Doctor Who News The young Master, staring into the Untempered Schism while a Time Tot

Published on May 10th, 2014 | by Christian Cawley

Change to Kasterborous Comments Policy

Over the past few months we’ve noticed an increase in the number of comments that are off-topic, pedantic, or needlessly critical of the articles upon which they have been posted.

Now, I’m not saying that criticism isn’t warranted – we rely on our community to keep us straight – but it would be far better to keep such messages private rather than getting away from the point of the topic under discussion.

As a result, we have formulated a new comments policy.

In future, comments must be on-topic, not insulting to other readers and treat the contributors of Kasterborous – who offer their time free of charge – with appropriate respect.

Meanwhile, anyone who has criticism of a particular post – including whether they think it is factually or grammatically inaccurate -  should email me. Factual errors will be resolved, and the person(s) who contacted us will be credited (comments along these lines will of course be accepted, but the preferred route is a direct email so I can make the changes as immediately as possible).

These new rules will be highlighted at the foot of every article. Let’s keep everything tidy and stick to the point – discussing Doctor Who!

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About the Author

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A long-term Doctor Who fan, Christian grew up watching the show and has early memories of the Graham Williams era. His favourite stories are Inferno, The Seeds of Doom and Human Nature (although The Empty Child, Blink and Utopia all come close). When he’s not bossing around the news team, Christian is a freelance writer specialising in mobile technology and domestic computing, and enjoys classic rock, cooking and spending time in the countryside with his wife and young children. You can find him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.




31 Responses to Change to Kasterborous Comments Policy

  1. avatar mobius42 says:

    I do not think you have the right to stifle our right to free speech. Do you have the right?

    • avatar Rupert says:

      Yes, they have the right. This is their website. They should have complete control over what is and what isn’t acceptable. I am often astonished at how rude some people are in their comments on this (and other) site(s). I like that the organizers of this site are taking steps to make it a more friendly environment for people to post their opinions without being attacked. Good work Kasterborous team!

      • avatar DonnaM says:

        Well said, sir. If people can’t be civil, why should this website, the people who give up their time to create it, or those of us who enjoy visiting it put up with their poor manners?

        The right to free speech doesn’t necessarily mean the right to be downright rude, after all.

      • avatar Paul McGann's Cat says:

        I don’t buy the “it’s their website” argument. When you set up and run a website designed to appeal to the fanbase of a media juggernaut then you do so going in with the knowledge that it may not always be 100% sweetness and roses.

        Don’t get me wrong, Overt rudeness, trolling and flaming is not desirable, But it’s a fine line between not liking that and simply controlling what you don’t like to read.

      • avatar Mobius64 says:

        BTW, a responded to your comment but for some reason my phone hates Kasterborous and made it a new comment instead of an old one, so the response will be at the bottom.

    • avatar Rick says:

      It’s their website.

    • avatar John Iscariot says:

      Seems like anyone who is complaining about this (very good idea) are the ones who write the pedantic and rude comments.

  2. avatar lee moone says:

    Not sure that’s a good move. Yes removal of. Serious slagging off I understand, but you could loose the element of debate. Don’t do it. Is it really that bad that you have to take this stance?

    • avatar Rick says:

      Does this comment violate the new rules?


    • The aim is to make managing comments less of a job, basically.

      For instance, there is genuinely no reason why a grammatical error should be called out on a public forum. It’s just rude, given how easy it is to email us, and how distracting it might be for the rest of the discussion.

      The idea is purely to keep things on topic, and avoid situations as we’ve had at times when comment discussions have been usurped and discussion becoming personal, trivial and irrelevant.

      • avatar TonyS says:

        As someone who constantly makes typo’s (that one was deliberate), I am all in favour :)

        • avatar TonyS says:

          … of the new rules

      • avatar mrjohnm says:

        Christian, I’ve never made mention of grammatical errors in the stories posted on this site, but when I see negative and rude posters make similar errors, I can’t help but comment. If a person wishes to belittle another, he better be sure he is perfect! By the way, I’ve just left a post on a Ben Miller story that advertises Death in Paradise being released in the U.S. on DVD. Would that post be deleted based on your new rules?


        • I’m not sure why such a comment would be deleted?. Seems perfectly useful and community-centric to me, and on topic given the actor concerned…

  3. avatar CosmicDebris says:

    Is it too much to ask that comments be on topic and not insulting? Sounds fair to me. Freedom of speech means the government can’t arrest you for what you say, it doesn’t mean you can say whatever you want, anywhere you want and nobody can tell you to be quiet.

  4. avatar Ben says:

    Worryingly this sounds like censorship to me. I’ve noticed that the editor seems to get very angry whenever people post stuff that isn’t just worshipping everything under the sun with regards to site content. No matter how valid the criticisms.

