The Truth About Cars provides no-holds-barred, take-no-prisoners automotive news, reviews and editorials. Our writers call it like they see it, and pull no punches. We also provide a comments section for readers to voice their informed and passionate opinions in an atmosphere of mutual respect.
Back in the day, Robert Farago was a freelance writer living in the UK. After Autocar blacklisted the auto writer for slating then Editor-In-Chief Steve Sutcliffe (for boasting about driving a Lamborghini with his eyes closed), Farago started posting rants on www.pistonheads.com. Despite (or because of) Fahrenheit 451 temp replies, he created a regular series called “The Truth About Cars.” When Farago moved to the U.S., he started TTAC.
In 2009, Robert Farago left The Truth About Cars, leaving then-Managing Editor Edward Niedermeyer “at the con.” When Edward Niedermeyer left in 2011, then-Managing Editor Bertel Schmitt took over. Jack Baruth succeeded Bertel Schmitt as Editor In Chief in 2013.
The Truth About Cars prides itself on its editorial independence. Even though we accept advertising, the ads do not influence our editorial content. All advertising is handled by our parent company, VerticalScope. We also believe in full disclosure. Any time we receive a car loan or travel considerations from a manufacturer, we state the fact in the review.
It is not what you say that matters but the manner in which you say it; there lies the secret of the ages.”
William Carlos Williams
Comments are an inseparable part of TTAC. TTAC has a reputation for high quality comments written by knowledgeable people. We appreciate all comments that improve this reputation. Quality will lapse without quality control. Therefore, the following commenting guidelines are in effect. If you do not agree with these guidelines, do not post comments on TTAC. Posting comments on TTAC constitutes an acceptance of these guidelines..
There are two very simple guiding rules to commenting on TTAC
- When commenting, picture yourself being invited to a dinner party with a roomful of strangers. You probably will not attack or insult the host, or the other guests. You will get annoyed by rude and uncivilized guests. You will understand that the host will not invite people back who violate simple rules of civility. Attacking the host could mean an end of the dinner before deserts are served.
- You have a right to your opinion, you are immediately wrong if you are rude. Rude, uncivilized remarks mean an immediate loss of the argument. They also can mean a loss of commenting privileges.
You don’t need to know more in order to comment on TTAC. For further amplification, read this:
No personal attacks on other commenters or TTAC authors. Disagreement is no attack, name calling is. You may make a robust argument, but you may not insult the other person. To provide for a safe workplace for TTAC authors, there are increased standards. The decision of what is an attack rests with TTAC moderators, and their decision is final.
No libelous statements. Allegations of criminal activity, or comments that unfairly harm a person’s reputation are very serious attacks.
No hate speech. Racism and sexism will not be tolerated. TTAC is read all around the world. Different cultures, religions, and lifestyles will have different standards and thresholds. Be tolerant, do no force your individual standards on others. Do not advocate violence towards other people, cultures, or countries. Be careful of what we call “racism by proxy.” Saying “I hate Eskimos” is racism. Saying “Samoans hate Eskimos” is racism by proxy, it is insulting two nations instead of one, and it will not be tolerated either. False accusations of hate speech, made to suppress news, or to intimidate opponents, likewise will not be tolerated. The decision of what is hate speech rests with TTAC moderators, and their decision is final.
No foul language, no threats. We are no shrinking violets. If a TTAC moderator gets upset about foul language, probably everybody else will. The decision of what is foul or threatening rests with TTAC moderators, and their decision is final.
No Spam. Comments deemed as advertising or spam are not allowed, will be removed, and will result in immediate bannage.
No copypaste: Do not copy material from other sources, and do not post them as a comment. Brief quotes, with the source acknowledged, are ok.
No ‘what not to write’ requests: We appreciate suggestions of what to cover, we do not appreciate suggestions of what not to write and to ignore. Errors in reporting will be investigated and fixed, if necessary. Our opinions are ours, and they will not be taken away. Demands to change opinions, be it from readers or from automakers, will set these opinions in stone, and will lead to the bannage of the requester. The decision of what to select as TTAC content is solely that of TTAC editors.
