Comment Guidelines for Readers

Thanks for taking the time to join the debate.

Our discussion boards are formally moderated and we reserve the right to edit or delete comments that don’t meet our comment guidelines.

For this reason, comments that don’t stick to the following basic ground rules, or which fall foul of our full terms and conditions, won’t be published.

Keep it on topic

We appreciate that many issues are nuanced and we welcome different perspectives and opinions on the topics we cover but please ensure that your comments are directly relevant to the story.

Keep it accurate

We all make mistakes, and where appropriate we will edit posts for accuracy. But deliberate attempts to distort the facts; disseminate fake news; propagate conspiracy theories; espouse discredited theories; or advertise products or services won’t be published.

Keep it legible

We don’t expect pulitzer-winning works of genius (although it would be nice) and we’re happy to polish the odd typo and reinstate the occasional missing apostrophe. But please try to keep your comments legible and concise. Other readers are far more likely to take your point on board if you don’t take 1000 mis-spelled words and dozens of hyperlinks to make it.

Keep it polite

We absolutely welcome a frank and passionate exchange of views, but please treat your fellow commenters with respect.  When personal insults, upper-case shouting, petty sarcastic asides likely to cause upset, irritation or anxiety are used comments won’t be published.

Keep it legal

And of course, it goes without saying, we won’t publish any material which is libellous or defamatory; obscene or hateful; inflammatory; discriminatory; threatening or abusive.

For more detailed information refer to our official terms and conditions

Why has my comment been spiked?

We do our best to follow our moderation guidelines, but if you’ve submitted a comment that hasn’t been published, and you’re certain it doesn’t fall foul of guidelines, or you’ve spotted a published comment that you feel does breach our guidelines you can appeal it here:

Please note, we will only reply when an appeal is successful.