Community Guidelines | The Nation


Community Guidelines

At TheNation.com, we are committed to maintaining comment threads where our readers can engage in spirited discussion and debate. While we welcome astute criticism, we don’t see our comments as freewheeling forums for open expression. We think that respectful and thoughtful conversations are always more interesting and strive to create a space where they can flourish.

In order to accomplish this, there are a few rules that we ask our commenters to follow. Below are some things that we do not allow:

Intolerance: We do not welcome homophobia, sexism, racism, classism, anti-Semitism or other intolerance. Keep in mind that this does not always take the form of racial slurs. If you find yourself typing “I’m not racist, but…” or “I’m not sexist, but…” you should probably think twice.

Violence: Threats of violence or threats to any individual or group’s safety are always unacceptable.

Name-calling. Insults directed at our writers or other commenters will be deleted. If a post is otherwise well-thought-out, we reserve the right to remove the insult and publish the remainder of the post. Comments edited by the moderator will be marked accordingly. If a thread devolves into name-calling, we will delete the entire thread.

De-railing. Posts unrelated to the article at hand will be deleted. We define this loosely so as to encourage the free flow of conversation. However, if it’s obvious you didn’t read the post, and don’t care to, your comment will be deleted. You are welcome to discuss topics not covered in any of our articles in our Open Thread.

Inflammatory language: You’re welcome to disagree with a post and each other. However, comments that include terms such as “Nazi” and “fascist,” unless appropriate to the discussion or referring to the dictionary definition of the words in question, will be subject to moderation. As with name-calling, if a comment is otherwise substantive, we may remove the offending element and publish the rest of the post.

Trolling: We hope to attract comments that are intellectually stimulating and interesting to read. If you don’t have anything substantive to add to the conversation, your comment is subject to moderation. Commenters who obviously intend just to pick fights, be nasty, naysay, get attention or get a reaction will have their posts deleted.

SHOUTING: Try to use your inside voice.

When you see a comment that violates our policy, please use the “flag” option located in the bottom left-hand corner of every comment. A moderator will then decide whether the comment stays on the site. Keep in mind that moderating can be subjective and final decisions rest with the staff at The Nation.

Although we welcome your feedback, we cannot review individual moderation decisions. If your comment is removed from the site, the best course of action is to consider how it may have violated our policy, adjust it accordingly and comment again. Questions or comments about our policy can be sent to comments@thenation.com.

If a regular commenter repeatedly violates our policy, he or she will receive e-mail notification that they are in danger of being banned from the site. We give preference to the people we know and will give you more leeway if you have a history of posting intelligent responses. First-time or infrequent commenters or those with particularly egregious posts (blatant racism, off-topic insults, etc.) may find that they are banned without notice.

We reserve the right to use comments posted to TheNation.com in our print and digital editions, our digital-only content and our email products. We may edit comments for reasons of space and clarity. If we are publishing a comment submitted online in our print or digital replica editions, digital-only content or email products, we will attempt to contact the commenter to alert them to the use of their comment, but reserve the right to use the comment without doing so. We will never publish commenters' email addresses without their explicit consent.

Finally, we’d like our commenters to become more involved with developing the community at The Nation. We hope that you’ll make use of the “flagging”  and "downvote" options, of course, but we’d also like to hear about the comments you love. Be sure to “upvote” your favorite comments and, if you see a good discussion, add your two cents. You should also feel free to be a shameless self-promoter and tweet your own comments. (You can do so using the "share" option at the bottom of your comment.) As our policy evolves, we’ll keep in mind the comments you flag, the comments you “like,” and the discussions that inspire you to engage.