A PSA to New Commenters

I expect they won't read this, but it makes me feel better.

I recognize that I am writing this predominantly for my own satisfaction, but here it goes anyway.

The way our comment system works is that the first time someone comments, it automatically goes into moderation. That allows us to intercept Russian spam (as happened this morning) or bot traffic that is designed to look like a real comment but is actually an attempt to get a link inserted on the page (as happened a day or so ago).

It also means that when real people comment for the first time, we have to approve it.

So, hear ye, hear ye all who would comment: if your very first comment is phrased in the form of an insult to the site’s authors or to other commenters, your comment is going to be deleted. I mean, if your very first move is to be rude, what are your subsequent interactions likely to be like?

(And yes, I just deleted an opening salve aimed at my co-blogger).

Disagree all you want. Please, bring some reasoned, evidence-based arguments. We’d love that.

Heck, just be polite and show you can play nice with others and you will be given the latitude that other regulars are given in mixing it up a tad.

But rude out the gate?


FILED UNDER: Blogosphere
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. Mister Bluster says:

    It must be annoying to have to screen out the ill-mannered that haunt this blog but your efforts make it a better site.
    As my friend Joe used to say “Good on ya’!”

  2. ptfe says:

    Glad I got in before they had a policy here 🙂

  3. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    Thanks for your hard work. I know sometimes it feels like a thankless job, but most of us* appreciate all y’all letting us play in the sandbox!

    *And no, I don’t understand the ones who keep getting smacked with the rolled up newspaper but still come back for more. But I’m glad they do.

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Heck, just be polite and show you can play nice with others ……

    Say WHAT?????? I thought this was the internets!

  5. Barry says:

    Steven, thanks for ‘raking the sandbox’ in which we play.

  6. CSK says:

    This is one of the very, very few blogs worth reading and commenting. I’m so glad it exists.

  7. Jen says:

    @CSK: Same here.

    Thanks for all that you do Steven!

  8. Hal_10000 says:

    This is great. One of things I like about this place is that, even though I’m usually in the minority on opinion, I rarely get insulted and sometime am made to think by people disagreeing with me.

  9. de stijl says:

    Plus, you post cool and interesting photos every Friday. You have a really good eye.

  10. Jax says:

    @Hal_10000: It’s been interesting seeing your evolution on politics, as well, over the years. I’m glad you keep coming back!

  11. Jax says:

    We haven’t seen Andy in a while. Hope he’s all right.

  12. EddieInCA says:


    Hal, it’s always a treat having you post. I miss sane conservatives’ contributions to this site. You and I have “known” each other on line for almost 20 years, thanks to Lee and “Right Thinking From the Left Coast”. I wish you had the time to post more often, because you always add to the conversation.

  13. Kurtz says:


    I rarely get insulted

    Shit, my bad. I’ll try to do better.

  14. Chris says:

    Demonstrating civility should be the key that opens doors.

  15. Thanks, all!

    @Jax: I had a similar thought the other day. At one point he noted he was taking a bit of a break from commenting, then he commented a bit for a while, and I haven’t seen anything from him in a bit.

  16. Hal_10000 says:


    Thanks! I’m so busy these days I rarely have time to comment but always lurk around.