We want The Conversation to be a place for intelligent discussion. By posting, you'll be contributing to independent, fact-based debate. We want the discussion of an article to be, if anything, more illuminating than the original article and we need your help to do that. Follow these guidelines to help keep things on track.
- Don't attack people and don't respond to attacks – report them and move on
- Keep your posts on topic and constructive
- Take responsibility for the quality of the conversations you take part in
- Above all, respect others and their opinions.
We require real names: they help us maintain a transparent forum. We reserve the right to delete comments made under aliases.
We're here to talk about ideas, not the people behind them.
We'll delete: personal attacks directed at anyone; all forms of discrimination (or posts that could be interpreted as such); posts we believe exist only to provoke or mislead; and comments that are commercial or repeatedly shared external links.
Treat people with the respect you'd like to receive. Admit when you're wrong. You'll come across opinions you disagree with. That doesn't make them invalid.
Keep comments relevant to the article and replies relevant to the initiating post. We reserve the right to delete off-topic comments to keep threads on track.
For example: in an article about the policy response to climate change, comments about the science of climate change will be considered off topic.
Explain why you disagree or agree with something. Your reasoning is as important as your opinion.
“This article sucks”
will be deleted.
“I disagree with this article. Here's why...”
“You're an idiot”
will be deleted.
“Have you considered...”
Back up your ideas with evidence and fact where possible. If you're claiming something as scientific fact, try to provide credible references. Ask any questions you have for the author or your fellow commenters.
Aim to add a new idea to each approach rather than repeating what's already been said. Move on if things get stuck.
We'll distinguish between constructive comments and smear campaigns. We'll remove any deliberate attempts to misinform, distort facts or misrepresent the opinions of others.
Don't post anything that may put us in legal jeopardy – nothing defamatory, nothing in breach of copyright.
Take responsibility for the quality of the conversations you participate in; only reply to things you consider worth your attention.
Report posts you think violate these standards. Tell people when they post something you appreciate and press the 'Recommend' button on their post.
What we'll do
We reserve the right to remove comments that breach these standards and lock accounts of commenters who breach them repeatedly. We take a zero-tolerance approach to discrimination.
Replies to comments that have been deleted may themselves be deleted, either to remove the thread or because they don't make sense out of context. Comments may be closed if these standards aren't met.
We won't discuss moderation on the site. If you need to discuss anything, contact our Community Manager: firstname.lastname@example.org
Moderation disputes are handled by our Community Manager, escalated to our Managing Editor and then Editorial Board.
Last updated: 18 June 2014