2012 Election Year Comment Guidelines

In the interest of not having every thread on every subject turn into a hissfest about whether Obama or Romney 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.



    1. It’s rather more like the high heels vs. the low heels in Swift’s “Gulliver’s Travels”.

  1. Love you guys and I will extend every effort in keeping it classy. That picture is so truthy though it’s burning out my retinas!

    1. From the secret cloning vats beneath Boing Boing headquarters.  Arise, Obamney, arise!

  2. Rules are made to be broken:


    “Ron Paul is not only a physician, but he was trained in the discipline of obstetrics, gynecology, racism & hypocrisy and therefore is at the front lines in the battle against abortion.”

    Ron Paul FTW!

    Ron Paul FTW!

    (Just kidding)

  3. Where is the link to the story about about radioactive scorpions that eat puppies? I was promised radioactive scorpions!

    1. The Scorpions are very radio active. I heard them on ROCK 97.9 MORNING, on KISS 106.9 and a couple of others

        1.  As Ozzy Osbourne said “Just once you bite the head off a bat on stage and they’ll never let you live it down!”

  4. An extra point:

    – And please keep in mind that not a single person will change their mind due to something you post.

    1. – And please keep in mind that not a single person will change their mind due to something you post.

      You know, I never thought of it like that.

    2. Some people, like me, may get so mad at your post that I will vote opposite of you just to cancel out your vote that you care so much about haha.

    3. I’m not going to change my mind, but I will refer to non-specific (and possibly apocryphal) instances where I did change my mind in the past, thereby proving that I disagree on merit rather than because I’m stubborn.

    4. That’s not always true.  During the previous Administration, I changed my mind, and decided that the civility issue was important enough that I had to take the high road and stop claiming that Dick Cheney actually eats live puppies for breakfast.  

      Civility’s not only important for its own sake, and for making the Internet a nicer place to be, and keeping myself from just being an ngry sshl in too many internet discussions, but it’s also important because the Evil Party were using polarization as a political technique, so being angry and rude just helps them.  

      And besides, factually, I don’t know whether Dick Cheney is enough of a morning person to actually eat breakfast, as opposed to just coffee.  Dark, burned, bitter, acidic coffee, with sour cream and vinegar in it, and underripe persimmons on the side.  The kind of coffee that goes well with bacon made from puppies.  But I ain’t saying he actuallly eats puppies.  Or  breakfast.

  5. “Repeal the 20th Century! Forward, into the Past! Vote GOP!”

    There, I feel better now. You’ll have no issues with me.

        1. Oh, damn, I had finally managed to forget how badly Roger Zelazny’s excellent story “Damnation Alley” was mangled in film.

          I guess I deserved that, though…

  6. I’d also love to see a rule along the lines of: “When referring to a candidate by name, keep to their unadulterated first, last or ‘common’ name as used in mainstream press.”  So “Arnold” would be fine, “Schwarzenegger” would be fine, but “the Governator” would be out. 

    I know, “Governator” is cute and fairly harlmess.  In fact, it’s my attempt at a harmless example. But years of people calling President Bush “Shrub” made me very uncomfortable (and I didn’t even like the guy), and the ways detractors refer to President Obama put my teeth on edge.  And the current crop of Republican candidates aren’t immune either.

    If you truly detest a person so much you can’t extend the basest courtesy of using their proper name, I really don’t see what positive contribution you’re going to have to the conversation at hand.

    1. Absolutely!  But not quite neutralizing enough, because that allows the freedom to choose font, weight, style, etc.  Imagine if i set “Romney” in italic comic-sans. That would be…well, just rude.  Therefore, i propose a central registry whereby all individuals in the public eye would have a proper hexidecimal hash that must always be rendered in 12 point Times-Roman.  For example:  “cab005e” or “0ddba11″ (“deadbeef” having been pre-reserved for Rick Perry)

    2. I also find this tendency irritating. Just use their real name, if you don’t want to look childish: that’s my opinion.

      1. I see your point, but honestly it was a lot easier to type “Shrub” than to put “President George Walker Bush, not his father, former President George Herbert Walker Bush” in parentheses after every reference to a witless Xian pronouncement perpetrated by the former.

          1. True, but he goes by Mitt.

            You know, there are so many jokes that could be made about that.

    3. This has bothered me over the last 8 years or so.  Maybe someone smarter than me can chime in on this (shouldn’t be hard to find someone smarter than me on BoingBoing) but wouldn’t names like Shrubbie, O’Bummer, and R-Money be a form of dehumanizing the enemy? At the very least, it’s incredibly childish.

