Health and Science News for Parents
Jun
5

Housekeeping: New pages, comments policy and more

written by Tara Haelle

It’s taken way too long, but I have finally gotten around to adding a few pages to this blog, including updates to the About page, a new FAQ & Disclosures page that contains any potential disclosures and conflicts of interest, a New Parents page with some recommended posts, and a Comments Policy page. I still plan to add a page with vaccine posts and resources, but that will be down the road. In the meantime, I’ve reprinted my commenting policy below, which I hope all readers will take the time to review.

Comments Policy

This is an evidence-based blog. I am familiar with evidence in social psychology and science communication research regarding how human brains process information, make decisions, defend their viewpoints and change their minds (or don’t). Therefore, I moderate all comments while recognizing the responsibility that entails. I do not delete or not approve comments if I simply disagree with them; in fact, I welcome respectful, passionate debate, critique and corrections. However, if you want your comment published, focus on speaking to the issue at hand and avoid demeaning language, dismissive comments and other forms of disrespect.

Comic used under the Creative Commons license from xkcd. Original at http://xkcd.com/386/

Comic used under the Creative Commons license from xkcd. Original at http://xkcd.com/386/

All first-time commenters comments will be held for moderation. Be patient: sometimes it may take me several hours or even several days to get to moderation. This blog also utilizes caching plug-ins, so sometimes it may take several hours for an approved comment to show up.

I do not publish all comments, and I do not make apologies or explanations for not publishing a comment. Free speech applies to state agencies, not to private entities or to this space. This blog is my space, and I reserve the right to exert complete control over what shows up on it. I also reserve the right to delete comments after they appear, to edit comments (which I will note in the comment itself) and to refuse to delete comments (if you don’t want here it here forever and for always, don’t leave it).

Due to the research on the impact of polarization in comments and inaccurate information in comments, I do not approve comments containing misleading or inaccurate information. I will delete comments containing pseudoscience or linking to evidence, studies or other sites in the following circumstances:

  • a commenter misinterprets a study to reach a non-evidence-based and/or inaccurate conclusion
  • cherry-picked studies (especially case studies) are used to reach an unlikely or inaccurate conclusion that is contradicted by stronger evidence and/or the scientific consensus on an issue (if a consensus exists on that issue)
  • a cited study was conducted by non-credible, non-reliable and/or non-peer-reviewed researchers
  • a study is irrelevant to the post and is likely to confuse or mislead other readers
  • the link goes to a non-evidence-based site with misleading or inaccurate information, such as Natural News, Mercola, Healthy Home Economist, GreenMedInfo and similar sites

Don’t like it? There are plenty of other places to spread your misinformation and pseudoscience, so don’t bother yourself with my site.

I am also unlikely to approve, or I may edit down, off-topic comments or lengthy diatribes. The comments section is not a place for you to write your own complete blog post, tout conspiracy theories or lay out your extensive theories on a topic. If you wish to do that, write your own blog.

Comment may also not be approved or may be deleted or edited if they include any of the following:

  • Vulgar or abusive language
  • Personal attacks of any kind (ad hominems)
  • Unsupported accusations
  • Offensive terms that criticize individuals based upon race/ethnicity/nationality, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, neurostatus, etc.
  • Spam or unsolicited advertisements
  • Marketing copy or links promoting services or products
  • Off-topic rants

Trolls, including concern trolls, are not tolerated.

A reminder: I do not (gasp!) work for any pharma/medical industry-related entities. I do not and have not ever received a single check from a pharmaceutical company. Comments alleging that I do will be laughed at, perhaps posted on social media to be mocked and then deleted.

If you have a question about why your comment was edited, removed or unapproved, please use the email addresses provided in our About pages to contact us. I may not respond to all requests if I suspect the email is from a troll, including concern trolls.

 

I consulted comment policies from the following blogs in developing mine:

 

 

One Response to “Housekeeping: New pages, comments policy and more”

  1. Theresa

    I love your blog and this thoughtful, no-nonsense statement of policy is an excellent example. Thank you for championing fact and studied consideration over soundbites and diatribes!

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