a note on commenting policy

A housekeeping note: The comment section on this site has worked really well for a long time, but as the readership has grown, the light-touch moderation approach I’ve used in the past isn’t working as well now.

The rules are still what they’ve always been — assume good will even when people’s opinions differ from yours, don’t nitpick other people’s wording, don’t take threads way off-topic in ways that aren’t constructive for the letter-writer, and the rest of the rules you can find here.

But as I try to keep the comment section an enjoyable place to be, I’m going to make a point of enforcing those rules more actively. In particular, that means I may delete comments or whole threads that break those rules (whereas in the past, I usually just asked people to move on but left the thread up). I don’t expect this to occur daily or anything like that, but since it’s a change from how I’ve traditionally done things, I want to give a heads-up about it. I also want to be transparent that this might not be applied 100% evenly because I don’t always see everything.

Thanks for reading!

{ 138 comments… read them below }

  1. Maiasaura*

    Thank you! It’s so frustrating when the same snark and endless arguments that can be found on virtually every other site start popping up here, too.

  2. Volunteer Enforcer*

    Sounds like a good measure. Despite my online name, I’m not trying to enforce anything on the site, just offer any useful insight for topics I know about.

  3. Dry Roasted*

    De-lurking to say that this is literally the only site I can read the comments on. I appreciate all of your hard work at keeping it that way!

    1. Bigglesworth*

      Same here. I might not comment very often, but I usually will read through the comments. Thanks for all you do for the AAM community, Alison!

    2. S. Cleach*

      Same. It is a great example of good management making things more productive and helpful. The comment section is so far above any other site on the web that it gives me hope for humanity.

    3. Stachington*

      Very much the same! Other forums I feel like I’m losing hope for humanity but here I feel like the commentators are generally smart, thoughtful, and all here for the same reasons. Keep up the good moderating, Alison, your readers appreciate it!

  4. AnonNurse*

    You have always tried to keep the comments section a respectful place and it is so appreciated! Thanks for watching out for your readers!

    1. Anon for this*

      If you’re interested, there is a browser extension for Chrome called “Hide YouTube Comments.” I love YouTube now, lol.

        1. AW*

          There is or was one called “fedora” something. IIRC, the idea was to hide comments from known trolls but there’s so many bad comments on YT it can’t take care of all of them.

  5. Not the Droid You Are Looking For*

    Thank you! I appreciate that the comments here are insightful and helpful.

  6. Erin*

    Sounds like a plan! Honestly I’ve always been a bit surprised you don’t have it set up to approve every comment, although I imagine that would get insane for you very quickly. This seems like a better idea!

    1. Kelly L.*

      I’ve seen that go terribly wrong! There was one site where the admin had to approve every comment on the blog, but she wasn’t there all the time, and would post hot debate topics and then be gone for a few days. So hundreds of comments would build up in moderation, and most of them were redundant because, of course, no one could see what had already been said. So when they did all get cleared by the admin, it would look like the most horrendous dogpile, when in reality, some posters would never have posted if they’d seen their view already represented. Plus, it killed the flow of conversation, since commenters pretty much never got the chance to respond to other commenters, just the OP.

      1. Erin*

        Yeah, I’ve seen something similar happen with a popular blog I used to follow. Someone would comment with something helpful or noteworthy, that would have affected following comments, but those commenters didn’t see it before commenting because it was still pending (if that makes sense.) It could make the conversation confusing.

    2. The Cosmic Avenger*

      That is often untenable on all but the lowest-traffic sites. I’ve managed some large bulletin boards and online groups, and the only workable alternative to what Alison is doing is probably to add logins, and let members become unmoderated after posting for a certain number of posts without an issue or warning; everyone else, including anonymous posters, are moderated. This is a lot of work at first, but it tapers down as regulars get approved, and people who wind up on moderation frequently will often bail. vBulletin and phpBB were easier for that than WordPress, although I have less experience with WordPress, maybe there are extensions I haven’t seen.

      1. The Cosmic Avenger*

        This could still be a lot more work, and in any case, it’s Alison’s blog, so it’s her call. And if it matters, it seems like she’s handling it incredibly well, especially considering the volume.