    4. But… but… but… Mittens is is the greatest nickname for a presidential candidate ever!

  7. I take issue with your photo. 

    The two candidates are clearly not the same, on numerous issues – not the least of which is the appointment of probably two Supreme Court justices.

    1. Avoid bunched panties. I don’t think Ant/Mod is saying they are the same. It was merely a funny photo which combined the two likely candidates. Both men constantly disappoint their parties but they are very different and I don’t think any serious person would claim otherwise.

      1. Then don’t make a photo that implies this point of view. This happened in 2000 with that site, billionairesforbushorgore.com, and I think any sane person would have to recognize that Al Gore wouldn’t have given us Justices Alito and Roberts, a war in Iraq and Afghanistan, and a disastrous tax giveaway to America’s aristocracy.

        False equivalency is a big problem in our country.

        1. You are reading all of that into the image. It certainly is one possible intended use of the image, but nothing would lead me to believe that was Ant/Mod’s intention.

          “False equivalency is a big problem in our country.”


          Believing false equivalency is a big problem in our country is a bigger problem in our country than false equivalency.

          It matters little what logical fallacies are at work when we discuss actual problems like our enormous debt, the future of social security, privacy, technology, etc. We absolutely should point out false equivalencies, circular reasoning, straw men, etc when they appear, but they are not big issues in and of themselves.

          How about we let go of the concern about (non-)similiarity of the two prospective candidates and talk about what needs to be done substantively on the big problems facing our country. We might come to the conclusion the candidates will be the same on any number of issues. What you’re probably concerned about are those people who do not care to learn any more than they read into a silly internet image.

          1. When you have a fourth estate that is nothing more than stenographers for the rich and powerful, then yes false equivalency is a big problem. We don’t hear from the 2+2=5 faction on the evening news as though they have a perfectly valid point of view.

          2. Yes, sorry for that. When I clicked Post, it hung for a bit with the pending message and then got an error box. I assumed it hadn’t posted, so tried again, same effect. But then I reloaded page…just in case, and there they both were. Hope it helps, somehow.

        2. Stop pretending like there aren’t millions of reasons to hate the Democratic party.  The “lesser of two evils” is a big problem in our country.

          1. I’m not pretending that at all. I hate the fact that we have this problem, but there are ways to solve it that won’t result in two more fascist scumbags being appointed to the nation’s highest court. 

            If you want to see viable third party candidates in our democracy, elect them to local office where the stakes are lower and the odds greater of them winning. 

            The effects of W. Bush’s dubious victory in 2000 are still plaguing our country, and will do so until Citizens United is reversed.

          2. @boingboing-6dbd2699e8e7ec0047de2d5d1b28a75b:disqus :
            No, when you choose the “lesser of two evils” you actually end up with MORE evil than you had before.  Less evil than you MIGHT have had, but more evil than you had before.  See the problem yet?

          3. Compromise is such a pain. Wouldn’t it be nice if I got to elect someone who matched my ideology perfectly and never had to compromise for the sake of getting things done?

            Clearly we need to replace this pesky republic with a dictatorship.

        3. and a disastrous tax giveaway to America’s aristocracy.

          Those were extended and are still in full effect btw.

          1. True, though as a concession to the GOP to get a budget extension passed to prevent a government shutdown. 

          2. It’s easy to be a cynic. Let’s see if you’re as sanguine when the SCOTUS is 7 deep with right-wing corporate fascists.

        4. The photo implies that both are same as much as it represents the potential (scientifically impossible) spawn of a same-sex relationship between the two. 

    1. I was going to ask this.

      I see the Daily Mail crop up as a ‘credible’ source on BoingBoing (very occasionally) and Fox News is a given; these not credible news sources, period; so are we to expect the same from BoingBoing?  Also what about the funnies?  Fox News post a lot of funny stuff, assuming you don’t take it seriously.

  8. I will do my best, but can’t promise you on the last bit about repeating myself or remaining civil.   When I’m not it’s cause HE started it.    I will also bear no malice should my content be removed.

  9. It would be extra-rad if BB authors and moderators here could at least try to refrain from hurling insults at random people, random groups of people or commenters for a while. Would make this space much more readable.

    Thank you.

    1. OK- “a while” has passed, now I wish they would show us their tits.
      What are they hiding?
      Tits or GTFO!

      /your move Rob

    2. Well, it was nice for the day or so that it lasted. The pointless name-calling continues today; I capitulate.

        1. Good point.  I’m always surprised how boingers totally go to pieces over the comics let alone the political posts.

      1. Yup. Also, US citizens are totally free not to treat everything on the internet like it’s actually all about their domestic politics.

