September 14, 2003
Blog policies

The following is an enumeration of the philosophy and policies of this weblog. A link to it will be placed on the sidebar for easy reference in the future. I've avoided having one of these for a long time, but events last week have convinced me that I cannot avoid it any longer.


All of the content on this blog is sole opinion of its author, which is to say me for all of the posts (unless otherwise specified) and individual commenters for any feedback. I do not speak for anyone but myself, and I am not paid by or for anyone in any way on this blog. Linking to this blog or to a specific post on this blog does not imply agreement with or approval of anything said here, and the same is true for any links from here.


This weblog is about things that interest me. When I first started it on January 1, 2002, it was to keep a promise to myself that I would write on a regular basis. I had no idea that I was going to write so damn much about politics - I originally intended this blog to be more sports-oriented - but life is like that sometimes. The other main purpose of this blog is to have a convenient and relatively coherent archive of my writings and of news stories that I have followed. So far, I'm pretty happy with how both of these have worked out.

This blog is a personal statement, and I put a lot of time and energy into it. As much as I value my readers, I have always written for myself first, and almost always been surprised to discover that other people have enjoyed what I've written. Because it is a personal statement, I will always be the sole author. There are many fine multi-person blogs out there (I contribute to one of them), but this blog is my solo voice.


Comments are encouraged and welcomed. I'm a believer in feedback, and I believe blogs that don't have comments are missing out.

That said, this is my house. I'm paying for the domain name and the server space. This is not Usenet - I expect everyone to behave in a civil manner. Feedback and debate are only valuable if they are transmitted in a constructive fashion that attempts to engage rather than attack. I have been involved in too many mailing lists and too many comment threads on other blogs that have degenerated into continual flamewars. I will not allow that to happen here.

Therefore, I reserve the right to edit or delete comments if I believe that they are harmful to my readers, my content, or myself. I reserve the right to ban commenters who exhibit this behavior. I don't like to do this, and I don't want to be made to do this, but I will do what I must. I am not censoring you if I do this. Your right to speech does not include someone else's responsibility to provide the forum. Blogger and Blogspot are still free.

Comment spams, advertisements, and abusive behavior are all grounds for deleting and banning. I don't have a hard and fast rule for the latter, but the "my house" analogy is apt: If you behave in a manner that would cause me to ask you to leave my house, you can be sure I'll ask you to leave here as well.

UPDATE: As of November 13, 2003, I have installed and enabled Jay Allen's MT Blacklist. If for some reason you encounter any problems posting a comment now, please please please send me a note ASAP to kuff - at - offthekuff dot com and I will investigate it. Please if possible send me the text of the comment you tried to enter and the message you saw when you hit Submit.

UPDATE: As of January 2, 2004, I have configured the Blacklist to reject all comments that contain a .biz domain name. If this causes you a problem, drop me a note. Thanks.

I try to read all my comments, but I don't respond to all of them. Movable Type lets me see the last five comments left, but it doesn't identify the post they're on. If you're leaving a comment on an old post, I may not see it. Especially if you have a question related to that old post, you're much more likely to get a response via email than a comment.


I reserve the right to publish information sent to me in email. I will credit the sender in the event that I do publish it. If what you're sending me is off the record, please say so. I welcome tips and links from readers, but I cannot use all of them and may not use yours.

Editing and corrections

I will note a substantive change to any post that's made more than a short while after the post was first put up. Grammar, spelling, bad HTML and the like do not count as substantive. I sometimes hit the Publish button before I mean to, and I sometimes realize that I left out a key point afterwards, and I will note that if there's a reasonable expectation that people have already read what was originally published. I will always give credit to a reader who points out a factual error, whether in comments or via email.

Links and blogrolling

As noted above, I welcome links to stories and posts from readers, though whether or not I use them is a judgment call. I'm much more likely to link to an amazing blog post that someone has sent me if 1) it really is something that interests me, 2) has something to add to a post I've previously written, and/or 3) doesn't look like the link was spammed to every blogger in the known universe.

I'm still evolving a policy for my blogroll. I used to always give reciprocal links, but that's just not practical anymore. My blogroll is primarily there for my convenience. Even with a tool like BlogRolling, editing it is a pain and I'm pretty lazy about it. Rest assured that if I'm reading your blog, sooner or later I'll be blogrolling it.

I have added blogs to my blogroll in the past after receiving email from the author proposing a link exchange. I'm much more likely to look upon this sort of thing favorably if I get the sense that the person asking for a link is someone who already reads (and links to) this blog, and again if I don't get the sense that the asker has sent this request to every blogger out there. As with everything else here, it's pretty much a judgment call.


Like many other bloggers, I was contacted by the folks at BlogAds with the opportunity to run ads on my site. I declined at the time, mostly because I didn't want to lose my amateur status. Recent events involving Daily Kos and various Democratic campaigns have convinced me that this was the right decision for me. As noted above, I speak solely for myself. I don't want to worry about how my words might affect someone who is supporting me financially. I may change my mind at some point in the future, but for now trhis blog will remain ad-free.

Candidates and fundraising

I can and will endorse candidates for office, link to their Donations pages, and urge readers to support them in whatever way they can. At the risk of beating a dead horse, doing so does not imply any official relationship on my part to their campaigns. I'm just a guy with an opinion and a domain, OK? If at some point I do enter into any kind of formal relationship with a campaign, I will disclose it and update my policies accordingly.

Anything else?

I think that pretty much covers it. If something new comes up, or I realize I've grossly overlooked something, I'll edit this post. Posted by Charles Kuffner on September 14, 2003 to Administrivia | TrackBack

What about the "I don't like you" rationale for banning a blogger?

Posted by: PG on September 14, 2003 7:00 PM

PG, I consider the "my house" analogy to be my version of that. For what it's worth, it takes a lot to get me to dislike someone.

Posted by: Charles Kuffner on September 14, 2003 8:16 PM

Louis Wu, I suggest next time you merely scream and leap.

Posted by: Laurence Simon on September 15, 2003 8:14 AM

A semantic quibble, but I would suggest that you and I both reserve the right to "censor" (and we spell out the conditions that can result in said censorship). I concur, of course, that we are under no constitutional or other obligation to provide a forum for "free speech" (and indeed, plenty of such outlets are readily available). But there are some posts that you won't allow, and that I won't allow. When we remove those posts, I would say we've engaged in censorship.

Posted by: kevin whited on September 15, 2003 8:53 AM


I don't think you had any choice but to do this. It's sound policy and makes sense. I will make sure I respect the rules of your house.

Posted by: William Hughes on September 15, 2003 9:02 AM

Kevin - Point taken, though I still think of this as editorial judgment. I agree that the end result looks more or less the same to whoever's on the receiving end of it.

William - Thanks!

Posted by: Charles Kuffner on September 15, 2003 9:15 AM