    3. Brett*

      It’s actually a good idea to limit how strictly you moderate comments. I used to be a on a governing board for a largish internet site (we predated the WWW), and our lawyers (former board members too from the mid-90s) basically explained to us that the more tightly you use approval workflows, deletions, etc, the greater your liability for content posted by others.
      This was advice from the early 2000s, so I am sure the laws have changed somewhat and any specific case could vary enough to consult your own lawyers.

      1. LBK*

        I think hosts tend to be pretty well-protected from liability for the content posted on their sites. 4chan may not be a great example since it has extremely limited moderation, but surely it would’ve been shut down by now if it had any legal culpability for things like the shootings that have been planned on there and later actually carried out.

        1. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock*

          This—the Communications Decency Act is pretty clear that platform providers and ISPs are not liable for civil claims flowing from their role as a publisher (defamation, misrepresentation, etc.). But it can get tricky if the moderator is editing content (as opposed to simply deleting it), because it transforms their role from publisher to writer/author. Alison’s not really in this boat, though—it’s totally reasonable to “prune” comments to keep them readable, particularly since this isn’t an open platform, but rather, her blog.

      2. KarenD*

        you are 100 percent correct. I work for a company that has a public-comment function as a part of its web presence, and our online team has very clear instructions as to how to handle comments so the company doesn’t incur vicarious/secondhand liability for libelous or privacy-invading comments made on our site. And the general rule is, in fact, to be as hands-off as possible – the more tightly you control things, the more responsibility you accrue for those posts you allow to remain.

        That said, I don’t think Alison has to worry about that; everything posted here is anonymous, so nobody is identified enough to have a case. And on blogs like this, I’m actually a fan of tighter moderation. I particularly admire the way Alison handles it – on other forums, it’s approached with a very authoritarian stance (which works more often than not) but Alison has always approached it more as a collaboration. She rarely singles out individuals for chastisement and when something has to be deleted, she doesn’t go out of her way to say “I deleted this.” The community helps, too: Jerks never seem to get much traction here.

        1. Ask a Manager* Post author

          Yes to your last paragraph — my approach to moderation isn’t really motivated by limiting legal risk; it’s that I think it makes for a better comment section.

      3. internet lawyer, in both senses*

        The laws on this changed in the late 90s (section 230 of the CDA being the most relevant), in part because courts were reaching absurd results–notably, a site which used moderation to remove awful comments was penalized, while one that was totally hands-off and let garbage remain up forever was not. Current law allows for considerable moderation of sites. But there is still a line to walk with the guidance of your lawyer: your moderation has to truly be moderation, and not something where you could be seen as the publisher of the material. (And you can’t be instructing people to post illegal things, etc.)


    Someone just needs to keep a running list of topics related to the posts to start in the open thread!

    1. Not So NewReader*

      I usually end up hoping that the poster remembers and comes back to repost on the open thread. It doesn’t happen every time though, which is too bad because I’ll think “great topic, let’s go back to this” and then it’s gone.

  8. Mimmy*

    Thanks Alison! As others have said, this is the only site where I enjoy reading the comments and interacting with other readers.

    Wishful thinking, but maybe this will keep the comments section from getting too long in some posts.

    Also, apologies if any of my comments went off-topic.

  9. Juli G.*

    I always like that your advice to managers is often an iteration of “treat employees like adults.” I appreciate that you live and demonstrate that in your commenting policy

    1. Jillociraptor*

      Yes! I am very appreciative of how purposeful you are at creating this space, Alison. Thanks for everything you do.

    2. Not So NewReader*

      This is so important. People cannot do what they do not understand. Often people learn quicker from someone role modeling the good behavior. When we see people handling tight situations with grace and finesse it can give us ideas on handling our own tight situations.

  10. Gene*

    As I say on my work-related Yahoo Group, “This is not a democracy, it’s a (mostly) benevolent dictatorship. And I’m the dictator.” I went to a workshop on the other coast and my badge said,

    Mostly Benevolent Dictator

    I was SO proud!

