Updated Guidelines for Commenting on WOLF STREET

Dear Readers and Commenters,

I posted the original guidelines nearly five years ago. So time for an update. I added a few new guidelines and clarified others. I also added a new privacy and screen-name section at the bottom.

The comment section is a living room where interesting and knowledgeable people share views and disagreements in a fact-based and civil manner. It’s a key part of WOLF STREET, thanks to the many informed and thoughtful commenters. It’s where people add their experience, knowledge, data, or points of view, or where they ask related questions that we as a group can try to answer. Many readers come to just read the comments — that’s how good the comments are.

I answer many questions in the comments, and I try to explain stuff, and I let my hair down and go out on limbs to talk about stuff I wouldn’t talk about in the article.

So if you haven’t read the comments yet, it’s time to check them out.

The comment section can also be used to point out errors and typos in the articles. I appreciate that. I use autocorrect to save time, but the results can be hilarious. Humor is always good.

When I moderate comments, I routinely tread fine lines, navigate gray areas, cling to slippery slopes, and walk across thin ice. And not always successfully. But that comes with the territory, as they say.

Guidelines:

1. Do not comment on what you imagine the article says based on the headline or the first paragraph. If you haven’t read the entire article, do not comment on the article itself because you don’t know what it says, and your imagination is likely wrong. A comment will go into the shredder if it’s clear to me that a commenter is discussing, or especially arguing with, what they think the article said, when the article didn’t say it (the shredder replaces the tag “RTGDFA”).

2. If you didn’t read the article and want to comment, great, no problem, many commenters do, but make sure it’s not about what you think the article said. Your comment could be an anecdote, experiences, or observations related more or less to the topic, and that’s always welcome.

3. When commenting, we check our political views at the door. WOLF STREET is a business, finance, and economics site, not a political site. Readers from across the political spectrum are invited and should feel comfortable. It’s OK to mention politicians and policy issues. It’s not OK to descend into partisan bickering.

4. Try to stay somewhere near the topic, if possible.

5. The comment section is not a link dump. A link to a source when needed, or when asked for by another commenter, is encouraged. I remove most other links. When a comment is a one-liner and a clickbait link, the entire comment gets shredded.

6. If about 5% of the comments under one article are yours, it’s time to back off. So if the article has 80 comments and 4 are yours, it’s time to slow down. If you’re in a constructive discussion with another commenter, some back and forth is OK. But once this discussion is starting to hog the comment section, or becomes argumentative, both ends may get blocked.

7. If comments by the same commenter keep saying the same thing, they become a “broken record,” and broken records are tossed out. They may also be “trolling,” which would violate guideline #11.

8. Comments that are in bad faith, badger other commenters, or attack other commenters ad hominem may go into the shredder. If you criticize, please target the comment, not the person.

9. Comments that insult our authors or other commenters are shredded. This includes terms of endearment, such as “libtard” or “fascist.”

10. No name-calling of officials, politicians, cities, and states. Use the correct names. Stay away from descriptors, nicknames, and pejoratives. Comparisons of current figures to Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, etc. are automatically deleted.

11. Industry propaganda, market propaganda, other propaganda, trolling, trying to abuse the comments section to spread lies and BS, promotions of any kind, “etc.” are not tolerated. But what the heck is “etc.”? I know it when I see it.

12. Don’t point out typos in the comments posted by other commenters. But it’s OK to point out typos in your own comment, especially if it’s important for the understanding of your comment (a missing “not” can be very confusing).

13. WOLF STREET is not a history website and it’s not a war website. It’s not the place to discuss theories about 9/11, assassinations, CIA actions in the 1970s, the Civil War, WW 1, WW 2, WW 3, a “coming” civil war, nuclear war, etc., what might have caused them, or what might cause the next one. No Hitler-ing, no Nazi-anything, no tank battles.

14. Other triggers for blocking: Religion, race, sex, and similar topics; generation-bashing; calling for, or threatening, violence against anyone.

15. WOLF STREET does not tolerate hateful speech or bigotry. Violators will be permanently barred from commenting.

Please be patient if your comment ends up in moderation.

A set of tripwires occasionally sends perfectly good comments into moderation where they may languish until I get to them.

The spam filter, which I don’t control, also sends some perfectly good comments into moderation. Among other things, it looks at how the comment is routed through the internet. If the comment is routed through an internet server that has been flagged for issuing spam or malicious content, your comment may routinely end up in moderation.  My apologies. And please be patient.

Screen names, logins, and your privacy.

