Copyright release, etc.:
By commenting on my blog you make assurances of the normal legal mumbo-jumbo concerning my irrevocable right to publish on the blog, your ownership of the contents of the comment, whatnot. I further reserve the right to (with appropriate attribution) use and publish your comment(s) in other contexts, e.g. on my website. Beware that your comments may be published elsewhere without my control, and that WordPress.com may reserve further rights.
My treatment of comments:
I believe strongly in both free speech and the benefits of debate and dialectic. Correspondingly, I will admit most comments without great filtering, and I will do my best to handle issues relating to comments with fairness and tolerance. When push-comes-to-shove, however, I reserve the right to play the despot—including disregarding anything I say on this page.
A notable exception to my free-speech policy is comments that I consider spam—and where I do not tend to give the benefit of a doubt (cf. a post on comment spam). In addition, beware that WordPress.com it self filters comments for spam and that I will rarely have the time to make a manual inspection of the comments it has declined. (On my few inspections so far, there have been no false positives.)
I may, on a case-by-case basis, exclude comments that are off-topic, rude, use personal attacks, or are otherwise clearly unsuitable. This applies irrespective of who the victims of such attacks are. If these comments otherwise contain something of value, I may contact the commenter with the offer that he submit a cleaned-up version.
If you, as a reader, think that a comment should be deleted, feel free to tell me. Beware, however, that I may not agree, that it may take some time before I get around to it, and that your best recourse usually is to give an ad rem reply to any points that you find offensive. Also remember that a commenter who behaves like a jack-ass usually does more harm to his own cause and reputation than to his opponents.
While I believe that the right to free speech extends to statements that are of a highly controversial nature or are typically condemned by society in large, I will delete comments that could potentially bring me or this blog into legal troubles. Note that WordPress.com may have additional restrictions in this or a similar direction, which may also lead to the deletion of comments.
Comments will only be edited by me for good reasons (ideally: never). If they are, I will very clearly indicate my edits. Edits per request will only be made in exceptional cases: Partially, because I am quite busy as it is; partially, because this is often an ethical gray-area. Generally, I advise to think before commenting, not after. (I have no objections to follow-up comments with clarifications, amendments, elaborations, or retractions, however.)
General disclaimer of opinion:
Opinions expressed in comments are those of the commenters. Unless I explicitly state otherwise, they must not be taken to coincide with my own opinions. (Further beware that my opinions have been known to change over time.)