    1.  You’ve probably noticed that especially flamey comments on BB get disemvoweled (unless you’ve stopped reading comments before they get to that point.)

        1. What’s the point of dv’ing a comment when the commenter can just edit it right back?

          1. That’s what you get for choosing disqus.

            (Edit: I love this site, and would always get real enjoyment from turds getting disemvowelled, but I hate Disqus so much, and am so unhappy when sites I love succumb to it, that I can’t help but feel a little schadenfreude at one of said sites getting one of its beloved traditions hobbled as a result of the decision to adopt Disqus for their comments.)

          2. I’m not particularly thrilled with it myself. When we switched, it worked much better than what we were using, but they keep “upgrading” it into unusability. And it keeps breaking.

          3. I didn’t realize that Disqus would allow commenters to edit their comments. When I found out, I thought that it would be a great idea because commenters could fix their own errors. But it turns out that hardly anybody bothers to check their own links to see if they work.

            I fix dozens of borked links every day, mostly because the kids have decided that it’s cool to put links inside parentheses. Because the fact the link is a different color is apparently insufficient to make it visible.

  10. We shouldn’t repeat ourselves… make it so that we shouldn’t repeat what has already been said by others and we’re good for a year of peace and quiet.

  11. Boing Boing made it through the 2008 election, and this election looks no different. I doubt this decree is necessary or realistic. But whatevs.

  12. But Antinous!  The Internet needs my political opinions!  Why are you interfering with my First Amendment right to express myself on your dime?  Doodyhead!!1!

    1. The first amendment dosen’t apply to what I don’t like. 

       “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to SHUT THE HELL UP”

    1. “During his first visit to England, when asked what he though of modern civilization, Gandhi is said to have told news reporters, ‘That would be a good idea.'”

  13. I  supported Obama from the start of the nomination process, and I posted arguments in his favor literally thousands of times up to the election, mostly on high-traffic websites like Digg (well it was high traffic back then). I had very high hopes for his presidency. This time around I won’t be doing so much.

    This is not because I’m disappointed in Obama, really. In the course of the above career as a forum warrior I got a substantial education into how he thought, and I am not very surprised at the course of events since then in terms of what Obama has done.

    I am much more disappointed in the Republicans. I made the mistake of thinking they would look back on the Bush years somewhat rationally and come to the obvious conclusion that they had made a lot of mistakes and should start being more cooperative. I usually like to big-up my predictive powers, but there I got it completely wrong.

    If I’d realized that, I think I could’ve predicted the course of the Obama presidency better. Given that intransigence, it hasn’t played out surprisingly. There was a quote in the New Yorker review of a recent book on the Obamas that summed it up. “Obama was elected to lead “a rational, postracial, moderate country that is looking for sensible progress,” a White House official tells Kantor. “Except, oops, it’s an enraged, moralistic, harsh, desperate country. It’s a disconnect he can’t bridge.”

    Where I would make an exception to the above is in some of the DoJ decisions. I get that if you believe in separation of powers, the DoJ has to take a great deal of notice of the will of Congress. But I think they have been more craven than they needed to be. That said, I think the repeal of DADT was instructive. I was arguing on the side of the White House continuing to defend DADT, because getting rid of it for good required a repeal, which eventually was forthcoming. That was the right way to do it. But still the DoJ is my greatest area of disappointment with Obama, even if I think critics often don’t quite get how the system has to work.

    I really, really wanted to get the Republicans out in 2008, because I thought another dose would kill the country. This time around, I don’t care quite as much, I guess mostly because I like America less after the events of the past few years.

    But it is just lazy to say “Both candidates are the same”. It’s a rhetorical exaggeration that some people unfortunately seem to take literally.

    1. You know what I’d like?  An occasional political-minded post that encourages the BB readership to post little self-examinations like the one above.

      That was real nice.  It’d be great to find out what has brought about the evolutions in the political leanings of the BB regulars.  Those of us who’ve been here for a while often know with whom we generally find ourselves in agreement or disagreement, but little introspections like this (mostly divorced from the usual partisan ranting) would do much to humanize each other hereabouts.

      I’d do one myself right now, had I a less-busy day at work today.

    2. Not sure it’s “lazy” to come to the “both candidates are the same” conclusion when the only tangible difference separating them is the severity of the abuse of power. 

      When it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck and walks like a duck, calling it an elephant or a donkey is a pointless exercise.

