The Rules

Okay, folks. Since I keep getting questions on the new policy, this is a little overdue. I’m essentially using a super-simplified version of the policies in place at The Border House and at, albeit a bit simplified into a few easy to remember rules:


I don’t care if they deserve it. I don’t care if they insulted me, or if they insulted you, or if they came over to your house and kicked your dog. Don’t do it. If you come along and see an insulting comment, don’t get bent out of shape and insult the other commenter. That will just get both of your comments deleted.

Keep disagreements civil. You are welcome to argue with other commenters as long as you are arguing with their points and not resorting to polemics. That goes for BOTH sides.


I’m not opposed to the odd off-topic conversation that springs up in the comment threads, but there’s a difference between that and actively wasting everyone’s time and energy so that no one ever gets to discuss what we’re here to discuss. If you’re not sure what constitutes derailing, please go read Feminism 101 or Derailing for Dummies.

If something gets to the point of derailing, I will post a bolded comment in the thread to the effect of:

[This is derailing]

Any comment after that that continues the conversation will be deleted. Yes, even those comments trying to explain why the original derailer is derailing the conversation. Talking with someone trying to derail the conversation is like punching a tar baby. It’s best just to not get involved at all.


I get to decide what constitutes insults or derailing. Don’t argue with me for deleting your comments. If you’re really, genuinely puzzled as to why your comment was deleted, feel free to ask in a civil manner. But don’t tell me that I’m being wrong-headed or stupid.

5 thoughts on “The Rules

  1. I’m still not sure how we can possibly derailing when each conversation has it’s own nested comment thread, but you are right: it is your house.

  2. wundergeek, if I might gently point out, there are those who consider “tar baby” to be a racist term, given its long history of use against (particularly) Black Americans.

    • Just a quick note, both Wundergeek and myself are Canadians, and I sure as hell haven’t heard that before. The wiki article notes:

      “Although the term’s provenance rests in African folklore (i.e., the gum doll Anansi created to trap Mmoatia, the dwarf), some Americans now consider “tar baby” to have negative connotations revolving around pejorative images of African Americans.”

      So, I’m assuming that the racial subtext is mostly an American thing. Still, most of the readers here are probably American, so we can’t be too careful.

    • Huh. Thanks for pointing that out. I honestly wasn’t aware of the racial connotation. I was just trying to reference a situation that gets worse with any attempt made to address it. I didn’t intend to offend.

      • Yeah, i figured you didn’t know. I’m Canadian too. The only reason I know is because we ran an article about some politician using it as a dog-whistle about Obama a couple of weeks ago. šŸ™‚

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