Raymond’s comment policy

Okay, I was hoping it wasn't going to be needed but it takes only one bad apple...

Here are the ground rules.

  • I reserve the right to edit, delete, or ignore any comment.
  • If I edit your comment in any significant way, I promise to make that fact clear in the edit. (Exception: Broken links and typos will be repaired without comment.)

Things that increase the likelihood that your comment will be edited or deleted:

  • Offensive or abusive language or disrespectful behavior. (Insults count as disrespectful behavior. Examples of insulting words/phrases: "moron", "designed without adult supervision".)
  • Misrepresentation. (I.e., claiming to be somebody you're not.) If you don't want to use your real name, that's fine, as long as your "handle" isn't offensive, abusive, or misrepresentative.
  • Comment spamming. This includes posting multiple comments in rapid succession, even if they are different. If you are prone to spurts of creativity, collect them into batches and post them as a single comment.
  • Comments that are off-topic, particular when the discussion turns into a shouting match.
  • Comments that attempt to "out" a company/program/person. E.g., trying to guess the identity of a program whose name I did not reveal.
  • More generally, comments that identify a specific company, program, or person. You can talk about a program, but you have to call it "Program X" or something like that. The purpose is to discuss problems and solutions, not to assign blame and ridicule.
  • Comments that expose me to potential legal action. Examples: Disclosing any company's trade secrets, posting copyrighted source code, violating Microsoft's company guidelines.
  • Giving yourself a star. (This is another case of mispresentation.)

If a wave of comment spam is under way, I may choose to moderate or even close comments until the problem subsides.

More rules may be added later, but I hope it won't be necessary.

Disclaimer: All postings are provided "AS IS" with no warranties and confer no rights. Opinions expressed are those of the respective authors. More legal stuff here.

[31 May 2004: Add exceptions for broken link repair.

2 Dec 2004: Add disclaimer and exception for fixing typos.

13 Dec 2004: Add remark on temporary closure of comments during spam attacks.

15 Mar 2005: Add remark for off-topic comments.

20 Mar 2007: No "outing".

25 Dec 2008: No disrespectful behavior.

12 March 2009: Examples of insults.

8 July 2010: Self-starring.]

Comments (8)
  1. MilesArcher says:

    I recommend that you do what Joel of Joel on Software does. Offensive posts just disappear. No comment, no explanation, no discussion. People get the message and stop being abusive.

  2. Nicholas FitzRoy-Dale says:

    I tend to agree. Excessive democracy on a message board is over-rated in my opinion. Just look at Slashdot. :-)

  3. mike says:

    Rick Schaut is quite unapologetic about his comments policy:


    It’s your blog, Raymond, you can run it any way you like. :-)

  4. Erbo says:

    Fair enough, Raymond. Like I’ve been telling people: There may be free speech, but there is no free lunch. People who want to make speeches can get their own blogs; you pay for this one and can do as you please with the comments.

    Even though I’ve been long out of the Windows development world, I’ve been reading your blog with interest; it’s interesting to see why things are the way they are in Windows. Keep up the good work!

  5. That bad apple is spamming pretty much EVERY blog entry on blogs.msdn.com, which is pretty annoying. And meanwhile, he’s changing names now too, as if he smelled the suggestion I sent to Scott Watermasysk about tagging him with a cookie that will cause future comments of his only shown to himself (via a hack), so he believes noone’s doing a thing against him, while everyone else will not see his comments. Too late now I guess, since his stupid ".." name was the only reference to ID him until he gets that cookie with an UID.

  6. Ian Hanschen says:

    Actually there’s a couple ways to tag him still. That was a good idea, unfortunately now that you’ve mentioned it he’ll probably discover it.

  7. Scott seems to have some ideas already to fend trolls off, according to his reply. My idea would be effective for a short time only. There’s always at least someone reacting to trolls, if reactions suddenly stop completely, the troll will maybe notice that something’s fishy. Some registration system just to post comments would probably be asked too much. And I don’t even think that’s too effective either, since some bloggers do crosspost.

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