  11. Mike C.*

    Quick clarification on the following item then:

    • Please don’t armchair-diagnose others (“it sounds like your coworker is autistic/has borderline personality disorder/etc.”). We can’t diagnose based on anecdotes on the internet, these statements often stigmatize people with those diagnoses, and it’s generally not useful to focus on disorders rather than practical advice for dealing with the person in question anyway.

    There were a few questions where they were expressing major symptoms of particular issues (one I’m thinking of is the person who was constantly late to everything they did). I totally get not wanting people to diagnose folks, but is it crossing the line to say something like, “If it’s available to you, you should consider checking in with your workplace EAP/therapist/doctor/professional? Or is your intent here that we avoid the issue entirely?

    1. AMPG*

      Well, “check in with a health professional” IS practical advice, and it’s explicitly not a diagnosis.

      1. Mike C.*

        I agree as well, but what I want to understand is if I should be taking the rule literally or if the spirit of the rule was to encompass a more general idea of “we really shouldn’t be talking about these sorts of things in general”.

        Either is fine, I just figured I would ask rather than assume.

    2. BRR*

      I’m obviously not Alison (although I wish I was) and I think that’s ok. I like AMPG’s explanation. I think it’s slowed down but that rule stems from people really reading into a small part of a letter and ultimately end up trying to explain why something was happening instead of commenting on how to handle the situation.

    3. LBK*

      I think the nuance of saying “These sound like they might be signs of X – have you thought about looking into if that’s a possibility?” vs “You sound like you have X, here’s how you should handle that” that matters. Basically, treat it the way you’d treat it if you were a manager saying it to an employee – you don’t want to outright say you think they have a medical issue, but you want to gently prod them to think about whether they might.

      I also think it’s different when you’re saying it about the LW, who may read and follow that advice, than when you say it about someone mentioned in the the letter. The latter encourages the LW to make certain assumptions about their coworkers/employees, which is usually bad advice.

      1. Natalie*

        Another rule of thumb is that you can describe your own experience – this is usually the rule over at Captain Awkward. I.e. “I have this problem as well due to [medical condition]. What has worked for me is [things].”

        1. halpful*

          yes, this! As someone who discovered my own adhd not long after discovering CA and AAM, I worried about this policy a lot until I saw that explanation. I can’t remember where I saw the full version, but I remember it said it was ok to do almost exactly what I’d been doing. :)

          it’s so nice to have a clear explanation of such things. :)

          1. halpful*

            …ok, I’ve looked around and I really can’t see this in the comment policy of *either* site. Have I missed something? or can we get the full version of this policy added somewhere outside of comments?

            1. Natalie*

              At CA, I think it just comes up when there is a letter on a medical topic. She will just say at the end of her answer to not armchair-diagnose, but you can share your experience with Condition X.

        2. Lissa*

          Yes, I really like it when somebody who actually *has* the potential condition is the one saying something. Part of the problem is that certain situations/conditions tend to cause *huge* derails. I also see a problem when people say something along the lines of “Well, your coworker obviously has X and you aren’t being compassionate towards him at all!” This happened in a thread relatively recently and I was like…buh?

          I think it’s one thing to suggest something *once* if it’s done with the intent of helping, not just showing off how much one knows about a particular condition. i.e. “you sound like me when I had anxiety, have you thought about seeing a therapist” or “this worked for my brother who has ADHD” or something.

          1. Countess Boochie Flagrante*

            I also see a problem when people say something along the lines of “Well, your coworker obviously has X and you aren’t being compassionate towards him at all!”

            Ugghhh, yes. Bad behavior is bad behavior, regardless of the reasons for it.

            And I do say that as someone with a few diagnoses of my own; they’re the underlying reason for my behavior but it’s still my job to manage them rather than everyone else’s job to put up with me not managing them!

      2. Epsilon Delta*

        And there had been a fair number of “Well that sounds like X Condition.” comments, which really added nothing constructive to the conversation. Ok, maybe it’s X Condition, but that’s wild speculation and often doesn’t change the advice to the OP.

        1. LBK*

          Agreed – especially in cases where people say “it sounds like your coworker has Asperger’s” or something similar, and it’s kind of like…okay? That doesn’t mean the OP just has to ignore whatever’s going on, and it certainly doesn’t mean they should ignore it on the basis of making an assumption about a medical diagnosis like that. I think those comments usually mean to imply that you should approach the situation with empathy, but I think that’s a good rule of thumb across the board, whether you think your coworker has a medical issue or not.

