Comment Policy

I like to comment on other people’s blogs, and I like it when people comment on my blog. One of the nice things about the blog format is the dialogue that can come out of a blog entry… or even just simple immediate feedback. Commenting is an interesting art. If you leave a comment, you don’t know whether it’ll stay or be deleted. If it’s in the moderation queue, you don’t know if the blog owner will ever approve it.

Some blog owners have a fairly liberal comment policy—pretty much anything that isn’t spam or advertising gets approved. Others have a fairly conservative comment policy—in order to create a “safe space” only comments in line with a particular philosophy or community will be approved; everything else is designated a troll post of some kind.

Each approach has its pros and cons.

In the former case, you get a more real feel for how people think about the blog. On other other hand, it does make it easy for people to troll you, because they know they can argue up a storm without having a foot to stand on, and their comments will still be approved.

In the latter case, you do indeed get that kind of safe community feel, but you also get a very artificial environment. It may appear people are agreeing with you when really you’re just deleting any comment that disagrees with you.

Up until this point, I’ve had a fairly liberal approach, deleting only spam comments. I’ve allowed quite a lot of comments that are extremely inappropriate or even irrelevant, not just comments intelligently disagreeing with what I’ve said. I don’t want to ever create a place in which someone hesitates to comment for fear of having the comment deleted simply because she disagreed with what I’ve said. Disagree all you want. That’s your right. I won’t take that away from you.

Here’s the catch, though: if you’re going to disagree with me, you actually have to disagree with me. No straw men. No arguing with what you think I said without actually reading my blog entry. No oversimplifying my argument when I’ve gone to great lengths to explain how complex an issue is.

And, for heaven’s sake, if you have a technical problem, don’t ask for advice for it here. I’m on the Ubuntu Forums, and so are literally thousands of Ubuntu users (most of whom are much more knowledgeable about computers than I am).

So, in other words, these are the kinds of comments I will be deleting from here on out:

  • Spam and advertising—that’s a no-brainer
  • Hate speech
  • Requests for technical support
  • Comments pretending to argue with me but actually arguing with something else
  • Rude comments

These are the kinds of comments I will be keeping in:

  • Intelligent additional remarks that agree with me or add a nuance to what I’ve presented
  • Arguments with other commenters that are actually with other commenters and not pretending to argue with me
  • Thoughtful disagreements with what I’ve actually said
  • Thank-you posts for something I’ve done
  • Corrections for typos I make (Yes, I do occasionally screw up, as regular readers know)
  • Questions or clarifications

I have to say I see a lot of regular readers and commenters here. I don’t have a huge readership, but I really appreciate about 95% of the non-spam comments I get. Thanks for reading!


  1. Yeah, just a little amendment or clarification here.

    I created a “How to reset your Windows password with Ubuntu” tutorial to show just how easy it is to reset the password for free (and the Ubuntu CD can be useful for other things, too, like saving files).

    If you post a comment saying how cool it was that you were able to pay $20 for some crappy software to reset the Windows password instead, I’m calling that spam, and I’ll delete your comment in a heartbeat.

  2. Hello from Montreal, Canada.
    Your section on removing kde and xfce from gnome is a God-send, Let’s just say that you’ve saved me and a neighbour hours of work,

    Havea soft and quiet day
    Andre xoxoxo

  3. Hi, Searching for this answer was far and few between. I thank you for posting it. ‘Fix Broken Sudo’

    I did have a problem with the first command and using / returns an error. Using the command with /dev/sda1 worked and I was able to follow all of your steps completely and solved my problem.

    I found the other part here:

    and I thought you may want to edit the post or at least check it out. Thanks for the post.

  4. Hi
    I had a problem with resetting my password in ubuntu 12.10. I followed your tutorial but it didnt work, I got an error “authentication token manipulation error”so i changed the mount command to
    mount -rw -o remount /
    and this worked for me.
    Thanks for all time and help you have to given all of us.

  5. the computer that I used to reset the pass word,Did not work as show, Oh by the way I LOVE CATS, THE COMPUTER CAME FROM A SCHOOL, SO THEIR IS NO ie name, but it did not show any way to change the password, Maybe you could email me, And send some help on what to do, N admi rights without the change. thank you mike

  6. Why do most tutorials start , first sentence, with a term that ordinary people can not understand.
    It appears that Linux is only for computer buffs and geeks.
    Ordinary people can very quickly learn to use a windows computer or mac ipad from tutorials but that does not appear to be the case with Linux.
    It is often lauded to XP users as a replacement but it will replace nothing if ordinary users can not get to grips with it.
    This is meant to be a helpful comment. I am desperately trying to learn how to use Wine as I can not do the puzzle in the Daily Mail with out Shockwave.
    Is there a users manual of any sort written in English with step by step instructions notusing computer speke.

  7. I just want to thank you for your article entitled “Installing Ubuntu inside Windows using VirtualBox”. It was comprehensive and extremely easy to follow. For someone like me who is new to both VM and Ubuntu, the help is GREATLY appreciated. Thank you.

    Frank Jack Fiamingo

  8. Hi,

    I like your approach of requesting donations to fav charities. I’ve used the same approach for tech support I give at the local retirement community (a CCRC). Your posts on Ubuntu are very helpful, a real contribution to the community of Ubuntu.

    My thanks, and I’m giving it forward by building websites for local non-profits that use Ubuntu / WordPress / CiviCRM to help them with keeping track of members, contacts, emails, and donations.


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *