By on February 25, 2013

It is very simple: Stay civil.

Commenters can say anything on TTAC, as long as it is said in a civilized way. It’s not what one says on TTAC that can attract a ban, only how comments are made. Rudeness, bullying, name calling can quickly lead to a permanent bannage.

TTAC is proud to be different than the usual sites on the Internet. A huge part of what sets us apart is the depth and quality of the comments. Sadly, there are a few isolated cases who don’t seem to understand this simple rule. Last week, we had to ban a few commenters because of that. We also received a few letters in the recent weeks, complaining about a deterioration of the general tone in the commenting section.

It always pains me when I have to send someone away. However, sometimes, sacrifices must be made. It pains me when long term quality commenters are shown the door. However, the commenting rules apply equally to everybody, including TTAC editors. (The commenting rules do not apply to TTAC articles.)

Rudeness triggers rudeness, and soon, it brings the whole discussion down. Do you want to go to a party where you know you will be accosted and bullied?

Please read the TTAC Commenting Policy. It works on two very simple principles:

  1. 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 desserts are served.
  2. 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.

To make it even simpler, we have worked principle #2 into the TTAC Law:

“First to get rude loses the argument.”

  • If someone gets rude on TTAC, simply say “TTAC Law.”
  • If someone calls you a cottonpicking male offspring of a female canine, simply say “TTAC Law.”
  • Instead of demanding to bring a banned commenter back, simply say “TTAC Law” when rudeness happens. YOU can prevent bannage: Say “TTAC Law.”

Also, we have new authors, and we will have more. Please go easy on them. Unless you are a very seasoned , long-term professional writer, having your writing criticized in public can be extremely embarrassing. We have lost a few new good writers because of this. From now on, we will rather lose a few bad commenters. By the way: TTAC editors never ever edit comments, we are not here to clean up other people’s messes.

So before you hit SUBMIT COMMENT, check your writing: Is it rude? Insulting? Would saying it get you not invited back to the dinner party? Would it get you smacked over the head in a rough bar? Then DON’T SUBMIT THE COMMENT.


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42 Comments on “How Not To Get Banned On TTAC...”

  • avatar
    bigtruckseriesreview @ Youtube

    By the way…who won TTAC’s TOP TROLL POLL???

  • avatar
    Ron B.

    I’ll bet the kid in dunce cap came back after his dishonerable discharge from the marines and KA’d the locals and in a drunken PTSD induced rage, got his own back for the humiliation he suffered…. just saying.

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    “Unless you are a very seasoned , long-term professional writer, having your writing criticized in public can be extremely embarrassing. We have lost a few new good writers because of this.”

    Unfortunate, but the writers should dry their tears with their paychecks.

    • 0 avatar

      Gotta agree if you put your words out there you put risk the back lash. Bartel just wondering two things one how long to the “new” writers get to be treated with kid gloves ,set time frame ( ie 6 months ) or number of articles ( ie 5 ) and has the TTAC board who send people off the island ( I assume that is you but I could be wrong and maybe it is a group) ever heard sticks and stones may break your bones but words will never hurt me? If this gets me band and no more replies from me I have not died ( oh crap I am wearing my red star trek shirt today)

      • 0 avatar

        All I am asking for is that the new writers are treated with the requested common courtesy:

        Instead of: “You suck as an automotive writer. Please,go back to school.” (Original quote.)
        Maybe better: “Faulkner would love your prose: It doesn’t send readers to the dictionary.”


        Maybe, this exercise helps us all to hone the fine and entertaining art of the classy and witty put-down, which makes each comment a joy to read.

        • 0 avatar

          Question with regard to some of the new authors, were any of them aspiring professional writers? I ask because my assumption of most TTAC writers had “day jobs” and they wrote because it was their passion, not necessarily a career choice.

        • 0 avatar

          LOL! Don’t you mean “Hemingway would love your prose?” Oh… you’re just having a bit of ironic fun with Faulkner?

          Clever comment either way.

    • 0 avatar

      It’s great to add new writers and the fresh ideas are good for everybody who reads TTAC. However, it is inevitable that some new contributors are going to be “one hit wonders” that had one promising story in them but not much more.

      Better to get good feedback from your audience early on. You don’t want site quality to slip in order to protect the feelings of the staff. Constructive criticism is good, rudeness is not.

    • 0 avatar

      What pay?

  • avatar

    All sounds fair enough. Who got banned last week?

  • avatar

    I understand completely what you’re saying, I moderate a forum too and it’s sometimes hard to keep the regulars from going nuts on some poor fool that comes in with a $50 mouth and 2 cent ass to back it up. The other major issue we see is guys trying to link stuff to their business for the free advertising – they’re clever, like let me show ya’ll this here video, and every other word sounds like a Nascar driver at the end of the race trying to mention as many sponsors as he can possibly spit out.