Please use a screen name that is somewhat unique. If you want to use “Mike,” it gets very confusing because there are other “Mike” commenters. Add something to “Mike,” such as “Mike001.”

To protect your privacy, I recommend: Use an alias to log in, instead of your real name. Use an anonymous email that is used exclusively for comments, etc. but is not for personal use. A fake email to log in works just fine.

Enjoy reading WOLF STREET and want to support it? Using ad blockers – I totally get why – but want to support the site? You can donate. I appreciate it immensely. Click on the beer and iced-tea mug to find out how:

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  125 comments for “Updated Guidelines for Commenting on WOLF STREET

  1. The Bob who cried Wolf says:

    I’m a case study in moderated comments, wouldn’t you agree, Wolf? I’ve been on my best behavior of late, though (I think)
    Thanks for putting up with me and for the great site.

    • Wolf Richter says:

      You’re an example of the spam filter misbehaving, not the commenter. Please be patient. I don’t control the spam filter. Often this resolves on its own after a while.

      • The Bob who cried Wolf says:

        I do find a certain sense of irony that I ended up the first comment on this post. It seems it was calling me.

        Here’s an example of a complete violation of rule 4: SAN DIEGO REAL ESTATE IS DIFFERENT. That would be a hijack of the thread, not that I’ve ever hijacked a thread.

      • VintageVNvet says:

        WONDER FULL update, and I for one, in spite of some of my comments being ”moderated OUT” agree SO much.
        Going to add even more to my twice a year donation/contribution based on this Great update…
        Wishing you and yours the very best,,, including ALL the wonder full commenters on here previously doing their best to ”tell it like it is” while at least trying to keep our ”stuff” within these and the former comment guides.

      • Shandy says:

        Let me not forget “nattering nabobs of negativity.”
        – The Mouth that Roared aka Mr. Spiro Agnew

    • Bobby Dale says:

      When I post from my phone with “hide my IP address” I get moderated, otherwise very rarely, only when I do stupid stuff.
      These rules are sensible and make the comments here readable, unlike most every other site on the inner tubes.
      Y’all are great, and Wolf should be much more widely commended, unfortunately that would lead to many more commenters of the type which make other sites unbearable.
      And the auto correct of loser > looser absolutely annoys me. But that’s life.
      THANKS WOLF!

  2. Mumbo_jumbo says:

    My only comment is, I’m sad to say, I still don’t see an edit button. :-(

    • BenX says:

      I’ll trade an Edit button for a Sort by Latest button.

      • Wolf Richter says:

        See what I’m saying: everyone wants something different. In the past, every time I changed one minor thing (I mean, even the font), a portion of the readers revolt. It doesn’t matter what it is :-]

        • Shandy says:

          Above all i want a rebuttal especially for my comments that are rejected. With at least a phrase or two relative to the squashed original.
          Then stop blocking my comments on other articles.
          The comment section is a great wsy to bring in new talent. You do a noble job of this.

        • Wolf Richter says:

          Shandy,

          There is no easy way for me to let you know why a comment was deleted. I cannot reply to a deleted comment (because my reply will also be deleted). I can write a new comment by itself, but it will be hard for you to find, and for readers, that comment will make no sense. In addition, I don’t have enough time to do this.

          Stick to the commenting rules, stay away from total nonsense, and your comments should be OK.

        • otishertz says:

          The best thing about the comments here is the vigilant moderation. Not only does it sometimes keep my foot out of my mouth but makes for pleasant reading because there is much less of the usual political baiting and ad hominem attacks like everywhere else and people here generally seem interested in figuring things out.

          Keep moderating me. I’m an immoderate person and could use the help. 8-} Who needs an edit button anyway when Wolf will delete your dum shit for you? I could see moderation getting to be a full time job though. Hope you can keep up Wolfman.

      • phleep says:

        Edit button would mean, IMO, endless re-checks by Wolf. Not fair to him.

  3. Gattopardo says:

    I can’t wait for someone to not RTGDFA (and the T stands for This)…

  4. Wisoot says:

    5 yrs ago – phewy hewy – what alot has passed under the bridge since then.
    Use a fake email eh? Hackathon happenin on the www. Governments fighting for relevance!
    Just want to say thanks. Wolf street got me through, challenged and connected dots, gave a chuckle and opened my eyes. As you say some brilliant minds contribute. Long may it continue.
    Ay Ay captain. Hear you loud n clear.

  5. THEWILLMAN says:

    Would love to see upvoting and downvoting implemented in the comments at some point to push quality comments to the top.

