My comment housekeeping standards

In the last few weeks, comment traffic has been high (which I like) so I want to revisit the standards I use when I exercise editorial control of this blog, many of which I have made in the last week.

  1. I delete all spam and commercial solicitations unless it is a specialized response to an article I wrote, in which case I look at them on a case-by-case basis.
  2. I will delete or alter (and note the alteration) comments that may be libelous, are factually false or reveal confidential (including pastoral) information. I will not alter your opinions, even if they make you look foolish.
  3. If a blogger leaves a comment so long and detailed it has the character of a free-standing article, I will often copy it back to the author and suggest it be posted independently and tracked-back.
  4. I will silently make insubstantial spelling fixes, alter vulgar terms (if I feel like it) and may spell out acronyms. I will also add details to a commenters identity (especially those named Scott) to avoid confusion. Don’t expect perfection, as I make these edits as time permits.
  5. Emotions are valuable, but since Internet text media are so bad at conveying them, I do not approve comments that are primarily emotional outpourings.
  6. I forbid trolls and sock puppets. I have banned one person who has a history of taking unjust liberties, but this was an extreme case.
  7. Because I now moderate all comments, I am going back and opening up comments on old articles. Understand, though, I have written more than 1250 articles, so this will take some time. If there is a particular article with closed comments you would like to comment on, email me at bitb at universalistchurch dot net and I will open it up.

By Scott Wells

Scott Wells, 46, is a Universalist Christian minister doing Universalist theology and church administration hacks in Washington, D.C.


  1. A troll is someone who intentionally provokes violent outbursts online; an agent provocateur. A sock puppet is a false identity used by someone to troll effectively, especially after one has been banned. For sock monkeys, see PeaceBang.

  2. I’m sorry – I didn’t even think about sharing a first name. I’ll leave my full name from now on. :)

  3. Heck, I’m just grateful your name isn’t Scott Wells.

    As it happens, I get confused with two “Universalist side of the family” ministers because of my name: one is a retired Midwesterner, and the other is as Massachusetts as the sacred cod (but to be fair he is another of the rare Trinitarian Universalists, and we’re both W. Scotts.)

    This confusion tickles this Southern boy.

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