Our comment policy

October 13, 2009 

We encourage an open exchange of opinions on our stories, and we consider it an important element of the user experience on newsobserver.com. We invite you to comment on our content as part of our interactive community.

But we ask that you remain civil, and follow these guidelines:

  • Do not resort to personal abuse. You may disagree with the content of an article, with the reporter or with other readers’ comments, but do not attack anyone personally. Do not libel or defame anyone or violate their privacy.
  • Keep your comments succinct and stay on topic. Comments that bear no relation to the story will be deleted.
  • Use your legal name as your identity.
  • Do not use foul language. And don't try to camouflage profanity with asterisks or other symbols or foreign phrases.
  • Avoid hate speech. Racist rants or defamatory statements about any group will be deleted. Especially offensive violations of this guideline may result in an immediate ban from making future comments on our site.
  • Do not use threatening language.
  • Use standard English grammar and observe accepted rules for capitalization, punctuation and spelling. Do not post a comment using all capital letters.
  • Do not post spam or advertising of any kind; violators will lose their registration and be unable to comment again.
  • Do not add images to your comments.
  • Do not report comments as abusive simply because you disagree with them. Report them only if they violate these guidelines.

We reserve the right, using our good judgment, to delete posts that we consider violations of these guidelines.

If a post is determined to have violated the guidelines listed above, it may be blocked. A blocked post will be displayed to the user who posted it and to that user's Facebook friends, but no other users will see it. Blocked posts can be unblocked if there is sufficient reason to do so.

Users who commit three serious violations of these guidelines will be blocked from submitting future comments as well, without warning. We reserve the right to block a commenter after a single violation if it is particularly offensive, or if the commenter is clearly using a fake identity.

Your comment will appear automatically unless it contains a word that is not allowed by our word filter, or contains a URL.

Thank you, and enjoy expressing your opinions.