    • COWG says:

      Why?

      So a valid, yet unpopular point of view gets squashed?

      Reward what *you* like and punish what *you* don’t? Everybody’s contribution to the comments are valuable to the aggregate…

      You would lose people’s engagement in the comment section and destroy the entire flow of the comment section, in my opinion…

      But, since you asked for it, I downvote you… :)

      • Cas127 says:

        Well, once the comments get much above 100, it gets pretty hard to review everything.

        So there is something to be said for a voting mechanism that might (maybe) highlight original, insightful posts.

        I know there is no guarantee that this will be the outcome (far from it) but it might be worth experimenting with if technically reasonable.

        Of course…I wouldn’t be the one doing the work to set it up…

        Added note…it isn’t like low vote comments would disappear…they would just take marginally more effort to reach.

        • VintageVNvet says:

          C’mon you guys, C-10 and others who take the time to comment AFTER reading the article Wolf posts.
          BEE reasonable,,, BEE NOT ”personal” in references, etc.
          OTOH, if you don’t want to try to ”read and understand” articles and commentariat, most likely You WILL want to get some help, help totally NOT related to this or any other site on the WWW, to understand YOUR ”filters” etc… that prevent YOU from understanding or even knowing about SO much that may or may not be?????
          AS OM will come to ALL who will allow, etc…

        • NoBadCake says:

          There’s another site I frequent that has a agree/disagree clicker and a “karma” clicker which seems to work pretty well.

    • SpencerG says:

      Yup! Sometimes I want to signal my approval/disapproval/ROFL of a particular comment but the only way to do so is to make another comment.

    • Flounder says:

      This is a bad idea. Reddit for example has this feature. The site is trash and the top “upvoted” comment is often chock full of misinformation.

      • Pea Sea says:

        Agree 100%. It’s a noble but very naive way to do “crowdsourced moderation”–in practice it leads to echo chambers at best, and amplified nonsense at worst (think how many people would upvote the Zerohedge bullshit that regularly gets posted here).

    • Venkarel says:

      Likes are a terrible idea. Comment filters would be nice, say newest first or read and unread threads.

      • VintageVNvet says:

        NO, IMHO Wolf has it exactly correct with these guidelines for HIS wonderful site,,, THE only such site/blog whatever to which I am happy and pleased more and more to send money to support his work.
        OLD or now ELDERLY guy who has been majorly supporter of WWW since late 1960s working on the web that connected DEW to every missile through underground in CO, so please don’t start about ”newbies.”
        Just wish I/we could have a similarly very well moderated with these guidelines for the very clear and very needed conversation/debate for other subjects clearly needing clear discussion as always in any kind of ”democracy”…
        Thanks again WR!!!

      • drg1234 says:

        A way to track unread comments would be a welcome improvement. I frequently return to an article several times to read new comments.

        • HowNow says:

          Agree.

        • VintageVNvet says:

          track by doing ”control F” for date, and I supposed you could add some sort of time to that also if you wanted your ”find” to be more precise AND you know what time you last looked, etc…
          works fairly well

        • NoBadCake says:

          “A way to track unread comments”

          quickly scanning I read this as:
          a way to unread comments

          This would recoup a great deal of time, retaining only the memory of the most useful!

      • phleep says:

        This site has a great balance and aesthetic. Like a sport, if you tinker too much, it is easy to wreck the balances arrived at through time, experience and good design. This one is very clean and elegant.

      • otishertz says:

        Opinion emoji buttons suck in general and are a disgusting extension of passive aggression disguised as cute and social and harmless. It’s not harmless. It leads to mob rule and an enforced echo. Even worse, some dedicated professional trolls can easily deter and derail any trail of inquiry their employers do not want.

        That said, It would be kinda funny if instead of just the like button out there on the internet there were other buttons that are like emoji but buttons that accumulate tallies for emoji like hate, fart, tickle, cringe, destroy, virtue signal, GFYS, big hugs, etc.

        Kinda insulting to only have the like button. It’s like like it or shut up.

    • kam says:

      “Would love to see upvoting and downvoting”
      I would rather see every comment than have comments turn into a popularity contest.
      ZH has turned itself into a pillow fight. While there have always been annoying and vacuous comments, ZH is a shadow of the thought provoking site it once was.
      To: Wolf, the “no politics” is difficult even when you set aside the them/us, “liberal”/conservative trap. For at the heart of Monetary and Fiscal Policy is….policy/politics.

