First and foremost, Balloon Juice is a community, so our commenting policy is a combination of objective standards as well as some more subjective community standards for decency. So while there will be some very clear lines over which not to cross, there will also be some fuzzy areas that we will deal with when we get to them. It’s not a black and white world, and this is a liberal blog, so you will just have to deal with some nuance.
First Offense: 3 day timeout
Second Offense: 1 week timeout
Third offense: 1 month timeout
Beyond that- Banned.
Things that will get you an immediate timeout:
1.) Any of the ism’s- sexism, racism, homophobic outbursts, targeting marginalized groups, etc. We’re not going to put up with personal attacks beyond a joking nature, nor will we tolerate targeted harassment of commenters. Take your shit somewhere else.
2.) Explicit calls for violence. Obviously things said in jest such as “guillotines” or nonsense like that are recognized for the hyperbole they are. But direct, actionable threats or calls for violence are out, for obvious reasons.
3.) Targeted harassment of other commenters or front pagers.
4.) Posting links to inappropriate websites, or sites that compromise a user’s security.
5.) Divulging personal information about a commenter or front pager (real name, address, place of work, etc.)
6.) I am sure you idiots will think of something else so I will just leave this here.
Things you should avoid that may lead to punishment:
1.) Just generally being a no life asshole who derails every thread with your own personal hobby horse. Yes, we have the pie filter, but some people don’t like to use it. They shouldn’t have to suffer because some idiot has come in and posted 75 comments on an 80 comment thread that has nothing to do with the original post.
2.) Repeated attempts to derail a conversation. Unlike yours truly, we have actual experts here- Adam, Cheryl, Dave, and others are good at what they do. Weare lucky to have them. When they are trying to have a serious conversation and you are just trolling or being a jerk, you take away from the rest of us. You are stealing a valuable asset- their time and wisdom. It’s selfish, irritating, and I don’t want to see it.
3.) Again, left blank here for other things you all will inevitably come up with.
Process for Bans:
If you have been flagged for inappropriate behavior, one of the front pagers will spam your comment. Once that has been done, they will email me, give me a link, and I will figure out what to do. I will consult with them, but I will have the final say, so direct your venom and incoherent tweets and emails at me.
A Closing Note:
I absolutely hate that I even have to have these policies, but there it is. I don’t expect it will be too big of a problem, because most of the people self select out and go somewhere else where their nonsense is appreciated (reddit incel forums? Red State? Who knows? Who cares?)
For the most part, you are free to talk about whatever you want. Just don’t be a dick. Treat people decently (I’d say treat them the way you want to be treated but I know some of you self-loathing idiots will take advantage of that), and you will find that people will be good to you in return. A lot of us have known each other for a good long while. We want new people to feel the same way. This is a community. Treat it like one.
This is subject to editing and changes.