    1. Don’t call him Mitt. 
      Can’t you muster the civility to call Mr. Romney by his given name?!


  14. Having seen the entire political landscape undergo more erosion and plate tectonics than the famed “Ring of Fire” in the Pacific, I still wonder why anyone thinks the presidential hotseat matters anymore.

    Paid-for policy is what rules this domain, and a few ineffectual vetoes does little to keep things in check. Running for office has devolved into pithy one-liners suitable for a reality TV series, not intellectuals championing for constituents.

    Politics, like the entertainment industry, deserves the same upheaval that torrents and the internet in general have brought about. The beauty of the internet is its underlying design routes around damage, and in this case – we need something to fill the representless-void that current politics provides.

    I don’t know what form it will take, but I can tell you I’ll support anything other than the broken system we have in place today, if not for any other reason but to bypass decades of cronyism and cruft.

    Enjoy the current “Election Cycle” in the meantime. I’m sure the wealthy sponsors of the ‘candidates’ wouldn’t have it any other way.

  15. In regards to the second bullet point regarding credible sites, does that mean you can’t site Fox “news”?

  16.  …turn into a hissfest about whether Obama or Romney/Santorum/etc. is a bigger doody-head…

    C’mon, Antinous. Take the moral high ground: you be the bigger doody-head here. :D

    On a more serious note, all, please leave the place in a better condition than you found it in.

  17. Nice!!  I like it!  Now…  i wonder if i can apply this rule to my facebook account. hmmmm…  lolz

  18. Holy crap! The pic of Obromney is creepy as hell. I’m not going to be able to get that image out of my head now. Thanks guys.

  19. “…whether Obama or Romney/Santorum/etc. is a bigger doody-head…”

    Etc is the smallest doody-head of the bunch and that why he/she/it is getting my vote.

    Happy Mutants for Etc, 2012-ish!

  20. Haven’t read other comments yet, but I love that bOINGbOING commenters are held to a higher standard than Fox News anchors and guests. 

  21. Speaking as a non US reader, is there any chance these rules could apply always and forever, whatever the year?

    1. They do, sort of, but aren’t strictly enforced in off years. Four years ago, every comment in every post was about Sarah Palin. It was really obnoxious.

        1. She was a sketch comedy character.  Mittens is not really any weirder than most candidates, or most Americans, so the problem isn’t nearly so bad this time.  Assuming that he doesn’t pick Jan Brewer or Donald Trump as VP.

          1.  I’d almost be tempted to vote for a Rmoney/Brewer ticket just to get her the Hell out of my state before she causes further damage… ALMOST

  22. I for one welcome our new {$incumbent} as they join the {$incumbentparty}. New jobbers in {$year}! (And let us consider disparate syndicators as groundline reportage, not the IBS Everywhere one.) 

  23. This blog entry should be right up at the top of the site, or at least on the sidebar. Maybe decorate it with the heads of the self-congratulatory political trolls you’ve already zapped. “LET THIS BE A WARNING TO THE REST OF YOU,” a sign scrawled in their blood might read.

    It’s the best you can do, given the circumstances. Despite the clear moral victory it would represent, the NSA won’t let you borrow an anti-nuke satellite just to zap armchair pundits. Not even if you call it “Natural Selection 2.0.”

  24. Will there be a list of which sites are “partisan” and which are not? Besides the obvious (Fox News, The Blaze for GOP; Think Progress, Media Matters, MoveOn for the dems) it’s kind of a muddy question.

    1. Fox News counts as a news site. Beyond that, I make a judgment call. If I don’t know the site, I’ll research it and look at criticisms. Disingenuousness aside, pretty much everybody knows when they’re linking to something that’s primarily a propaganda site.

      I strongly discourage linking for purposes of citing opinion, as opposed to facts/news. Commenters should be expressing their own opinions, not Jon Stewart’s or Glenn Beck’s. Allowances may be made for lulz.

    2. TheBlaze is for people who have circle jerks where they fantasize about the hunting down and killing anyone that disagrees them.   I like to think that one out of five people there is probably a FBI informant.

  25. Hey Beschizza could you mash up Newt’s (current) wife Christa and Mr. Obama? I had a nightmare about that.

  26. First Bullet: Okay but while it is true that the radioactive scorpenises that eat puppies DO tend to vote Republican you should balance that assessment out by mentioning that the ones that eat kittens tend toward the straight Democrat ticket. 

    Second Bullet: Don’t link to Fox. Got it.

    Third Bullet: I eat paste and make copy. How does this guideline affect me?

    Fourth Bullet: Vote Ross Perot!

