Elizabeth Crane

Recent Posts by Elizabeth Crane

Nice Alert: Our Annual Request for Civility in Comments

One of the joys of running a Web site is the constant interaction with readers from around the globe. At any time of the day or night, you, our readership, can read what we write and respond with censure, praise and ideas that take our work in new directions. We value the commenters who post on this site.

Really. We do.

However, one of the truly painful aspects of running a Web site is the constant interaction with readers from around the globe. At any time of the day or night, you, our readership, can read what we write and respond with unfiltered hate, pointless name-calling and blatant accusations. There are times when it becomes difficult to value the commenters who post on this site.

Just for example, in the comments following the death of Steve Jobs, there were many heartfelt expressions of sadness and loss. There were also more than a few comments — quickly deleted by AllThingsD — that used the opportunity to spew vitriol of a particularly venomous nature. We won’t tolerate that sort of thing. At all.

While we’re here, let’s talk about the other types of comments we will delete without remorse:

  • Self-advertising: If you include a URL of any kind, the comment will probably not make it through our spam filter. All comments are reviewed by hand, so some comments with URLs will make it back into the comment thread — if they are deemed relevant. However, if you include a link to your own blog in an effort to advertise on this site, those comments will be deleted. If your URL is part of your sig file, you might want to consider taking it out.
  • Accusations of biased reporting: It is fruitless to remind you that this is a news Web site and that we adhere to high standards of journalistic conduct. All you have to do is read the ethics statements of every writer. If, for example, you choose to suggest — even obliquely — that one of our writers is receiving money from a company in return for coverage, or is selling a stock short in order to take advantage of insider knowledge, your comment will be deleted. Since we don’t edit comments, if you write a long thoughtful letter about your reaction to one of our stories and then throw in an unsupported accusation at the end, the whole comment will be deleted. And that’s a shame.
  • Accusations aimed at the companies we cover: It is more than acceptable to disagree in the comments with the choices made by companies or individuals, but to make the leap to saying so-and-so is a “douchebag” (a favorite term, apparently, among commenters), or to speculate about that person’s sexual preferences as regards certain farm animals — that’s personal, unnecessary and delete-worthy.
  • Personal comments about the writers on this site: Do we really need to get into this? Really? Okay, in a nutshell, don’t call names. Your second-grade teacher had it right. Your comment will stand in a corner for all eternity if you decide it is necessary to pick on the person behind the pixels.

“But your comment section is so mild compared to others on the Web!” We get that a lot. And we like it that way. There are many, many other places you can get your hate on. This just isn’t one of those places.

AllThingsD appreciates the willingness of our readers to engage with us in the pursuit of tech news and interesting stories. Please believe us when we say we will work tirelessly to keep our comments hate-free and on-topic. If you have a contrarian view, great, share it. If you have criticism of the site or of its subjects, go for it, post away. Just keep it polite. And, if you can’t keep your bile inside where it belongs, post somewhere else.

If you want to know more, please re-read our crystal-clear Comments Policy here.

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Nobody was excited about paying top dollar for a movie about WikiLeaks. A film about the origins of Pets.com would have done better.

— Gitesh Pandya of BoxOfficeGuru.com comments on the dreadful opening weekend box office numbers for “The Fifth Estate.”