Commenting Guidelines

UNOFFICIAL Heather Cox Richardson Resource & Discussion Room.

We hope posts will spark good, respectful discussions in the comment threads.

What’s a good comment

  1. One that seriously considers what the post offers.
  2. One that engages with how an idea is expressed (by OP, commenter, or within link) and why it might be valid or not.
  3. Extensions of the idea(s) to other historical periods or aspects of Dr. Richardson’s works or other relevant works.
  4. One that offers additional resources or supporting ‘evidence’
  5. One that inquires or seeks more understanding from other members or from a member’s comment.
  6. One that expresses agreement/support and for which a simple ‘like” or “heart” or “hug” will not suffice, but rather, has something more to add.

What’s NOT a good comment, and/or NOT a discussion...

We don’t like to delete comments. It’s not fun at all, and it’s a lot of work. So help us out, please.

While good comments are our aim, an average, boring, illogical or insubstantial comment is probably going to be OK.

But any of the following will get your comment unceremoniously deleted.

  1. Heated debates? Sure. But ugly personal attacks on anyone for any reason will be deleted, and may be cause for removal from the group.
  2. Simple rants. Vulgar rants. Deliberately offensive rants/words. “Trump is a piece of sh*t” doesn’t advance anyone’s knowledge.
  3. Memes/GIF’s/Emojis and the like that are vulgar, tacky, insulting (to anyone), or could be offensive. Yes they can be funny, and even clever at times. This isn’t about personal taste, it’s about whose name is often referenced here, and is in the title of this group.
  4. Unsupported assertions. If you write “You’re wrong!”, support it with either a reasoned argument and/or good research. If you don’t have time, just come back later when you do .
  5. Conspiracy theories (or links to them).

Turning Comments “OFF”

Although we loathe exercising this option, we may disable comments on a post if:

  1. The post is ‘old news’, or comments become unproductive or redundant 1
  2. The topic is such that debates become too inflammatory (usually a gentle reminder will be attempted first). We don’t always want to go one-by-one and delete every borderline inappropriate comment on such posts because any thoughtful or important responses to the offending comment will also get deleted. We don’t want to toss the baby out with the bathwater, so to speak.
  3. It is a post intended for submission into the ‘FILES’ tab and on which we don’t want a string of comments to appear.
  4. At times we may turn commenting off on our own ‘admin’ biz related posts to prevent hundreds of notifications that are going to garner a lot of well meaning comments such as, ‘“thank you.” We field hundreds of notifications as it is, and it’s too difficult to sift through and respond to these. Instead, a simple “like” or “heart” will suffice.
  5. We MAY also turn commenting off on a post that either has already, and/or we think may generate a ton of engagement overnight, or during any hours that there is no admin on duty. We have taken precautions to prevent this, but it can happen. In such a case, there will be a notice that will appear as the last comment, which will include information on when the comments will be turned back on.
  • 1 We see redundancy when there are so many comments on a post that members continue commenting similarly to what others have already expressed – with no awareness of the fact. It’s understandable, and we don’t expect you to keep track of what’s already been said amidst hundreds of comments. We do it for you, in exchange for your forgiveness if seeing that comments are turned off on a post frustrates you. And then also of course we don’t want ‘old news’ posts generating a comment from a new member that pops the thread back up to the top of feed.

We understand that this can be frustrating and we do try to minimize this admin option to turn off comments.

A primary reason we keep an eye on the number of comments that are generated on posts is we want to ensure that fresher posts are not prevented from appearing at the top of the newsfeed, for the sake of a few posts that are already full of redundancies and/or uninformative comments.