Comment Policy

Thank you for being part of the MassBike community! Our goal in the comments is to have good conversation, with “good” meaning fun, constructive, informative, entertaining, or all of the above. So, speech is free, but the MassBike website is moderated. Here are the kinds of comments that energize happy bicyclists:

  • More information about the subject of the post! If we post something, it’s because we’re genuinely interested in the subject. If you know more about it than we do, please share!
  • New developments about the subject of a post. As the old comic strip goes, “It isn’t that (we) don’t like current events. There have just been so many of them lately.”
  • Opinions that move the debate forward. Disagree with what we or another commenter has to say? Let’s hear it! But please be respectful.
  • Comments that connect the dots. We appreciate you linking the subject of one post to other posts, even (especially!) when the connection isn’t obvious!
  • Factual corrections! We make mistakes, we fix ’em.

And now, some less pleasant things that should be self-evident but we’ll note for the record:

  • Offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted.
  • Spam earns an instant ban. If you have a history of junk comments, plus promotional copy in your profile, you may be considered a spammer.
  • Sock puppets (alias accounts created by previously banned commenters for the purpose of avoiding a ban) will be banned.
  • If the bulk of your comments are whining, hostile, insulting or otherwise annoying, you may be banned.
  • Please do not make racist, sexist, anti-Semitic, homophobic, transphobic, or otherwise offensive comments.
  • Please don’t personally insult, bully, threaten, or harass the writers or your fellow commenters.
  • Please avoid using offensive words. If saying it to a stranger on the street might earn you a black eye, please don’t say it in your comment. Replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
  • Please don’t make off-topic comments about political candidates or parties for the purpose of arguing. If a political party or candidate is the subject of the post or is closely related, it’s okay to discuss political parties or candidates. But don’t do so simply to troll.
  • Please don’t include e-mail addresses, physical addresses, or phone numbers in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion, or for the purpose of harassing or publicly exposing the private data of others. Such comments will be redacted or removed.
  • Please don’t drag topics from one post to another.
  • Please don’t “hijack” comment threads to controversial topics.
  • Please don’t make the same comment in more than one thread or repeat yourself (or anyone else) in the same thread. If you accidentally double-post, don’t worry, our moderators routinely try to tidy up those sorts of errors.

General notes

  • Offensive or spam/commercial (website) user names may be banned.
  • If you give us a non-working e-mail address when you register, please don’t complain that we didn’t contact you if your account is suspended.
  • Links are allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. It’s generally OK to link to large information sites (such as Wikipedia, IMDb), news sites (NY Times, Yomiuri Shimbun, local TV stations), general technology and interesting-stuff sites (Mental Floss, Gizmodo, Neatorama), maker sites (Etsy, Make) if they’re relevant to the topic at hand.
  • Links to opinion pages on news sites are okay, but we’d much rather that you coherently voice your own opinion here.
  • Links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay (you can add this information in your user profile, instead). This helps us prevent the abuse of the comment threads for spam. You may link to a specific post on your site if it adds to (rather than repeats) the post/thread.
  • Links to commercial sites are okay if they are on-topic for the post/thread or likely to be interesting to fellow readers.
  • Links to NSFW (including gore/violence) sites are not-okay.
  • Mislabeled links are not okay and will be treated as spam.
  • Unidentified links (urls pasted without description) are not okay.
  • Links to offensive material such as racist, anti-Semitic, etc. websites, images or videos are not okay. If the intent is simply to shock or offend, it’s not okay. If the intent is to broaden discussion on a given topic with your peers, it may be okay.
  • Unwelcome links will be redacted.

Errata and attributions

  • We welcome alerts about typos, incorrect names, factual errors, and the like.
  • We generally do not correct quoted text.
  • Factual errors will be corrected if verifiable documentation is available. The correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.
  • Requests for credit or attribution may be honored if verifiable documentation is submitted. This modification is at the discretion of the author/editor of the post and may not happen immediately.

Comment policy borrowed and remixed from Thanks for being awesome!