  6. 9Booger says:

    I may have commented 5 maybe times, I can’t remember if Testosterone Pit had comments as well (been reading that long but getting old is horrible). Usually, it’s to ask about something I do not understand. I believe I started reading Wolf’s stuff on Zero Hedge. I know nothing about economics, or high finance but I find Wolf explains what he is writing about in more of a plain language way, and the commenters are a fairly knowledgeable bunch. I stopped reading the comments at ZH many years ago – lots o’ crazies.

  7. Flea says:

    Will have too make some changes,on comments but mostly small details .Really enjoy this site Excellent observations and comments Thanks for the update .Post your donation website again

  8. Up North says:

    Keep it up Wolf. Constantly check your valuable posts and insights.
    Blessings

    • MiTurn says:

      Concur. Check every day. Sometimes more than once.

      And, yes, the comment section is its own reward.

      Keep swingin’ Wolf till they shut you down for being honest!

  9. Martok says:

    Wolf – Those are good rules to be reiterated.

    I would suggest that you have a up/down vote indicator for the comments.

    • HowNow says:

      Disagree. Comments stand on their own merit. Idiotic comments are usually clearly idiotic.

  10. Wolf for Fed Chair says:

    16. Please use “reckless” when mentioning the Federal Reserve.

  11. Gooberville Smack says:

    If I post you can be assured it is accurate, factual information.

    Whoops, I blew it again!

    • Ed7 says:

      “If I were wrong, don’t you think I”d know it?” is how I like to blow that test.

      Seriously, good rules!

  12. Craig says:

    Wolf, I think someone was talking about you went they said
    “The Dude abides’

    As for me, I have the right to remain silent but not the common good sense and scintilla of dignity to do so. So I generally read these trenchant articles as part of my daily data wonking
    Meme meme tickle farsem. Or as they say at the Richter Bar and Grill
    The Dude Wonks and, having wonked, moves on
    My handle on TFMR is AGXIIK but here it’s Mr Nobody.
    Anyone who wants to get frisky, come on over to Turd’s site and say hello
    Cheers Wolf

  13. dishonest says:

    If I state that politics is one of the vilest activities that a person can pursue, irregardless of party, is that a political comment?

  14. AverageCommenter says:

    No comment.

  15. nightdipper says:

    At this point everyone that has comment has broken rule 6. Let’s all slow it down a bit until we hit 20.

  16. Stanley F Brossart says:

    Quotes from the Grateful Dead songs are allowed but only one time and now I get it. lol Thanks Wolf I check your site multiple times per day and love the info being honest and straight forward. Wait that reminds me of a song…

  17. 91B20 1stCav (AUS) says:

    Wolf-thanks again for keeping this most-excellent establishment, well, excellent!

    may we all find a better day.

  18. Matthew Scott says:

    A dedicated and fair moderator is what can make the internet a great public forum. Thank you Wolf for giving us that here and so much more

  19. Poor like you says:

    It was only a matter of time. Like the Greeks before us. Also, typo: “hominemmay go into the shredder…”

  20. Halibut says:

    One day, in my first class, in junior high school, the teacher said I was expected in the principal’s office.

    So, I dutifully complied. The old mean codger sat me down and placed the 5″ thick book of rules and policies on his desk. Literally thousands and thousands of rules.

    “Halibut, do you know what this is?”

    “No sir”

    He explained what it was and that he was going to read it to me. I missed all my classes that day.

    When classes were dismissed for the day, he was still reading to me.

    He finally finished and closed the monstrous binder. Then, he gave me his famous evil glare. I knew some sort of vicious summation was coming my way.

    Eventually, he spoke.

    “Halibut, you and I both know you have broken at least two of these rules…”

    This man was far too mean to even think of laughing in his face, so I immediately prayed to God for the strength to keep a straight face.

    Anyhow… I have no idea why I shared that traumatic memory, but let’s all try to behave.

  21. Josh says:

    After carefully RTGDA, this will be my last post with this generic username. Quick question for you, given that the comments are a “key part of WOLF STREET”, have you considered enhancing the comments system to allow more nested threads, highlight new comments, ignoring users, up/down voting, etc.? I assume there is a tradeoff between the extra cost and that this would not necessarily bring in more revenue.

    I always RTGDA at least once and twice if I am going to comment on it but I usually come back several more times to view the comments. I created a Chrome extension that keeps track of which comments I have seen before so it is easier for me to see new comments when I reload the page. It saves everything in the browser’s cache so there is nothing sent back to a server. I could make that available more broadly if there is any interest (making the source code available as well so people can validate there is nothing sketchy going on).

