Tuesday, June 2, 2009

HJ Comment And Moderation Policy

Updated 6/29/2010:

FAQ: Comments and Moderation Policy

Q: What is the Hoboken Journal's Comment Policy?

A: Community and Commenting Guiding Principles

In order to promote an open and transparent conversation, the Hoboken Journal will periodically moderate comments on all blog posts.

Moderation, by its very nature, is subjective. The lines can be blurry sometimes. However as an owner of this site I am guided by a series of basic guidelines which are illustrated below.

In general, the best way to determine whether a comment is appropriate is simple. Ask first whether it's inappropriate. Ask whether it violates any of the guidelines outlined here. If it does, then it should be thumbed down or deleted. If it doesn't, the comment should be published or left alone.

If there is a post that you feel is violative of your privacy, crosses the line, or is slanderous, feel free to email me at kurt.gardiner@gmail.com. As the owner of this site, I am not responsible for the comments of others that are put up on my site but will make reasonable accommodations to address inappropriate comments.

Here are my guiding principles as site owner:

1) Open Community: The Hoboken Journal welcomes all users to join our community and to comment and treats all members of the community equally.

I do not discriminate based on the person who is posting, and I never censor comments for political or ideological reasons. I will never delete an appropriate comment because I disagree with its viewpoint or ideology.

2) Open Exchange: I want the Hoboken Journal to be home to open, transparent conversations in which people connect, discuss, share ideas, and debate the issues.

This can sometimes lead to frustration, anger, hyperbole, or the use of biting humor. Courtesy can vanish, manners abandoned. As a community dedicated to being open and transparent and committed to fostering a vibrant discussion of the issues of the day, we can tolerate this.

I also allow a reasonable level of profanity. But my commitment to a generally civil tone means we do not allow extravagant or superfluous profanity or speech that is otherwise vile. I will use common-sense judgment to discern between the two and err on the side of openness and transparency.

In this area especially, I defer to the thumbs up or thumbs down feature of Intense Debate by our users in the context of its community reputation system.

3) Non-Toxic Comment Zone: I am also committed to maintaining a non-toxic atmosphere, well at least mostly.

As such, I do not allow hate speech, nor do I allow speech that advocates or supports hatred or unlawful violence. I will not allow racism, sexism, homophobia, anti-Semitism, anti-Giantism or anti-Dwarfism or other intolerance. Likewise, threats of violence or threats to anyone or any group's personal safety are not acceptable. I also do not allow false claims or misleading implications that any individual or group perpetuates hate or unlawful violence.

Lighthearted sarcasm, snark, parody, satire is not considered toxic even if it embarrasses a public figure on one of their positions or their conduct in public.

4) No Trolls or Cyber-stalkers: In order to preserve a functional and civil conversation, I do not allow trolls, trollish behavior, or cyber-stalking.

I do not allow speech that is solely intended to provoke other users, to cause disorder or confusion, or to inhibit regular, on-topic conversation. In this area especially, we defer to the flags left by our users in the context of our growing community reputation system.

I also do not tolerate stalking. This includes posting personal information about another community member, pursuing another member from thread to thread in an attempt to harass, deliberately misquoting or lying about another member, copying a username in order to embarrass or harass another member, or unwelcome sexual advances toward another member. In addition, I do not tolerate lying about being my identity online.

5) No Spam, I am: Members of the Hoboken Journal online community deserve to be free from spam, and I do not allow posting the same comment multiple times within one thread or on multiple threads.

I will delete all comments containing business solicitations not approved be me in advance. A link to a personal blog or other relevant Hoboken blog or news source is fine as long as it ties in to the topic or flow of the conversations (even Hoboken 411).

Spam includes comments that are off-topic. If off-topic conversation inhibits or prevents on-topic conversation, I consider it comment hijacking, and do not allow it. That said, we understand that the Hoboken Journal's comment threads aren't just about content. They're also about conversation. And in natural conversation, people exchange pleasantries, greetings, congratulations, praise, and other social gestures. So I will err on the side of facilitating an open conversation, even when that means permitting limited off-topic comments and conversation. Also in this area especially, I defer to the thumb up/down system left by our users in the context of the Intense Debate community reputation system.

6) IP Address Blocking: I reserve the right to block a user ip address for excessive violations. I prefer not to go that route but will do so if need be.

7) Anonymity: As owner of this blog if you want to remain anonymous that is fine. The Hoboken Journal will keep its pledge to keep your identity secret but is not responsible if your reveal your identity in any posts or comments clues as to your identity.

8) Dynamic: This policy is subject to modification at any point going forward as cyber-space continues to evolve.

9) The Final Word: Making the call on comments is ultimately my decision since this is my site and a reflection of my beliefs and values but community input will be considered. With that said, please respect that my decisions on comment posts are final once made. ◦