New Comment Policy Encourages Healthy Discussion

January 25, 2010

Neighborhood Media, the parent company of has instituted a new policy for comments on its sites. The purpose of the new policy is to create a climate where healthy, meaningful community discussions can flourish.

All future comments posted on any Neighborhood Media news site must conform to the following standards:

  • Foul or obscene language is prohibited.
  • Libelous or slanderous comments are prohibited.
  • Personal attacks on any other individual are prohibited.
  • Insulting exchanges, including demeaning characterizations or threats, between any persons posting comments are prohibited.
  • All comments must remain “on subject” relative to the content of the story.

“This does not mean a reader cannot challenge or disagree with something in a story, and it does not mean a reader cannot disagree with any person quoted in a story. Debate and even disagreement are hallmarks of an open, democratic society, and such comments are welcome,” said Editorial Director John Pape. “But, as the old saying goes, ‘You can disagree without being disagreeable.’ All we require is that comments posted on our news sites be made in an intelligent, respectful and responsible manner.”

The new policy is effective immediately.

The same policy has been put into place for the three other news sites operated by Neighborhood Media.

“We are publishing those guidelines for everyone to see and we expect readers to act responsibly and follow those guidelines. Any comments violating the policy will be deleted and the person posting those comments warned,” Pape said. “If the same person violates the policy a second time, their privileges will be suspended. We want, and encourage responsible commentary; however, we will not permit libelous or slanderous personal attacks or inappropriate or lewd language.”

Pape said persons posting comments that violate the policy will be notified of the violation by e-mail, the comment deleted by Neighborhood Media staff and future comments would be directed to “moderation.”

Moderation means the comments will have to be reviewed and approved by Neighborhood Media before they are allowed to be seen on the news site.

Any subsequent violation by the same individual will result in that person’s account being suspended.

InstantNewsWestu Staff

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