    4. Junior Dev*

      I also think there’s a difference between using a potential diagnosis as an attack or insult vs. offering it as potentially helpful advice.

      “Your annoying coworker is probably autistic” or “your boss sounds like they have bipolar” is not only unhelpful, it promotes hurtful stereotypes of those conditions, and doesn’t address the OP’s problem.

      “I have anxiety and this is what has helped me” or “my friend had a lot of issues like you’re having and it really helped her to get evaluated and treated for ADHD” — these may or may not apply to the OP in a given situation, but they provide actual useful advice. And they don’t armchair diagnose, but they do provide the option of looking into diagnosis.

      1. Kathlynn*

        This comment thread is reminding me of how I suggested a LW check out ADHD, because their grandson, who was a a former coworker, seemed a lot like me. Wouldn’t have offered the suggestion, if they weren’t relatives though, who could potentially talk to the individual or their parents (dynamics) though. Definitely toed or tiptoed over the line there.

    5. Ask a Manager* Post author

      “This is my situation and you could consider checking in with your doctor if it resonates with you” is fine. That’s describing your own personal experience with yourself.

      What I want to avoid is “it sounds like your coworker has X.” But something like “I know someone with these traits, and here’s what helps in dealing with her” is fine because that’s not a diagnosis and it’s actionable.

  12. BRR*

    I might be piling on [ ;) ] but the commenting base is in my opinion the best on the internet. They have been invaluable for my questions as well as a group to learn from. Thank you for shaping the AAM community as such a great place.

  13. AMPG*

    I’m a recent discoverer of this site, and I really appreciate how civilized the comments are, so thank you for taking active steps to keep them that way.

  14. LANA*

    I completely understand the need to rein things in but I do hope that the fun doesn’t all get lost. I have to say that some of the comments on here have been the cleverest and most amusing I have read on any site of all the internets :)

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      I have no intent to stamp out fun. If you’ve seen the times when I’ve stepped in previously to say “let’s end this here,” that’s the kind of thing I’m talking about.

  15. Lisa*

    I have read through almost everything on the site. I enjoy reading because the letters are written well and the responses are always considerate (and sometimes extremely humorous!!!) I only ever picked up on one really awful comment and you weighed in quickly. I appreciate this site so much for that. I can’t stand to read much else on the internet because of trolls….. this place is so awesome. Love it and the advice and experience of you and all the regulars.

  16. Victoria, Please*

    Ditto everything! Alison, we REALLY appreciate your work to keep the site productive and enjoyable.

  17. LBK*

    I usually try to go by the “dinner party” rules: imagine we’re all at a dinner party at Alison’s house, then keep your conversation in line with how you’d act if you were in that situation. That doesn’t mean you can’t engage in a lively debate, but that you might be a little less fiery about sensitive topics and let more things slide than you might otherwise.

    Think Chelsea Handler dinner party (if anyone watches her Netflix show), not Real Housewives dinner party. Doesn’t mean you’re not absolutely right with whatever point you’re raising, but maybe it’s not the best time to bring that up in the interest of civility and respect for the hostess.

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      That’s the way I think of it in my head as well. If you wouldn’t say it to another guest in my home while you were all invited for dinner (and still expect to be invited back), don’t say it here.

    2. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock*

      This is also how I process when Alison tells us we’ve gone too far astray, also. You would never go to someone’s house, and after having them ask you to cool it, argue with them about why you should get to do something they’ve asked you not to do.

  18. Natalie*

    Re: endless back & forths, I read recently that there used to be a joke on Usenet that the person who got the second-to-last word won (rather than the last word). I found it helpful/humorous to keep in mind.

    1. Lady Blerd*

      XKCD has a comic showing a guy tapping on his computer. A voice from beyond the panel asks if he’s going to bed, he answered no because someone is wrong on the internet. That comic always comes to mind whenever I go into long replies for whatever I read and more then once it made me walk away from a conversation no matter how much time I spent crafting response.

