At SparkFun, we believe strongly in freedom of speech and open discourse. Because we operate a public forum for discussion and want to foster a welcoming, helpful, and inclusive community, we’re obligated to make moderation decisions that balance those values with other concerns.

The Internet is full of places where you can say pretty much anything you want. Because we care about our community, we’re sometimes going to decide that it’s not ok to say things here. That doesn’t mean we don’t respect your right to express yourself. It just means you might have to find a more appropriate venue for what you want to say.

We will generally not edit comments, except to fix broken links or markup where the user’s intent is clearly visible.

We will sometimes hide comments, and in extreme cases revoke commenting privileges or permanently disable accounts, if the following guidelines are violated:

  1. Be nice to people
    • First, always remember that you’re talking to real people with real feelings.
    • Remember that commenters on SparkFun have a wide range of technical backgrounds and abilities. Try to welcome and encourage newcomers.
    • Members of our community come in all manner of ages, shapes, sizes, cultures, genders, sexual orientations, religious & political beliefs, etc. Try to create a welcoming and decent environment for hackers, makers, nerds, geeks, engineers, and ordinary people regardless of their background.
    • Don’t post derogatory or belittling comments about the personal appearance of others.
  2. Don’t spam
    • Commenting solely in order to promote commercial products or services, drive traffic to a site for commercial purposes, etc. will absolutely not be tolerated. Links to products, services, or vendors which are relevant to a discussion are encouraged, as long as they provide useful information. Not sure about the difference? If there’s any question in your mind about whether something is spam, there’s a pretty good chance we’re not going to like it.
    • Don’t post identical comments across many products, news items, or tutorials. These will be regarded as spam.
  3. Don’t troll
    • If a comment looks intended to provoke a flamewar, we’ll probably hide it.
    • Even if a comment is intended in good faith, but seems certain to provoke a flamewar, there’s a pretty good chance we’ll hide it.
  4. Don’t post noise
    • “First post” and all variants will be summarily deleted.
    • Novelty accounts will be banned.

Finally, please remember that, though we’re doing our best here, we’re going to mess up sometimes. If you feel we’ve handled an issue poorly, let us know (there’s a feedback form down there at the bottom of the page) and we’ll try to address your concerns.

Happy commenting!