Here at Recess Monkey we like a vibrant debate and we’re willing to tolerant differing views. However, there are some less tolerant people out there so we felt it was necessary to come up with some general rules of conduct for users commenting on our posts.
Personal attacks are NOT acceptable under any circumstances, neither is language that has the effect of excluding others. While we think information about the people who make comments or promote certain viewpoints (politicians, advocacy groups, think tanks, etc.) is valuable, we ask users to steer clear of talking about the messengers and stick to the message. In short, play the ball, not the man (or woman). Why? Simply because those kinds of conversations tend to get messy and don’t really lead towards a better understanding of the issues and solutions.
Be nice and or polite. As people who are passionate about the issues, we know it’s easy – and sometimes fun! – to get high-horsey, blustery, patronizing and even (just once in a while) a touch nasty when expressing ones views. But we also know that’s the best way to end a thoughtful and enlightening conversation, so please don’t do it here. Instead, just be nice.
Comments that disparage other readers’ intelligence, question their honesty or are just generally more about the commenter than the comment will be removed by Recess Monkey.
Be yourself. That means, add your thoughts on the conversation – but please don’t post articles or lengthy excerpts that others have written and posted elsewhere on the net. If you think our readers should check out an article, a summary and link will do!
If, instead, you do post an article, Recess Monkey will do the summarizing and linking – if not deleting – for you.
Be yourself. Again, you ask?! This time we mean – do not under ANY CIRCUMSTANCES impersonate another user. You can use a psuedonyme by all means, but anyone who attempts to pass themselves off as another user will be banned, blocked and generally shuned, as well as being reported to NZ Police.
If you want to play devils advocate to spark a bit of debate, by all means do so, but don’t come crying to us when you get rotten bananas thrown at you (metaphorically of course).
If you troll you will be treated as a spam-bot and banned. A troll is defined here as someone who posts up random propaganda without interacting in any way with the relevant debate or post. Frankly, it is ignorant, anti-social, and bloody annoying, and will result in a banning.
It goes without saying the usual bad stuff (lewd and offensive comments) will also be removed.
Here at Recess Monkey there are a few long-suffering regular authors (see here for more info on who these people are), but we also welcome guest posts. It is important to remember that, whether a regular, a guest poster or a user making a comment, all the contributors to this blog write for themselves and are responsible for their own content.
If we are putting up a guest post it will go up under “Guest Post” and will have a name and possibly a small bio of the poster attached.
If the site is reposting material from another site with no opinion, then it will go up under the name of “Recess Monkey” and usually link back to the original post.
We don’t really want to ban anyone. If you’re borderline we’ll probably warn you first. If you’re a consistent repeat offender we will ask you to ban yourself for a period.
If polite banning by the moderators is ineffective, then you may come to the site administrators attention and get a permanent ban. Since he built the site, he has a lot of tools and plugins dedicated to making it impossible for you to continue writing comments here, should things get that far.
There are a number of actions that are considered requests to be banned (either temporarily or on a permanent basis).
A partial list of these offenses include:-
- Wasting a moderators time is just not a good idea. We’re busy and don’t suffer fools or sycophants gladly.
- Abusing the site admin or blog authors on their own site – including, but in no means limited to, telling us how to run this site or what we should write. (That’s just down right rude!)
- Describing the site as having ulterior motivations or being a tool of someone. We are fairly up-front about what we are and who we are so it pays to read the About pages. Failure to adhere to this rule is just bad bad manners.
- Link-whoring when not in the context of the comment or topic will be frowned upon severely. We don’t yet have advertisers who pay to hire our space, but we might in the future. You can link to your own site provided it isn’t excessive, explains why you think it should be read (so people can decide not to go there without clicking into it), is short, and you do it within the context of the post or surrounding comments.
- Similarly pasting long materials from other sites, especially copyrighted materials, is not permitted. Just link and selectively quote.
- Being banned and arguing that we have no ‘right’ to ban you is a sure fire way to ensure that we demonstrate that we do, in fact, have every right to ban you. It’s our ball and our sand pit and you all play by our rules.
Moderation is mainly used to control spam comments that do not get caught by the anti-spam tools (of which we have numerous). This means that you might get caught in it if you use some words, have an IP range that overlaps a spam source, or your IP comes from certain geographical regions.
Moderation may also be used if you get punished for breaching one of the above rules. This means that any comments you make will have to be checked and approved before appearing on the live site (this will happen to all new users in the first instance in any case).
If a comment you make gets moderated and you are not sure why, don’t get alarmed. It is probably the spam trap. Usually your message will get approved shortly, but sometimes during weekends and overnight it may take a while (we have lives too you know).
Of course people who persist in breaking the rules will be dealt with harshly. We will start feeding your comments to WordPress and other anti-spam systems until the internet as a whole starts to refuse you at any site and we don’t see your comments any more. You have been warned!
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