Comments & Moderation
1. Community & Commenting Guiding Principles
The FG has a thriving user community and actively encourages commenting on blog posts. We are dedicated to this community and strive to maintain a respectful, engaging and informative conversation. Towards that end, we have general guidelines for commenting. They are enforced 24/7 by a moderating system that features a team of staff and community moderators, and moderation tools. If you wish to participate in the community, we ask that you follow the guidelines below and the spirit of the community they seek to create.
(I) If your comments consistently or intentionally make this community a less civil and enjoyable place to be, you and your comments will be excluded from it.
The FG promotes a receptive, transparent and civil atmosphere for comments and users. Critical, in-depth and intelligent discussions and debates are encouraged and the best of these are highlighted in various ways. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to voice their opinion regardless of identity, politics, ideology, religion or agreement with other community members, the author of the post or staff members as long as those opinions are respectful and constructively add to the conversation. However, this community does not tolerate direct or indirect attacks, name-calling or insults, nor does it tolerate intentional attempts to derail, hijack, troll or bait others into an emotional response. These types of comments will be removed from the community where warranted. Individuals who consistently or intentionally post these types of comments will be warned and, if necessary, excluded from the community.
(II) Many comments are pre-moderated.
To maintain a civil atmosphere, our moderation team may read comments before they are displayed to other users. If this is the case, you may see your comment pending approval. Approval times can vary depending on the site-wide comment load, so please be patient - we will get to all comments as quickly as possible.
(III) Be yourself, only yourself, and just one of yourself.
Every person's opinion is valuable and unique. Pretending to be someone else removes that unique value from you or from others. Don't misrepresent yourself or others, spread mis-information, create multiple accounts or "astroturf". If you do, you will make the community a less enjoyable and valuable place to be and will be removed when we see it.
(IV) This community is a safe space.
We strongly believe that the FG should be a safe space for individuals, groups and their ideas. As such, violent and hostile language or calls for violence and hostility are not welcome here. If you directly or indirectly threaten the physical or mental well being of a member of this community, or an individual or group who is the subject of an article, you will be removed immediately. If a credible threat is made against an individual or group, not only will it be removed but it is likely that it will be reported to law enforcement agencies and we will cooperate with them to any extent requested.
Personal identifiable information should never be posted to the FG comments section. It never turns out well for anyone.
If you see any threats, harassment or personal information trolling please report it quickly.
(V) If you have comments, we are here and we have real people who read and reply.
If you have complaints, questions, concerns, or just feedback - positive or critical - please get in touch with us here.
Q: I posted a comment. Why can't I see it on the site?
A: There are two scenarios under which your comment may not appear:
1. It may be pending approval. Comments on the blog are moderated BEFORE they appear on the site, and this takes time. Since the volume of comments on the site has grown rapidly, there is often a delay between a comment being posted and it being approved, especially during peak hours. We appreciate your patience and ask that you refrain from posting the same comment repeatedly.
2. Your comment violated the policy above. We pride ourselves in providing a medium for engaging and thought-provoking stories and encourage our users to speak their minds freely, provided comments fall within our commenting policy. We must respect our writers and protect them from vicious and inflammatory comments. They too are entitled to free speech- the right to share their opinions without being subject to scathing and mean-spirited remarks.
Q: Why am I blocked from commenting on FG?
A: There are a few scenarios under a comment might be blocked:
1. A comment is extremely abusive, off-topic, uses excessive foul language, or includes an ad hominem attack.
2. If a commenter has previously posted comments that are abusive, off-topic, used excessive foul language, or include ad hominem attacks, a FG moderator may decide to ban the commenter's IP address. This means the abusive commenter is banned from commenting on the site in the future, even if the later comments are not abusive.
Q: Can I include HTML in my comments?
A: We remove all html from comments to preserve formatting consistency.
Q: If you don't allow any HTML, how can I include a link in my comment?
A: If you include a URL in your comment, it will be converted to a link. Please note, comments containing links to personal blogs and other inappropriate sites will be deleted. Only links to relevant news stories or sites are acceptable.