How to Get Your Comments Deleted and Yourself Banned

My own policies are clearly and humorously stated here, under sections titled Posting Comments and Trolls and Asshats — but I like Teresa Nielsen Hayden’s description of how to get your comments banned over at boingboing:

Q. What’s likely to land me in your bad graces?
A. Since you’ve asked, here’s a nowhere-near-exhaustive list:

1. Spamming. Linkwhoring. Re-posting text you’ve already posted on a dozen other sites.

2. Making supercilious and unpleasant remarks in a civil liberties thread about how the victim had it coming. This is not to say that victims never have it coming; but there’s a species of internet demi-troll that appears to specialize in posting such comments. Try not to look like you’re one of them.

3. Making snide comments and insinuations about the editors. That’s right out. You don’t like one of the editors? Take it up with them in e-mail. If you’re going to comment on an entry, talk about the entry.

4. Being nasty to no purpose. (This is the catch-all.)

5. Using unnecessarily exciting language. Making an argument is fine. Making your argument in language guaranteed to make your hearers see red? Bad idea. It practically guarantees that you’re going to have a dumb (and therefore boring) argument. And if the argument’s not going to be interesting, we don’t see the point.

6. Jeering, sneering, condescending, or one-upping when there’s been no provocation. Telling people they’re naive idiots for caring about whatever-it-is. Like the "I’m bored" pose, it’s empty attitudinizing, and it’s remarkably unpleasant.

7. Failing to notice that there are other people in the conversation. Posting a remark that’s already been made five times and answered six. Coming back and re-posting essentially the same material after a twenty-message thread has discussed your previous comment. Trying to forcibly wrench the conversation onto one of your own pet topics. Posting a stale, canned rant you’ve posted a dozen times before at other sites. Not coming back to see how others have responded to you.

Why post comments at all, unless you expect to be read? And if you expect to be read, you must know you’re part of a conversation. Therefore, you should act like it. Engage with what the other commenters are saying. Read the thread before you add to it.

8. Posting a snotty but otherwise worthless anonymous comment. It’s a lot easier to get away with snotty comments if you’re a registered user.

9. Dragging in one of those topics that’s guaranteed to generate a huge thrash that goes nowhere, like gun control, abortion, or Mac vs. PC vs. Linux. You’re only allowed to discuss those if (a.) they’re relevant to the entry; and (b.) everyone in the discussion is doing their level best to say something new.

10. This list will undoubtedly get longer.

Well said!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

What's been said:

Discussions found on the web:
  1. Insight commented on Mar 29

    Woot! I totally agree with your policy on the OS flame wars. Especially since everyone with a brain knows that Macs are best.

  2. Ross commented on Mar 29

    The onlyest thing I think is that Mrs. BP did some serious quantum retail analysis today…

    Tis your bloggy none the less. Happier and more fruitful days to all.

  3. Mich(^IXIC1881) commented on Mar 29

    registered user??? I always use the same name and email address, but what registration are we talking about?

    If it is some new feature that is coming, then the other day I was thinking about some useful features I like to see at TBP:

    – More refined tagging to enable better history browsing. (e.g. you always write something about CPI, Case-Shiller, NAR announcements, why not tag them such so we can access all relevant posts and comments through one page that captures all “Monthly-CPI” tags)

    – It would be nice to have a one-sentence summary statement for each post for historical purposes (rather than the whole posting). e.g. NAR-related posts can have one line summaries like “NAR says sales increased 2.9% and bottom is near. I say BS! it is seasonality”.

    Thanks for the blog.

  4. ELS commented on Mar 29

    Barry – Glad to see you have discovered Teresa Nielsen Hayden. She’s a national treasure.

  5. CDizzle commented on Mar 29

    wow. i must be hopelessly naive. can’t we all just get along?

    To add 2 off-topic cents: the battleground b/t S&P 1270 and S&P 1400 has been forged. As long as we are in the middle, there is not easy money to be made. But when she breaks, I reckon she’ll break pretty good, one way or the other.

    Barry – thanks for a great blog.

  6. Marcus Aurelius commented on Mar 29


    Street-walking, skanky linkwhoring, or high-dollar, escort-quality linkwhoring, or any linkwhoring whatsoever?

    Never mind.

  7. Bob Brandt commented on Mar 29

    I am considering creating a blog for rewarding the blog with the more sarcastic clever comments…so do you want a link TBP?

