Editorial Policies

A lot of little policy issues have come up for the blog lately, and so I figured I would make an overarching policy statement:

Unrelated Comments or Trackbacks

I will delete comments that, in my opinion, have nothing to do with the posting or with previous postings, or with previous comments. I will be very open minded about this. If there are links to sites that are utterly unrelated, or if the reason for posting appears to be to drive traffic to a site for reasons unrelated to the topic, I will delete. Really, what I am saying here is that I will delete spam.

Illegal Comments

Again, I’ll be as open as I possibly can here. I have no way of knowing when comments are libelous, and I don’t have time to check the veracity of comments or the identity of posters. However, if there are comments that are clearly illegal, I will zap them. This has to do particularly with an entry that seems to attract threats on the president’s life, and I have enough to worry about without having to deal with the Secret Service knocking on my door. (Under US law, it is illegal to threaten the president’s life.) I will both allow and encourage critiques and plans for legal attacks on politicians of any party.

Paid Placement

If I am paid to write something on my blog (hasn’t happened yet), I will say so. If someone provides me with a product to review free of charge, or invites me to an event (please do), I’ll make that clear.

I won’t reiterate my conflicts of interest due to employment. Who I work for is spelled out on my “about” page. You should expect that things that I write about myself and organizations I work for are self-serving.

I also often include links to Amazon, for which I (very rarely!) receive a small affiliate’s fee. I don’t usually spell out the associate’s link, but I think it is common enough that people are aware of this. And thanks for using it!


Unless otherwise noted as material I have not produced myself, the material (including images) on this site are protected under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license. You are welcome to quote the site for commercial purposes under fair use and with proper citation.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License.

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  1. Posted 7/15/2005 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    i always thought you worked for the greater good…. but here i think you have a more narrow definition

  2. Posted 7/15/2005 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    Jeremy: I assume you mean the bit about “self-serving”? I think everything else is pretty non-controversial (though I didn’t like deleting people’s expressions). Yes I try to work for the greater good, but you should assume that I am biased when it comes to comments about the organizations I am involved in, that’s all.

    Sometimes, that’s because I am not allowed to speak, either because of propriety or because I just can’t. I would love, for example, to talk about the admissions process for the two programs I sit on, or hiring (I’m chairing a hiring committee now), but I just can’t. The department had something of a scandal a while ago, and I was actually barred from speaking publicly about it.

    Moreover, I suspect I have an inflated view of myself, and that rubs off on the places and people I work with. Naturally, someone as cool as me would only work with cool organizations.

    So, this isn’t a declaration of advocacy, it’s an admonition that readers should always stay critical, not least of me.

  3. Posted 7/15/2005 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    no no, that was just me being funny, it wasn’t meant as critical, though i can read how it might be read that way. I think everyone realizes and respects the necessities of the contexts in which we live and work, and the limitations that puts on us. my point was to note the humor in the fact that the spaces that we now must occupy are tenously normative, now must be territorialized, clarified and publicized in order for people to appreciate it.

    i was not controposing the ‘greater good’ so much with your ‘self-serving’ but with the ‘SUNY Buffalo’ and its symbolic referent.

  4. Alex Halavais
    Posted 7/23/2005 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    Addendum: No hate speach, or gratuitous attacks on people. I’ll try to err on the side of open discussion here as well.

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