Community rules for online comments
The Observer values reader input, free speech and the role our online comment sections play in connecting community members and enabling the exchange of ideas.
However, the quality of this discourse suffers when comments become divisive.
For this reason, we ask that all commenters adhere to the following guidelines, both when addressing one another and when discussing the individuals our stories cover:
- Comments will post under your registered username; for transparency, we ask that you use your real name. Please refrain from using pseudonyms or impersonating others.
- Respect others.
- Aim for comments that contribute thoughtfully to the story topic and move the conversation forward. Save the verbal sparring for social media.
- Avoid re-posting the same comment or variations of the same comment multiple times or on multiple articles. We regard this as spam.
- No profane/vulgar language.
- No threatening or discriminatory language.
- Refrain from personal attacks against other commenters, story authors and story subjects. Personal attacks can range from name-calling and insults to statements that start with broad assumptions, e.g., “people like you” or “you probably/you must.”
- Criticize ideas, not people.
The Observer reserves the right to remove comments deemed to be in violation and to block or suspend members who repeatedly violate our rules. Thank you for bettering our community with respectful, meaningful dialogue.
How our comments are moderated
Comments on Chesterfield Observer articles publish automatically and are reviewed post-publication by a moderator who may remove comments that violate our community rules. Sometimes, though, our system’s filter will hold a comment for moderation; these comments must be individually approved by the moderator before they go public. If your comment does not post immediately, it may be because it:
- Contains more than three hyperlinks. Link-heavy comments resemble spam and are automatically filtered for moderation.
- Is self-promotional or has other characteristics that cause it to be flagged as spam.
- Contains profanity or other words or phrases that cause it to be filtered for moderation or automatically discarded. Filtered comments that violate our code of conduct will not be approved.