    • 0 avatar

      Yep, I agree.

      It’s so easy to be a critic of someone’s comments or writing and the self-aggrandizing and self-appointed gurus that consider themselves the experts on all things often accuse others of not knowing what they talk about and resort to name calling, bullying or demeaning commentary, if they do not agree with something or do not understand what is being communicated (i.e. misinterpretation of the written word).

      There’s no need for name calling, bullying or demeaning commentary. If you don’t like what a person wrote, skip over it. Bypass it! Constrain yourself if you cannot criticize intelligently.

      Many of the people who choose to comment on an intelligent site like ttac actually have the experience to back up their comments on a given subject and are not here to educate the critics who may lack the same core experiences.

      It is distracting for the current automotive professionals who read ttac and other boards to see such behavior and I agree with Bertel that if a person chooses to comment, they’ve got to play by the rules of this board.

      Hey, it is a private, foreign board. It is not an American board. It is Canadian. They can set their own rules and do as they please. The American ‘anything goes’ theme does not apply in Canada. They’re a lot more reserved than we Americans are. Respect it!

      I’m all for it, because there have been numerous times I’ve had to physically keep my fingers from typing a reply to some of the most ignorant criticisms I have read anywhere, by anyone.

      Had I given in to the urge, I would have been banned long ago. I wouldn’t want that to happen because I really enjoy the articles and most of the comments I read on ttac.

      I wonder how many others feel the way I do but just don’t say anything. Maybe I’m weird, but that’s the way I see it.

      One other thing; does anyone else know that many comments are written by other foreigners, not just Americans, but i.e. Mexicans, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Australian, German, Dutch, British, South African, Indonesian, South American, and, yes, even Russian?

      Their knowledge of American or the Queen’s English may not be as natural for them as it is for Americans and Canadians and their comments may not be interpreted by readers the way the authors intended them to convey what they wanted to communicate.

      I think a little civility goes a long way. I’m all for it!

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        Hey, Highdesertcat,
        I’um and Ostralian, wow ist my engrish dat poorly:)

        I think you were one of the first people I had ever interacted with on these forums. I only started this out 12 months ago.

        I presented a piece on our road trains in Austrlia, and you went off like a frog in a sock. You found it exceptionally interesting. You were the one made me continue on these forums. Because I made someone interested in something and hopefully you learnt or gained something from my input. I still try and do that.

        I’m one of those guys who sometimes lets loose. I wish I don’t, but some guys I do know are trolling. Even when they are nice.

        Having a debate with someone is a form of trolling. But benchmarks have to be in place. What someone finds “normal” might offend someone else. We call it equity and diversity at work.

        But I do tend to apologise when proven wrong.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          I unintentionally spelt AUSTRALIAN wrong.

          I’ll start to proof read my work.

        • 0 avatar

          Australian road trains are sweet. We need more Australian content.

        • 0 avatar

          Hey, Big Al,

          Yes, I remember. And I always learn something from the comments of others.

          Your comments have always been a good read on every board I visited and maybe you should have tried out for a guest-writer slot at ttac.

          I know the field was crowded and finding the time to write informatively and constructively for publication could be a challenge, especially if you have a life.

          Many of the comments here are America-centric-only but for the edification of all of us, and to broaden the scope of the less well-rounded or less informed, it wouldn’t hurt to learn what is happening elsewhere.

          My cousins in Portugal are all American-market car nuts, just like my cousins in Germany and they were amazed when I emailed them articles about the research, development and testing going on down under.

          Much to their chagrin they could neither afford the cars being tested or those cars would never be introduced into their markets.

          Fortunately for all of us the number of trolls on ttac is relatively low and readers soon identify them and skip over their comments or otherwise ignore them.

          ttac is by far the most intelligent site of its kind. I’ve been a fan since the days of the biting commentary of Robert Farago.

          Hope to read more by you.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Thanks, Highdesertcat,
            The world is a huge place, and the other “site” I frequent was my first.

            You are correct about the US centricity of that site and the style of vehicle attracts some relatively narrow minded people.

            I like all things mechanical, that’s why I have the job I have.

            Like you said, time is very important and I still work so I can eat. I’ll hopefully retire within a few years or so.

            Like yourself and another interesting person Robert Ryan I have travelled around the world, and still do so.

            I’m hoping to be at the Paris Airshow this June. I’m lucky though, I have 3 cousins in Paris and it a great city to visit.

  • avatar

    First of all I am the last one in the world to cast stones about anyone else’s grammar, composition or spelling… a glance at the my continual improper use of the ellipsis (…) rather than the proper punctuation is a fine illustration of my lack of qualification.

