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10 Basic Practices to Sustain a Safer Blogging Environment

Thanks for your interest in my futuristguy blog! As I see it, we need to work together to make this a safe place for discussion, especially since many topics on my blog deal with recovery from various forms of abuse, and many of our regular readers and commenters are survivors thereof. I believe it helps avoid unnecessary conflict when we make our expectations explicit. That way no one is left presuming what supposedly will happen with comments they post, or fearing what could happen with them.

So – here are 10 basic practices I use as the blog owner and moderator on futuristguy, to sustain a safer blogging environment for all who come here. The set I use may differ from those used by other blogs in general, and other spiritual abuse survivor blogs in specific, so please read this rather than assume.

What I expect from you as commenters.

  1. NAME. You are welcome to post your comments using a pseudonym. For the sake of continuity in conversations, it would be helpful to all if you used that same name consistently.
  2. DISALLOWED CONTENT. Your thoughts relevant to the post subject are welcome. However, there is some content that is strictly not allowed. If you include any of the following, either your comment will not be posted, or it will have that information edited out, at my discretion. When writing about people who are in the public eye, it is acceptable to identify them by name. However, do not reveal the identity of someone who is a private citizen, or is a survivor of abuse or crime, unless you have their permission.
  3. CONTENT CAUTIONS. Because so many topics I write about are emotionally intense, and deal with recovery from abuse, I would appreciate it if you would not use sexual innuendo in your comments, or make light of abuse or violence. Also, please be considerate about what topics or words might easily trigger a destructive emotional response in other readers.
  4. TONE/ATTITUDE. I expect respectful treatment of other people who post and/or comment here, even when we disagree. I do not allow comments that include intimidation, harassment, name-calling, similar kinds of personal attacks, or foul/vulgar language.

For more on the subjects of content and “tone,” please read my post on Writing Respectfully and Defusing “Triggers.”

What you can expect from me as blog owner and moderator.

The following three practices are guidelines, not rules.

  1. COMMENT MODERATION. This blog is set to put all comments into moderation automatically, even those of commenters who have been approved before. This is because I am frequently off-line due to schedules for completing various writing/editing assignments. I will review comments as soon as possible.
  2. COMMENT DELETION. I only delete comments in the queue by refusing to post them. I do this only in extreme situations, such as where it includes mostly disallowed content and/or the tone is offensively uncivil, accusatory, or otherwise inflammatory.
  3. COMMENT EDITING. Editing of a comment can be instigated by me as blog owner or you as commenter. I reserve the right to edit comments, such as to remove inappropriate language, sections of unacceptable content, and/or identifying details about persons other than yourself. If I do this, I will leave a “Moderator Notice” with the comment. Also, you can request that I edit or delete a comment that is in moderation or has been posted. I will generally accommodate your request and leave a “Moderator Notice” for the record.

The way you handle things might be different from me, but ultimately this blog is my responsibility. I do my best to use discernment and discretion in applying these guidelines. I consider the overall situation, including any private, behind-the-scenes knowledge that may require me to take certain actions without explaining them, lest I break confidentiality.

Still, if my decisions come across as unreasonable, inconsistent, or unfair, please do not try to discuss or challenge it in a comment thread. Instead, you can contact me directly through the contact form below. You can also use this address for any other questions you have. I will respond as soon as I can.

The following three practices are rules, not guidelines, and I seek to apply them carefully and consistently.

  1. PRIVACY. This blog uses the WordPress platform. When you post a comment, this system requires that you give a name and email address, and your website link is option. It also automatically collects your I.P. address (a unique number which identifies your internet connection and location). The WordPress comment system publishes your name and website. It stores but does not publish your email or your I.P. address – and I do not use or disclose these pieces of personal identity information. My only exceptions would be to break confidentiality if/when I am ever required to by law or for the protection of someone’s life.
  2. CONTACT. I do not use your comment email address to contact you, unless you have given prior permission. If you use the contact form below, I take that as automatic permission to reply to you through the email address you give there.
  3. COPYRIGHT. You own the content of what you post – and the responsibility for it. I may quote from your comment under “fair use” guidelines, but I will not turn your comments into posts without your prior permission, which I would request through the comment thread unless we already have an established email connection.

NOTE: Regarding my Opal Design Systems curriculum, I publish only resource materials that I have researched and developed myself. I do not accept queries or book proposals for publishing the works of other authors.