Guideline reminder: commenting and comment moderation

With many new observers and contributors joining the WordPress core project recently, let’s take a moment to review the comment guidelines for Make/Core, which can also be extended to apply to Make/Design, Make/Accessibility, and Core Trac. Overall, the majority of comments seen are positive and constructive, and it’s important to keep it that way to ensure the health of the project and its contributors.

Of particular note to editors is the comment moderation policy:

If a comment is disrespectful and/or unprofessional, it may be edited at the discretion of the core team.

Editing of a comment will be done with the approval of at least two blog administrators. When a comment is edited, only the offending section will be edited with the intent of retaining as much of the expressed opinion. The administrators who edit the offending comment will add an editor’s note stating the reason for editing and the names of the administrators who took action. Additionally, the administrator doing the editing should retain a screenshot of the unedited comment, which can be uploaded to the Media Library on make/core, if necessary.

Comments will only be deleted when the offending comment is clearly spam that was not properly moderated.

Comments are generally approved by default, which means that email notifications are triggered immediately. Outright deletion of a comment that is anything except obvious spam will be noticed and fosters justified feelings of undue censorship and lack of consideration. Comments with issues such as information that should be privately sent to the security team, attacks on individuals, excessive use of profanity, or distractingly off-topic content should be edited with a note per the process outlined above. This serves multiple purposes: a record of what was changed and why; a visible stand by contributors that the cited behavior is not tolerated; and a public record of that particular commenter’s behavior for others to use as context.