Comments Policy

Who has the right to post comments on this blog?

Apart from me, no-one at all has the right to post comments. Posting is a privilege, not a right.

Okay, so who is allowed to post comments here?

Anyone at all, up until the stage they are suspended by myself or a moderator. I welcome comments, and they add a lot of enjoyment to the blog for myself, and I am sure others. Advertising spam however is always unwelcome and is deleted and blacklisted on a regular basis.

How do I comment?

You can register to comment at https://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/wp-login.php?action=register.  You must supply an username and an e-mail address.  It is up to you whether or not you comment under your known name, or a pseudonym.  However be aware that commenters who use their actual name will generally have their comments appear automatically, while those using an alias have to wait for a moderator to approve them.

Why has my comment not appeared?

Moderators are volunteers and sometimes there is a delay in a comment being approved. If this frustrates you, then considering posting under your real name, and you can be given auto approve status with no delays.

Also if a comment breaches the commenting rules it may be deleted and not appear, or it may appear with editing from the moderator.

What is the easiest way to get banned?

To attack me personally. Quite simply it will not be tolerated. I welcome people to disagree with my views, to correct my errors, to debate what I assert, but if you attack my integrity, my character etc I will terminate your privileges.

What sort of comments are unacceptable

See this blog post for fuller background of Kiwiblog’s moderation policy and changes in 2019.

I’ve provided details below of what is unacceptable, and will result in warnings or suspensions.

Defamation

Do not make comments that could expose or yourself to defamation.

Trolling

Trolling is an attempt to deliberately disrupt a conversation by being grossly offensive or massively off topic.

Comments on a post should be a response to the topic of the post. While some thread drift is inevitable, do not try to divert the thread into another topic. Use the daily General Debate for other topics.

Personal Abuse

Attack arguments, not people. It will generally be unacceptable to call someone a moron, but it will be acceptable to say their argument is moronic. That may seem a fine distinction, but an important one. However don’t try and push the distinction to breaking point. If you say that someone’s argument has the integrity of a syphilitic pygmy (for example), then that would find you with a warning or strike.

Abusive nicknames for MPs such as “Ardern the liar”, “Golly G”, “Simple Simon” will be unacceptable. You can critique something they have said or done, but not just repeat an abusive nickname.

Gratitious references to attributes people have no control over

People can’t choose their gender, race, skin colour or sexual orientation. There will be times when those attributes about a public figure can be a legitimate discuss in in relation to an political event.

But slagging off someone on the basis of something they can’t control is unacceptable.

Generalisations

Grossly offensive generalisations are not acceptable either. Treat people as individuals. This is not to say one can’t discuss group characteristics (such as why certain races are over-represented in crime statistics), but it should be done in a way which is not derogatory of the entire group.

Lumping 1.5 billion Muslims all in together is almost certainly going to be unacceptable. One can criticize a religion and/or specific acts or teachings. But don’t attribute things to every follower of a religion. Be as specific as you can. If there was an attack by Islamic extremists, say “Islamic extremists” instead of “Muslims”.

Language

There is some tolerance for swearing so long as it is not directed at someone. Calling someone a c**t is almost never acceptable, but the use of the word in other contexts may be. Telling someone to f**k off is not acceptable.

Personal Details

Give other commenters the courtesy of referring to them by the name or alias they use on this blog. Do not reveal personal details about them such as their name, address, phone number etc. unless it is somehow connected to a public issue. If in doubt, check.

General Debate

The general debate thread has no set topic, so nothing there is off topic. Moderation will be slightly lighter in the General Debate, but abusive comments will still face a sanction.

Complaints

If you think a comment is unacceptable, you need to bring it to my attention.

The only two ways to do this is to e-mail comments@kiwiblog.co.nz. Tweeting about it, blogging elsewhere on it, facebooking it – none of these are ways to complain. I need people to e-mail me, as that allows me to see it in a dedicated inbox, and have myself or a moderator action it. Be aware it can take a few hours for action to occur – none of us are paid staff.

In your e-mail please include a link to the actual comment (which can be found by clicking on the date and time of the comment).

The other way you can signal you think a comment is unacceptable, is to click on the link which says “Report Abusive Comment”. If a certain threshold is reached of people reporting it, then the system will automatically hide the comment from view, and place it into moderation for a moderator to review. This can be the quickest way to remove an abusive comment from view. This should not be used for comments you merely disagree with, but only ones that are abusive.

Warnings and Suspensions

If you post an unacceptable comment, you may get a warning or a suspension at the discretion of a moderator or myself.

Moderators may suspend a commenter for periods of one to four weeks.

If a moderator things a suspension longer than four is warranted, then it will be referred to me for a decision.

Generally the more unacceptable the comment, the longer the suspension. Also the more often you get suspended, the longer each suspension will be.

If your ratio of unacceptable to acceptable comments gets too high, then you may even get kicked off for good.

How do I get unsuspended?

We will try and remember to do it at the end of the period, but if your account still doesn’t work then e-mail comments@kiwiblog.co.nz and ask to have your account reactivated. Once we have done that, you will need to reset your password, and you can comment again.

If you try to get around a suspension, by setting up a second account, then that may result in a permanent ban. Writing styles tend to be quite distinctive, and it is often easy to spot if someone has set up a second account.

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