This is where we’re supposed to tell you how to behave when you comment on our site. But we don’t want to assume y’all don’t know how to behave in civilized society. Because, come on, you don’t need a “commenting policy” in life, right, so why do you need one here?

So, let’s just start with this: Don’t be a jerk, don’t be boring, and don’t be abusive to your fellow commenters or the author of the piece on which you’re commenting.

If you have an issue with a point being made, make it. But remarks on usage, grammar, and typos just makes you look like an overly-literal tool (if you care that much, email us). Be funny, be smart, have a conversation or make an observation.

Say you make a comment, and it’s poorly received. DO NOT create another persona to then “chime in” to agree with you. This is called sock puppeting, it’s completely unacceptable (and more than a little sad) and will get you and your alternate personalities banned immediately.

Don’t call people names! It is crazy we have to even say this — after all, aren’t we all adults here? But calling a fellow commenter, a reporter, or the publication an idiot or an asshole or whatever isn’t acceptable. We’re sure you’re smart enough that you can make your point without resorting to insults.

Don’t say racist, homophobic, or otherwise bigoted shit. YES, like saying that the traits of one person is indicative of an entire group of people. Think that’s “too PC”? We think you might be more comfortable here, then. Bye!

Oh, yeah, you can swear. We’re cool with that.

It’s fine if you don’t like a reporter or a columnist or a commenter. But making abusive comments (which, yes, is prohibited, see above), especially on a regular basis (like every time that person posts) isn’t just creepy and weird, it’s a violation of our terms of use, and will get you banned. Harassing Appeal contributors or Appeal commenters is not something we tolerate.

Threats or encouragement of violence, implied or stated, won’t be tolerated. Here’s an example: “The cops should shoot him” or “I will shoot her if I see her.”

Oh, and don’t post variations on “slow news day” or whatever, on an article you think is unworthy. If it’s that unworthy, and you comment on it, you’re just encouraging us (and are probably increasing our pageviews). Also, this is the internet — we don’t have a print newshole to fill! So by commenting thusly, you make yourself look silly twice. Do you really want to do that?

Before you cry “censorship” about any of the above policies, please understand this: Censorship is practiced by government, religious or political authorities to prevent, alter, or delay publication (or dissemination) of the press. It is not censorship when a business does not voluntarily carry a product, or host an account, that violates its Terms or is used in a harassing, threatening or harmful manner. No one has a “right” to have a comment account on any website, news or otherwise — especially when the account breaks the rules.