Notes on Commenting – What Will and Will Not be Allowed on this Site

As you can imagine, when my site was relaunched and the web visits/hits began to climb, lots of people of all ideological stripes began to check out the content here. Some liked it, some didn’t, and that’s fine.

Since the site was constructed with the ability of readers to post comments, I knew that a) it might be tough to keep up with the comments, b) it would surely be impossible for me to comment myself, in response to everyone, and c) I knew that some of the people commenting would probably, eventually post hateful things. I am regularly the recipient of these kinds of messages from neo-Nazis and open white supremacists, so I’m sorta used to it.

But because I started getting lots of these kinds of messages almost immediately, I realized I would need to moderate the boards. While I have approved probably 90 percent of all comments thus far, there are some I have deleted and not allowed to be seen on the comment boards. I will continue to perform this role. My rules for what will not be allowed are as follows:

1. No posts will be allowed that demean persons on the basis of race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, sex, sexual orientation, age, class, ability/disability, religion.

2. No posts will be allowed that call for violence towards, or other forms of oppression against, anyone for any reason.

3. No posts will be allowed of a sexually explicit nature.

4. No posts will be allowed that proclaim a belief in the inherent, biological, genetic, or cultural supremacy/inferiority of any group of people, defined racially, ethnically, nationally, religiously, or along the lines of any of the categories mentioned in point 1.

5. No posts will be allowed that make drive-by comments about me, or others, or about previous comments. In other words, if you say, in response to someone else, “That’s stupid,” (or something as equally intellectual as that), I will delete your ass. Quickly and without apology.

6. If you want your post to be visible here, make a friggin’ argument. If you are unclear as to what this means, know this: saying that I am a “Jew bastard,” or “commie,” or whatever, will get you deleted. Your freedom of speech does not obligate me to indulge asshole-ness. And I won’t. Start your own Goddamned website. Or go play with the folks at Stormfront and leave me alone. I don’t have time to deal with Nazis.

7. Commenters should try to the greatest extent possible to question one another, or me, in respectful ways. That doesn’t mean we will always agree. We can even disagree strongly and stridently. Disagreement does not mean disrespect. If I am being disrespectful I want to be called out for it (as I have been already, which is fine), and I will do so in return if I see it. People make mistakes. Mistakes can be apologized for. Trolling and personal attacks are not mistakes. They are character flaws. And they won’t manifest on the boards here.

My decision to delete attempted posts is NOT, and make a note of it, censorship of individuals with whom I disagree. So far, there are many people who have posted on the boards, several times, but who tried to post certain things that crossed the line, and were deleted. That doesn’t mean I will disallow everything from any given person. So long as someone can avoid violating one of the rules above, their post will be added, even if they have done something that crossed the line elsewhere and got deleted. The only way a person will be banned entirely from commenting is if they regularly and repeatedly violate these rules. As for what constitutes regular and repeated, well I guess we’ll see. Since there is no reason to violate the rules even once, this shouldn’t be a problem for people who wish to engage respectfully.

If, ultimately, the volume of commenting gets so overwhelming that I can’t keep up with it and moderate it without taking up too much time, I will shut down commenting altogether. I hope not to do this, but it may become necessary if things get out of control (regardless of the content of the messages left). So far, I don’t believe this will happen. If there are delays in seeing your comments, please know that that is likely not because your comment was deemed inappropriate. It is likely because I just haven’t gotten around to seeing it yet, so I haven’t had time to hit the “approve” button.

And finally, since the comments don’t appear in a threaded format, it is sometimes hard to know who a comment is directed towards. I am starting to put the “@whomever – ” before my comments so as to make clear where my comments are directed. It would be great if others could do this too…


P.S. If I see multiple comments coming from the same IP address, posing as different people, (and oh yes, this has been happening) I may allow them (despite the fact that they are likely being posted by only 1 or 2 people pretending to be several people so as to give the weight of their arguments more presumed following than they have). But then again, I may not. To post from one place pretending to be several different people is a form of fraud, and that too will not be indulged here.

12 Responses to “Notes on Commenting – What Will and Will Not be Allowed on this Site”

  1. Reasonable policy, Tim.

    As soon as I noticed that you made the transition from Red Room, I wondered if you had a policy in place for your new site.

    I can well imagine the colorful comments you have received up to this point.

    Anyway, it was good to hear your presentation at Bradley University this past March. That was one of the best things my wife and I did during the Lent season. I hope that more universities in central Illinois will “wise” up and invite you to come and speak.

    All the best to you and yours.



