Comment Policy

Comment Guidelines

Thank you for being part of the Boing Boing community! Our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation, with "good" meaning fun, constructive, informative, entertaining, or all of the above. So, speech is free, but Boing Boing is moderated. Here are the kinds of comments that energize happy mutants:

• More information about the subject of the post! If we post something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. If you know more about it than we do, please share!

• New developments about the subject of a post. As the old comic strip goes, "It isn't that (we) don't like current events. There have just been so many of them lately."

• Opinions that move the debate forward. Disagree with what we or another commenter has to say? Let's hear it! But please be respectful.

• Comments that connect the dots. We appreciate you linking the subject of one post to other posts, even (especially!) when the connection isn't obvious!

• Factual corrections! We make mistakes, we fix 'em.

And now, some less pleasant things that should be self-evident but we'll note for the record:

• Offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or disemvoweled.

• Spam earns an instant ban.  If you have a history of junk comments, plus promotional copy in your profile, you may be considered a spammer.

• Astroturfers will be banned.  Cut-and-paste or nearly verbatim talking points are considered astroturf.

• Sock puppets (alias accounts created by previously banned commenters for the purpose of avoiding a ban) will be banned.

• If the bulk of your comments are whining, hostile, insulting or otherwise annoying, you may be banned.

• Please do not tell the Boing Boing editors what to blog. Writing "But that's not a wonderful thing" is lame. So is "topic [X] bores me," or "subject [Y] sucks."

• Please do not make racist, sexist, anti-Semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.

• Please don't personally insult, bully, threaten, or harass the writers or your fellow commenters.  Comments referring to other commenters as "idiots," "retards," or the like will be disemvowelled or not published.

• Please avoid using offensive words like avttre, snttbg and phag, which have been ROT13ed for your reading pleasure.  If saying it to a stranger in meatspace might earn you a black eye, please don't say it in your comment.  Replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.

• Please don't make off-topic comments about political candidates or parties for the purpose of arguing. If a political party or candidate is the subject of the post or is closely related, it's okay to discuss political parties or candidates. But don't do so simply to troll.

• Please don't suggest that the victim "had it coming" in a civil liberties/human rights thread unless you have some evidence to support your claim.

• We are primarily ad supported, but advertisers have no editorial control. Please don't make passive-aggressive insinuations or other tiresome, generalized accusations to the contrary. We are transparent about our relationships with advertisers. For more on that, please see our advertising policy.

• Please ROT13 spoilers.

• Please don't include e-mail addresses, physical addresses, or phone numbers in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion, or for the purpose of harassing or publicly exposing the private data of others. Such comments will be redacted or removed.

• Please don't drag topics from one post to another. The content of a post is the responsibility of that author, nobody else.

• Please don't "hijack" comment threads to controversial topics.

• Please don't make the same comment in more than one thread or repeat yourself (or anyone else) in the same thread. If you accidentally double-post, don't worry, our moderators routinely try to tidy up those sorts of errors.

• Please bring meta-commentary, technical problems, etc. to this thread.

2012 Election Year Guidelines

In the interest of not having every thread on every subject turn into a hissfest about whether Obama or Romney/Santorum/etc. is a bigger doody-head, Boing Boing's election year rules are back on. These rules will remain in force for the rest of 2012.

• Please do not refer to candidates or parties unless they are mentioned in the post or clearly relevant to the subject. Example: In a post about radioactive scorpions who eat puppies, "They must be Republicans" is not a valid comment.

• In political discussions, please limit citations to credible news sources, credible statistic sites, etc. Links to candidate propaganda should only be used to demonstrate that candidate's stated position. Links to partisan websites will be treated as astroturf.

• Copy-pasted opinions and talking points will be treated as astroturf.

• Please do not stump for your candidate by shouting slogans. Content or GTFO.

• Please observe all the other niceties such as not repeating yourself and remaining civil.

General notes

• Offensive or spam/commercial (website) user names may be banned.

• If you give us a non-working e-mail address when you register, please don't complain that we didn't contact you if your account is suspended.

• If you need to make changes to your profile:

     ○ Boing Boing native accounts sign in at the BB login page and select Edit Profile from the drop-down menu under your name at the upper right. The default page when you sign in is your WordPress dashboard. It looks like you've accidentally gotten into BB admin, but you haven't. Keep calm and carry on.

     ○ Disqus accounts sign in at Disqus and select Edit Profile from the drop-down menu under your name at the upper right.

• For information about Disqus accounts, such as resetting passwords, changing names, etc., please refer to the Disqus Knowledge Base.

A list of html tags that will work in Disqus comments

• Please forward personal service requests to Antinous at this domain.

Link Policy

• Links are allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. It's generally OK to link to large information sites (such as Wikipedia, IMDb), news sites (NY Times, Yomiuri Shimbun, local TV stations), general technology and interesting-stuff sites (Mental Floss, Gizmodo, Neatorama), maker sites (Etsy, Make) if they're relevant to the topic at hand.

• Links to opinion pages on news sites are okay, but we'd much rather that you coherently voice your own opinion here.

• Links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay (you can add this information in your user profile, instead). This helps us prevent the abuse of the comment threads for spam.  You may link to a specific post on your site if it adds to (rather than repeats) the post/thread.

• Links to commercial sites are okay if they are on-topic for the post/thread or likely to be interesting to fellow readers.

• Links to NSFW (including gore/violence) sites are okay if there's a good reason for them to be part of the discussion. As a courtesy to your fellow commenters, please label them with "NSFW," or similar.

• Mislabeled links are not okay and will be treated as spam.

• Unidentified links (urls pasted without description) are not okay.

• Links to offensive material such as racist, anti-Semitic, etc. websites, images or videos are not okay, unless the topic at hand involves a discussion of this material (example: comments around a BB post on newly-discovered early 20th century photos of Klan rallies might include links to similar collections). If the intent is simply to shock or offend, it's not okay. If the intent is to broaden discussion on a given topic with your peers, it may be okay.

• Unwelcome links will be redacted.

• Full URLs (http://...) are automatically hyperlinked, but you may also mask URLs.  Long URLs (over 75 characters) should be masked, please. <a href="full URL goes here with no spaces">Whatever you want to call the link goes here</a>. The URL must include the http part and don't forget the "s before and after the URL.

• If you post a non-obvious link (masked or Submitterator) to a pdf file, please label it (PDF) in an obvious fashion.

Errata and attributions

• We welcome alerts about typos, incorrect names, factual errors, and the like.

• We generally do not correct quoted text.

• Factual errors will be corrected if verifiable documentation is available. The correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

• Requests for credit or attribution may be honored if verifiable documentation is submitted. This modification is at the discretion of the author/editor of the post and may not happen immediately.