It occurred to me recently that the point of, and policy on PS comments hasn’t been talked about for a long time. It is usually hinted at, and only then when people skirt the edges of it.
So here’s a summary, which will also become a static page on the site to refer people to, but today can serve as a place for anyone to leave their views.
The objective of the comments section on Permanent Style is to be interesting and useful – much like the article it comments upon.
It’s wonderful when readers add their experiences, or expand the scope by asking questions. Often they’ll know a little shop that stocks the same product, or have experience with sizing. The comments have always been one of the best things about PS – and something that others admire. As a fellow writer put it to me, “I love how the comments on your actually go somewhere”.
It’s like that because of the quality contributions, and because I take time to answer everyone’s queries, no matter how old the article. It feels like some pieces never get old – they just broaden, update and mature.
But the section is also like that because it has been closely curated over the years. Contrary opinions are welcome, but any form of abuse isn’t tolerated and – more than that – we actively discourage comments from becoming personal. There is a natural tendency to do this when people disagree, but it immediately stops the discussion from being productive. It’s neither interesting nor useful.
For similar reasons, I discourage discussions from getting off track. There’s no harm in pointing out that we should consider China’s human rights record when we buy products from there, but a menswear site is simply not a good platform for an informed political discussion. These are not the best people to discuss it and it’s not what anyone came here to read.
I endeavour to be polite when making these points, and ask that readers do the same. An unmoderated comments section becomes uncivil, angry and dull surprisingly quickly. The internet has a tendency to reduce us all to a lowest common denominator: I think we should all make a conscious effort to push against it.
None of this could happen without you, lovely readers, and I thank you all for your consistent, wonderful contributions. The tiny minority that insist on trying to spoil it find themselves marked as spam, and their comments never appear. Fortunately, at that point I don’t even have to mark them as such – they just drop automatically into a big black hole.
Keep in mind that I see all comments, no matter what the post, and never mind responding – they’re interesting and useful to me too. And please try to leave comments on the site, rather than through emails or Instagram. It’s easier for me to answer (as I can link to articles) and, being public, it means tends of thousands of people benefit from the exchange, rather than just one.
Comments on this, as ever, welcome.
Policy in summary:
- PS comments are an integral part of the website, and have a specific policy
- All must be moderated in order to appear on the site
- To be approved, they must add to the article – be similarly interesting and/or useful
- Not only is abuse not tolerated, but any personal comments will not be published
- The same goes for topics unrelated to menswear
- Be civil. Talk to everyone as you would if you met them in person
- Which includes leaving a name. It’s just nice. Emails however are not required
- Repeat offenders are marked as spam and never appear
- No article is too old to be commented upon. We see all, and will respond
- Leave all questions here, please, rather than on social media or on email
- There is no right to be published. This is, in the end, a benevolent dictatorship
Remember, there is a central page where all comment threads are listed, here. That can be a nice way to track ongoing conversations.
Apologies to George, Patrik and everyone else for re-using these old Symposium pics. You guys just look so engaged and so interested, the perfect contributor.