I may not be the only one who asked the ASI for their policy on moderating comments, but the response I got, - with one teensy difference - was much as this post:
A reader asks about our policy on moderating comments. It's pretty straightforward. We tend to filter out abuse, racism, and hostility to minority groups. We prefer those who comment to avoid gratuitous discourtesy to other writers. We don't encourage people who turn every subject toward their pet obsession, nor do we like excessive length, although this is a grey area. Foul language is not welcome. Self-promotion and thinly disguised sales pitches don’t go down well, and those who abuse us on their own sites must not expect to get posted on ours.
These are very basic and fairly obvious rules, and it is gratifying that hardly any of those who post comments transgress them.
The difference? I've highlighted it above.
Far be it from me to overstate my influence but I think thats probably me. I would point out though that my original request for information on their policy was dated 17 June. On 4th July I sent them an e-mail - I've posted that already but here it is again.
The essence of a Blog is surely the opportunity to encourage comment and debate. My last two attempts to post critical comments on your blog have been prevented and trackbacks from posts on my own blog on the same issues have been deleted.
I do not believe my comments were in any way offensive or abusive. I would be grateful therefore for an explanation of why they were not been allowed through your 'moderation' process. Looking through the comments which are posted I have not managed to find any which are critical of the post on which they comment. It is difficult therefore to avoid the impression that this is a deliberate process of manipulation of the discussion.
I am posting this e-mail on my blog. If my impressions of what is going on are wrong I will of course be happy to post a retraction.
I never recieved a reply to that e-mail. I'm happy for the ASI to allow who they like to post. However I don't think they are being honest about their policy. They give every appearance of restricting comment to those who agree with them. I only began posting critical comments on this website because they won't allow me to comment on theirs. If they are so lacking in confidence that they can't accept criticism from a minor blogger, why should anyone take any notice of them? In passing - am I abusive to them? To quote a commenter on another post - 'firm but fair' is what I think I've been.
I'm doubtful too, that the anonymous commenter on this post was simply the random passer by.