Comment Guidelines

This segment covers all aspects of community interaction and moderation on the AVAS Online website, including comments on all articles.

Moderation aims

AVAS Online website provides a growing number of opportunities for readers who wish to discuss content we publish, or debate issues more generally. Our aim is to ensure this platform is inclusive and safe, and that AVAS Online website is the place on the net where you will always find lively, entertaining and, above all, intelligent discussions.

Social standards

The following are simple guidelines which we expect all participants in the community areas of the AVAS Online website to abide by, all of which directly inform our approach to community moderation (detailed below). These apply across the site, while moderation decisions are also informed by the context in which comments are made.

  1. We welcome debate and dissent, but personal attacks (against authors or other users), persistent trolling and mindless abuse will not be tolerated.
  2. We acknowledge criticism of the articles we publish, but will not allow misrepresentation of AVAS Online and our journalists to be published on our website
  3. We understand that people often feel strongly about issues debated on the site, but we will consider removing any content that others might find extremely offensive or threatening.
  4. We reserve the right to redirect or curtail conversations which descend into “flame-wars” based on ingrained partisanship or generalisations.
  5. We will not tolerate racism, sexism, homophobia or other forms of hate-speech, or contributions that could be interpreted as such.
  6. We will remove any content that may put us in legal jeopardy, such as potentially libellous or defamatory postings, or material posted in potential breach of copyright.
  7. We will remove any posts that are obviously commercial or otherwise spam-like.
  8. Keep it relevant.
  9. Be aware that you may be misunderstood, so try to be clear about what you are saying, and expect that people may understand your contribution differently than you intended.
  10. The platform is ours, but the conversation belongs to everybody.

When we all take responsibility for maintaining an appropriate and constructive environment, the debate itself is improved and everyone benefits.