Today I’m laying down a proper set of House Rules for commenting.

Why do we need these rules, when no other ad blog has them?

Well, for some reason, Scamp gets more comments than all the other Top 25 ad blogs put together. These comments need marshalling.

Then there’s the brouhaha that was reported in The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and even Finland, apparently.

Whatever your (and my) views on free speech, offensiveness, context, and intention, for as long as Scamp is hosted by Blogger, we have to follow their rules.

As readers have pointed out, it’s about time the comments policy was tightened up anyway.

I’m going to continue to allow anonymous commenting. The knowledge that you can speak freely is what gives the comments section its pop.

However, I would ask you to please respect these…

House Rules

Do not post messages that are unlawful, harassing, defamatory, or abusive. Do not post Hate Speech, which Wikipedia defines as "comments intended to degrade, intimidate, or incite violence or prejudicial action against a person or group of people based on their race, gender, age, ethnicity, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, language ability, moral or political views, socioeconomic class, occupation or appearance."

No spamming or flooding. Don't repost the same message, or very similar messages, more than once.

Relevance. Interesting posts that are off the current topic are acceptable. When that happens, I'll try to start another thread, and move the comments over. However, banal or repetitive off-topic posts lower the value of the conversation for everyone and may be removed.

No impersonating. Impersonating someone is not acceptable.

Links. Do not post stupid random links.

Criticism.No personal attacks of any kind are allowed. Criticism of work is very much allowed, indeed is one of the cornerstones of this blog. However, criticism by anonymous commenters must be either very constructive or very amusing. Comments may be edited for publication.

Copyright and the law You own the copyright in your postings, but you also agree to grant to Simon Veksner a perpetual, royalty-free, non-exclusive, sublicenseable right and license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, play, and exercise all copyright and publicity rights with respect to any such work worldwide and/or to incorporate it in other works in any media now known or later developed for the full term of any rights that may exist in such content. In other words, if you post a good comment, I may use it in my book. If you do not wish to grant such rights, do not post to this site. You may not violate, plagiarise, or infringe on the rights of third parties including copyright, trademark, trade secret, privacy, personal, publicity, or proprietary rights. Phew.

So, basically, behave. You’ve been told.