Thank you guys so much for reading! If you have questions about our commenting policy of course feel free to check out it out here, but note that ultimately these issues aren’t up for debate. (Although if you’ll name other online forums you read with a different/better policy, I’m always happy to study them!)
Most commenters, once they have one approved comment under their belt, will find they can comment without moderation. This has always seemed far superior to me than the many, many blogs that require each comment to go through moderation, the many people who delete comments after the fact, or the new trend of deleting the comment section altogether.
This privilege to comment without moderation can be lost, though, and people who can’t play nice will find themselves (usernames and IP addresses) in the moderation queue. This may happen for any number of reasons, including being uncivil, rude, disrespectful or argumentative to readers or staffers (especially if they show a repeated history of being so), because they use deceptive tactics like creating multiple usernames to create the appearance of others agreeing with an original comment of theirs), among other reasons. Once you are placed in the moderation queue the decision is final; there is no appeal process.
A non-exhaustive list that constitutes uncivil commenting: swearing at people, telling people to die in a fire, stalking commenters. In general, if you don’t have anything nice to say, ask yourself if you would say it in real life at someone else’s cocktail party — if the answer is NO, then please be quiet.
Repeatedly complaining or swearing about the moderation queue in comments may result in your being blacklisted. If you have something to say to us, email us directly; we aren’t going to negotiate with an anonymous IP address who’s already proven herself to be a bad actor.
The moderation queue can also be triggered by using other words or conversations that I’d like to know about before they turn up on the blog, or words that I’ve found can act as a flag to me that there’s an uncivil commenter afoot (such as “snark”).
Our small staff (Kate and I) regularly check the moderation queue to approve comments, and even uncivil, rude comments are more often than not approved.
I always welcome emails from readers who feel that a certain commenter is consistently rude.
P.S.: A note for hate-readers who find themselves in the moderation queue: we’re as bummed about this as you are. Unlike some sites that automatically ban such hate-commenters, you are welcome to keep commenting and, of course, reading. Please note, however, that if your comments seem to get stuck in the moderation queue for too long or your more negative comments disappear entirely, we understand entirely if you wish to seek other places on the Internet for hate-reading or hate-commenting.