    • Wolf Richter says:

      Josh,

      In terms of your questions:

      I have tried more nested threads. But on smartphones (50% of readers), as the column gets thinner, it’s harder to read as you go deeper.
      On some
      Smartpho
      nes, you
      ended up
      with
      comment
      s like this.

      In terms of “ignoring” users and up/down voting: there are mixed opinions on this. The basic principle is that I don’t want to create a competitive space where people are going for the most up-votes etc.

      In terms of your extension, you’re NOT doing me or my server any favors. This site lives from traffic and pageviews. The more, the better. The comments exist to provide readers something interesting to read and to come back to; and it creates page views and “engagement” and time on site, which make this site commercially viable. With your system, you’re cheating my site out of some traffic. But OK, fine, I get it. Just don’t think you’re doing me a favor. You’re nibbling on my lunch :-]

  22. Kenny Logins says:

    Good idea to be vigilant on this Wolf.

    Wolf Street articles and comments have mostly remained solid over almost a decade.
    It’s a weird thing that 2017 caused so much political stress with Brexit and Donald etc.
    I suppose it’s only natural it found it’s way into comments here, and I’m glad it was limited by you as it kept the focus on the site and content.

    Many other sites have gone from good to bad over many years so you should be proud to have kept things on topic and on track so long!

    Oh for WS mugs to the UK!

  23. Harry Houndstooth says:

    Wolf Richter has given us this opportunity to explain why this website is sufficient in understanding the current economic situation in general and the investing environment specifically, without bias, creating a website amazingly open to dissent, but intolerant to misinformation. Wolf Richter is the Good Shepard, and it should be no surprise to those familiar to my posts that I and my family have benefited enormously by trading in and out of SRTY and SQQQ since November 2021 (although Wolf has rightfully chastised me for the risk – but I see the real risk to those sheep whose financial advisors advocate riding out any decline). No one has any idea how far any dead cat bounce may go in this bear market. But any human who has studied this website should have no question that we will revisit the lows in the Russell 2000 and the Nasdaq 100. In this “everything bubble” it appears to me that there is no better strategy. While we watch the inflated assets decline to a reinvestable level, it gives us the opportunity to profit.

    I am humbled by Wolf Richter’s commitment to excellence. He deserves not only our financial support, but something far more valuable than silver or gold, he has obtained an untarnishable reputation.

    • Bobber says:

      You got that right. I’m surprised some Wall Street bank hasn’t tried to purchase Wolfstreet for $200M, just to shut it down. Accurate, unbiased financial news is NOT what big players on Wall Street want. They need the smoke and mirrors to keep the ponzi going.

  24. dougzero says:

    I hear by change my handle from ‘doug’ and will be dougzero henceforth. Great rules and thanks for all you do. The moderation of the comments has to be a huge job. thank you, and the commenters. I learn a lot here.

    • BuySome says:

      Should read “hearby”, as in “I hearby accept five howling demerits for a Rule 12 violation”. Or “No good deed shall hearby go unpunished”.

  25. NoPrep says:

    Just thanks Wolf Richter for keeping a unique and valuable website-business up and running in fine fettle. The comments are useful. It’s not quite a community, but sort of. More of a commentariat. We don’t really know each other.

    People, regulars, come and go. Sometimes something happens to a person behind the nickname and we don’t know what happened. I mostly observe, look for insights and some humor here and there, which I enjoy and brings me back. But what happened to Paulo? Hope he’s ok.

    • Island Teal says:

      Yep….good question re Paulo. His comments from BC land have always been spot on. 👍😉

      • Wolf Richter says:

        Some Paulo’s comments were full of BS, particularly those about the US. He said he is a former USian who became a Canadian when his parents left the US in the 60s or early 70s to get their sons out of the draft, if I remember right. He had an axe to grind. So he got called out on his BS a few times too many, and decided to go somewhere else.

  26. billytrip says:

    Comment moderation is probably the single biggest troublesome job in running a site like this. I think your policies are well founded.

  27. rick m says:

    kathoompth. So shall it be written, so shall it be done.

  28. perpetual perp says:

    As the ‘perpetual perp’ I have been banished to perpetual moderation. But that’s OK. I still very much enjoy your work and the comments that manage to avoid perpetual moderation.

    • Wolf Richter says:

      Your regular comments are great.

