The first time someone comments, it’s held for my approval. After that, the person can comment freely, although any comment containing more than one link will be automatically held for approval (because this resembles features of comment spam).

In this context approval means I allow the opinion to be expressed. It does not necessarily mean I agree with it or endorse it myself.

I reserve the right to delete abusive comments or close commenting on a post if the tone becomes hate-filled or drifts to ad-hominem shots or irrelevancies. I also balk at having my blog used as a soapbox by anyone trying to co-opt every topic to promote an idée fixe of their own. Personal attacks on me or on other commenters are also not welcome here.

Fundamentally, I want comments to make good points, or answer questions that have arisen, or add clarifications or interest in some other form. Trolling – posting to provoke – is basically boring, and will get you banned.

In December 2013, I changed from a name-based user banning system to one based on IP numbers.

I have very few user bans in place on this blog. It’s long odds that someone else who wants to comment here will be reassigned those IPs in future, but if you find yourself unaccountably unable to comment, drop me a line.

I do fix typos and formatting in comments, up to a point.

If you make a comment to the wrong article, please repaste it to the correct one, and I’ll notice and delete the mistaken one. I keep a pretty close eye on the comments.

Je suis contente de voir qu’il y a quelques gens qui participent ici en français et j’aimerais souligner que c’est aussi bienvenu que l’anglais.