Commenting Policies

Welcome to Sahel Blog! This site aims to spark discussion on Africa, and I sincerely hope you’ll engage me and the other readers. To encourage the exchange of ideas and help everyone to feel comfortable, I’ve written up a set of guidelines that will let you know what to expect in the comments section.

1. Comments are encouraged and appreciated

As a blogger at various sites, I have learned a great deal from commenters of all different backgrounds and perspectives. I started this blog because I have something to say about events in Africa, but I don’t know everything by any means. I encourage you to weigh in and let me know what you think about an issue, even if we disagree.

With that said, not all comments are welcome:

2. Spam gets filtered, hate gets moderated

I use automated spam filtering to weed out most spam comments. I also moderate comments, mostly as another means of preventing spam. The first time you post a comment, I have to manually approve that comment before it appears on our site. After that, you will be able to post comments without manual moderation.

I rarely moderate comments for content, and since I started blogging in late 2006 I have rarely had to ban users at any of my sites. I welcome almost all viewpoints here, but I will delete certain comments, namely ones that are hateful, blatantly self-promotional, incoherent, or advocate violence. I will also moderate comments that make personal attacks on other readers or on me, though I typically give a warning first.

3. Relevant links are encouraged

I encourage readers to link to relevant sources and interesting materials outside this site. I also have no problem with readers who enter in their own website in the comment form or use their own website as a signature. If you take the time to comment, I think you deserve a link. That said, irrelevant or blatantly self-serving links will be removed as spam.

4. Please keep up the discussion

I do my best to respond to all comments. I check the site regularly, and I am happy to participate in discussions. If you leave a comment, please come back and check to see if someone – I or another reader – has responded. You can use your email address to subscribe to the comments of any post and receive emails when a new comment is added by checking the labeled box before you press the Submit Comment button. I will never spam your email address and you can remove your subscription at anytime.

If you have any questions or wish to comment to me privately, you can contact me at alexseminal at

Thanks for your participation and I look forward to hearing what you have to say!