        1. Lady Blerd*

          Oh thanks! I didn’t know about the alt-text. I’m more used to the Oatmeal doing bonus sketches for his comics.

      1. LBK*

        Ha – I can’t even count the number of times I spend 30+ mins trying to write a response to something and ultimately go, “Ugh, do I really even care?”, delete it and move on.

        1. Why Don't We Do It in the Code*

          Hah! Yes, LBK. I’m not a fantastic writer and it takes me a long time to get exactly my point in exactly the right words. I’ve spent a good hour writing a response (with interruptions and breaks) and didn’t hit Submit because I just didn’t have the energy to continue checking back and feeling I needed to respond. And it was sometimes long after everyone else moved on and were no longer commenting.

        2. Lady Blerd*

          Yup but not just that, I figure someone is bound to say something similar to what I’m thinking, most likely better written too.

  19. MillersSpring*

    Thank you for this stance. A couple of times recently when I’ve commented during an open thread, I’ve received some snide comments. It really put me off reading the open threads.

    I think maybe we have some commenters who don’t realize that snark and trolling aren’t tolerated here.

    1. LBK*

      I don’t get the sense that there are really any true trolls here (ie people who really just want to rile others up but don’t genuinely believe what they’re saying). I think the site just attracts a lot of very passionate people and often when passionate people have different opinions, the debate escalates quickly.

      I’d also disagree that snark isn’t tolerated here, just that we prefer to direct it towards crappy bosses and coworkers than other commenters :)

      1. Kelly L.*

        I think there are a couple of different things that happen–there are regular commenters who have soapboxes (I have a few myself) and are prone to getting off topic when a question skirts close to their personal soapbox. The other issue is that I think sometimes we get “brigaded” on specific controversial topics, and then you’ll have people you’ve never seen before, showing up to say inflammatory stuff on purpose.

        1. Temperance*

          This is something that I really work on. I’m extremely feminist, and I hate women being treated badly in the workplace.

          I try now to only bring it up when it’s very relevant.

        2. Lissa*

          Ha, yeah, even I who haven’t been commenting very long can generally easily predict which of the 5 letters in a short answer question inspired the 1,000 comments that day! :)

          What makes me personally really uncomfortable are pileons, because I just don’t understand telling somebody they suck after 50 people have already said it (often when someone uses a disfavoured word or against an OP who is clearly in the wrong.)

          1. Ask a Manager* Post author

            I think I can explain why that happens, at least partially. There are two different commenting styles (speaking broadly): one is to treat commenting as a conversation, where they read other comments before engaging (this is most of the regular commenters, I think), and one is just leave your own comment without necessarily reading anything else. Sometimes pile-ons are just the latter — but they can feel very wrong to people with the first style.

            1. Kelly L.*

              That, and sometimes a commenter has had the page open for, like, an hour, without reloading, before they get around to commenting, by which time other comments have posted that they haven’t seen yet.

              1. halpful*

                Yep! sometimes I still have a window from the previous day… I try to remember to doublecheck the date before commenting ;)

                1. fposte*

                  Every now and then I answer something from months ago because I was looking in the archives–same thing!

            2. ThursdaysGeek*

              I’m the kind that reads first, and generally someone else has already said anything I was considering saying. So I don’t comment very much. It’s hard to add to the conversation with the quicker minds here.

            3. Al Lo*

              I am still so influenced by the TWoP forum rules (you must read back at least the past 15 pages or 15 days [I think that was the timeframe], whichever is longer, before posting) that one of my big pet peeves is when people say things like, “I haven’t read all the comments, but…”

              Part of why I don’t comment more is that, between my time zone and my schedule, there are often already a few hundred comments on most posts by the time I get to them, and it’s my personal rule that I have to at least skim all of them (with the exception of open threads) before replying.

              1. fposte*

                Heh. Me too–the open threads are pretty much my only exception. (I like to scroll up on those sometimes and give love to the late questions.)

              2. Lissa*

                Me too! That’s exactly where I think I got my ingrained idea that it’s rude not to read at least most of the comments, even though like Alison says, that’s not actually universal. TWoP was my very first forum from when I was a baby Internetter, haha.

