How to Comment and Not Get Banned

Illustration for article titled How to Comment and Not Get Banned

When we first started our Star commenting system, someone emailed me to ask that their Star be removed.



Because they said they didn't like the pressure of having to think carefully about what they were going to write before they typed it and hit enter.

That's not what we want from Star commenters. That's what we want from all commenters. If you come here expecting a free-for-all of memes, trolling and insults, go somewhere else. There are plenty of places on the Internet that will welcome you with open arms.

On Kotaku we expect much more. Here commenting is a privilege, one we will yank away in a heartbeat for breaking our fairly easy to follow rules.

In a nutshell we want you to think before you type. We want you to behave and comment as if you were talking to a living being, face-to-face, not typing into the Internet Ether hidden behind layers of anonymity.


So in the spirit of holiday house-cleaning, it's time for a crash course in comments etiquette. What can you do? What should you definitely never do? What, in effect, do we want from you, our commenters?

Gawker Media blogs are known for their savvy commentary. Kotaku is, last I checked, the highest commented site in the group. We strive to let in a smart and plugged-in community, and we want comments that serve as first-rate contributions to the post at hand. We love new insight and inside information. We value informed response and welcome
spirited debate. Above all, comments should always further the discussion. "Lifehacker's Guide To Weblog Comments" is a great jumping-off point for the uninitiated.


We like to see good spelling and grammar, because we're nerdy like that. Capitalization and punctuation are important, too. These basic requirements go a long way towards making us all look better. Staying on-topic in a thread is essential — but now you can also take a topic to your own generated #hashtag page, then direct others there. Editors may sometimes caution that a thread has gone off-topic and should be moved to another forum.


Many readers have already discovered how to make their voices stand out via our #speakout page. Here you can share breaking news, leaked info, links of interest and timely video. Give us some substantive lines on why we should follow up, and your post may be promoted or featured on the blog. The #speakout page is also an excellent space to audition as a first-time commenter with a
juicy tidbit or to show off your investigative instincts. I may even start perusing that hashtag page for potential future writers. Strike that, I will be on the hunt their for good, original articles. Advertising and spammers will be summarily banned, but quality contributors have the spotlight.

In addition, there is now an informal commenter forum, #TAY, where the conversation is yours to guide. This is the place to add comments, liveblogs, pictures, video, and links that are relevant to your community. It's also easy to jump over here if you find yourself veering off-topic and want to take others with


So: thumbs up to attention to detail, thoughtful typing and prodigious use of the 'Shift' key. Personal attacks, inappropriate behavior, off-topic rants in comments and idiotic memes are subject to bans and disemvowelling. Starred commenters should be aware that their privileges are not guaranteed, and should be careful in the comments they approve and promote. Commenters can be demoted for unruly or obscene posting. Baiting trolls helps no one, and we want the level of dialogue maintained to be high. But editors and moderators are equally on the lookout for our best contributors, too, to promote and star for brilliant efforts of the commenting kind, so let's see what you've

A Guide to Proper Commenting


Komrade Kayce

I loudly denounced the star system, asked for my own star removal and became one of the casteless when the new system was first implemented.

Then when it was quietly stuck back on my name a few days later like some sort of sick joke, I said nothing like the hypocrite that I am. I guess because in that span of time, I watched about umpteen times more people receive stars than there were before. The ratio got much much better, which made me a little more comfortable with it. It became a less of a have-have not situation and more of a 'you have been seen as responsible and able to handle this responsibility'.

I didn't like it because I suddenly had to think about what I had to type... I didn't like it because it became a status symbol that I was better than you. Which I wasn't. Still not.

I get into arguments around here all the time. I call people douchebags. I hit the same article up over and over and over to argue a point to death when new comments keep pouring in at me. I wasn't suddenly going to change my posting habits just because I was suddenly gifted with seeing my rambles front paged.

Well, okay, it made me a little bit more embarassed to post when I knew that whatever I said would be the default 'thing that was said' unless someone clicked show all comments.

But I'm cool with the disagreements and fightings and didn't want to hear 'how did you get a star' or 'youre just a jerkbag star commenter'. No, I was a jerkbag long before I was a star commenter. And I didn't want people to feel as if they couldn't 'pick a fight' with me just because I had a star. Nay nay. This red star beside my name explains a lot more of my life philosophies than one might think.

So take it with a grain of salt that whatever you think of me, however many times you're going to say 'how did this guy get a star', it has no effect whatsoever on who I am or how I'll deal with you.

(This last part is not entirely true. I appreciate having the power to see Pink Commenters and seeing how it looks to most people like I spend every waking moment lurking this website, I appreciate the ability to click click click promote the commenter to have their comments seen. Even if its stuff I disagree with, because they took the time to type it out, I can at least try to help them. Its also nice knowing the extremely obnoxious ones are only going to befoul my and other star commenters eyes, not yours)

Annnnnd yeah. I love the commenters here. Even the dickbags. Because the number of decent human beings who passionately care about video games gathered here to discuss them is much higher than it is in my everyday life. I have a place to feel like less of a loser for having my playtime go beyond that of a hobby and more into aspect of life territory.

Oh, last thing.

What did Archaotic and deanbmmv do to have no stars? I thought goldwings had one? These are the sort of people who while I may disagree with and butt heads with, I'm currently at a loss to explain what they've done to have status stripped.

Unless a life of video games, energy drinks and copious amounts of drugs have finally gotten to my head and they never had stars in the first place... and if this is the case, I'm actually curious of Kotaku exists outside of my mind at all.