Comment policy

This comment policy is a reflection of two things, the philosophy, values and mission of MHRI, and the fact that this site is an instrument designed to advance the welfare of men and boys in Ireland and, therefore, this site is not a platform for general-purpose discussion.

With that in mind, please recognise that you are a guest at MHRI and are welcome to contribute to any discussion you like, but you do not have an absolute right to be here nor to behave in any way you please. Participation in MHRI comment threads is contingent on your compliance with the policies set out on this page, and neither violations by others nor our failure to enforce the rules are licence to ignore them.

We value free speech and therefore MHRI aims to moderate with the lightest possible touch and to provide as unrestricted a space as possible, but there are certain standards that are required to maintain a useful and stimulating environment. Per the Terms of Service, neither individual comments nor whole threads may be interpreted as representative of MHRI’s own position on a given subject.

In a nutshell: stay on topic and argue the point, not the person.


Every comment must be on topic, meaning directly or indirectly relevant to the article to which they’re attached. Dissent is welcome, including feminist and pro-feminist ideas, provided it complies with the conduct policy described below.

Unconditionally off-topic

Comments involving the following are always off-topic, and are subject to the escalating sanctions as described below:

Moderators have the right to declare a specific subject, aspects of a subject or thread off-topic at their own discretion, at which point the rules described here apply.

Conditionally off-topic

Discuss the following topics at your peril: while not actually banned subjects, context and focus are everything. It is okay to express your personal beliefs, but it is not okay to assert them as pre-eminent in any sense. Note that expressions of belief are not amenable to debate because nothing you say is going to change somebody else’s values or considered position.

Rather than outright ban discussions revolving around these subjects, we discourage them and instead leave matters to moderator discretion. If things get out of hand, a moderator will declare the subject a ‘dead horse’ at which point the rules described below apply.


Derailment, including badgering of other commentators and excess repetition long after a moderator has declared a subject a ‘dead horse’ will result in escalating sanctions as described below.

Ad hominem and personal attack are forbidden, particularly in respect of contributors and authors. Insults are a grey area and will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis at the complete discretion of the moderators though, when in doubt, we may err on the side of decorum. Profanity itself is generally okay provided the rest of the comment complies with the rest of the policies described on this page.

Challenge the message, not the messenger

You are not your ideas, and the same is true of your opponents. Though personal attack is forbidden, any proposition you offer is fair game and you must expect to be challenged on it by others who feel strongly but differently from you. Do not interpret this as an attack on you personally, and likewise you must make every effort to tackle your opposition’s ideas rather than your opponent him (or her) self.

Free speech and “anything goes” are not the same things

To be clear: this minimum standard of decorum is not tone or language policing. We welcome robust and forthright debate for as long as it remains constructive, on-topic and revelant to the subject of the debate, but we will not tolerate the degeneration of comment threads into pettiness.

We value free speech (including speech we disagree with) and we want comment threads to be as unrestricted as possible. The limitations we impose are pragmatic measures designed to maintain the usefulness and relevance of MHRI comment threads as a platform for debate. In other words, there is an important difference between what you say, and how you say it.


Moderator and management decisions are final and there is no right of appeal however, if you feel we have seriously erred, then you can email us and make your case.

Serious infractions, particularly in respect of violence will usually get you banned immediately. Minor infractions will result in anything from a warning to a temporary period in comment moderation during which you are still welcome to post, but expect a delay until a moderator can check the mod queue. Repeated infractions will eventually result in a ban.

Please take the warning seriously. We welcome your contributions, but we will not permit individual commentators to degenerate the conversation until it becomes all about you.

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Nobody believed him.

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