DSN Commenting Policy

Image courtesy of Shutterstock. The actual DSN house is neither this cute or clean.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock. The actual DSN house is neither this cute or clean.

Deep-Sea News is our house. We have invited you here eagerly to participate in the conversation and we encourage you to do so. However, we like to keep our house neat and expect visitors to display a certain level of decorum. We have laid out a simple set of rules that we expect our commenters to adhere to. Otherwise, you will lose your DSN house privileges.  We were of course inspired by a series of interesting comments on our Fukushima posts and a very timely article at ArsTechnica on moderating climate change discussions.  The ArsTechnica commenting policy has greatly influenced our rules below.

  1. No posting comments that are off topic. For example, if we post about radiation on the U.S. west coast, comments regarding lack of a Japanese governmental oversight of Fukushima is off topic.
  2. No psuedoscience or unsubstantiated claims. Our comments section is not a forum for unscientific views to be expressed. Claims must be backed up with references in the form of credible new sources and scientific literature.
  3. No trolling. If your comment is purposely inflammatory with the goal of upsetting others, it will be deleted.  Attacking others of the DSN community will not be tolerated.  Even if your comment has substance, if personal attacks are included it will be deleted.
  4. Ad hominem and personal attacks are not permitted. Be tough on ideas not on people.  Ad hominem attacks are “a claim or argument [that] is rejected on the basis of some irrelevant fact about the author of or the person presenting the claim or argument”.  Verbal abuse will result in banishment. “You are wrong” is not a personal attack; “You are wrong because you are an idiot” is.
  5. No pornographic, sexually offensive, sexually explicit, or objectifying material. Simple rule. Our judgment applies here.
  6. Respect the privacy of others. Do not post other’s private phone numbers, addresses, pictures, etc., without their express permission.
  7. No spamming. No commercial-oriented posts, and no flooding with useless content or content designed to engage readers into trolling other sites. This includes extraneous linking to your personal blog, project, or commercial product.
  8. No puppet galleries. Each commenter should only have one account. We will not allow “puppet galleries” where a single person makes comments posing as different people.
  9. No hijacking the commentary. We want to give everyone the chance to participate, so if your conversation could be published as a historical novel, we will have to cut you off so everyone’s voices can be heard.
  10. This is a safe place to correct us. We do our research and try to bring the most up to date, scientifically accurate information possible, but even we make mistakes.  It is safe (with scientifically legitimate proof, see rule #2) to correct us if you believe we have something wrong (like numbers or equations). Likewise, if you see spelling and grammatical errors please feel free to point them out.  We simply ask you to do this in a friendly and respectable manner. 
Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Dr. M (1720 Posts)

Craig McClain is the Assistant Director of Science for the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center, created to facilitate research to address fundamental questions in evolutionary science. He has conducted deep-sea research for 11 years and published over 40 papers in the area. He has participated in dozens of expeditions taking him to the Antarctic and the most remote regions of the Pacific and Atlantic. Craig’s research focuses mainly on marine systems and particularly the biology of body size, biodiversity, and energy flow. He focuses often on deep-sea systems as a natural test of the consequences of energy limitation on biological systems. He is the author and chief editor of Deep-Sea News, a popular deep-sea themed blog, rated the number one ocean blog on the web and winner of numerous awards. Craig’s popular writing has been featured in Cosmos, Science Illustrated, American Scientist, Wired, Mental Floss, and the Open Lab: The Best Science Writing on the Web.

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