TheGazette.com has redefined its public commenting guidelines. This has been done to clarify expectations for commenting at TheGazette.com. It is, in part, a response to complaints about the tenor of some commenting but also a desire by The Gazette and TheGazette.com to advance useful community conversation. For a full explanation, click here for a public statement by Gazette Editor Lyle Muller.
Here are the specifics of the new policy:
Rules of Engagement
- Be truthful. Cite your sources when making claims of fact. Comments should be on topic, accurate, timely and fair. Share your eyewitness accounts, background, observations and history so that you advance what we all can learn about the story. Ask about what you don't know.
- Be civil. Do not make personal attacks on others. Do not use ALLCAPs; we get it, no need to shout. The same goes for imperatives, such as “Wake up, people,” or examples of Godwin’s Law.
- Be responsible. Refrain from using obscene, vulgar, lewd or sexually-oriented language; statements that convey racism, sexism or terminology that degrades another person or class of people; and attacks on others that range from being against someone’s character to threatening someone’s physical safety.
- Own your words. Use your real name.
- Leave the trolls alone. Let us know if things are getting out of hand by using the "Report Abuse" button on offensive comments.
- Take commercial ads elsewhere. They won’t be allowed in the news comments section.
- Know that comments will be moderated. Reporters and editors will respond to questions, statements of facts and comments that require responses and also gauge comments’ value in terms of the principles mentioned above.
- Or what? Comments that do not adhere to the Rules of Engagement will be removed.