Comments policy

As the number of comments has been increased, it’s become increasingly clear that we need some basic guidelines for how the comments thread works.

  1. This blog isn’t a public space – it’s run with a specific purpose and I reserve the right to delete comments, or parts of comments, if I consider them to be inappropriate or to breach this policy. It’s not “censorship”, and you don’t have a right to say whatever you want on this website.
  2. No conversation will be entered into on the comments thread regarding decisions to delete, edit or moderate comments. If you have a question about any of my moderation decisions please send me an email.
  3. I will need to exercise judgement in how I exercise my administration powers, and this judgement may be subjective.

Moderation of comments

  1. All comments by first-time commenters are automatically moderated and require approval by myself before they will appear.
  2. Comments may trigger moderation for other reasons, including the inclusion of a large number of links. From time to time I may also put certain keywords into moderation, so all comments with those words go into moderation.
  3. I reserve the right to also place a commenter into permanent moderation – so all comments require moderation. Any questions regarding such a decision should be sent via email.
  4. I usually approve all comments in moderation at least once every 24 hours. If a comment has gone missing please send me an email to ask. It is possible for comments to get trapped in the spam filter.

The rules

  • Abuse will not be tolerated. Abusive and aggressive conduct, name-calling and other offensive behaviour will not be tolerated, either directed at other commenters or candidates and politicians. You may not receive a warning prior to moderation or deletion.
  • Play the ball, not the man. When engaged in discussions with other commenters, you should remain focused on the topic of discussion, and the content of other comments, rather than making personal criticisms.
  • Please stay on topic. I understand that conversations may meander and take different directions and unless necessary I will leave comments alone if they are only mildly off-topic. Electorate profile comment threads should stay focused on the electorate, the campaign and candidates for that electorate, and issues that affect that electorate. Try to place general discussions about the state or national campaign in a general election-related thread.
  • Don’t use this blog to run your campaign. Most or all commenters have political opinions and these shape your interpretation of the election. I don’t expect people to completely rise above their own personal biases when giving opinions. But the primary purpose of your comments must be discussing the topic at hand – if you are primarily trying to win a political argument or win votes, I will consider blocking you. Candidates are welcome to post links to their information and to inform readers that they are running, but I won’t tolerate repeated posting of political propaganda. I certainly won’t tolerate attempts to solicit campaign help through this blog.
  • Keep your comments conciseDon’t post page-long comments, and certainly don’t paste large chunks of text, such as media releases or speeches. If what you are posting (other than original comment) is longer than a paragraph, you should post a link to that content elsewhere on the web. Comments that are particularly long run the risk of being deleted. Readers of this blog appreciate concision.
  • Respect the anonymity of commenters. Unless I have a good reason I will respect the anonymity of commenters, and unless it is obvious I ask that others do the same.
  • Be consistent with pseudonyms. If you use a pseudonym, please try and stick to using the same one. There is value in readers understanding which regular participants are commenting, and what credibility to attach to their comments based on previous experience. Please try to stick to the same email address, as this will connect your comments to your Gravatar account.
  • No sockpuppetry. While I respect the right of commenters to not provide their real name, you do not have the right to create multiple identities to produced a fake discussion or to give the impression that more people share your opinions. I can see your IP address, and if I believe you are using sockpuppets you will be blocked.
  • No impersonation. If a name is being used by a regular commenter, don’t use it. If a name hasn’t been used in a while it’s understandable if a new commenter isn’t aware, but you may be asked to change your name to make it clear.
  • Don’t expose this blog to legal action. Don’t post anything defamatory or potentially criminal. If I am concerned about potential exposure to liability I will delete immediately.