Rules of engagement

Lovely post by Eric Raymond setting out the ground rules for commenting on his blog.

I have banned people for attempting to masquerade as other commenters. I will ban for sock-puppeting if I discover it. But I will not be more specific about the sorts of things I will or will not ban for, because I have discovered this: when I try to be open, fair, judicious, and balanced, there is a category of troll that will constantly push my limits and attempt to use my own scruples, sense of fair play, and respect for the norms of civilized debate as a weapon against me and against the health of the community around this blog. Coping with this sort of thing is a waste of my time.

Therefore, remember that this blog exists for my purposes and not anyone else’s. I reserve the right to be unfair, obnoxious, arbitrary, tyrannical, and ban people at my whim. Protesting this will get you banned, because I will interpret it as yet another attempt to jerk me around by my sense of fair play.

If you have been warned that you are trolling or that you are in danger of being banned, you can move back towards good standing in one of two ways: (a) By making me think, or (b) by making me laugh. Don’t repeat yourself, that won’t help. Flattery won’t help either, as I find fanboys nearly as annoying as haters.

Finally, I note that if you ever succeed in changing my mind about something, I will cut you large amounts of slack for a long time afterwards even for behavior that would otherwise get you banned. Not many people ever manage this, and I value the few that have accomplished it quite highly.

Great stuff!