Prometheus Comment Guidelines

March 31st, 2006

Posted by: Roger Pielke, Jr.

Here at Prometheus we are approaching our second anniversary. Our weblog started out as a student project (Thanks TSR!), which became an experiment in outreach, and now more-or-less a fixture of our Center. The good news is that Prometheus has a wide readership and many valuable comments from thoughtful and appreciated visitors. But at the same time, as our reach has grown, there has been a recent increase in less thoughtful comments, some in the form of hijacking posts, and some in the form of simple anger directed at me and often directed at another commentator. Given these recent events and in order to maintain a high quality site I propose the following guidelines for comments:

1. We’d prefer that you identify yourself in your post. There is a very high correlation between quality posts and people who identify themselves.

2. We’d like discussions to focus on the subject of the post. There are plenty of open thread discussions online elsewhere.

3. Make arguments supported by data. We think that the value of this site is that in enables communication among people with different perspectives to share views and learn from one another.

4. It is OK to disagree with posts or other comments. We discuss a lot of complicated and political issues here on which people will inevitably have different views on. We can learn from people coming from different perspectives.

5. All perspectives are welcomed here. We do not censor or otherwise filter comments, except for the ubiquitous spam and very rare profane submission. I’d like to keep this policy in place, which will be most likely if there is collective sharing in the value of these guidelines.

6. Above all, be respectful to each other in your posts. Don’t make comments personal, don’t sling insults. Do make forceful, well crafted arguments.

7. Help us maintain these standards by explicitly policing one another.

These guidelines are obviously subject to change and we’d welcome your suggestions for improving them. We are very happy with our growing readership, and want to continue to maintain our same high standards. For my part, I will seek to avoid engaging with commentators who chose not to follow these guidelines.


4 Responses to “Prometheus Comment Guidelines”

  1. Henk Tennekes Says:

    You have my complete support when you enforce strict guidelines. Too often I come across blogs that I find offensive or insulting. Everyone wishing to contribute to Prometheus should read Kendall Powell’s article in Nature magazine of March 30. It is essential that everyone remains professional and polite. I have been involved in nasty arguments about climate change for more than twenty years, and am sick and tired of the mudslinging I have been subjected to. Good luck!

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  3. llewelly Says:

    Thank you Roger, for a gentle reminder on the rules here. I took the opportunity to review a few of my past posts here, since I’ve learned I tend get carried away and say things that are impolite, unwarranted, or otherwise not helpful to the discussion (apologies to anyone offended by such posts, here or elsewhere).

    I noticed an earlier post of mine, made on March 30, 2006 12:43 AM, in the most recent thread on attribution of Katrina’s damages, could have been interpreted as implying Chris Landsea was a stooge. I did not intend that all, and I apologize for that post. (Yes, I know, I should have realized how it might sound as soon as Roger first replied to it. Unfortunately, I’m slow like that.) I only meant to say, that seen through the lens of the Providence article, Laborde’s actions seemed prone to create that impression.

    I’ve enjoyed reading Landsea’s papers, and I appreciate them, even when I think he’s mistaken (which is rare). I was chagrined to find that I had unintentionally slighted someone I admired and had benefited from.

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  5. Roger Pielke Jr. Says:

    Thanks much llewelly, we appreciate your participation!!

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  7. john frankis Says:

    I saw your earlier comment llewelly and interpreted it exactly as you claim to have intended it, not at all in the sense you feared it may have been able to be misconstrued, for what that’s worth.