No hate speech. We will not approve comments that use blatantly racist, sexist or homophobic slurs, calls to violence against a particular type of person based on race, religion, gender or sexual orientation, or expressions of happiness over a death or tragedy.
No foul language. Children read the site. Some mild curse words in an otherwise brilliant comment will get more leeway, but we shouldn’t need obscenities, vulgarities or profanities to express ourselves here.
No flaming. Some topics, like sharrows and puppy shops, inflame passions, and discussions can grow heated. Comments that attack and threaten individuals, or mock or bait them, are not permitted. However, we don’t delete rude, hostile or mean comments to keep things artificially pleasant. We believe that more debate, more airing of different ideas and opinions, more openness and more information all contribute to a healthy and engaged community. Silencing readers, even when they write unpleasant words, is not our goal. The Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics states that journalists should “(s)upport the open exchange of views, even views they find repugnant.” We agree.
No spam and advertising pitches. We use spam filters and are quick to delete fake-sounding comments. We also don’t publish comments that link to sites selling products. Buy an ad, please.
No overposting. If you’ve had a comment approved and try to post another version of the same thing, don’t be surprised if it doesn’t appear. Especially if it’s really, really long or includes multiple and repetitive links.
Typos. A comment that points out a grammatical error or typo may not be published — although we appreciate these and act as quickly as possible to fix mistakes.
We won’t edit or alter your comments. We will allow a wide berth for our readers to talk amongst themselves — even if they are cruel, rude or idiotic. We want open, active discussions where differing opinions can inform, educate and promote positive change in our community. If these comments bother you, please remember that knowledge is power, and that free speech is patriotic.
We will do our best to keep things lively, entertaining, safe and appropriate. This isn’t a hard science, so we will do our best every day, and correct as needed as we go. We do not have a formal system to flag inappropriate comments, but we sometimes approve things that upon later reflection should be deleted. If you find a comment that seems inappropriate, send an email and we will reconsider.
We understand the need for anonymity. This is a small community. There are times one may wish to chime in on an issue without taking on a neighbor. We may have a family member who works for the city who wouldn’t appreciate our candor. We may have a permit before a commission and not wish to poison the well.
We reserve the right to amend or change the policy at any time.