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A modified approach to comments

As our traffic continues to climb (we had more than 45 million page views in September 2010, up from 31 million in September 2009), we’re wading through more and more comments.

And we realize that the reader experience for many of you includes reading the comments. We’re therefore trying to separate the cream from the crap, and we’re going to start blocking and banning commenters who use profanity or whose posts contain comments that we regard as inappropriate, due to racist, homophobic, misogynistic, or other unacceptable content, as determined solely at our discretion.

We can’t promise to catch everyone, and if you get banned don’t send e-mails complaining that others have said worse. Plenty of people drive their cars faster than the speed limit, and not all of them get tickets.

So this is the fair warning. We’re hoping to class up the commenting process, and we’ll do it by dumping one commenter at a time.

Finally, please don’t bother to threaten to never return to the site if we don’t un-ban you. The commenters represent a very small percentage of the total audience. Besides, most people who have threatened to never return keep coming back, primarily since they’ve already paid for the subscription.