Comment moderation policy

Comments on this Weblog are moderated by volunteers according to the policy below. More than 90 percent of comments posted are link spam and therefore all comments are held for moderation before going live.

The most valued comments are alternative perspectives. If the posting is about a trip to Kugluktuk, Nunavut, a great comment would start “I took a trip there 10 years ago and my experience was …”. A link to an authoritative source of information not cited in the original posting is highly valued.

The least valued comments are reviews of the posting, good or bad. The reader has just read the entire posting. He or she doesn’t need someone else’s opinion that “this was great” or “this was bad”. Reviews make sense in the off-line world where consuming the book or movie happens after reading the review and takes a lot more time and effort. In the online world, the comments are usually read after the item being reviewed has been consumed. Keep in mind that other readers are likely to be just as intelligent as you. If there is an oversimplification in the original posting or a previous comment, they’re just as likely to spot it as you. Correct facts with a link to an official source; don’t try to correct someone else’s opinion or thinking.

Comments that attack another person’s motivation, intelligence, or character are bad because they degrade the quality of the discussion and discourage thoughtful comments by others. For some reason, human beings often are confident that they can discern the hidden motivation for another person doing or saying something. Trained psychiatrists and psychologists, however, do very poorly at this task, so what hope is there for a lay person?

Cute/clever comments that are off-topic should only be published if they are very cute and clever indeed. Off-topic content breeds more off-topic content.

Attributed/real-name content is preferred to anonymous content.

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