Community standards for Standout Books comments


This document covers all aspects of community interaction and moderation on the Standout Books website, including comments on articles and service pages.

Aims in moderation and standards

It is Standout Books’ intention to create and maintain a platform on which any and all writers can come together to discuss our content in a safe and inclusive environment. In publishing content, it is our constant aim to provoke intelligent, lively, edifying discussion of writing, marketing, and publishing.

Community standards

Moderation will always be performed with proper acknowledgement of the context of an article or service and of the comments which follow. Despite this, we feel it is useful to have a set of shared, unchanging standards to which all comments will be compared, in the interests of creating a positive and consistent space for discussion. These standards are:

1. Criticize ideas, respect people

We take great pride in our community of writers and of the differing opinions that are eloquently shared within it. Healthy debate and disagreement are fuel for the engine of improvement, and we are more than happy for comments to discuss conflicting points.

What provides no utility for anyone is to question the character of a commenter or writer for sharing an idea, or to speculate about or fabricate their reason for doing so. Criticisms of ideas are welcome in our comments, criticisms of those who share them are not.


Appropriate comment

Commenter 1: I didn’t like this book about rabbits; I thought it was too long.
Commenter 2: I see your point, but the poetic descriptions of the meadow were incredible, so I thought the length was justified.

Inappropriate comment

Commenter 1: I didn’t like this book about rabbits; I thought it was too long.
Commenter 2: You probably just hate rabbits.

2. Expect and adhere to good faith arguments

We ask all commenters to treat opposing points as if they are made in good faith – that is, that they are meant sincerely and stem from personal conviction unless presented as otherwise. This applies both to comments from others and to articles and service descriptions themselves. Likewise, we ask commenters to share points only in good faith – as expressions of personal or hypothetical ideology, and not as mere provocation or ridicule.


Appropriate comment

Commenter 1: Weirdly, I actually enjoyed the third book in the series most, even though it’s the one where the least happens.
Commenter 2: I couldn’t disagree more – I thought it was a real misstep. The pacing was all over the place!

Inappropriate comment

Commenter 1: Weirdly, I actually enjoyed the third book in the series most, even though it’s the one where the least happens.
Commenter 2: You’re only saying that because you want to have a ‘different’ opinion.

3. Refrain from racism, sexism, homophobia and other forms of hate speech, as well as anything which would reasonably be interpreted as such. Likewise, please try to avoid causing deliberate offense

This rule is self-explanatory.

4. Only share legal content

Any illegal content – such as potentially libelous or defamatory comments, or comments which present a potential breach of copyright – will be removed.

5. Avoid commenting with primarily commercial intent

We’re more than happy for our community of authors to recommend articles, books, and even products, where those recommendations are appropriate to a discussion and shared with the primary intent of improving and adding to that discussion.

Content shared with primarily commercial intent – where a comment uses the opportunity of a comments section to pursue advertisement, rather than sharing recommendations and opinions in good faith towards other users – will be removed.


Appropriate comment

Comment: This was a great article on dialogue – I found that Speaky People by Kevin Alpine really changed how I thought about dialogue. I’d recommend it to anyone struggling with the topic.

Inappropriate comment

Comment: This book is an amazing book for authors that everyone should check out. [Link to product]

6. Strive for relevancy

While there will be understandable overlap between topics, and repeat visitors are welcome to refer back to previous discussions in their comments, please attempt to keep comments relevant to the page on which they’re posted.


What will happen to my comment if it violates your standards?

The body of an inappropriate comment will be replaced by a notice informing users that its original text violated our community standards. This is in the interests of keeping longer discussions understandable for later visitors, as simply removing a comment could create confusion.

In most cases, a comment can be completely deleted at the writer’s request, though a comment which does not identify them may be added to clarify that a comment has been removed.

Can I just change my comment so it no longer violates your standards?

While we strive towards this ideal, it is judged on a case-by-case basis, and will have to be arranged directly with a moderator. If an inappropriate comment is already likely to have been seen, it may be judged that a rewording would not fix the issue, even if the new comment is itself appropriate. For example, if the original comment was abusive, a more cordial comment could potentially carry the same implication, or an obviously commercial comment may reveal the true intent behind a more innocuous rephrasing.

Can I be banned for inappropriate comments?

Repeated or abusive comments may lead to a user being banned from commenting, but wherever possible we will attempt to avoid this outcome in the name of continued, healthy debate.

I’m not sure if my comment violates your standards. How can I check?

If you are making a point in good faith and are discussing ideas rather than individuals, it’s likely that your comment conforms to our standards. We are, for example, happy for authors to share links to their work, so long as it is relevant to the page on which they do so and contributes to discussion.

You can contact us using our support form if you’d like a moderator to approve your comment before it’s posted.

I think my comment was misunderstood – can I appeal its removal?

If you feel your comment has been misunderstood, please contact a moderator using our support form below. Keep in mind that you may have to rewrite your comment for it to see publication.

I believe a comment breaches your standards, but it hasn’t been removed. Can I report it?

It may take a short amount of time for moderators to remove an inappropriate comment or to assess whether a comment should be removed. Please allow 48 hours from a comment being shared, and then contact a moderator using our support form if no action has been taken.

I understand why my comment was removed, but I don’t agree. Can I argue my case?

In order to keep the site and comments running in an orderly fashion, editorial decisions based on the standards and practices outlined in this document must be final. Moderators will not enter into debate about removed comments in cases where there is no need for clarification, however all correspondence on this subject will be read.

About this document

The Standout Books community standards are a living document, and are subject to revision and change as decided by moderators and editors, with the intention of always providing a space for welcoming discourse. It is regularly reviewed and refreshed.

If you have any questions about this document or our community standards, please get in touch using our support form.