                Also having 50 people to all line up to tell me how wrong and terrible I am is like, one of my worst nightmares. :D

              3. Rana*

                Yep, same here. Both with regards to TWoP training me (and other sites – the idea of comments-as-conversation was pretty dominant when I first joined the blogosphere) and my lack of participation here. If all I get to do is drop a comment and leave, without getting any response, it’s not really worth it to me.

  20. Cheryl*

    Thanks, Alison. I really appreciate the time and care you take with the comments, and I agree, as a rule, we’re a pretty docile bunch. I am amazed at how often you jump in to comment back–which sadly, many bloggers don’t do. NOT that we expect you to comment on every comment, but I love it when you do jump in occasionally. It makes me feel like we are really having a conversation with you. And it also shows how much you care about AskaManager, and your readers.
    It is YOUR space after all, so it is totally your right to come down a little harder on us when you don’t obey the very clear and reasonable rules.

  21. Silver Radicand*

    Longtime lurker, occasional commenter. Thank you for your continual moderation, Alison! I fully support you.

  22. KarenD*

    It sounds like a lot more work for you, Alison, but I appreciate it: The tone and spirit of collaboration here is so special — and rare.

    I would have one suggestion. I like the fact that a link to the commenting guidelines appears right above the posts, but it might be a good idea to include a brief “highlights reel” in that sentence as well… something like “please don’t nitpick, belittle other posters or take threads off topic” so that people are clear on what the most important rules are even if they don’t click on the link.

    1. KarenD*

      I should have said “right above the posting box” instead of “right above the posts.” Ooops!

      1. Natalie*

        Or even just changing the wording to “Please follow the commenting guidelines”, where “commenting guidelines” is still a link that leads you to them.

  23. Jennifer*

    Thank you so much, Alison, for all the work you do on this site. I appreciate not only the amazingly insightful and helpful responses to readers’ letters, but also the way to manage the comments section. I’ve always thought of it as an example of how to manage in real life as well.

    Thank you!

  24. halpful*

    came here to wish comment threads could be collapsed… and for the first time I see the “Collapse N replies” link that’s been under every root comment all along. lol. so if anyone else has been wishing they could just skip a whole thread, well, you can! :)

  25. Anon Accountant*

    Yes and always remember there’s a Friday open thread and weekend open threads for work and non-work topics also. For when threads are going too far off topic.

  26. Liane*

    I was planning to comment in the open thread today, “Hey is it me or are there a lot more OP-blaming comments lately?” bit I saw this first.
    I think this is the right thing to do. The board I moderate has a lot less traffic–but equally polite posters–than AAM but it is still a lot of work to make sure things don’t get out of hand. I really appreciate the effort you put into this Alison.

  27. CM*

    I expected another sentence to be added to this post, saying something like, “I’m not up for debating whether my moderation is appropriate.” I feel like I’ve seen a bunch of comments lately saying, “Why did you delete my post??” and “Well, I think I made a perfectly valid point.”

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      That did happen on one post earlier this week (I experimented with this new policy earlier this week before announcing it today) but I’m hopeful it won’t continue. If it does, that is indeed my stance.

      1. Brett*

        On the site I used to work with, we had a strict “no meta outside designated rooms” policy (the board was unthreaded, so rooms instead of posts). Basically that meant that if you had an issue with moderation, you had to take it up in appropriate channels for moderation questions. Posting about moderation anywhere else was banned and immediately deleted.

        We had ~100 designated moderators as well as a team of sysops and were connected to a public university (students could be academically sanctioned for repeated misuse of the site), so there really was a need for formal channels for metadiscussion. For here, you easily just say, “No metadiscussion of rules or of moderation is allowed.” For posts like this one, you could then say in the post that the no metadiscussion rule did not apply for that post.

  28. Lady Blerd*

    I remember a few months ago seei AAM telling a commenter not to diagnose either OP or whomever OP was writing about and that has since pretty much guided the way I see the world now in my other online discussions.

  29. Joanna*

    Thank you for all you do to make the comment section a pleasant, useful place. It’s pretty much the only site where when I recommend it to people I tell them they should read the comments!