    But (you knew there was going to be a ‘but’ ‘right?), I wonder if the editors of THAC could perhaps help their authors with stronger proofreading before they post the articles?

    Far too often the errors are just simple typos of the sort that autocorrection has changed into the wrong word or just a missing word or bit of punctuation

    My first job at age 16 was for my local weekly newspaper where I delivered the paper to various local outlets from my 1948 CJ-2A Jeep and was their photographer after school and weekends. As a part of the later task I was required to submit a typewritten short paragraph (caption) for each photo with such things as the the proper name of the award and who got it as well as who gave it, with the proper titles of course. It should be obvious that there was no great literary skill required for this endeavor but still the success of a local paper then as now has a lot to owe to folks seeing their own or their friends name in print. When I started this I was amazingly bad at the captioning part of my job, but via the kind efforts of my editor, I got better at it quite quickly.

    One tip you might pass on to those new to the world of proof reading is for them to read what has been written backwards. For me this was the top tip as it helps avoid the problem of seeing what you meant to type rather than seeing what you actually typed when you wrote the piece.


    • 0 avatar

      windy, i just read your last paragraph backwards and it sounded like such a mish-mash of words i can not figure out how that would help me find a mistake.

      of course your paragraph was ‘perfect’ so perhaps therein lies my problem, but seriously how does reading it backward actually help?

      • 0 avatar

        Well each to his own as the old man said as he kissed the pig.
        The trick of reading what you wrote backwards works for spelling and typo errors and not for grammar and composition mistakes. But for those errors where it is useful it is amazingly so.
        You are reading the words as words not as a part of a thought you were getting down. For example for a typo that a spell checker would not catch the word bate for bait reading the words backwards makes this sort of thing stand out.
        I my case I have always spelled very badly and I wrote with a dictionary by my side before the days of spell checkers. So when I was reading the work backwards word for word those misspelled words would catch my eye and could be corrected .

        Reading over what I had written normally my brain would ‘see’ what I had meant to say and the error would not register. You still have to read over your work normally for grammar and composition errors and to see if in fact you have made any sense and conveyed what you intended to impart to your readers. But it works after a fashion for me.

        In the absence of an editor my prose is most of the time somewhat convoluted and overlong….
        Hence my handle.

  • avatar

    Bertel- you wouldn’t be talking about some of the comments onthe Subaru Rental piece would you? Some of those guys were kinda “hard on the beaver.” I liked the piece and found it very informative which is what I am looking for on here.

  • avatar

    6 months and 5 articles?!? Man, you guys came after me on my second submission!

  • avatar

    “We have lost a few new good writers because of this.”

    FWIW, I miss the suspension series that had been started, but appears to have been abruptly aborted due to rude commenters who simply wanted to know “what shock should I buy?” without considering what vehicle, what application, what needs, etc.

    • 0 avatar

      That was a prime example. I was especially disheartened because I know Shaikh offline and he is one of the most gentle and generous people I’ve ever met, and a good writer to boot. The tone of some of the comments left him extremely discouraged and disheartened. May I also add Shaikh chose to write simply for the love of writing about cars, not for any sort of compensation.

      • 0 avatar

        Thanks, Derek, it’s good to have you chime in on this. I don’t know him personally, but the series was a great start for people who truly wanted to learn something about suspensions and tuning, as opposed to those who were lazy and just wanted to know on whose counter to put their credit card.

        The reality is that it’s not as simple as putting your credit card down, because you need to think about a lot of aspects when tuning your suspension. Unfortunately, many TTAC commenters have very little appreciation for engineering and development of automobiles, despite many of them trying to pose as armchair experts of such things.

        • 0 avatar

          The problem is that it’s impossible for some people to conceive of the fact that there is a real person on the other end of the monitor.

          • 0 avatar

            Agreed, sir. There are a thousand other places for you to “destroy”, “PWN”, engage in epic battles with, or [insert verb here] people you don’t agree with on the internets. Why do you also need to do it here? Why do you also need to do it to people who are providing you free content?

            This is why people need to stick to the facts and the logical arguments that flow from those facts and do it politely. There’s no need for the ad hominems and general rudeness.

            As much as I disagree with some of Bertel’s arguments and conclusions sometimes, he’s got the “dinner party” thing right. If you go to people’s houses and piss on the dining table, don’t expect another invitation next time.

  • avatar

    I offer my apology to you Bertel; I had you figured wrong.

  • avatar

    oops ~

    I’m guilty of being rude to some commentors , sorry .

    I like the writing here , it needn’t be perfect in every way as the writers tend to be real car people unlike some of the whiny trolls .

    I’m a hands on kinda guy , Journeyman Mechanic who also drives for pleasure as much as I can , older vehicles always but the writing here is *so* dang good , I read the newer vehicle stories occasionally too .



    (prolly the old man on the magazine cover)

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