Readers, I’ve had a number of e-mails from you asking if the comments have disappeared on the blog. No, they haven’t — but I can see why one might think so. Since we switched to the Disqus system, the comments appear farther down the page than they used to. Just scroll a bit more.
Second, approving the comments is more difficult on my end. Under the former system, I was able to isolate the comments made to my own posts. And I was able to approve them in chronological order. With Disqus, all of us at TAC have to see all the comments at once. I have to pick through them all to find the ones made to my own posts (our editorial policy is that I only approve, or reject, comments on my own posts). This takes more time and attention than in the old days, and sometimes I miss comments. Plus, they don’t appear in chronological order, though that is less of a problem for readers than it would have been under the old format.
Yeah, I don’t like Disqus either. But the old software was way too buggy and fragile.
Finally, I want to warn readers who feel compelled to post vulgar or abusive comments. For some reason, I’ve seen more of this since we went to Disqus, all coming from readers who have never posted before. If I see only one such comment, I simply delete it. But if I see a pattern, and/or if the single comment is sufficiently extreme (e.g., there were three vicious, filthy ones today about Pete Buttigieg), I will use the capability Disqus gives me to ban commenters. You should be aware that this does not ban them from my blog alone, but from posting anywhere on TAC. I don’t like to do this, but I have already done it several times since going to Disqus, and I won’t hesitate to take away your posting rights if you abuse them.
The rules for posting on my blog are fairly simple:
- No racist, anti-Semitic, or otherwise bigoted language. I recognize that some liberal readers consider particular ideas discussed here to be inherently bigoted. I draw that line in a different place than many liberals do, and I am willing to tolerate the airing of some opinions with which I strongly disagree. That said, I do not put up with rough language here. Aside from obvious rules (e.g., no racial slurs), I can’t give you neat, clean, universal rules that cover every occasion, but a good rule of thumb is: if you wouldn’t say it at a drinks party, around people you don’t know, don’t say it here.
- Do not attack me or other people who post here personally. If you do, I won’t post your comment. If you keep doing it, I will ban you. It takes a constant effort to keep the discussions here lively, without allowing people to harangue or intimidate others. If you believe that I am permitting things I shouldn’t, please write to me privately (rod — at — amcon — mag).
- Please don’t assume that because I approve a comment, that I agree with it.
- I am personal friends with some public figures that some readers dislike intensely. I feel that I have a responsibility to you readers to allow you to criticize them strongly, even if what you say challenges my sense of loyalty to my friends. That said, I’m not going to publish comments that amount to nothing but ranting. You might not like that. Too bad.
- If you think I have approved a comment that I should not have done, or if you think I have wrongly spiked your own comment, please write me to let me know (rod — at — amconmag — dot — com). I’ll reconsider. Sometimes the comment got hung up in the spam folder, and I can free it (happily, this happens far less often with Disqus than the old system).
- These rules generally do not apply to Uncle Chuckie, who is above the law. I invite you to learn to appreciate this true eccentric, for whom I have a soft spot in my heart. Have you bought your Cosimano Chakra Radionic Box yet?