Comments policy

I’m not going to write anything complicated, because does anyone read these things? It’s really just common sense. However, if you really want to know …

Content of comments

As you should be aware by now, this is a blog which reviews plays that are good. If I don’t like a play, it normally won’t be reviewed at all. However, I’m more relaxed about comments. Negative comments about plays I’ve reviewed are allowed, provided they are constructive. As a rule of the thumb, if you didn’t like the play you should at least give some idea of what could have been done better. How strictly I enforce this will depend on how big the company in question is. Big professional companies ought to be able to deal with flak when they disappoint their audiences, but the same amount of sniping directed at small amateur company will be looked on dimly.

No personal attacks, please. Any comments who direct their criticism at people rather than their work on stage will be deleted on sight. In particular, I strongly believe in the right of actors, writers and directors to respond to any criticism, either from me or other comments. If you berate someone simply for exercising the right of reply, I may block you.

Try to keep comments concise. In the words of the great Ben Goldacre, if your comment is over 1,000 words long, you are officially a loser. Please keep comments relevant to the topic of the blog post. If you want to comment on a play I’ve not written about, find another blog.

Moderation and trackbacks

This uses the default WordPress settings: your first post is moderated, and, if approved, subsequent posts are allowed automatically. Please help me keep it this way by refraining from posting crap after I’ve approved your first comment.

If your comment doesn’t appear, and you weren’t breaking any of the rules, there’s a chance your comment has been eaten by the spam filter. I try to check the spam bin, but with so much spam in there I might let the odd bona fide comment pass me by. Drop me a line and I’ll fish the comment out for you.

Trackbacks are enabled,  which means that any other WordPress blog posts that link to this (or any other blog that supports this) will appear in the comments section as a trackback, subject to moderation. I will normally approve trackbacks unless it’s a blatant spam exercise (i.e. a blog that links to mine for no apparent reason except to draw attention to their own blog).

I reserve the right to close off trackbacks if there’s a discussion going on and the trackbacks might swamp the comments. Not expecting to need to do this any time soon, but you never know.

Anonymity

Anonymity is allowed on this site but discouraged. I’ve come to accept that, with numerous people considering threats or trying to get people fired a legitimate response to opinions somebody doesn’t like, there are good reasons why you may want to keep your identity secret. But I generally have a lot more respect for people who are prepared to stand by criticisms in person.

In particular, I have no time for people who think internet anonymity is some sort of god-given right to snipe away with impunity. There’s always a grey area between valid criticism and personal attacks, but I will not give the benefit of the doubt to people who doesn’t have the guts to use their own names.

Abuse of anonymity is definitely not allowed. If I find out you’re hiding something – such as posting under multiple identities, praising a play whilst hiding the fact you’re in the cast, or making anonymous attacks against a rival company – I will expose you. I get to see your IP addresses and I’m not afraid to use it to rumble you. My blog, my rules.

Closing comments

Comments on posts normally remain open, but I expect comments on reviews to be made within a reasonable amount of time after the play was performed and reviewed. As a rule of thumb, comments on plays reviewed more than one year ago will probably be rejected.

Comments on other articles are generally accepted indefinitely, but please used some common sense. In general, if it relates to something that happened years ago, the matter is closed.

Comments will normally only be closed manually if there is a reason to do so, such as spam or flame wars – I don’t have time to go through old posts and close them after set periods of time. If, for any reason, you want to comment on an old closed post, Contact me and I may re-open it if you give a good reason.

And I think that’s everything. Happy commenting.


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