1. What kind of comments are appropriate for the site? What kind aren’t?
Glad you asked. Read The Consumerist Comments Code. All commenters should read, understand and follow it. If you don’t, you will be banned.
2. Who can leave comments on Consumerist?
Anyone who’s auditioned successfully to become a commenter (see below) or anyone who’s received an email invitation from us or a friend. The comment system is invitation only because our editors want to spend more time providing new content and less time moderating comment threads.
3. How can I become a commenter?
To become a commenter, you need to audition, which entails leaving at least one comment on the site. To do so, click on the New User link at the bottom of any post. On the next screen, type an interesting, substantial or highly amusing comment into the text field below the post, then enter your desired username and password. Click the “submit comment” button. Your comment won’t show up until (and if) we approve it.
We only approve the comments we love — so make sure you’re adding something of quality to the post. If we approve your comment, your username and password will be activated and you’ll be able to login to comment freely from then on (or at least until you get banned).
Two tips for auditioning to become a commenter: First, leaving multiple high quality comments on different threads using your newly created username increases your chances of having your comments — and therefore your username — approved. Second, if a comment from a newly created username doesn’t show up on the site, that’s because it’s still awaiting approval. There’s no need to submit the same comment multiple times.
4. Can I comment anonymously?
Yeah, totally. Consumerist’s comment system is designed so that you can register and post anonymously. Not even we will know who you are.
Here’s how to ensure that you register anonymously. When you create your username, choose one that’s unrelated to your real identity. Then, add an anonymous nickname in your user profile. We won’t be able to link your username/nickname with your offline self.
We do ask for an email address so that we can email a new password in case you forget it. To preserve your anonymity, use an anonymous Gmail, Yahoo Mail, or Hotmail account. Or, if you want to remain totally under the radar, and you’re good at remembering passwords, leave the email field blank.
5. Can I be banned from commenting?
Yes, if your comments are excessively self-promotional, obnoxious, or even worse, boring. There will be no warning, and no appeal. We’re like the wind.
It takes a lot to really piss us off, though, so have fun—just don’t be a jerk. (For advice on good comment etiquette, check out Lifehacker’s guide to weblog comments.)