A Reminder on Blog Comments

This blog’s host, The New York Times, has a set of guidelines for blog commenting, available here as an FAQ, that are worth glancing at now and again. Everyone who moderates comments on this blog tries to be as inclusive as possible. But when your comment fails to show up, the odds are that it crossed one of those guidelines. A salient excerpt:

What kinds of comments are you looking for?

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments — either by the same reader or different readers.

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won’t tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, and SHOUTING.

Do you edit comments?

No. Comments are either approved or they’re not. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article or in the “Comment of the Moment” blog feature. In those cases, we may fix spelling and punctuation.


Leave A Comment

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.



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  1. Howard Tayler says:

    I would love to see an updated to this entry which gives the number of comments to it which were rejected because they violated the guidelines in an effort to be humorously ironic.

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  2. Gary says:

    Looks like Mr. Dubner got a new picture!

    Seriously though, the comments on Freakonomics blog are as good, if not better, than the actual blog posts!

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  3. Michael Castro says:

    It’s good to have these rules. your blog is one I read often and have learned a lot from it. I have a blog (in Spanish) and your blog has been a role model to mine. Keep up the good work.

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  4. J says:

    Interesting that you brought this up. I had a comment blocked yesterday, I suspect because it violated the commercial endorsement prohibition (it included pricing information from a commercial website to support my contention), though I’ve posted very similar comments before without incident.

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  5. CandyKay says:

    I find that some comments sections have become unreadable due to vitriol from uninformed, anonymous posters.

    Although I find the delay of moderation annoying, at least the Freakonomics comment section is still a pleasure to read.

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  6. jacob says:

    too many below average comments are published.

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  7. Kevin says:

    I agree that the comments on this blog are fantastic. It’s one of the few comment sections where I don’t feel as though I’m slowly losing IQ points as I read.

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  8. Dean Rodrigues says:

    This blog has got me thinking – I never actually go back to see if my comments are ever published…

    Time to change that!

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