Civil. Polite. Reasonable. Three words not synonymous with your average internet comment-section. Sad, but true.

The more popular and frequented an opinion hole (aka “comment section”) is, the more trolling, ranting, name-calling, feet-stamping, and tantrum-throwing you can expect to find.

I like lively (take a look at this site’s name) but I don’t want the comments section beneath articles here to turn in the same type of toxic troll-haven found elsewhere.

Thus a few basic ground rules are required.

Our House Rules (No, Not Like That)

The goal of this code of conduct is to keep the comments section amiable, accessible and approachable.

By commenting you agree to abide by the following set of rules.

Show respect. It’s a small word, but a big ask. Engage with fellow commenters as you would in real life. It’s fine to disagree. It’s fine to debate. It’s find to take issue with a point someone raises. I just ask you do so in an intelligent, civil way and not assume bad faith.

If you don’t then your comment may be flagged for deletion. Sorry/not sorry.

Try not to swear/curse. All comments pass through a small filter list of swear words and will be queued for approval if they contain one. It’s not exhaustive, plus the odd bit of fruity language can add emphasis or underline a witty remark – just try not to go overboard.

Comments with excessive expletives may be edited at my discretion.

Debate/banter is fine but personal insults, flippant attacks and derogatory comments, whether about a commenter, author, or the site are not. Sexist, racist, homophobic, transphobic, ageist, and ableist comments are not tolerated either.

Note: this is not an attack on people’s right to say what they want — they can go say it elsewhere — but it is my right to not be the platform on which they say it.

Keep knowingly offensive religious remarks out of comments. Related; the are words in everyday use that have different connotations in difference cultures so strive, where aware and able, to use these in the right context.

Keep comments on-topic either to the post in question or to the thread in which you’re replying to. This helps ensure discussion stays structured, relevant and accessible. Comments that hijack, derail or walk a thread in a different direction may be deleted.

Try to help each other, not get one up, show off, or score points.

Whilst I do appreciate people taking the time to kindly point out typos in articles I may delete these once an error is fixed. This stops readers who comment after the correction is made from being confused.

I also reserve the right to delete replies to deleted comments and threads, or close the comment section for entire articles at any time if it will help maintain an ordered and friendly atmosphere.

Finally, if you see a comment that breaks this code of conduct do click the flag button next to it. When a comment is flagged by multiple users it is removed from view and placed in a queue for moderation.

These rules are non-negotiable and may be amended at any time. Our commenting code of conduct is always accessible at