Help us! We don't want to reject your comments

Help me approve your comments, because I want everyone to see them
Help me approve your comments, because I want everyone to see them

YOUR comment didn't make it online? I'm sorry about that.

Let me explain.

I know it seems like we have our invisible fingers on these keyboards, maliciously tossing away your hard-thought (and hard-fought) arguments one way or another.

Though I'd love that to be true, life is not that exciting here at comment moderating HQ.

As a reader and as a commenter, you are someone we actually care about.

Your discussions and opinions give rise to debates, to new stories, and give us an insight into your world and how you see it.

But as much as we would love to take my hands off the keyboard and let you take the wheel, that's not going to happen.

As a colleague of mine once said to our readers: "I'm not going to jail for you".

For every person who makes a reasoned, thoughtful and even-tempered comment about Reclaim Australia - whether for or against - there are plenty who are spewing vitriol.

You might have a strong view on vaccines. If you feel that someone is wrong then you have every right to respond.

And we have every right not to publish any response that is cruel, mean-spirited or bigoted.

Unfortunately this can sometimes seem like we are targeting specific views. We're not.

I want to know what you think.

I don't mind if our discussions are heated, but they need to be civil.

It's a double-edged sword.

That writer who wants to call you names because of your reasonable view? Rejected.

We are here to stop comments that attack others. And with any luck, they're not yours.

There is nothing we want more than to read through thousands of comments a week and click the green tick box that says, "Approve".

Help me hit the approve button so all our readers can read what you think.



1. Play the ball, not the person.

A person's argument might be wrong but that does not justify attacking the author personally. Attack their claims, not them as a person.


2. Swearing

You swear, we hit reject.



STOP YELLING IN ALL CAPS. It makes us all uncomfortable.


4. Abuse in all its forms

Sometimes there is a blurred line between someone airing a view on a religion, race or sexuality and whether that constitutes racism, homophobia or prejudice.

We try to accommodate those discussions, but attacking anyone personally - even if they are quoted in a story - for their beliefs, skin colour, religion or sexuality is not appropriate.

Saying one religion is full of paedophiles or another is full of terrorists...


5. Name calling, and being a pest

Why do I even have to include this?  It's one thing to attack a politician's policies or their party.

But accusing public figures (or anyone) of corruption, of taking bribes, of being criminals or anything else that is needlessly derogatory will not be tolerated. That includes targeting journalists.

Take your time, make an excellent comment.

6. Make sense

I don't have high expectations but if I read it and think, "Is this a human or a dog on a keyboard" then your comment goes in the bin.

7. We're not perfect

If you see a comment that goes against these guidelines, hit the 'Flag Comment' box and we'll check it out.

We might not always agree, but we will have a look.


8. Cheer up

I know the world is going to hell in a hand basket. I'm told it every day in our comment sections.

When you read a story that makes you smile, when a politician or person does the right thing, write something positive.

We don't always need to be on the attack, even if it is satisfying sometimes.


Owen Jacques is a senior journalist and Online News Editor for Australian Regional Media.



Topics:  apn comments editors picks

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