Comments policy

We welcome comments from readers on posts, but you do so as guests in our private space. Concepts of “censorship” are not applicable. If your comments are blatantly racist, sexist or homophobic we will delete them and ban you from the site. The same goes for comments which are personally defamatory or insulting or which seek to derail a thread through provocation of one kind or another. If your comments strike us as stupid or irrelevant we may also delete them in the interests of keeping the conversation at a reasonable level.
Commenters who who routinely seek to make marginally relevant debating points may be barred to make room for those with a substantive contribution to the discussion. It is up to us. Individual members of CT may ban particular readers from commenting on their posts, based on their own criteria for constructive discussion, or we may reach a group decision on a ban from the site as a whole. Any attempt to evade a ban, for example by the use of sockpuppets, will result in a total and permanent ban. Polite requests for reconsideration of bans may be entertained, but commenters should remember their position as guests, and not seek to assert imagined rights to publication.

We are happy to accept pseudonymous comments but we will not knowingly accept comments from sockpuppeteers (individuals using more than one id and thereby giving the impression that their comments originate from more that one person). The only exception to this that is acceptable is where a person who normally comments under their own name needs to comment pseudonymously for clear professional or personal reasons. Commenters should normally provide a valid, working email address. Such addresses are only visible to members of the CT collective (and not to casual readers). Commenters who provide addresses like may find their comments deleted without warning.

We respect the preference of many genuine commenters for pseudonymity and will protect their privacy. However, this respect entails an obligation to abide by the rules set out above. In cases of serious abuse, including those of racist abuse, serious defamation and disruptive sockpuppeteering, we will, if appropriate, publish the identity of such abusers and share their identifying information with other sites.