No multiple personalities. Each TTAC subscriber may comment under one alias only. Multiple alias are not allowed. Bannage blocks the commenting facility for a subscriber, it does not remove the subscriber from the system. Banned subscribers may not re-register under a different persona.
No kicking against the pricks. If you write “I will probably get banned for this,” you probably will. Backtalk after an administrative action usually means a quick end to a commenter’s career on TTAC. When a discussion is closed, it is so for a reason. Hijacking other threads to continue a closed discussion is a bannable offense.
No flaming, no trolling. “Flaming” means personally insulting. “Trolling” means making comments deliberately designed to encourage flamers.
First to get rude loses the argument.
“You slapped my face
Oh but so gently I smile
At the caress.”
William Carlos Williams
TTAC moderators do not read all comments. If they see a violation, they can take administrative action. Usually, TTAC moderators do not edit or censor comments. Commenters are responsible for their own comments, moderators are not here to clean up after commenters. The WordPress banning function usually removes the comment at which the bannage is exercised, but we will try to keep the comment in place. Banned posters leave and are not invited back, but the nonsense stays. In egregious cases, we remove whole posts, but we never edit them.
What about free speech? We cherish and defend the right to free speech. Freedom of Speech is a right to express opinions in public. Freedom of the press means that one can publish on any “press” to which one has access. Freedom of press is not a freedom of venue: One can picket a business in a public street, however, the business can evict protesters from its own premises. Likewise, the owner of a “press” cannot be forced to publish our words. We reserve the right to exercise our property rights, and we request commenters to respect our right to undisturbed possession. If you don’t like what you read here, stop reading. If you disagree strongly with what is written in TTAC, get your own website, and show us how to do it right.
These are commenting guidelines, no editorial guidelines. Just like a firefight in a movie is OK, but a firefight in a movie theater is not, these commenting guidelines apply to comments, not to articles. TTAC articles have their own, internal policies.
What happens if these rules are violated?
If a notice is posted, the instructions of the moderator should be followed. Not following the instructions can mean bannage.
If a commenter is banned, the moderator usually posts a notice. The commenter’s avatar may be changed to mark the fact that this commenter may no longer comment.
Do not fight back against rude commenters. If you see a violation of the rules, send a message to the editors. Getting embroiled in a flame war can mean getting banned together with other violators.
Do not fight back against administrative action. Decisions of moderators are not up for debate. If you see moderators in action, step back and let them do their work. Joining the uncivil disturbance, or protests against administrative actions can attract bannage.
Moderators will not decide who is right or wrong. The job of moderators is to maintain peace, not to judge.
To enter a comment you have to be registered on the site and signed in.
You have just registered. Comments of new sign-ons need to be manually rescued from the moderation queue. This is to keep comments free of spam.
The comment was caught by the “bad word filter.” WordPress has a “bad word” list. A comment with a word that is on the list is put into the moderation queue and needs to be manually rescued – or deleted…
The comment was caught by the spam filter. This is tricky. The filter will reject comments it considers spam. How it does that is its dirty little secret, and it appears to have a mind of its own. If you don’t see your message, try to change it a bit and post it again. If it still does not show up, please drop us a line.
You are using a “throwaway” email address.
Comments from people (or bots) who use certain anonymous email providers have a high rate of spam, and therefore are blocked at TTAC. It is a long list, ranging from “@advertfast.com” via “@discardmail” all the way to “@zoo-hardcore.com” (I kid you not). If you sign up using one of those, the sign-up will not be accepted. Once you are successfully signed-up, this lockout should not be a problem for you, unless you manually change your email address to one of the throwaway guys. If you can’t comment after changing your email address, change it back.
TTAC does accept story pitches, news tips, links and documents at our contact form. Due to the high volume of submissions, not all contacts can receive responses. The quickest and easiest way to propose a story is to send it. If you never hear back, it did not pass muster. If you see it published, then we like it. Any material sent to TTAC becomes the property of TTAC.