I don’t believe comment threads have to be bad, and think that at times the ones around here are rather good. I’d like to keep it that way.
If I wouldn’t do it in a post, you probably shouldn’t do it in my comments. Which means a little meanness is ok, a little name-calling is ok but if it comes without substance or some laughs, I’ll feel no obligation to leave it up. Same thing goes for trolls who just want to derail, either by driving everyone off topic or wearing everyone down with boredom. Same thing goes for troll feeders.
I prefer that commenting relate in some way to the post that kicked off the thread. If you’re going to derail, it should interest me as much as it does you.
While conspiracies happen, a lot of people who talk about them bore me, and if they bore me insistently and off-topic, I might not publish their comments.
Gracious people of good faith attempt to be intelligible and readable.
Don’t over comment. If it seems like you’re commenting mostly to yourself, probably time to stop.
Visitors who tone troll or smear will be treated without mercy.
These are guidelines. Interesting, entertaining people get a lot of slack, even if they hate me.