      But you’ve also been trolling for MMT for years, in violation of guideline #11, my last regular MMT troll who hasn’t given up yet. So kudos, in a way.

      I used to have a bunch of MMT trolls on this site. I contacted one of them some years ago, an old guy in Australia, and he said he was doing it because he needed to make a little extra money and got paid for posting this MMT stuff.

      I understand how MMT works, so you don’t have to mention “MMT” for me to delete your comment. Even if you’re just promoting its principles, I recognize those and delete the comment.

      If you promise to never ever post anything that smells of promoting MMT, you might come off perma-moderation. But I doubt you want to do that. You must have known why you got into perma-moderation, and you would have stopped the MMT troll stuff to get out of it, if you wanted to or could have. But you didn’t.

      • Bobber says:

        Interesting. It begs the question – who would pay somebody to promote MMT? I always viewed MMT as a theoretical concept espoused by central banks and some people in academic circles. I didn’t think MMT proponents were in the business of paying people for promotion.

  29. Crush the Peasants! says:

    Wolf, you run a fairly moderated site, IMHO. Quite a few sites, including one that frequently posts your articles, allows ad hominem attacks, in spite of their stated policy to the contrary, if the post goes against the echo chamber currents.

  30. AlamedaRenter says:

    Bashing government employees as lazy is boring and false and insult to many of us that work for great agencies and do good. Yet that seems to sail right on through. A clamp down on that would be appreciated. It seems to be acceptable and I’ve commented a less because it sails right on through moderation.

    Are there issues with unions. Sure.

    Signed a City worker that showed up to work everyday of the pandemic to make sure the service stayed available to millions of people.

    • Swamp Creature says:

      Reply to AlamedaRente

      This very true. Bashing government employees seems to be a good pastime these days. I’ve been guilty of it myself at times. However, when I left Fed government service a few years back working for a large Defense and Intel Agency, I noticed that things had completely reversed. The government workers were putting in a lot of extra overtime for no pay and were honest people looking out for the taxpayers, while most of the contractors were just milking the government for every cent they could get and had no loyalty to anyone except their own pocketbook. I would put most of the Defense contractors into this latter category.

      • JeffD says:

        In the late 1990s and early 2000s, I used to go in on weekends a lot, and I was impressed by how many other people I would see come in on weekends. There was zero socialization and we all had private offices, so we were strictly there to work with no extra pay. By the time I retired in 2016, that had dropped to about 10% of the volume vs when I got there. I think there was a shift in thinking away from public service over that time frame.

  31. TK says:

    Good. This is ideally a place where we all get a little smarter to make better decisions. I was a career HR exec and we had a standing observation – 80% of the people are awesome, but the other 20 just complain and pollute the culture. I read Wolf to understand finance which is very complex. Wolf does a great job explaining. We are lucky he does this.

  32. HollywoodDog says:

    Wolf Street is one of the most illuminating and useful blogs on the Net and the comments are typically far more informed and respectful than, let’s say ZH. But I’m going to quibble, semantically, with Rule 3: Almost all meaningful statements about “business, finance, and economics” have underlying political assumptions. In fact, the mere act of striving to be objective is partisan—but not in the “two-party” way.

    Thank you for listening. I’ll go back to reading Foucault…

    • Bobber says:

      As a reader, I think things get political when people start naming politicians, or parties. People who follow the names or parties tend to engage in political tit for tat, watch partisan TV, and rely on the views of others (as opposed to critical thinking). I don’t care to hear people parrot a view of some talking head in the media. I can view that crap myself, if I want to.

    • Root Farmer says:

      HollywoodDog,

      I agree that Rule 3 appears somewhat arbitrary. As a longtime mostly spectator of this site, I believe you will find that Wolf navigates this just fine. He is the magic sauce.

  33. Gabby Cat says:

    Thank you for posting your Guidelines Wolf. Your standards and best practices are why I donate. I learn a lot from your articles and comments. May I ask a clarifying question on historic references? Are financial historical questions okay to ask? I am still learning a great deal about your data analysis and sometimes you bring up previous dates for supporting your hypothesis. For those in finance, those dates make sense. For those new to the field we may need some help with understanding. Would it be permissible to ask historical data questions pertaining to the topic at hand?

    • Wolf Richter says:

      If it’s not OK somehow, the ultimate worst most horrible punishment is the shredder, and you’ll suffer horribly because of it but you will be otherwise fine :-]

      Most of the time I don’t shred them. As everyone here knows, I don’t tolerate Hitlering. Everyone has their own theory of history, and this is not the place to air them out. But most of the time, historic references pass. If they hijack the comments, I might delete them.