    Fifth Bullet: Stop repeating yourself, c’mon, stop it, why don’t you stop repeating yourself?

    I accept and will adhere to your demanded guidelines. Scroll down to scroll down.

    1. Antinous / Moderator: “Fox News counts as a news site.” 
      Although I can’t imagine what counts as partisan if the propaganda arm of what used to be the republican party isn’t included. 
      Seems pretty safe to link anywhere.

      1. You do realize that even Stormfront thinks of itself as a news organization.

  27. For these new rules, I for one, demand a concession: 

    I demand a  SCIENTIFIC independent, controlled, repeatable test; A.K.A. the “sniff test”; to verify to see if what the claimant says is, in fact, true before anyone can post any more “Cool story bro” blags about yet another dirty-hippy claiming that soap is some kind of vile conspiracy of some sort, so the claimant never uses it, but magically does not smell. 

    1. Can we still have spelling flames?  Please, Mr/Ms Moderators?  Please?  Huh?
      (Dv?  Stp tht, Dv!  I cn fl my vwls gng wy, Dv?  Frtntl, n Wlsh, w’s nd y’s nd l’s nd r’s mk dqt vwls.)

      It’s spelled “Hippie”, though in this case it might actually have been both…

      1. If you are going to complain about spelling PLEASE BE CORRECT. You’re seem to be THAT GUY who mistakenly whines in threads about “octopuses” being wrong.

    1. As well as resembling Billy Crystal doing his “Fernando’s hideaway” routine. 

  28. president obama would definitely break these rules, according to fox news. i know this.. please look for david beckham’s underpants: “Becks sent the US president a box of around 50 pairs after learning Obama AND wife Michelle were big fans of his underwear range” (thesun.co.uk via drudge) TAXD ENUF ALREDY!

    president obama would definitely break these rules, according to fox news. i know this… please look for david beckham’s underpants: “Becks sent the US president a box of around 50 pairs after learning Obama AND wife Michelle were big fans of his underwear range” (thesun.co.uk via drudge) TAXD ENUF ALREDY!

    i’m sure this will be gone soon, but let it be known… i had to go to glenbeck.com to finish it. (i had to edit this to unspell glennbeck, because it actually linked it. dirty.)

  29. A few months ago I banished news from my television. It’s all hallmark channel, NHK, food network, and puppies and kittens. Maybe a little CSPAN Book TV on the weekends if it’s something of historical interest. But I decided I had had enough of it. My friends and co-workers are my news aggregators now, they let me know when something worthwhile is going on. If I’m interested, I’ll search Goognooz.

    It simply became impossible to filter through the negative sensationalist garbage anymore and make sense of it or take it seriously. It was a constant bummer, and my life is better without it.

    I’ll take a peek the day after the election and see who won. Otherwise the whole sorry mess can go to hell.

    If I may suggest, when you delete posts that offend, replace them with a picture of a radioactive scorpion? That would be all kinds of cool. And use more than one to keep it interesting! I bet Rob could bang out half a dozen of them before breakfast tomorrow.

  30. That’s odd.
    As I scrolled past this the first time, I could have sworn it had 168 comments, but the second time—only a scant, few minutes later—it only had 164.

    Looks like the mods are out in full force tonight

    1. Weird stuff happens on disqus all the time. I wouldn’t pin it all on bb mods. But then again, it sure is fun to poke at em and rattle their cages!!!

      1. I’m sure you’d enjoy it if someone deliberately did things to make your work more complicated and time-consuming. All in good fun.

    2. As I scrolled past this the first time, I could have sworn it had 168 comments

      Don’t swear; it’s unladylike.

    3. Antinous pulled a neat trick here by changing the date on this post – which is originally from six months ago, with all the original comments intact. So all of the original comments which undoubtedly would have been repeated (and even more similar comments as well since we’re closer to the election) are already here, so he doesn’t have to do as much work moderating this comment thread!

      A lot of people upthread will be getting confusing e-mails about replies to their comments that they forgot they made six months ago :)

      1. That already happens. 
        Disqus seems to have a wobble in its time/space continuum. 
        One reply I got I was informed of daily, for several weeks. 

  31. Robamney!

    I’d like to hear some discussion on renewable energy and climate change. These are, after all, economic issues.

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

    I’m screwed.

  33. But most radioactive scorpians really are members of the GOP. They’re a surprisingly conservative bunch, and are very supportive of the ‘small government’ platform.
    There is, admitadly, a decent contingent of democrats who are mostly interested in shrinking the military.

    1. This is six moths old. We re-ran it because Mittens started popping up in unrelated threads.

Comments are closed.