One of our goals at Cult of Mac is to have a strong community of commenters. We want our comments to be a smart, funny and engaging place where every post is expanded upon. We want each post’s comments to be filled with great tips, smartly argued opinions and relevant third-party information, where no one is afraid to speak up and every comment is given a fair shake.
In pursuit of the above goals, we’re instituting a new commenting policy designed to make Cult of Mac’s comments a better and more friendly place. Our rules aren’t complicated — they essentially boil down to be friendly, constructive and work to further the conversation instead of grinding it to a halt — but we’re going to start moderating comments that don’t abide by them, and banning commenters who can’t play nice.
Here’s a primer to the comments we like to see at Cult of Mac, and the comments we’re going to start trying to live without.
Comments That Rock
1. Comments that add something positive to the conversation: another viewpoint, a fact that paints the story in new light, a good joke, a link to a related story, an insight into how the story affects you or people you love, etc.
2. Constructive criticism: if we get something wrong, we love it when a user lets us know with a polite and concrete suggestion on what we could change for the post to be better. Please feel free to do so at any time.
3. Comments that are encouraging to other commenters: We want the Cult of Mac comments to be a positive place full of camaraderie. Anything you can do to make other commenters feel welcome makes us love you a little more.
Comments That Suck
1. Excessive negativity — A certain type of commenter simply can’t seem to express himself unless it’s to declare something to be “worthless” or “stupid” without otherwise adding anything to the discussion. These are not the kind of comments we want, and this sort of comment will now be moderated.
2. Unconstructive criticism: Mistakes happen, but we’re still embarrassed when they occur, and so we are extremely grateful when commenters take the time to politely let us know about them so we can correct them. The key word there, though, is polite, and if you’re the type of commenter who can’t make us aware of our mistakes or tell us you think we’re wrong about something while being polite, we will moderate you.
3. Abusive comments: Like we said, we want the Cult of Mac comments to be a positive place full of camaraderie. If you can’t disagree with someone without appending an insult to the end, or you can’t keep your temper during a discussion, we’re going to moderate you.
4. Spam or aggressive self-promotion: The comments section is a place to discuss with fellow Apple fans the news of the day, not to aggressively promote your own business. We’re okay with a signature link to your blog or personal site, as long as have you attach it to an original and cogent content, but if the only reason you are posting in Cult of Mac’s comments is to promote your own interests, we will moderate you.
If we identify comments that fall afoul of our new commenting policy, or otherwise aren’t in keeping with the spirit of smart and friendly debate we’re trying to cultivate at Cult of Mac, we will either remove the comment or edit the offending content out of the comment, replacing it instead with an explanation on why the comment has been edited.
Commenters who have had their comments edited this way will be added to a watch list. If a commenter’s name ends up on this list multiple times, we will review their account and may revoke their rights to comment on Cult of Mac in the future.