Community guidelines for commenting and discussion

Not our rules but rules we like to follow from Disqus.com and grist.org

Always strive to add value to every interaction and discussion you participate in

There are a lot of discussions that happen every day on Disqus. Before joining in a discussion, browse through some of the most recent and active discussions happening in the community, especially if you’re new there.
 
 If you are not sure your post adds to the conversation, think over what you want to say and try again later.

Keep it tidy

Help make moderators’ lives easier by taking a moment to ensure that what you’re about to post is in the right place

Keep it civil aka don’t be a jerk

We’re going to get into the thick of a lot of heated discussions and that’s okay. These discussions often entail topics that we all personally care a lot about and will passionately defend. But in order for discussions to thrive here, we need to remember to criticize ideas, not people
 
 So, remember to avoid:

  • name-calling
  • ad hominem attacks
  • Responding to a post’s tone instead of its actual content.
  • knee-jerk contradiction

Comments that we find to be hateful, inflammatory, or harassing may be removed. If you don’t have something nice to say about another user, don't say it. Treat others the way you’d like to be treated.

Personal attacks and harassment will not be tolerated. Sexist, racist, misogynist, homophobic, and broad, offensive generalizations about groups of people are simply not allowed. Comments or discussions written intentionally to provoke will also be removed.

No Self-promotion

A discussion or comment that contains only a link to your blog, a product, or your article on another site will almost always be removed.

Choose Your (Curse) Words Wisely

Comments that contain profanity are automatically held for moderator review before being posted. Depending on the context of the comment, it may be removed. Profanity used to insult, antagonize, or inflame will always be removed.

  • Demonstrate and share the intelligence, wisdom, and humor we know you possess.

  • Don’t feed the trolls. You wouldn’t dive into a debate with our ill-informed, weird uncle Gary just for the heck of it. And you definitely wouldn’t feed him. (We told you he was weird.) Downvote and flag comments instead.

Although we can’t be everywhere at once, here are some of the kinds of comments we’re going to do our best to curtail:

  • Promoting your own brand, product, or blog. So you’ve got a climate change solution that will simultaneously solve world poverty. Great. Send it through our contact form, you Elon Musk, you.

  • Impersonating authors or other commenters. We can’t believe we have to say this, but: Don’t do that. It’s weird.

  • Comments that make it clear you didn’t read the article. Enraged that we didn’t mention X in a story about Y? Slow down, Speedy McFingerson. If you’d made it past paragraph two, you’d see a very well thought-out discussion of that X you hold so dear.

  • Comments that are completely out of left field. Sometimes discussions veer off a bit, but are still related to the original subject. That is fine. Hijacking the conversation to promote off-topic commentary is not.

  • Threats — no matter how vague — against the author or other commenters. Things can get heated. Before you casually mention your foe’s home address, think of your Mother Earth. (Bonus points if you never use the phrase “Mother Earth.”)

  • Trolling. If you’re a climate denier just out for a good trolling and are not contributing meaningfully to the conversation, we’ll be pushing you back under the bridge.

 Community guidelines for commenting and discussion created by grist.org/grist-comment-policy/ and /help.disqus.com/community-tips/sample-community-guidelines