Comments Policy

As in all online fora, the LP commentariat has over time developed its own netiquette, its own style of engaging – if you’re unfamiliar with the golden rule of “lurking before you leap” online? Then you should probably read our Netiquette FAQ.

Readers are most welcome to comment and debate. Rational disagreement and constructive interchange is thoroughly encouraged. However, commentors are expected to comply with our rules of engagement.

Comments are subject to moderation

Our blog, our discretion.

No public discussion will be entered into regarding moderation decisions. If readers or commenters have queries about this policy, they may email the site or its contributors.
n.b. commentors who whinge repeatedly in their comment submissions about being in moderation even though (because?) they know those comments will never be published will be considered vexatiously obtuse: their commenting privileges will be revoked entirely.


Certain commenting behaviours are considered unacceptable (see below) and such comments are liable to be manually moderated (the automoderator, part of our spam defence, has a mind of its own).

While we realise that anyone can slip into an ill-judged remark at times, repeated unacceptable comments will be regarded as a form of trolling and summarily deleted. Repeat offenders may have their IP address placed in moderation or be IP-banned from the site.

Commenters may also be limited to a certain number of comments within a specified timeframe until they give evidence that their behaviour conforms to the site’s policies. Commenters may also be explicitly required to agree to abide by the comments policy.

Individual thread authors have a wide discretion on the interpretation of these guidelines.

Basic etiquette

  • Please try to stay reasonably germane to the topic [although we recognise the anarchic nature of many comments threads].
  • Please provide a genuine email address should we wish to get in touch regarding any aspect of this policy.
  • Pseudonyms are welcome so long as a good-faith attempt at maintaining consistency of identity is made (more below). Posters who have registered gravatars have an advantage in maintaining a consistent identity while using pseudonyms as they see fit.


Any comment judged unacceptable may be deleted at the discretion of moderators. Unacceptable comments include but may not be limited to:

  • Off-topic general political remarks [ie denunciations of political parties, ideologies or politicians].
  • Vexatious and purely abusive comments.
  • Excessively frequent comments, where the effect of such comments is to discourage the participation of others or turn a debate around into one about themselves.
  • Excessively long comments, which break up the give and take of discourse. Please post such screeds on your own blog and post a summary in comments with a link to your own post. Rule of thumb: think hard before adding a fourth paragraph to your comment – rewrite it for brevity and clarity.
  • Imputing ideas or motives to others or stereotyping them because of perceived group membership or ideological affiliation.
  • Consistently repeated and aggressively stated opinions which fail to engage with others is regarded as a form of trolling.
  • Comments which are designed to derail threads.
  • Abuse of traditional Larvatus Prodeo pseudonym play, as explained below.

Playing with pseudonyms

There is a tradition on LP of posters morphing their monikers in the spirit of playful silliness by changing the text in the [name] field when they post a comment. We all enjoy this facet of the LP commentariat and invite all commenters to play along. However, it’s basic courtesy to make it easy for other readers to know who you are when moniker-morphing through one or more of these options (depending upon your preference) for maintaining a consistent online identity:

  • linking to your own blog/website in the ID field
  • registering a distinctive gravatar to the email address you use for commenting (they don’t ask for your “real” ID to register one, just the ‘nym on the email account)
  • signing your usual ‘nym at the end of your comment

However, anyone considered to be abusing the privilege of moniker-morphing is liable to moderation.

  • Sockpuppeting is unacceptable.
  • Metacommentary/editorialising regarding other commenters or LP contributors/policies belongs in the comment body, not the [name] field.

Legal note

The opinions expressed in comments threads are entirely the responsibility of the various contributors. While we will do everything within reason to ensure that they are not defamatory, we accept no liability for them or the content of links included in them.

Responsibility for electoral comment is taken by Mark Bahnisch, New Farm, Queensland.