This blog is devoted to free, frank, and open discussion of issues relevant to the discipline, the profession, and civil society. We believe in and encourage free comment. Comments on this blog are not screened in advance and will appear as soon as you have passed Typepad's not-a-machine test.
We ask commenters to abide by the standard norms for intellectual debate: no irrelevant ad hominems, no hate speech, no deliberate derailing of the discussion, no excessive cursing, and so on. We reserve the right to delete comments that do not respect these norms. We may also delete comments or ban commenters if we feel it necessary to preserve the quality of the discussion or if they are being unnecessarily aggressive, obtuse, or just plain annoying.
We allow anonymous and pseudonymous comments, except when they cloak personal attacks. In such cases, we delete the comment; repeat offenders are at some point banned altogether. Given that non-self-identified authors have our implied permission to post anonymously or pseudonymously, we will not permit other commenters to name, or otherwise reveal the identity of, anybody who has posted under the assumption of anonymity or pseudonymity. Any such comment will be deleted as soon as it is detected; repeated offenders may be banned altogether.
We encourage the use of real names, but we realize that some people have a legitimate need for anonymity or pseudonymity. We encourage the use of consistent pseudonyms, and consider sock-puppetry (use of multiple pseudonyms to give the appearance of debate or agreement) to be grounds for banning a commenter.
We also recognize that anonymity or pseudonymity places the commenter under the obligation to be prudent in the choice of language. Since it is often unfair to make personal criticisms under the cover of anonymity, we will hold anonymous or pseudonymous comments to a higher standard. It is to the advantage of such commenters to provide legitimate email addresses so that we can contact them in borderline cases. If we can't get in touch with you to discuss and / or clarify comments, we're much more likely to delete a borderline comment.
NOTE on spam filter (3 June 2013):
As some readers may have noticed, the Typepad comments filter tends to classify a lot of bona fide comments as spam. If your comments do not appear immediately, even when you try to re-post it, you can wait a little while until one of us un-spams the comment. If this hasn't happened after a couple of hours, feel free to email the author of the post to let us know. You can cc John Protevi as well who has admin duties and can help out.
UPDATE (March 16, 2014)
Henceforth, we will have a new commeting procedure here at New APPS. The default setting for the blog will now be that comments will have to be approved by the author of the blog post before they appear on the blog. In other words, the author of each individual post will be responsible for pre-moderating the comments that follow her or his post. It is likely, moreover, that each individual author will adopt their own individual standards with respect to how loosely or tightly to moderate the comments that follow their own posts. We all hope that that this new policy will lead to better and more fruitful discussions on the blog.
Original: 15 September 2010. Modified: 26 May 2011 / 22 November 2011 / 4 December 2011 / 19 December 2011 / 3 June 2013