Please read these rules carefully. They outline what we consider is acceptable and unacceptable content. We may update the rules from time to time, so please read them before posting a comment.
Rule 1: We welcome your opinions
We welcome your opinions. We want our readers to see and understand different points of view. Try to contribute to the thread, rather than just stating if you agree or disagree. Unless you have a witty one-liner, please explain why you hold your opinion.
Rule 2: This is a public forum
Once your comment is online, everyone with Internet access can read it. Please make your comment clear to ensure that it is not misunderstood. You can express a strong opinion but please do not go over the top. Don’t forget that you are legally responsible for what you submit. Please consider how your comment could be received by others. Many different types of people of different ages may view your comment.
Rule 3: Language and relevance
Please be polite. Do not use swear words or crude or sexual language. Keep your submissions relevant to the story or topic. Do not insult other contributions or discuss the non-appearance or removal of any content on this Site or the suspension or termination of any users. If you would like to discuss the operation of the Site with us, please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org
Rule 4: Report abuse
We strongly support our community in maintaining high standards of participation. If you consider that a comment does not comply with these rules or our Terms, please report serious complaints, not simply because you disagree with something said. email@example.com
Rule 5: No libel or other abuse
You must not make or encourage comments which are:
defamatory, false, or misleading;
insulting, threatening, or abusive;
obscene or of a sexual nature;
offensive, racist, sexist, homophobic, or discriminatory against any religion or other groups.
Rule 6: Confidentiality, privacy, and contempt
Please respect people’s privacy. You are not allowed to submit confidential or private information. For example, you must not upload the telephone number, email address, or any other contact details of any person.
You should not write anything which could prejudice pending or ongoing court proceedings of which you are aware. For example, if you have any personal knowledge about someone who has been arrested or charged, or being prosecuted for an offense, you must not mention it. If you do, you could be in contempt of court, which is an extremely serious matter.
Rule 7: No impersonation and proper disclosure
You must not pretend to be someone else (e.g. an expert, another user, or a member of our team). You must not pretend that you are unconnected to a story or topic, when in fact you are. If you have a personal connection to a story or topic, you should disclose your connection or, where appropriate, not comment at all.
Rule 8: Respect the spirit as well as the letter of the House Rules
In deciding what is acceptable, please also respect the spirit and tone of these rules and the community.
Rule 9: Removal of content
Reader comments that violate the letter or spirit of these rules or our terms may be removed (or if checked in advance, not published in the first place). If we do remove something, we will generally remove whole posts, or where necessary, whole threads (not parts). This means that even if only one sentence is objectionable, the whole comment will usually be removed (or not published).
If a comment or a thread is removed, this may be for any number of reasons. Usually, this will be because the comment breaks these rules or our terms or is the subject of an abuse report. Sometimes, the comment may be removed because it is connected to another comment which is being removed. We hope that you will understand that, once properly notified of a complaint, we may have to remove a comment for legal reasons (whatever the rights and wrongs).
If your content has been removed, we may email you to let you know or to inform you if you have been suspended or banned from submitting further comments to the Site.
If you are aware that content has been removed, you must not deliberately resubmit the same content.
Rule 10: Suspension and termination
We reserve the right to suspend or ban an account at our sole discretion. Here are some reasons why we might do so:
Breaching these rules or our terms;
Serious failure to respect the spirit and tone of the community;
Conduct or comments that demand a disproportionate amount of our time or that abuse our staff.
The length of a suspension or whether we ban someone depends on all the circumstances. Bans are generally for extreme cases and repeated serious abuse.
If we suspend or ban your registration, you must not attempt to re-register or submit content (eg. using someone else’s account), without our permission.