A Guide to Voting on Civil Comments

So.  You've just read a super fascinating article, formulated a thoughtful expression of your opinion, and are ready to share it with the world.  You type it into the comment box, and hit "Submit".  What now?  Well, our platform asks you to rate three other comments from your news site before fully submitting your own comment to be published!  

Why am I reviewing other peoples' comments?

We feel that your rating of comments is integral to your participation in the discussion.  By taking partial responsibility for what gets published and what doesn't, you're playing an active role in the creation of your own commenting community.  It's also fun!  In the review process, you'll get glimpses of conversations from all over your news site, and you might stumble upon another great read or discussion.  In addition, we really rely on your votes to help keep out the stuff that no one really wants to read: spam, abuse, harassment, and other such "uncivil" content.

So where exactly is the line between "civil" and "uncivil" comments?

A "civil" comment doesn't mean that the comment is necessarily "supportive" or even that it's "friendly."  Comments, especially on challenging topics, need room for disagreement and debate; even passionate debate. We don't all have to agree, but we must be able to disagree without personal insults, harassment, and abuse.

We consider "uncivil" comments to be those that include threats, personal attacks, name-calling, racial slurs, doxxing/de-anonymizing (revealing personal information about another commenter, including their real name, home address, phone number, etc.) and obvious spam.

What do you mean when you ask me if the comment is "good" or not?

Before we ask you whether a given comment is civil, we'll ask you whether that comment is "good".  This is because sometimes you'll come across comments that you think are stupid and/or make you angry. You should rate these comments as "not good". However, if the comment isn't a personal attack, harassment, or abuse, you should still rate it as "civil". Comments can easily be both "bad" and "civil". The reverse is also true: you may find comments you like/enjoy/laugh at that are also attacks/harassment/etc. You should rate those comments as "good" and "not civil".

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