Blog and Comments Code of Conduct

Fernglade Farm Blog and Commenters Code of Conduct

Blog: The Fernglade Farm blog takes maintaining polite discourse seriously. The intention of the blog is to write in an ethical manner and to not defame any person or other entity.

Comments: By commenting on this blog the commenters agree to the following reasonable code of conduct:

  •  Comments will not be published if an ordinary, reasonable and, fair-minded person will take offence to that comment or it may damage an individuals or other entities reputation;
  • If a comment has the possible perception that it may offend others should it be taken out of context, then the commenter must either provide:
    - clear context to that comment so that the offence is avoided; and/or
    - if requested by the author or any of the other readers of the blog to provide a clear context so that offence is avoided.
  • Commenters have to ensure that when they are making any claims that may be defamatory, that they have credible sources for those claims;
  • If necessary use the language of the court system such as: alleged; and/or suspected to qualify a possibly offensive comment;
  • Please state clearly if you do not know or are uncertain about a particular fact or opinion;
  • Avoid making claims of a factual basis if you are expressing an opinion which may cause offence. These opinions should be prefaced with the words: “I think”; “he believes”; “she reckons”; “they claim”; “seems”; or “appears”;
  • If facts are part of the public domain then all that is required by a commenter is to point towards those facts;
  • Avoid commenting on possible allegations of criminality for an individual or other entity;
  • Avoid commenting on a person’s state of mind or motivation if that comment may possibly cause offence;
  • Criticisms of individual politicians should be confined to genuine political discussion;
  • Avoid mentioning company names and/or products if comments may cause offence and/or damage the reputation of those company names and/or products; and
  • Wherever possible avoid unsubstantiated rhetoric;

 Certain comments will not be published under any circumstances:

  • Vitriolic rants will not be tolerated;
  • Cyber bullying will not be tolerated;
  • Comments which appear to be examples of trolling as it is generally understood will not be tolerated;

It is the aim of this blog to act ethically and follow the golden rule of: “do unto others”. However, if you feel that the content of this blog has in some way offended you or damaged your reputation, please contact the author via a “Not for Posting” comment in the first instance containing the following information:

  • Your full name;
  • Email or postal address;
  • Provide a link to the specific text and/or other media which has caused offence;
  • State your case why you feel that this specific text and/or media has caused offence or damaged your reputation.

In most reasonable circumstances I will be happy to delete the offending text and offer a formal apology.

With thanks to the following sources:
  • Inforrm's Blog - How to avoid defamation – Steven Price
  • The Bush Lawyer's Guide to Avoiding Being Sued for Defamation – Dr Greg Ogle


margfh said...

Hi Chris,

This is certainly spelled out in no uncertain terms. While I understand the necessity of this it's unfortunate that one has to be so careful now. Do you get many comments that don't comply with these guidelines? It would be easy to forgot to the words or phrases such as "alleged or "I believe" though if one is dashing off a quick comment.


orchidwallis said...

Hello Chris

I have read it all and feel somewhat unnerved as it is so easy to be misunderstood. I shall rely on you to chuck out any comment of mine that you feel has unacceptable content.


SLClaire said...

Hi Chris,

Anything that makes it easier for you to keep the blog going works for me, and I will comply with the code.


Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Margaret,

Yes, it is an unfortunate circumstance. It is a legal response to a legal problem. I get a few comments that have breached these guidelines from time to time and they began the process of me investigating this legal problem. They weren't published if it means anything to you. In all honesty, the comments in question didn't add anything to the general dialogue which takes place here and they were no loss.

Of course, the legal system in the US is different than both here and in the UK (which we follow), so I proposed this code of conduct more to protect myself and commenters in the UK, than people in the US. There really is no bill of rights down here and free speech is not guaranteed.

Hi Inge,

I will endeavour to do my best. Fortunately, I am also a student of Sun Tzu's maxims as written in “The Art of War” and as such I hold a few surprises up my sleeve should anyone be foolish enough to feel that I am a soft target. On the other hand as the scouts say, it is best to be prepared.

Hi Claire,

Thank you for understanding. I enjoy the blog as a hobby and it would be unfortunate if someone was to try to put an end to this hobby through a repugnant display of greed.