  34. Ron wolf says:

    Wolf, just to say thank you, the Guidelines are excellent, and needed
    and might I say “Wolf” in any name has to be GOOD

    • Auld Kodjer says:

      Except if you’re a pensioner / unsophisticated investor referred to in one of today’s headlines:
      “The man from Greywolf was on the prowl, with cash-strapped seniors in his sights”.
      Fleeced by a Wolf.

  35. Cem says:

    The lack of politics and being banned due to one ideological leaning over another not being auto deleted is one of the reasons I recommend this site to everyone interested.

    Wolf, your site is what the internet should be. An open forum for differing ideas to come together and agree OR debate over. Places like this are few and far between. Your agenda is knowledge and what IS, not what someone wants things to be.

    Been coming to this site daily for years now, though I don’t comment on every article.

    Keep up the amazing work Wolf, you provide an amazing site!
    PS: (I owe you a donation for all the hard work and will get to that after this pay day)

  36. JWB says:

    Wolf, one of your formatting strengths is the lack of votes/ranking and other such stuff. I did RTWFGDA, or however that’s written, yet am posting this after having read only about 40 or 50 comments so far.

  37. dharmabum1323 says:

    – [x] I’ve finally acquired a little nugget of wisdom (at age 78) after a lifetime spent seeking understanding and it looks like this: I don’t know anything about anything, and I never did. But with the world seemingly headed for a grim future, trusted sources of info become ever more important if I’m to continue dancing on top of the rubble instead of under it. Thanks Wolf for your efforts in keeping the site useful and relevant. You and your learned commentariat are people I check in with most every day. I’d send you money more often if I had any :)

  38. DR DOOM says:

    I am glad that rule #2 is intact. When I get into a single malt I sometimes read the title and blow past the article and read the comments and then,as the saying goes, shit happens.

  39. Gen Z says:

    Is hoping for the Canadian real estate market to crash political in nature?

    The Canadian government had their politicians who were lauding high real estate prices.

    But I’m hoping for a market crash regardless of who is in power. The Blue and Reds that you in America call it are the same.

  40. Depth Charge says:

    “10. No name-calling of officials, politicians, cities, and states. Use the correct names. Stay away from descriptors, nicknames, and pejoratives. Comparisons of current figures to Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, etc. are automatically deleted.”

    Guilty. Very guilty. Can’t help myself. The hatred of Jerome Bowell, I mean Powell, is too strong. I’ll try to do better.

  41. Kevin says:

    Wolf,

    This article was too long, so I didn’t read it. All I can say is you must be worse than Hitler, Mussolini, and Stalin combined to have so many commenting rules! I worry that it’s arbitrary rules like these that are going to bring about the coming civil war, and only a President Naruhito can save us in 2024. Anyone who disagrees with me is a stinky poopy head!

  42. Silly Me says:

    I stopped commenting after my comment involved economic issues that were related with “covid,” and was disallowed.

    • Wolf Richter says:

      Too many blatant covid lies got spread on this site. And I got tired of messing with them.

      BTW, I just checked, and over the past 12 months, none of your comments with your current login were deleted. Did you post that covid comment under a different login email?

      • Silly Me says:

        Sorry, it must have been more than a year ago.

        As far as I can remember, I touched upon the economic outcomes of the lockdowns.

        It’s unclear what’s considered a lie, because the official narrative kept changing in the last 30 months.

  43. notdeadyet says:

    A site like this needs rules and since its Wolf’s site, he may as well make the rules….
    But what is this “MMT” thing about? I thought it was some crazy notion that if a nation can print dollars, they can print all the dollars they want without consequence… so I never paid much attention to it. But apparently I was mistaken.
    A link to what MMT is really about would be appreciated, Wolf.
    Thanks

  44. Richard Greene says:

    rules, Rules, RULES!
    We don’t need no stinkin’ rules !

    • Wolf Richter says:

      You might not. I do! Comment moderation is a huge time suck. I need people to cooperate or else I will shut down the comments section. Simple as that. I don’t want a toxic pit of BS on my server. I shut down the comments on my predecessor site due to bad behavior, and I’ll do it again if controlling it takes too much time.

  45. Ensign_Nemo says:

    Regarding rule #9, is it still OK to call someone a “semi-fascist”?

    Just curious ;)

    • Wolf Richter says:

      “fascist” is a tripwire, which sends the comment automatically into moderation. So I’ll have to decide. Chances are pretty good that if you call a US politician a “semi-fascist” that the comment will get shredded.

