Hello from Mr Binks

IMPORTANT NOTE: I moderate all first-time comments and validate all commenters’ email addresses. When you comment for the first time, be sure to supply your valid email address and keep an eye out for an email from me to confirm it. This won’t be instant because it’s a manual process, so please be patient.

With that important notice out of the way, here’s our commenting policy in a nutshell:

Be excellent to each other.

That’s it, really.

Easy enough, right? Thanks for reading, and don’t forget to read the rest!

Mr Binks
| The Virtual Bunsistant

Three Golden Rules

Unlike most of the sites out in the wilderness of the Internet, we have a super-strict commenting policy at Helicopter Ears, but luckily, there are only three basic rules to abide by. We believe anyone can do it.

Rule #1: Don’t be a jerk

We’re going to get into the thick of a lot of heated discussions, and that’s okay. These discussions often entail topics that we all personally care about and will passionately defend. But if you’re a jerk, you’ll be banned.

Remember to criticise ideas, not people: if you don’t have something nice to say about another commenter, don’t say it.

Rule #1: Don’t be a jerk

Comments containing any of the following will be removed regardless whose side you’re on:

  • name-calling;
  • ad hominem attacks, i.e. comments containing things such as “people like you” / “I bet you never . . . ” / “you most probably” and the like;
  • responding to a post’s tone instead of its actual content;
  • knee-jerk contradictions;
  • jokes, aggressive or negative remarks about someone’s aesthetic appearance.

Comments showing tendencies towards any type of intentionally jerk behaviour will get you banned:

  • Personal attacks and harassment will not be tolerated. If you stopped by just to say something nasty, we don’t need you.
  • Sexist, racist, misogynist, homophobic, and broad, offensive generalisations about groups of people are simply not allowed.
  • Comments or discussions written intentionally to provoke will be removed.
  • Comments that we find to be hateful, inflammatory, or harassing will also be removed.
  • It is absolutely not permitted to post anyone’s personally identifiable information!
  • Comments inciting hateful or criminal / violent behaviour, e.g. “people like that should be killed”, will get you banned.

And so on, and so forth . . . you get it.

Rule #2: Mind your language

A punchy word may make a good point better, but we advise against it. As it is with many other internet sites, this privilege is reserved for moderators only.

Rule #2: Mind your language

Comments that contain profanity are automatically held for review and will most probably be removed. Any profanity or slurs used with intention to insult, antagonise, or inflame will always be removed and the IP address, blacklisted. It’s simply not worth it, trust us.

Rule #3: Keep it pertinent. Keep it tidy.

Always strive to add value to every discussion. If you are not sure your post adds to the conversation, think over what you want to say and try again later.

Rule #3: Keep it pertinent. Keep it tidy.
  • No self-promotion of any kind. All comments containing links will be held for moderation, but if your comment that contains only a link or is posted with intention to promote your blog, a product, or your article on another site, it will be removed and you will be banned. If you’d like us to promote your work / your book / your website, please contact us.
  • Saying it once is enough. Don’t cross-post the same thing multiple times. Our anti-spam system will simply block you. Forever. Caput.
  • Don’t post off-topic. Commenting on a piece of content means you are commenting on the content: commenting is not the right way to get our attention if you need to contact us about something else. If you need to talk about anything other than a piece of content on our website, please contact us instead.
  • Do not post contact information. This may sound obvious, but it’s been done: do not post mobile numbers or addresses (email or postal) in the body of the comment. The email address you enter into the Email field of the comment form will never be published.
  • Don’t plagiarise someone else’s work. If you didn’t write it or haven’t properly cited the article you’re quoting, don’t post it.

Useful notes

Moderation

We moderate all first-time comments and all comments containing links.

Comments containing certain words or phrases may also be held for moderation. If your comment does not immediately appear on our website, it has most probably been flagged for review. Do not get upset, punch your screen or launch your phone across the room. Be patient. Give us a chance. Unless your comment violates this policy, it will appear. Don’t post it twice. And definitely don’t post it more than twice—because our anti-spam software will block you.

Delete-worthy behaviours

The above list of delete-worthy behaviours is not by any means exhaustive. We may add to it as we please, and that’s okay: this is our site, after all.

You don’t need to be a repeat offender to get banned, and violating any of the Three Golden Rules above as your first-time comment is a sure road to getting blacklisted.

In addition, Disqus gives us the ability to see a commenter’s patterns of behaviour on other sites. So, keep it in mind we may ban you simply for being mean elsewhere.

Other tips

Don’t make out you’re cleverer than you actually are

We value everyone’s contribution. We want to hear if there’s a better way to do something or we’re sorely mistaken. But please don’t make out you are a vet to add weight to your opinion. Backing it up by citing valid research adds weight to it. Putting it in capital letters and saying you’re a vet doesn’t.

Opinions differ, and that’s okay

Don’t assume what we recommend is wrong simply because another organisation / vet / rescue has an opinion different from ours. These are called opinions for a reason. Do your own research. We do ours. And don’t be afraid to think for yourself.

Don’t argue all day

If you are having a “discussion” and comments have gone into double digits, consider stepping away from the computer rather than dedicating hours to convincing someone they’re wrong.

If you see a problem, flag and move on

Engaging with trolls may seem like fun short-term, but in the long run, it creates us more problems. They’re not worth your time or effort. If you see a problem with a comment, please flag it for review. Nothing more needs to be done.

English Only

We currently only support English-only discussions. Non-English language comments will be removed.

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