    Your blog is great, cream the dummies.

  8. B.B. commented on Mar 29

    May I say….

    Ross is one of my favorite posters. I picture him as an ‘mature’ guy that lives in a farming state. A guy who has been around the block. His best quote that I remember from him, when he was commenting on Cinefoz… “son, take your time… etc…”. Too funny. Ross wish you the best.

  9. edhopper commented on Mar 29

    Shut your festering gob, you tit! Your type really makes me puke, you vacuous, coffee-nosed, maloderous, pervert!!!

  10. Mark D commented on Mar 29

    @ marcus I really lol.

    @ Barry I went to Boing Boing and the part about the disemvoweling was great maybe a way to cool some jets!!! However, even tho you don’t take home work assignments, could you write a post or (many posts) on how you create tis fine piece of work and get anything else done?

    I can’t even keep up with the reading of it.

    Many Thanks

  11. Steve Barry commented on Mar 29

    Anybody see this…the PPT is being moved to the fed and modernized…woo hoo!!!

    Treasury regulatory overhaul plan “timely”: Fed
    By Doug Palmer

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Upcoming Treasury Department proposals to make the Federal Reserve the chief regulator of U.S. financial markets and give it sweeping new powers won praise on Saturday from the central bank and the head of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

    Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson is expected to unveil a blueprint on Monday for fixing gaps in the U.S. financial market regulatory structure that have been exposed by the ongoing subprime mortgage crisis.

    Lax regulation has been widely blamed for permitting a flood of inadequately documented loans to be made during the boom years of a U.S. housing market that has since soured and now threatens to drag the economy into a deep recession.

    “The Treasury’s report presents a timely and thoughtful analysis and is an important first step in the complex task of modernizing our financial and regulatory architecture. We look forward to working with the Congress and others to help develop a policy framework that will enhance financial and economic stability,” a Federal Reserve spokeswoman said.

    An executive summary of the Treasury proposals says a “market stability regulator” is needed and the Fed best fits that role, suggesting the central bank could use its control over interest rates as well as its ability to provide market liquidity to fulfill its functions.

    Market Stability Here We Come

  12. Eric Davis commented on Mar 29

    …. You’d probably be doing most of us a favor by banning us…

    …. Not that I have all that much time to read every post….

    But I only come here To be Hear the Wing-Nuts. What will I do without them…

  13. DavidB commented on Mar 29


    That wasn’t on topic. You did that to deliberately provoke the fed haters.

    I thought the Fed’s job was to game the banking system not job the markets?

    Now they have ‘officially’ taken over running the markets too?


  14. Eric Davis commented on Mar 29

    Comments on comments:

    You knew that was going to come along, that they would propose “Mark To Enron”.

    They need the SEC to change some rules around… how if you can only buy stock, and not sell it.

    That will stabilize the markets.

    Expect a plan a week out of Paulson. At one point Traders will just start ignoring him… When will someone ask him, “When are you going to stop fucking around with Lip service, Band-aids and bailouts, and figure out how to fix a malfunctioning economy?”

  15. Emmett commented on Mar 29


    This is the argument room.. not the insults room!!!!

    monty python

  16. Jerry Mander commented on Mar 29

    Well, now nobody can say that Paulson doesn’t know how to play cricket. The
    Fed knowingly fueled this monstrosity,
    made a minor babbling utterance on the
    “irrational exuberance” of feeding the
    alligators, then clicked their dentures
    thrice, and ordered Gifilte Fish on Rye.

    The Federal Reserve (those High-Falutin’
    High Rollin’ Private Bankers) was suitably impressed by Paulson’s deference, as well:

    “The Treasury’s report presents a timely
    and thoughtful analysis (sic) and is an
    important first step in the complex task
    of modernizing our financial and regulatory
    architecture. (sic) We look forward to
    working with Congress and others (sic) to
    help develop a policy framework that will
    enhance financial and economic stability,”
    a Federal Reserve spokeswoman said.

    (having first disenhanced and destabilized
    said US financial and economic system…)

    “Hello, this is the Operator speaking.”

    “Yes, would you ring up Davos, please?”

    “Of course, sir. Right away, sir.”

    ring … ring… ring … (kxrxzzrx)


    “Yes, I have a call from New York City for
    a Mr. Davos? Will you accept the charges?


