Why didn’t I approve your comment?

Sometimes I get questions about why I didn’t approve a certain comment…  The really obviously spammy comments get taken care of by Akismet but I go through the rest of them one by one to decide whether or not to let them appear on my blog.

I think I am pretty easy-going and tolerant and I usually approve anything that is halfway sensible and on topic.  However I do feel that since this is my blog after all, I do get to set a few ground rules.

When I don’t approve a comment it is almost always because there is a link to or mention of something or someone I find really offensive.  Why should I allow my blog to be used to promote something offensive?

What do I consider offensive?  Here is a partial list: Powerline MLMs, gifting programs, pyramid schemes, gambling, pornography, prostitution, child abuse, violence and terrorism.

I don’t approve comments promoting any of those activities and I don’t approve comments from people known to be promoters of those activities.

For example I would obviously not approve a comment advocating the violent over-throw of the American government.  I would also not approve a perfectly innocuous looking comment about Disney cartoons if it was signed by Osama Bin Laden, simply because he is known for promoting something offensive.