Oh No! Comments Policies and Rules!

The Short Version

  1. Proper names no keywords.
  2. Relevant content.
  3. Personal advice or time consuming questions might be ignored at my discretion.
  4. Keep it classy debate and argue all you want, but no foul language or attacks if you want to be taken seriously.
  5. No Spam.

Comments closed. Maybe the spammers are trying to be funny by spamming this post. ;)

The Long Version

I love having comments on this blog. They are one of the most important components of this site. The value of a blog also lies in a good comments section, and that’s not me trying to be nice. Every reader, including me, learns from the stories and opinions that are being shared.

Having a good comments section also builds community and friendship. You’ll notice that comments show up right away instead of requiring approval before they are made public. I want UrbanMonk.Net to be as transparent as I can. I also feel lucky that I can do this – I’ve almost never had a (non-spam) comment that I had to delete.

However, there has been an occasional comment I’ve had to get rid of. I dislike the idea of having to write this, but this policy explains why – what isn’t acceptable. I feel a bit silly, because if you’re reading this you are probably nice enough not to need to, and the people who need to read this probably won’t anyway. But it’s a good idea just to have it in writing. I’m also including some personal stories and pictures to tempt you all into actually reading the thing. :D

The Rules

If a comment violates these rules, I reserve the right to delete, edit, or ignore it with no explanation. I used to follow up with an explanatory email, but time concerns prevent this now.

1. Proper Names

Proper names in the name field please. This means no keywords. Website and blog names can be put behind an actual human name if you want to look legit (for example, I often comment on other blogs as Albert | UrbanMonk.Net). No matter how good your comment is, I can’t take a commenter named “cheap vintage shoes” seriously. I don’t mind if you don’t put proper emails, but if I am undecided about whether your comment is spam, your email can be the deciding factor.

2. Proper Content and Links

Links and content are actively encouraged if they add to the discussion. They really add a lot to this blog. However, some comments go off into an unrelated topic, such as a long rant on their personal lives or whatever. I understand your pain and the need to vent, however, the comments section isn’t really an appropriate place.

I might also delete a comment based on links. A spine chilling example: a link to a website named Meth Help on a guest post about overcoming addiction. I was shocked to find it taught readers how to manufacture meth with easily-accessible ingredients – on a post aimed at addicts!

Also, English only please. Every non-English comment I’ve had has been spam and now I’m just deleting them automatically.

3. Personal Advice

The comments section is for any and all forms of discussion, feedback and questions on the article itself. I always make an effort to reply. However, comments aren’t really for seeking advice on one’s personal life, or on unrelated topics. I am fine with short questions in general (noting that it is just the opinion of an average guy, and not professional advice). However, if the question is time consuming, I cannot help. I am grateful that you look up to me enough to ask for my opinion, but I am just a writer sharing my experiences, not a life coach or a therapist.

I understand that many questions can be born of fear or desperation – I’ve been there before. I highly recommend professional help if it is serious, although I’ve also found a website where an actual Clinical Psychologist will answer your questions. Visit Ask The Psychologist. Please note that I am not related to this website in any way at all, its just a nice website I’ve found.

4. Classiness

I actively encourage readers to question, debate, criticise or argue the content as much as they want. But keep it classy. That means no foul language or personal attacks. The moment you resort to these, you lose all credibility, and it would be a waste of time to reply. I used to allow these in the name of free speech, but they really spoil the comforting atmosphere I’m trying to create.

Further, given that I write mostly about emotional and spiritual work, nasty disagreements can be quite unintentionally humorous. They don’t see anything funny about heavily abusing a total stranger on the internet (not just being curt or blunt, actual heavy abuse) in order to prove that they are highly spiritually or emotionally evolved. On the rare chance that you read this, please don’t – you’re the only person you’re impressing. You’re also the only person you’re embarrassing.

In general, however, don’t worry about this rule too much. Most people who’ve read this far are guaranteed to be considerate people. As of time of writing, I’ve only had 5 such comments over two years of blogging (I know because I store them away for some emotional work – I won’t pretend some don’t piss me off).

5. No spam

At all. Anything that even smells like keywords, spam or product promotion is deleted. I used to allow the less glaring ones. But I spend so much time moderating these and the volume is rising so much that I’m adopting a zero-tolerance policy. I’ve had to turn off my Do Follow plugins, and I’ve considered closing comments many times – so stop wasting your time and mine, please!

6. What to Do If Your Comment Does Not Appear

If you leave a comment and it does not appear in a reasonable time period, and you know that it does not violate these Comment Policies, please contact me. As mentioned, most comments will show up on the post immediately. However, I use automatic anti-spam programs and sometimes they stop legit comments without my knowledge. Also, given the new zero-tolerance policy, it is possible your comment looks spammy even if you didn’t intend it that way. If that is the case, please contact me, and let me apologise in advance.

The Standard, Boring, Stuff.

The rest of the policy is pretty standard legal stuff. They are taken with gratitude from Lorelle VanFossen’s article on Blog Herald.

Email Privacy: Email addresses are never published or shared. On rare occasions, they may be used by the blog owner to privately contact the commenter.

Banning: Anyone who violates this Comments Policy may be blocked from future access and/or commenting on this blog.

Hold Harmless: All comments within this blog belong to, and are the responsibility of, the person who wrote it, not the blog owner. The owner does not necessarily endorse any opinions held or advice given in the comments.

By submitting or reading a comment on this blog, you agree that the comment content is your own, and to hold this site, the owner, and all subsidiaries and representatives harmless from any and all repercussions, damages, or liability.

Thanks for reading.