  17. Neal commented on Mar 29

    This administration is doing it’s usual stellar job of utilizing each crisis to forward a narrow, pre-determined agenda.

    Hark back to 2002, for this article from


    What emerges from the laundry list is an unprecedented expansion of the exercise of executive branch authority with diminished opportunity for independent oversight, and little or no provision for accountability. The key seems to be speed, mixed with a bit of gravitas: new policies are unilaterally adopted almost daily, giving those of us in the position of debating them little or no chance to attract the scrutiny of Congress before the next outrage is perpetrated.

    By doing so, and by labeling each unilateral move a blow for motherhood and apple pie and any critic of it a traitor, this presidency is warping the institutional checks and balances that took the nation decades to create. Because it seems easier, because it is more efficient, this administration is turning its cumulative back on the experience on which that balance was based.

    (end quote)

    Different crisis, same approach. Paulsen, and White House, have been working on this for over a year. Pre-9/111, the idea of greater concentration of power in the executive branch was a driving force for the leaders of this administration. Funny, it seems the Paulsen plan achieves some more of this.

    It seems that we will end up with a very different version of America at the end of this administration than what we started with.

    For all of you GWB fans, remember that Ms. Clinton, as President, will take the same powers as your hero.

  18. Whammer commented on Mar 29

    Marcus Aurelius, you are a funny dude, and I mean that in a good way.

    Is there such a thing as linkslutting, I wonder??

  19. Ken Thompson commented on Mar 30

    And exactly what the FUCK is your point? Fucking git …

  20. Max commented on Mar 30

    Stomp the trolls. It’s fun and easy.

  21. DavidB commented on Mar 30

    It is really dangerous to consolidate power under one common authority. That is because, when the revolution starts, people only have to go to one building. They no longer have to split up their forces and dilute themselves when they revolt. It will be much easier to find the Emperor.

    And why am I getting the impression Star Wars is playing out here? The Emperor is consolidating power and the Jedis are about to be slaughtered? When do we see the sorcerer’s apprentice in his shiny new black suit? And who is that represented by in this little play? At least we all know how it ends….marketing fluffy Ewok action toys

  22. dave.s. commented on Mar 30

    “..Re-posting text you’ve already posted on a dozen other sites…”

    I’d vote for sometimes, on that one. When someone is posting stuff IN ALL CAPS ABOUT THE TRILATERAL COMMISSION AND AS A BONUS THE CLUB OF ROME, yeah. On the other hand, I’ve got some opinions which seem (at least to me) worthwhile putting out there and to be reasonable, and why not put them up again if they seem relevant?

    On other sites, for example, somebody in the kumbaya let’s-all-take-hands-together wing of the Dems says, ‘let’s have an Obama-Clinton ticket’. Keeps happening. Probably six or eight times I have chimed in that these guys are senators, have never run anything, and each of them needs a governor, if nominated, to balance the ticket. Should the fact that I’ve said it somewhere else keep me from saying it again?

  23. DavidB commented on Mar 30

    OK, one more post before Barry bans me forever. After having done some cogitating I think I have figured out the ‘Star Wars’ blueprint:

    The elites and super elites in the banking system are represented by the Emperor

    Darth is the political system. A young talented Jedi knight who is choosing the dark ways of the Emperor instead of the universal ways of the Jedi ‘religion’. Look at how Obama is giving lip service to new and bolder regulatory powers

    Jedi knights: The middle class. Their religion is free speech, free thought free markets, invisible hands. Universal and self evident concepts.

    The invisible hand, free markets, free association, free speech etc. = the force that empowers the common man and makes extraordinary things happen

  24. Innocent Bystander commented on Mar 30

    You’re banning snotty comments! Thats my lifes work.

  25. Larry Y commented on Mar 30

    Hey, it’s Barry’s sandbox, he just lets us play in it.

    Boing Boing is a pretty interesting case study in terms of high traffic blogs and comments. Took ’em several tries to get it down, IIRC.

  26. DonKei commented on Mar 31

    Ross, Marcus, ciao M.S., even Cinedouche (in M.S.’s understated prose) make it all fun.

    I think the best post I saw about what’s going on in the world of high finance and the monetary system was Ross’s observation that he could still get a dozen chickens and two hogs for one of his beef critters, no matter how much the money used to represent them changed. Priceless.

Posted Under