Commenting Policy for

In the spirit of transparency, we want you to understand how comments are treated, when they are moderated, and how to behave if you want to participate.  This is also a chance for you to understand the mechanics of what happens behind the scenes.

Why Was My Comment Marked as Spam, Removed, and/or Was I Banned from Commenting?

If you are reading this message because one or more of your comments has been kicked to moderation, there are primarily three reasons a comment that is not spam might be marked as spam, a comment might be removed, and/or your account might be banned from making further comments.  These are:

  1. System Auto Flagged Your Post – When a comment is submitted, the blog’s comment system, automatically analyzes it.  The system is notorious for flagging comments as spam when they are not, in fact, spam.  Over time, it seems like the algorithms have gotten better but it’s still far from ideal.  You may have done nothing wrong – your comment might be perfect and lovely – but it still might be filtered automatically before a person has had a chance to look at it.  In some cases, this is due to the comment itself – e.g., certain language patterns and/or comments with links are more likely to be identified as spam. 
  2. A Human Moderator Made the Decision and Manually Flagged Your Post – There are multiple human moderators.  Yes, Joshua Kennon himself has moderating authority as the site’s owner but other members of the community have the power to flag comments as spam, delete comments, and/or ban users entirely if they are disruptive.

This brings up another important point: if your comment is moderated by any of these methods, you might see a notification that it has been marked as spam, removed, and/or your account has been banned by “Jon Macias” or “”.  This does not mean that Jon Macias himself had anything to do with it.

Note that dissenting opinions are not only welcome, but openly celebrated, at, provided they are made in good faith, intended for honest discussion, and backed by fact.  If you were flagged by either the community or an individual moderator, it was not because you posted an unpopular or contrary opinion, it was overwhelmingly likely it was because you came off as – and please forgive the language – an asshole.  Passionately defend your beliefs but be kind.  If you cannot handle that basic level of human decency, you are neither wanted nor welcome.  This isn’t a broad public site meant for the masses, it’s more like a private book club meeting in a corner coffee shop.  Not everyone is invited.

If you have a comment that you believe was removed in error, or you would like to ask to be reinstated to the community, send a message through the Contact Form

What Are the Community’s Commenting Guidelines?

The social compact around here is based on the idea that each idea should be evaluated individually and on its own merits.  You will not be judged, banned, or censored for posting a dissenting opinion, including opinions published by Jon Macias (in fact, those are among his favorites if they are well-argued and intelligently supported).  Share your stories.  Explain your experiences.  Communicate with others.  In doing so, the only major rule (and, again, please forgive the language): Don’t be an asshole.

That’s really it.

It covers practically everything.

Ideas reign.  Share your ideas.  Attack ideas, not people.  Don’t make generalized, lazy, broad sweeping claims about entire groups of people based on their gender, biological sex, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, age, etc.  Yes, discussing population-level statistics is inevitable in a community that tends to get into some fairly deep discussions about socioeconomics but there is a major difference between doing so honestly and simply attacking an individual or group.  Try and give people the benefit of the doubt when it seems like a mistake was an honest one.  Be kinder than necessary.  Be patient.  Be understanding.  Treat others like you would want to be treated.  The person on the other side of your comment is most likely a real human with actual emotions; loved ones who care about him or her, dreams, aspirations.  Do not forget that.  Act accordingly.

Remember that being here is a privilege, not a right.  You are not entitled to have your opinion heard.  For the sake of fairness, please understand that even if you make otherwise excellent points, you won’t last long around here if you create a hostile environment that makes other members of the community less likely to post their thoughts and exchange ideas.