  46. Ricky says:

    As a newbie to the site, drawn in by the insightful and very well-crafted articles, I was excited to find a new place to add to the short list of those that could help boost knowledge and add clarity on certain topics.

    Wolf’s appreciation for proper writing is also a very cool touch, for me, as I always try my best to use to proper grammar, sentence structure, and grammar. Another perk!

    A quick side note: I can’t tell you how many times I would receive direct emails or messages from my Managing Director(s) and the occasional from the National Exec. level, with no regard for simple punctuation or capitalization. I loved them, and I know they are juggling, but was always a little baffled by that. Especially working at a mega-bank.

    So, again, love the writing. I see this in the comments as well. World class.

    My only minor gripe is, based on my limited time here, the disregard for #8 by some. I’ve probably only read thru 6 or 7 threads and the attempts by some to make others with a different point of view feel stupid seems common and blatant no matter how cleverly they try to camouflage it with fancy words. Rarely have I seen these type’s counter those with ideas or facts (aside from Wolf and a few others) but only with their opinion.
    As a newbie, I was beginning to wonder if parts of the Comment Page were just for show and if one could present a different take or question without receiving a verbal curb-stomp. Then -*voila*- an update. :]

    As mentioned, it’s a minor gripe. If a commentor’s “thing” is to berate, belittle, and direct words in all CAPS at the person rather than emphasize a word, then by all means. Sticks n’ stones. Let that relief “wash over you in an awesome wave”*
    On the contrary, it may eventually lead to that hall of echoes that most claim they want to step the other way from.

    Oh, and Wolf, I’m sure you noticed. ZH promotes your site. Haha.

    * – quoted by Patrick Bateman / Marcus Halberstram

    • Ricky says:

      …grammar, sentence structure, and *syntax*. What a perfect place for an error.

      • Ricky says:

        Cripes!
        It’s a question mark, there! A question mark!!
        Ok, I’m going back to sleep now.

  47. buda atum says:

    Guideline 16

    Remember to donate!

  48. Remy says:

    Thanks for the insightful articles and keeping the comments section civil. The last thing we need is another ZH.

  49. Isaac S. says:

    FYI, all my comments are 100% all the time flagged and held up as “wait for moderation”. I suspect it is b/c I use a (Norton) VPN that makes my IP untraceable. Google Ads & Youtube comments blocks me too.

    BTW, Wolf, I generally avoid commenting b/c your website does not notify me when someone responds to my post, and it is too inconvenient/hard to keep checking manually. I would comment and contribute much more if you enabled email notifications like all other modern financial commenting forrums do, that use like SA (which you some times post to), etc.

    thx.

  50. WolfGoat says:

    I like Wolf… I’m a fan of Wolf’s… I agree with Wolf 99.99% of the time. When I don’t he tells me to RTGDFA… I get it, he’s making a point and my point doesn’t count… or doesn’t align to TGDFA!

    Keep up the good work Wolf, and thanks for trying to tame the cats!

    • Wolf Richter says:

      You were one of the commenters that caused me to update the guidelines to where I no longer use the tag “RTGDFA” but will just delete the comment and be done with it. You should be proud of your accomplishment.

  51. buda atum says:

    NoPrep said, “It’s not quite a community, but sort of. More of a commentariat…”

    Would Wolf please consider a forum where we might communicate?

  52. Nemo 300 BLK says:

    Wolf, how about a text sizing option like you see on the WSJ. This would come in handy when viewing on the phone without reading glasses.

  53. Clete says:

    I’ve used one of my “name” email addresses here for a while and have never been spammed. IMO, there’s no need for a dummy email.

  54. Swamp Creature says:

    I wonder if Wolf has any idea of how many people read the comments section. I think this was posted already but I forgot what the figures were.

    • Wolf Richter says:

      I don’t know. Many thousands a day. I can tell by the links. If on average 5% of readers click on a link in the comments, and 500 people clicked on the link, it means that maybe 10,000 people saw that particular comment with the link. This is not uncommon.

      But comment readers are a relatively small portion of the readers of the articles, most of whom never ever read the comments.

      What I want to know: how many people skip the article and just read the comments. I have zero data on this, but it’s not uncommon. It’s like two different sets of readers.

  55. Jim says:

    #12 – yikes! What if someone says “loose” when they mean “lose” (or “looser” instead of “loser”)? That should be the one exception. :)

Comments are closed.