New to Whaleoil? Unsure of the rules? Scared to comment?

Mod and admin enquiries:

Whaleoil has done its best to make our rules as clear as possible, but we have to be flexible too, as things are constantly changing. We realise that some of our rules are a little fuzzy around the edges. We also realise that this may make new readers of Whaleoil hesitant to comment because they are unsure of exactly where the boundaries lie and because our mods are a formidable team.

The Whaleoil Moderation team

Our solution to this problem is a Mod and Admin enquiries weekly post. The moderation team put their heads together and decided that once a week this post will act as a resource for all readers and commenters who have questions about moderation and who want guidance on what is acceptable and what is not.

This weekly column will be a safe place to get the information and guidance you need without risking making a mistake out on the other posts.

Over time we hope to use what we learn from readers’ questions to further refine our ten commandments and the details around our rules, to make it as easy as possible for people to contribute positively to Whaleoil without risking deletion or a short term or long term ban.

What this column is NOT, however, is a place to complain about the Mods or to be rude. Its purpose is constructive. Ask in the comment section what you want to know and one of the Mods will answer your question.

Previous questions and answers from this column are below:

Question😕I was wondering about posting relevant links to other sites. This can be important to back up a comment, but it also promotes our competitors.

Answer:?“Our competitors” is the key there. In very general terms we can’t think of many good reasons to link to our ‘competitors’, and particularly those who are hostile and seemingly bent out of shape about WO’s existence. Why would we?

That said, sometimes, an entire thread here may be based on another site’s post if an important issue has been raised, but outside that we don’t obsess about them, like some of them do about us.

I should add if it wasn’t obvious that general…er… ‘news’ sites, are OK, it’s specifically the political blogs that are being referred to.?

Question: Why are the Mods after us if we stick to one topic? What’s wrong with being obsessive? 

Answer: By all means be obsessed with one topic but don?t dominate the conversation. Look at it as, do you want to be the person who turns up at every function going on about the same old thing? People slowly get turned off and walk away. And at the end of the day, there is only one person left having a conversation with themselves.

Question: I read the Times every day, and occasionally in the comments people will express exasperation with the initials WTF and FFS without being moderated out. I haven’t used them, but in certain circumstances they can be quite useful.

Answer: Essentially it’s a foot in the door and a case of nipping it in the bud. Using letters like that is swearing, and if the mods starting allowing it people would just get cute and it would be a free for all again.

Question: I have no problem with sorting out any mod issues by email. However, having once been banned some years ago (under another name) for criticising a disgusting non-mod comment by a mod no longer here, I still remain cautious about what I say at times.?

Answer: Yeah, hey look? While that mod taught me everything I know and I have used his wisdom (he really was a genius at what he did) to train the others, we have a completely different approach. Our fuses are much longer.1

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