Frankly Curious is liberal in more ways than one. The way that we are interested in here is in how we respond to the internet community. We don’t like to set hard and fast rules about things. But in general, we want to share with the world — as long as the world is sharing back.
All the writing on this site is Copyright 2009 –, Frankly Curious Media. That’s also true of things like our header images and so on. How much do we care about enforcing our copyright? Hard to say. Recently, one of these websites that just “aggregates” content, copied an entire article of ours. We asked them to take it down. We wouldn’t have minded if they had done a normal link to this site, but instead, they used a “nofollow” link, meaning they were using our material and not even giving us any credit for it in Google rankings. This is what we mean about sharing back. You want to use some of our content? Go ahead. But don’t do everything you can to avoid giving us credit. Using “nofollow” is the modern equivalent of not providing a byline.
We used to play pretty fast and loose with image copyright around here. That has recently changed and now all new images are marked with credit and usage rights. My own images such as my Republican Bumper Sticker, are released under CC BY 3.0. The only thing is that we would really like a link back to our site. So we would like to see images acknowledged in the following way:
Hot linking is where you place an image on your webpage, but have our website store and serve the image. We used to be against this, but we’ve changed our mind. We are fine with hot linking at the current time. We are, however, not okay with hot linking when the “nofollow” relation is used. And this means that we are generally not okay with people linking to our images on bulletin boards and in comments. These environments almost always make their links “nofollow.” Again, this comes down to sharing.
In these special cases, the villain is not the the commenter. They are adding content to whatever site they are on. Part of that content belongs to Frankly Curious. The villain is the bulletin board operator who seems to think that people should provide them with free content and they should not have to give back to the internet at large. We have a problem with that and in the future, we will doubtless get more aggressive in enforcing this. For more information, see Don’t Steal Image Bandwidth for how commenters can use our images in an illegal and immoral way — but one that won’t bother us nearly as much.
Visitors of this site are encouraged to participate here by commenting on our articles. Spamming, of course, is not allowed. Comments are now moderated. We try to get to them several times per day. In general, comments left by humans are allowed; comments left by bots are not. At this point, we respond to most comments. Sometimes we screw up, however. We have, for example, accidentally erased comments. If your comment does not appear within 24 hours, please try again. If we delete your comment, we will most likely add a comment noting this.
Links can be placed directly in comments. We encourage people to point out new sources of information — including those from commenters’ own websites. In order to encourage the communal aspects of the web, all links used to be clean — we didn’t add "nofollow" to the relationship attributes of links. This increased the commenters’ web visibility which is the least we can do for people who add content to this website.
Times have changed, however. It is a pain to make comments do this. We may change it in the future. Instead, we are in the process of creating a page with links to the websites of regular commenters.
The way comments currently work is that once we approve a comment of yours, all your comments are automatically approved. If you start annoying us — usually by being mean to other commenters — we will revoke your auto-acceptance status. At this point, Frankly Curious has a growing commenting community made up of knowledgeable, thoughtful, and generally nice people. If you are joining in, try to be like them.
Just to be clear, we are not the government. We do not allow hate speech. We will only allow “talking point” comments to go on for so long. And we absolutely reserve to right to stop anyone from commenting here. We’ve seen far too many web based communities be destroyed because of a single troll. We want people to disagree. But it can be done with respect and without bigotry.
When you post a comment, you have to enter an email address. You don’t have to enter a valid one, though. On very rare occasions, we will use these email addresses to reach out to the commenter. This is usually because they brought up something personal and we want to respect their privacy. But this is extremely rare. The email addresses are not collected in any form. They are in the database that Frankly Curious uses. The only way they are used is to identify people who don’t need to have their comments moderated.
Frankly Curious uses Google Analytics. This allows us to determine which webpages people are reading and so on. It doesn’t provide us with any identifying information. Over time, we plan to get more serious about privacy issues. We don’t want to invade anyone’s privacy. We aren’t trying to create a mailing list for any reason at all — and certainly not so we can (directly or indirectly) sell you stuff.
The main thing is that it is far more important to us to build a community than anything else. And in light of that, if there is something that we are doing that you don’t like, tell us. It is probably the case that we don’t know. As it is, many of the changes to the website have been made thanks to requests by readers. So speak up in the comments, or email us. We are always happy to hear from you.
This site uses the Amazon Associates program. That means that when you buy something from Amazon via one of our links, we get a cut (6%). You don’t pay more. Also: if you are outside the US, we don’t get a cut. We may do something about that soon, given that over half our traffic is from outside the US.
Each Halloween, Frank is required to write, “Halloween is my favorite holiday.”
Serious Legal Stuff