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By ATWadmin On April 26th, 2007

Alright, this one has been coming and was prompted by regular reader Garfield, who made a very helpful suggestion that I should define the basis of commenting here and explain what happens when people step outside of these parameters.

I have thought about requiring registration for all who wish to comment here, but after discussion with the ATW team of writers, and a little reflection, I have decided against this. The lively boards are what makes the site work as much as anything I write, so my starting point is predicated on preserving freedom and keeping things easy. OK?

I‘m first and foremost a writer here, ABOVE ALL I want to provide you with good stories and I don’t want to waste my time editing, censoring or banning anyone. So here’s what has to happen going forward…

Keep your comments as free from ad hominem abuse as is possible. I know none of us is perfect but we can try to be civil.  If I spot an ad hominem attack I will warn whoever is doing it. If it re-occurs, then the person concerned will be banned by me for a month. If the person is let back on, and re-offends, they will be banned permanently. Got it? I also will not accept pro-terrorism rantings. ATW opposes terrorism and if people don’t agree with it, fine. You know where the door is.

I will NOT edit any comments on those threads I post that conform to the above. I want to preserve as much freedom as is possible. I would ask you all to be civil to each other please, debate the issues, but do so in a engaging and decent manner.

What this means to those who have been banned in recent days – you know who you are – that I will expect an email from you asking to be let back on, with a promise to abide by the rules. If you can’t give that, don’t waste my time and yours.

I also know that certain trolls will keep coming here even after they are banned and yes, I do know that those mad enough to do this can do this. I will keep banning the IP addresses but more importantly, I would ask ALL regulars posters not to engage in any way with these people as all they do is spoil the scene.

Now, that’s enough from me on this – please follow the rules, and all will be well.


  1. David,
    The tricky part is what in your opinion constitutes pro-terrorism. Could you elaborate a bit?

  2. Thanks for the clarification.

    >>The lively boards are what makes the site work as much as anything I write, <<

    Indeed, but David what’s your reaction to Andrew shutting down the Comments function on his threads?
    Posting views without allowing debate means the post is nothing more than self-indulgent exhibitionism.

  3. If I spot an ad hominem attack I will warn whoever is doing it. If it re-occurs, then the person concerned will be banned by me for a month

    Even if it’s one of the ATW writers?

  4. Are ad feminem attacks allowed then?

  5. Adrian/Chris,

    LOL! Good points!!

  6. Chris Gaskin

    I can live by the same rules as everyone else. Afterall, how are Lefties supposed to learn without conservatives showing them the way?

  7. Am i on the banned list ?

  8. Orlando,


  9. The idea isn’t bad David, but I spot two major grey areas …

    1) Ad Hominem posts : we all know that Mr McCann is a bit of a "bête noire" to us uber-liberal wishy-washy types (!) … can I still refer to him as "The Yorkshire Terrier" ?

    2) pro-terrorism : also a grey area. Again, what one considers to be pro-terrorism is not what another will consider pro-terrorism. Indeed, to some writers, referring to "the North" or "the Six Counties" would be enough to be banned.

    If for example, I was to say that "resistance" to the illegal occuptaion of Iraq by US & British armed forces is legitimate, would I be banned ? I know YOU would consider that to be pro-terrorism, but I also suspect that YOU know that I would be stating that not to be a wind-up merchant or troll, but because I might actually believe it.

    Are these rules going to lead to anyone disagreeing with the right-world views expressed by most writers here being banned and gagged ?

    Beware the Tangled-Nanny-Web !

    ps : serious questions by the way …

  10. DNOF,

    Thanks for the feedback.

    I am sure "Yorkshire Terrier" is a compliment!

    I also don;t really mind what people call me, I would hope it would be polite but hey, we all have feet of clay.

    Re; terrorism. Nothing that you say gives me any problem. I would find a comment glorifying 9/11 and the deaths completely repellent and would remove. I would view a comment glorifying UVF or IRA murders likewise. It is subjective, but I hope you will acccept my intentions on it.

    No ATW Nannyism but maybe an ATWASBO!!!

  11. Cunningham,

    I want my fellow writers to have freedom and it is their call what they do re closed threads or otherwise. I do not myself think closing threads is a good idea unless it is all going pear-shaped!!

  12. ATWASBO … lol :o)

    Ur point on terrorism : ok. I think I see what your getting at.

  13. I think that’s fair enough David, it is after all your blog and your house rules must apply.

  14. David,

    Works for me.

  15. WHAT!..**xx! freedom of spe..h##?!..censor!..xship**…!!? is this world coming to..<>^+…AND…further-more..**!

    (comment deleted. Ed.)

    Yours, Tonbridge Wells.

  16. Bernard,

    LOL! Why don’t you …..

  17. Good policy announcement which should keep everyone on their best behavior for 24 hours, so you won’t have the thankless job of playground monitor.

    I hope you’ll be able to concentrate your energies on such things regular ATW topics as the danger of global warming, the contributions of illegal immigrants to society, the Bush intellectual legacy, the moral leadership of the UN, Castro’s brillant economic plans, and of course the petition to award Gerry Adams the Nobel Peace Prize.

  18. See.an outbreak of good humour, thank goodness for that. If there is ONE thing that wears me down it is when the argument turns sour, this is so much better.

    BTW – 24hrs? A tad optimistic!!!

  19. Sean,


  20. David -got the mugs. Weak dollars en route. Thanks, they look great.

  21. Mahons,

    Let’s raise a mug to civilised conversation – separated by an ocean but joined by an interest in our big world and all that goes on in it!

  22. David: Cheers.

  23. Bye again

  24. Sean, must also troll internet cafes.

  25. Sean

    You must be good. Being the best troll isn’t a virtue

  26. No Sara,

    Sean is not good, he’s very, very pesky with a mad penchant for Irish terrorists. I’ll duck now.

  27. There can’t be that many IP’s in the town of Moose Balls, Canada.

  28. is Sean Canadian? Surely not. Surely he’s rooted and branched to the aul sod? Is there a maple leaf where a shamrock should be?

  29. Charles,

    "There can’t be that many IP’s in the town of Moose Balls, Canada."


    You’re right, he must have visited both his neighbors by now to borrow their computers, and that probably required two tanks of petrol.

  30. Sara, aye, western Canada I think.

  31. Ah, I’ve made Frank laugh! My work here today has not been in vain. 😛

  32. Ach Sean – and here was I thinking you were holding out in some Waco in Fermanagh! And next you’ll be telling me you prefer a square dance to a reel! And agree with you about Ballymena – the shopping there is terrible!

  33. Sean,

    Ahhh so you’re a brilliant troll! Didn’t think anyone in Canada could wear that moniker besides Mark Steyn.

  34. Sean,

    I’m glad for the tall & big shop comment, I pictured you as some skinny pathetic sallow type of fellow. Sean is a fine name.

    I think you may have asked David for a second chance, and being the fine soul that he is, you’re now visiting as again as usual.

  35. Daphne,

    Nope, he hadn’t the common courtesy to follow the simple rules and so he posts when I sleep. What a guy. One by one. his comments will vanish and I would ask all ATW readers to not feed the sad little troll as it only encourages him.

  36. a "stick puller"- you don’t say!