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Our Comment Policy

There are a number of things which will get your comment flagged for review.

If your comment does not immediately appear on the site after posting, it may have been flagged for review. Please keep that in mind before resubmitting the comment multiple times or contacting us about it.

  1. Use of any of the curse words and slurs we have on our blacklist will automatically flag a comment.
  2. Using a Disqus account without a verified email address will automatically flag a comment.
  3. Fluctuations in the space time continuum. Sometimes things just get auto-flagged and we don’t know why.
  4. Comments can also be flagged for review by our readership (please do not abuse this option for those you simply disagree with, it makes our jobs harder).

There are essentially three things which will get your comment deleted.

  1. Personal attacks against another commenter or the writer of the post. This can run from name calling to sentences that include the words “people like you” or statements that begin “I bet you” or “you must/probably” etc. This is regardless of what “side” you’re on.
  2. Jokes or aggressive negative comments on the aesthetic appearance of a person (commenters, writers, and folks mentioned in an article alike).
  3. Hate speech or other clearly intentional jerk behavior. This includes, but is not limited to: the use of the word feminazi or a comment that denigrates women, feminism or feminists; broad imprecations or assumptions based on race; and anything that amounts to “ugh the gays,” “ugh liberals,” “ugh, fangirls,” etc.

There are essentially three things which will get your account banned.

  1. Engaging in any of the previously mentioned delete-worthy behaviors consistently and as part of a clear pattern OR presenting a particularly egregious example of one of those behaviors as a first comment. We normally give one warning to a user before banning unless a pattern of behavior is clear. However, if a user commits one of these behaviors as their very first comment, we reserve the right to skip that step. Disqus grants us the ability to see a commenter’s patterns of behavior on other Disqus-enabled sites as well, and we do not hesitate to consider behavior on other sites when determining whether to ban.
  2. Hate reading. If your history of commenting on The Mary Sue makes it seem like you only visit the site to start fights or specifically to disagree with us whenever we publish a post involving our core themes and for no other reason, we will ban you. Feel free to keep hate reading, but you’ll not be able to hate comment any more.
  3. It is at the editor’s discretion to ban anyone whom they determine to be a detriment to the atmosphere of the comments section.

There will be some who look at these rules and think that the moderators of The Mary Sue have too much power to shut down conversations. We have two responses to this.

First: It’s our site, we get to make the rules. We try to treat our comment section like a series of dinner parties, where our job as hosts is to foster interesting, free discussion for all our guests, not just the loudest, most assertive, scariest ones. You can be a poor conversationalist, present a different viewpoint, or talk loudly and brashly. But if you threaten, annoy, derail, or in other ways spoil the atmosphere of discussion for others, we reserve the right to not invite you back next time. If that principle is too restrictive for you, there are many other sites out there that share our coverage and have more liberal commenting rules.

Second: We ask everybody who comes to The Mary Sue to remember that conversations require listening as well as speaking. And we are firm believers in the fact that banning a commenter only prevents them from speaking, not from listening.

For those who agree with these rules, please keep in mind that we are only human. We are not sleepless technodroids, fueled by the radiation of the miniature universes housed within our quantmantium frames. If you see a comment that violates these rules, the most helpful thing you can do is to flag it, rather than commenting about how poorly moderated the thread or post is or otherwise contacting us to that effect.

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