove a comment just because we disagree with it or it is offensive to some. Our choosing not to remove it or our not taking the time to dispute it should not be interpreted as our agreeing with it.

10. You may use basic html for bold and italic and hyperlinks.

Got it? Good. Come out swinging.