The blog is now receiving 800-1000 page-views per day; comments need reading and, sometimes, editing. That was not a problem when daily page-views were averaging about 400, but the process can now be fairly time-consuming. As such, we have reviewed our policy on comments.
As before, it is an absolutely basic rule that comments are not published if, in our opinion, they are abusive, racist, homophobic, potentially defamatory or otherwise capable of offending the laws against hate speech or common decency. On that, our decision as editors must be final. It’s our blog, so we will be the people carrying the can if something goes wrong.
A separate issue is when to cease to accept comments on a particular post. This is a very difficult one: too soon, and one might stifle legitimate debate; too late, and one might get comments on something posted two years ago when the situation has moved on so far that the original post has largely lost its relevance. As a rule of thumb, therefore, we have decided not to accept comments received more than fourteen days from the original day of posting. That, we hope, will give people a reasonable chance to respond and reply to each other without unduly impacting on our workload.
These conditions will apply from the date of publication of this revised policy.
Frank Cranmer & David Pocklington