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Community Guidelines: Add to ...

This community is shaped by its members - help make it a place for intelligent, insightful and entertaining conversation. We understand that conversations can get spirited (the best ones do!), but please argue fairly and be constructive. In short, treat others how you expect to be treated.

How do I comment?

You must be registered on the globeandmail.com to post a comment. Register here. You can also use your social media account to login. To access the comments page of an article, click the comment count at the top or bottom of an article. Type your comment into the box, and after you’re happy with it (and sure that it meets our guidelines), click ‘submit’.

How are comments moderated?

The Globe and Mail’s commenting platform asks our community of users to self-moderate. Before a comment is published, the user will be asked to review up to three other comments made on different articles and assess each comment for civility. Initially, you may also be asked to review your own comment.

After a comment is deemed civil by three to five users, it will be published to The Globe and Mail site. Tests have shown that this approach elevates the tone of conversations and reduces the number of rejected and flagged comments.

If a problematic comment still manages to slip through, users should alert our moderators by flagging the comment. If users have a of history of abuse, their comments may go through stricter moderation, which can delay the publishing of their comments. We also use an algorithm to automatically block comments that contain offensive words.

Certain subjects - race, immigration, religion and sexual identity among them - unfortunately attract a high number of offensive and abusive comments. Commenting on these stories may be reserved for commenters whose accounts have not been recently restricted. Occasionally, we may choose to close comments entirely.

I don’t want to see comments from certain users. What can I do?

You can choose to ‘mute’ other users. By doing so, you will no longer see comments (and replies to comments) made by that user. On articles that contain comments made by muted users, you will see a ’Show Muted’ link at the top of the page, which will allow you to expose those comments. To unmute users, you can click on their names and ‘unmute' them.

What kinds of comments are removed?

  • Personal attacks: Attacks against our writers, against each other and against the subjects in our articles will be removed. Name-calling, threats and verbal abuse is not tolerated.
  • Spam: Do not flood the comments with multiple messages that say the same thing. Messages promoting your business, project or a special deal will be removed.
  • Trolling: Stay relevant and on topic. If you purposely try to derail a conversation or post inflammatory comments, they will be removed and you will be at risk of being banned. Do not create multiple accounts.
  • Racism, sexism and other discrimination: Attacking a group of people or painting them all with the same brush is not allowed.
  • Illegal activities: Do not make libellous statements or comments that include false or unsubstantiated allegations. If the legality of your comment is in question, it will be removed.
  • Moderation complaints: These fall under off-topic and are unlikely to result in a resolution. Please report moderation complaints to us here so we can deal with it.
  • Offensive usernames: If your username includes words that are offensive or abusive, your account will be blocked.

My account has been restricted, what happened?

Accounts can be restricted for a number of reasons, including: voting without careful consideration during the review process (e.g.: always rejecting or approving every comment), having comments regularly rejected by the community, having comments flagged by other users or submitting comments which are in clear violation of our guidelines. In those instances our moderators are able to restrict the account of the user by limiting the number of comments they are able to post in a day. These penalties last between 1 and 7 days. If a user reoffends multiple times, their account may be permanently blocked. If you feel you’ve been unfairly treated you may contact us to dispute it.

Does the Globe and Mail edit comments?

No. Comments are not edited or changed in any way by Globe staff or moderators. But users have a chance to edit their own comments up to seven minutes after they are published.

When and why are comments closed?

  1. Legal reasons: A story involves a trial, crime or other legal case, and comments by readers could breach a publication ban or otherwise reveal information that could put The Globe at risk. In this situation, comments are closed by default at the time the story is posted, and an automated message is posted saying that comments "have been closed for legal reasons."
  2. Abuse: A story involves a particularly contentious issue, and provokes comments that are offensive, vulgar, racist and/or libelous. In this situation, our policy is to close the story when the volume of such comments becomes unmanageable, at which point an automated message is posted saying that comments on the story "have been closed because an overwhelming number of readers were making offensive statements."

Why doesn't The Globe require commenters to use their real names?

We encourage readers who post comments to register using their real name (and we require that they verify their email address), but we don't verify that they are using their legal name when posting. While this makes it harder to know for sure who is making a particular comment, it also encourages readers who might not feel comfortable expressing themselves in a public forum – for personal or professional reasons – to engage in the discussion without fear of repercussions. We believe that this has benefits not just for them but for the rest of our readers, who might benefit from their viewpoint. We do not, however, guarantee anonymity, and for legal reasons we reserve the right to disclose your name and other personal information if required to do so in our discretion, including but not limited to law enforcement officials with or without a court order.

Do reporters and writers read and respond to comments?

While our journalists are certainly encouraged to read the comments and jump into the conversation, it is completely up to them. Time constraints are often an issue but you will see their names in the comments from time to time. We also provide other forums and formats for discussion with our writers as well, including Q&As on social media.

I see a typo or error. Should I report it in the comments?

No, to get a typo or error corrected, please report it here.

Can I delete my comment?

You can delete your comment at any time by clicking the ‘delete’ icon just below your comment.

I don’t want to see comments from certain users. What can I do?

You can choose to ‘mute’ other users. By doing that you will no longer see comments (and replies to comments) made by that user. On articles which contain comments made by muted users, you will see a ‘Show Muted’ link at the top of the page which will allow you to expose those comments. If you change your mind on a specific user, you can click on their name and ‘unmute’ them.

I can’t see my comment - what happened?

Try to sort comments by ‘newest first’, your comment should be at the top. If your comment has disappeared it is likely that it was rejected by the community or by a moderator because it violated our guidelines.

What other comment features are available?

  • Replies to comments: you can reply to other users’ comments by using the ‘reply’ icon under each comment.
  • Share: you have the option to share the conversation via a link. Just click the down facing arrow at the top right corner of a comment and select ‘share’.
  • Reactions: you can react to each comment in five different ways: ‘like’, ‘funny’, ‘wow’ (surprise), ‘sad’ or ‘dislike’.
  • Comment sorting: You can choose to display the comments on an article by ‘most reactions’, ‘highest ranked’ (which aggregates reactions and the review score) and ‘newest first’ or ‘oldest first’. Just click the dropdown menu at the top of the comment thread. Please note that ‘most reactions’ and ‘highest ranked’ group the original comments and its responses.


The views expressed in the comments of this site do not necessarily reflect or represent the views of The Globe and Mail, its staff or contributors. The Globe and Mail reserves the right to ban any commenter. The Globe and Mail may publish comments within the paper and on digital platforms.

About this document

These guidelines have been created by members of our editorial staff, including our Public Editor, head of audience and social media and communities editor, incorporating feedback from our moderators and users.

Further information

Read our full terms and conditions here.
If you have an issue with your account, please contact customer service.
If you have an issue with moderation, please report it here.
Reach our Public Editor here.

Report Typo/Error

Follow us on Twitter: @globeandmail


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