  30. F.*

    Thank you, Alison, for addressing the moderation issues. I returned, with some trepidation, to reading AAM just this past week. I left a few months ago when a someone told a long-time, valuable contributor (who actually IS a manager) that they were not entitled to an opinion on a particular subject because they were not of a certain race. That was my last straw after months of snarky comments aimed at anyone who expressed an opinion that disagreed with certain other contributors’ opinions and worldviews.

    People who comment here need to remember that we are all entitled to an opinion, whether or not one agrees with it, and regardless of our background. In fact, the only way to learn things IS to listen to others’ opinions and stories. I have learned a great deal from both Alison’s answers and the comments on this site and hope to be able to continue to use this as a resource in the future.

    1. ExceptionToTheRule*

      I’ve been generally feeling that way too recently. Glad to know I’m not alone on that.

      1. Anion*

        I’m fairly new to commenting here (started commenting after reading the archives and new posts for a couple of weeks) and have also noticed that. More than once just in the few weeks since I started commenting I’ve thought perhaps I should just not comment at all, since my views are often different from other contributors’ and I’ve gotten the distinct feeling that they–and by extension, me personally–are not welcome here.

        1. Ask a Manager* Post author

          The only comments that aren’t welcome here are ones that violate the commenting rules or that are racist, homophobic, or otherwise bigoted/hateful. Assuming you weren’t making comments like that, please keep commenting! Things are more interesting with a variety of opinions in the mix.

  31. azvlr*

    Did we just get expertly managed?! This is such a perfect example on the impact of transparency done well. Thank you for modeling your own advice!

    1. Not So NewReader*

      Yep, we just got expertly managed. And every one is calm and understands what we are doing and why we are doing it. That’s what good management looks like.

      Thanks for all you do, Alison.

  32. Kira*

    I’m happy you’re trying this, and hope it works well. I vaguely remember a couple recent posts where I saw up top that you asked people to knock it off, but then as I was reading I ran into the pile-on because it was all still there.

  33. A Canadian*

    I rarely comment, but love reading the comments section here. Thank you for all your work to keep this one of the most entertaining, informative and civilized spaces online.

  34. fond_of_jam*

    Thank you! I am a constant reader and very infrequent commenter. The tone of this site–both the advice and (for the most part) the comments–is so thoughtful, and I really appreciate all your efforts to keep it that way, Alison.

  35. Kathlynn*

    Thank you for managing this site, and running it in the first play. I just have one question. What time zone is this site running on? It’s a few hours ahead of me, and I am really bad at figuring out time differences.

  36. Bonky*

    That’s great – thank you Alison. A well-moderated community is always a nice community to be part of.

  37. Crazy Canuck*

    Well, this will be my last comment here then. While I admire what Alison is trying to do, I’ve had serious issues being censored in the past for my views, as I collect unorthodox viewpoints like some people collect stamps. There is nothing more soul killing than putting time into crafting the perfect reply to convey your point of view .. only to see it disappear.

    I’ve enjoyed my time here, and wish Alison and the rest of the community here the best.

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      If I’ve never asked you to move along or end a thread in the past, that’s not the sort of thing I’m talking about here. This isn’t about censoring viewpoints; it’s about keeping threads on-topic and polite.

  38. Bethlam*

    I am an infrequent commenter, but an avid reader since finding this site a couple of months ago. It has been invaluable for my job; I’ve used Alison’s advice and language in a couple of personal situations; and I hope everything I’ve learned here helps me find a new job when mine ends next year due to my company’s consolidation.

    In the short time I’ve been following this blog, I have recommended it to numerous people, especially to a lot of my co-workers who will also be losing their jobs. I tell people all of the reasons I like this blog, and the active, knowledgeable, articulate commenting community is one of them, as well as Alison’s moderation of the group. I so appreciate the regular contributors and their insight, and appreciate that Alison oversees the comments to keep them mostly on-topic and within certain boundaries of good behavior and good taste.

  39. spocklady*

    Long-time lurker, occasional poster who is late to this party, but I’d really like to add my thanks to Alison. I’ve been reading for years and I deeply love the comments section. Thanks for keeping us all polite. I know it’s extra work for you, unfortunately, but it’s so appreciated.

Comments are closed.