Blog archive

How to get your comments rejected

rejected stamp

As the editor who most often moderates submitted reader comments, I'm sensitive to allegations that FCW is censoring certain points of view. In fact, while I have not done a close count, I think that probably 85 percent or more of the comments I evaluate end up on the site. The few that don't have some easily identified characteristics that earn a click of the "delete" button.

It may be helpful, therefore, for me to tell you a little a bit about the things that will make me reject a comment.

Obvious spam or self-promotion. We want you to express your opinions; we don't want you to use our comment space to sell your products, promote your blog or company, or entice our users to click on links to who knows where.

Foul language. Come on, your momma raised you better. If you can't express your opinion without using dialog from a Quentin Tarantino script, you can't express it here.

Personal attacks. Lately, some of our stories have drawn large numbers of comments that are aimed directly at people involved in the stories. Our reporting on the Veterans Affairs Department's IT troubles is a good example of this. If you want to criticize an official based on documented facts you cite, we'll likely publish it -- especially if it helps to put the story in context. If, however, you just want to rant about someone being incompetent, unethical or "weird" (as one commenter put it), go elsewhere.

False identification. We do not require our commenters to identify themselves, but do require them to identify themselves truthfully if they do at all. One's email address is never published, and including a valid address will help me to verify your identity or answer other questions that might be holding up approval.

Conversation Domination. When I see multiple comments from the same person in the same day, I will probably pick one or maybe two of them to approve and delete the rest, even if they otherwise meet the criteria for acceptance. The comments section should be a conversation among readers, not one or two voices holding forth.

Off-topic comments. There are comments that do not include any of the above transgressions, but still don't pass muster. If your comment is not germane to the story to which you're posting it, I probably won't use it – not because there is anything wrong with it, but because it doesn't further that particular conversation.

As a general rule, if your comment is on-topic, cordial and focused on the issue rather than swiping at people, it will appear. Moderated comments serve the reader by ensuring the comment threads provide a useful and engaging discussion, not just a series of tirades. We hope you appreciate it, and we hope that those of you who read without commenting will consider joining the discussions.

Posted by Michael Hardy on Jul 31, 2013 at 11:21 AM

FCW in Print

In the latest issue: Looking back on three decades of big stories in federal IT.


  • Anne Rung -- Commerce Department Photo

    Exit interview with Anne Rung

    The government's departing top acquisition official said she leaves behind a solid foundation on which to build more effective and efficient federal IT.

  • Charles Phalen

    Administration appoints first head of NBIB

    The National Background Investigations Bureau announced the appointment of its first director as the agency prepares to take over processing government background checks.

  • Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.)

    Senator: Rigid hiring process pushes millennials from federal work

    Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) said agencies are missing out on younger workers because of the government's rigidity, particularly its protracted hiring process.

  • FCW @ 30 GPS

    FCW @ 30

    Since 1987, FCW has covered it all -- the major contracts, the disruptive technologies, the picayune scandals and the many, many people who make federal IT function. Here's a look back at six of the most significant stories.

  • Shutterstock image.

    A 'minibus' appropriations package could be in the cards

    A short-term funding bill is expected by Sept. 30 to keep the federal government operating through early December, but after that the options get more complicated.

  • Defense Secretary Ash Carter speaks at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco

    DOD launches new tech hub in Austin

    The DOD is opening a new Defense Innovation Unit Experimental office in Austin, Texas, while Congress debates legislation that could defund DIUx.

Reader comments

Thu, Aug 1, 2013 GSA Emp1

I have no problem with these criteria and imagine most people don't. In fact, it's nice to see other's ideas on a subject and not have to wade through off-subject or unnecessarily crass comments.

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group