Comments Policy

The comments section is a conversation hosted in The Yountvillian’s space. That means that commenting is a privilege, not a right. You are entitled to your informed opinion.

We welcome commentators who are engaged, thoughtful, adhere to high standards regarding the quality of information and analysis, and steer clear of abuse or intellectually invalid argumentation strategies.

We invite comments and accept any reasonable or constructive comment that contributes to debate and stimulates conversation, including strong criticisms. We prefer to keep the comments section as open as possible, but The Yountvillian is not a chat board or a forum. The overarching requirement is that you comment in good faith to advance your understanding and that of other readers. We might also engage in comments frequently, often to keep discussions from going off the rails.

We invite you into our space because your comments are often at least as informative as our posts, and they can be funny too. You can keep us on our toes and graciously correct our misspellings and wrong links. To keep the conversation civil and informative, we have found that we have to establish and enforce guidelines. 

While in finance and economics, laypeople are generally aware of the limits of their knowledge and usually flag speculation. In politics, too many think mere personal opinions and feelings have merit, so far as the comments section is concerned. Comments policy has always been an exception to our equitable orientation.

And as we would often say, GYOFB.

Typical violations:

1) Broken record: Repeating the same point over and over again, especially when it’s long been refuted. That includes taking an argument rebutted on one post and repeating the same statement on another post.

2) Not reading the post: Reacting only to the headline of a post, or not reading through to the end.

3) Bad faith: Deploying any of a long list of rhetorical tricks that are all about winning instead of converting.

The most common is straw-manning, as in misrepresenting what a post or comment author said. That includes speaking on someone else’s behalf.

4) Insulting your hosts and fellow commenters: These discussions take place in The Yountvillian’s space. So don’t be rude to The Yountvillian or any poster.

5) Rude and offensive language: The Yountvillian likes to swear (and will refrain from doing it here), but if your comment includes objectionable or inappropriate language, it may be deleted. Avoid racist ranting.

Other violations include but are not limited to: 

  • ad hominem attacks
  • hogging bandwidth
  • assignments/demands (asking/telling post authors or site admins to Do Something other than fix typos or broken HTML)
  • sock-puppeting yourself
  • link-whoring
  • thread-jacking
  • jailbreaking
  • acting as a self-appointed moderator and/or complaining about moderation policy
  • agnotology or other forms of making stuff up
  • tag-teaming
  • and a high invective-to-content ratio.

It too often occurs that those who are unable to defend their views fall back on these above tactics, which leads them to rationalize having been moderated or banned as being due to their opinions instead of bad behavior.

Filtering and Moderation

WARNING: The Internet is an aggressive computing environment. Always copy your comment before pressing the Submit button. That way, if your comment does not appear for some reason, you will not have lost it.

Spam

The Yountvillian comments are filtered for spam using Akismet. We have no control over Akismet.

Akismet operates algorithmically. If you act like a spammer, Akismet will classify you as a spammer and throw and keep throwing your comments into the spam bucket, which is so overwhelmingly full of real spam that we won’t have time to fish them out.

Therefore, don’t train Akismet to think you are a spammer! Don’t post duplicate (or very similar) comments because that’s what spammers do. And don’t post with more than four links.

Moderation

If your comment triggers a tripwire, it will be routed to our moderation team and not posted for public view until it has been checked. This may take up to 24 hours, depending on workload.

“Why hasn’t my comment appeared?”

Most comments appear immediately, but because we have implemented caching to improve site performance, your comment may take as long as two minutes to appear. So wait, and refresh your page. Otherwise:

1) “We don’t know.” Akismet moves in mysterious ways.

2) “We don’t know.” WordPress has an intermittent bug that causes some comments to vanish into the ether, including even site administrators.

3) “Your comment triggered a moderation tripwire.” See “Moderation” above.

Unfortunately, even commenters in good standing hit those tripwires. Your best course of action is to do nothing and wait until our team can clear the moderation queues, at which point your comment should appear.

4) “You have been banned.” See “Banning” below.

Banning

Anyone who violates this comment policy may be banned from commenting on The Yountvillian. Banning may be temporary or permanent.

In some circumstances, we may send a commenter an email at the address provided. If this leads to a constructive exchange, the matter may be resolved without further consequences.

Temporary banning: We may temporarily ban a commenter and find a review of their subsequent comments that the violation was an outlier. We will then restore their commenting privileges. WARNING: We invest a lot of time thinking through these decisions, far more than you might imagine. The quickest way to convert your temporary ban into a permanent one is to complain about the moderation policy.

Permanent banning: Once a commenter is permanently banned, their comments are never reviewed, and they can never comment at TY again. If you test us by trying to jailbreak, we may expunge all the comments you have ever made at TY.

Keyword banning: The inclusion of certain words will lead a comment to be routed directly to our Trash folder, irrespective of the status of the person who provided it. So don’t take it personally if a comment does not appear upon occasion. 

Expunging Comments

Our strong preference is to be as light touch as possible. Our focus is to remove exceptionally offensive comments.  And out of bounds comments will be heavily scrutinized.

Unfortunately, our comments section’s nesting feature means that we have to remove all replies painstakingly if we remove an abusive comment. Otherwise, nesting will fail on all subsequent comments on that post. So please don’t feed the trolls! And don’t take it personally if we disappeared your comment due to exorcising a bad thread. 

Our decisions concerning individual comments and the status of a commentator are final.

Sanity Clause

The Yountvillian reserves the right to edit, delete, move, or mark as spam any comments. The Yountvillian has the right to bar any individual or group of people from commenting. The Yountvillian has the right to turn off comments for any or all posts.

Commenting on The Yountvillian is deemed acceptance of these policies.

In- Depth Articles: Town Use Permits

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    This week, we continue the conversation about what it takes to do business in Yountville.

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