  2. Yep, and a necessary policy. So far, I’ve gotten some crap from neo-nazis, but especially from a handful of people claiming to be POC (who knows for sure) posting vile comments about raping white women and children… I don’t know if they are actually some sick POC trying to get me upset or white supremacists posing as sick POC, trying to make POC look bad,. Either way, the shit isn’t getting posted. But I have contacted their ISPs to report malicious harassment and threats of violence. So if they keep it up, they’ll be dealt with…I know who they are. I know where they live actually. It took about 5 minutes to find out. Some people just aren’t very smart…


  3. I can certainly sympathize, Mr. Wise. I’ve had my share of abusive postings at my sites over the years. In particular, whenever I post on white rule in Palestine, I always get a stream of threats from some Meir Kahane wannabe.

    However, I do hope that you plan on using sound judgment in your screening; POC norms are not white norms. To white eyes and ears, the comments of the following POC might seem extreme, but they have all played a valuable role in fighting white power: Frantz Fanon, Malcolm X, W.E.B. Du Bois (in particular, his DARK PRINCESS), Stokely Carmichael, Bobby Seal, Huey Newton,Amiri Baraka, etc. Remember, white speech is backed up by the power of the state; POC speech is not. Of course, this is your site, and you are free to administer it as you wish.


    Tim Reply:

    @ Adam Clayton Powell – none of the folks you mention ever said anything that would have violated the rules I laid out. I am talking about people sending in comments advocating the raping of all white women, the raping of my own wife, the raping of my children, the castration of all white men, the murder of all white people…or, from the other side, the killing of all black people and blatant anti-black racism coming in from neo-nazis, etc. Anyone who says that shit is no revolutionary. They are sick fucks who will not be heard here. I have reported all of them to their respective ISPs. I know where they live, down to the street address, so if they keep it up, I’ll take legal action on their asses. It is not a POC norm, surely, to advocate mass murder and rape. I should add that I suspect many of these terroristic, violent and hypersexual remarks are not, in all likelihood even coming from POC, but from white neo-Nazis trying to pose as POC, and putting violent comments in the mouths of POC so as to discredit POC on this site. A bunch were coming from the same computer in the same house in fact…


  4. Tim, I frequent another site that REQUIRES posters to post under full first AND last names (no cutsie nicknames, no initials, no nothing). The lack of Internet Anonymity on that site goes along way towards maintaining a civil atmosphere, and I hope you give that policy some consideration here.


    Tim Reply:

    sure, but how does one guarantee it’s a real name?


  5. @ Adam Clayton Powell – What are some of your articles/posts?


  6. That sounds terrible, Tim.


  7. Sorry, the rest of my post got deleted. I just wanted to add some comments on internet screening and safety, as I’ve had a few run ins with some sickies:

    1. The best way, Tim, to protect yourself is to use a “white list.” That way, only approved IPs will get through.

    2. Finding street addresses from IPs: Frankly, Tim, the best that most of us can do, barring a court order, is to learn the ISP, the general physical location (city, area code, latitude and longitude). Since you know their street addresses, I can only assume that you have friends in high places. I had to go to court to force an ISP to reveal the address of a threatening scumbag.As I’ll explain later, that did not work out.

    3. Proxies: The real problem is proxy servers. If the people who have been making these terrible comments have been using a high anonymity proxy server, you are out of luck. Given my bad experiences on the internet, I always use a proxy. It justs makes things safer.

    4. Wi-Fi: Another complication is Wi-Fi. Someone can take a netbook or laptop and drive around a neighborhood, looking for a Wi-Fi signal to use. That happened with my court order. The creep who was harassing me would just park his car and use the same guy’s Wi-Fi.

    Hope that this info has been of use.


    Tim Reply:

    @ Samuel – what is a white list? As for finding street addresses, I found those by running the emails, connected to the IP thru an email finder/lookup directory that tells me where the person behind a certain email lives. Thusfar the folks are not using proxy servers. They are not that sophisticated. But definitely there are ways around the lookup system, no doubt…


  8. Sorry about the first, incomplete post. I seem to keep hitting the wrong keys.

    White lists: They are the inverse of black lists. Instead of keeping people out, they allow in only people who meet the criteria that you have established.

    I am not sure that I understand how you learned these creeps’ street addresses. Are you saying that they actually posted their real email addresses on their threatening posts? I never knew that people could be so stupid.

    Tim, since you know both their email addresses and their street addresses, have you sent them a “hey, asshole, I know who you are” email?That kind of email, complete with the scumbag’s name and street address, usually shuts bullies up.


    Tim Reply:

    they set up dummy accounts it appears on gmail. But you can punch in the information on an email finder service and it will tell you where the person lives who set up that account, who they are, etc…how they get the info, I don’t know. And yes, I sent a message like the one you mention, and so far, they have gone away…


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