    (I bet this very comment will now vanish proving my point.)


    • Hello Ben

      Would you mind explaining just how “this sounds like censorship” to you? Do you have anything you can compare the policy to that could reveal that we’ve made a terrible mistake in asking people to be pleasant?

      Thanks :)

  5. avatar DonnaM says:

    In my experience debates tend to be more interesting when they’re kept civil; and the pendants who comment only to criticise think they’re looking clever when in truth they come across as small minded and slightly foolish. Denying the oxygen of publicity is the best way to deal with them!


    • oh ys, yes, exactly! I Do correct people, but only becaue my brian is funky; if i see or hear a word the wrong way and i REALIZE it, my brain will literally remember the wrong way instead of the right one. ;) poeple think it’s about them, but it’s not. ;) as a chld i used to forget my name and who I was… so I’ve come a long way. Thanks to everyoen who tries to be civil and malice-free, and to Mister Cawley for giving us his time. ;)

  6. avatar Zack says:

    I agree with most of this. I do have a problem with part of the following line: “Meanwhile, anyone who has criticism of a particular post – including whether they think it is factually or grammatically inaccurate – should email me.”

    Specifically the part that says we should e-mail you if we think it is factually inaccurate. Facts are not about what one person or another “thinks”. Facts are verifiable. If a blog post is being presented as fact, and a comment (respectfully and verifiably) proves it wrong, then you should leave the comment alone and change/remove the blog post. This part of the new rules looks like you will protect your writers when they lie to your readers.


    • Hi Zack. Thanks for your comment and for taking the time to email your concerns in an expanded form.

      This is not what is intended by the new policy, and I will revise the details shortly.

  7. avatar TimeChaser says:

    I appreciate the dedication of those who run this site and the fact that they care enough about it and us to be upset when people are needlessly rude. We can debate to our hearts’ content but it serves no one to be personally rude to others. This just shows a lack of consideration for your fellow human beings, and it not only wastes our time but for those being rude its a waste of time and effort. It takes less energy to be pleasant than it does to be rude.

  8. avatar TonyS says:

    Clearly the editorial team want to make the site run well and in a friendly manner. I am especially impressed with the efforts that Christian is making to ensure that this new policy works the way it is intended to. Well done Kasterborians :)

  9. avatar mrjohnm says:

    The blatantly rude and off-topic posts are not limited to just this site. I often comment on Yahoo! posts as well and am amazed at the number of times I see degrading comments made to and about posters. This basically amounts to a loss of skills in rhetoric, and we need to bring this skill back to the general public.


    • oh my you said it. I love thee so. ;) yes, oh yes indeed! Loss of Rehtoric slikl! oh yes!oh thank you thank you thank you. finally. somebody. ahhhh…

  10. avatar Paul McGann's Cat says:

    Censorship – never a good thing.

    I note your comments about “contributors”. Please tell me you lot didn’t get the arse because I questioned the promoted of that Terranova fellow?

    • avatar Paul McGann's Cat says:

      Promotion, rather…


    • I suspect you over estimate the impact of your comments…

  11. avatar Mobius64 says:

    Haha, I was just messing around. I just wanted an excuse to use a 4th Doctor quote.
    It might seem like I am now just backing down from my previous claim in the light of, wow, 11 dislikes, but I was actually messing around. I couldn’t care, really, if Kasterborous place restrictions on comments because, as you said, it is to create a more friendly environment for Doctor Who fans, which is the way it should be, as we all will agree.
    In fact, this is my first time commenting on a post from Kasterborous so I don’t even know if it is a serious problem. And, if I really needed to say something about the subject matter of the article, I would do it on a forum anyway.

    So, moral of that story is, tone is hard to convey in text without using emoticons.

    • avatar Philip Bates says:

      Haha! Very true. Don’t worry about it. And even with emoticons, people can take stuff the wrong way.

      Don’t be put off from commenting more by the way – we’re always happy to hear your thoughts!

  12. avatar Philip Bates says:

    Okay, so I’m normally the first one to rant about how bad censorship is. I rarely think it’s a good thing. But there are sometimes good reasons.

    I wrote a feature about negativity. It took me a lot of time, and yes, I expected a lot of negative feedback! But I was passionate about it. The hate regarding Series 7 was terrible. I was shocked at how many agreed with me though; as I mentioned in the article, the positive fans aren’t as vocal as the negative ones. Most were very nice and even if they disagreed with me, they explained their own arguments well and politely.

    Others, however, were horrible. Admittedly, only a few. One or two really did affect me as it was really my first time writing an article that would get such a response.

    This is what Christian is talking about, I believe. Criticism is good. But being vile is exactly that.

Please be aware that all comments are subject to adherence to our comments policy.
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