One of the great things about Point Pleasant Patch is the ability of readers to comment. Discussion and feedback are a big part of what makes Patch click, and we're thrilled with how many of you actively take part in discussions.
Sometimes, however, the privilege gets abused, and it seems like now is a good time for a refresher on how to use the site responsibly:
Speaking up. There are lots of ways to join the conversation on Patch. Most stories have a comment section. The “shout box” toward the top right-hand side of the main page lets you tell folks what you’re thinking any time.
Talking to us. One of the things I love most about Patch is that it makes it easy for Patch staff and readers to talk. If you have a question, a comment or a correction for the reporter responsible for a story, you can click the “Email the author” link next to the byline. Hearing your thoughts on an article – if you liked it, if you think we got something wrong, if you have an idea for another lead we should track down – helps us do our job better.
How to be a good commenter. Discussion and debate are great, and we love to see people sharing opinions. However, we have some rules, and we’re serious about them. If you see violations of these rules, flag the comment. An editor will delete it and e-mail the commenter explaining the situation. Repeat offenders are suspended and blocked from commenting on the site.
- Don’t be nasty. While it’s OK to express disagreement, personal attacks and defamatory language are not allowed. That means no name-calling, no unproven or unfounded accusations of wrongdoing and absolutely no hate speech or swearing.
- Don’t escalate. Unfortunately, anonymous rudeness is almost inevitable on the Internet. If you see something that makes your blood boil, don’t take the bait. Do your part to make the discourse here useful and positive.
- Don't abuse the flag feature. Flagging is intended to warn editors of comments that violate our terms of service, which are linked above. It is not intended as a tool to remove comments readers simply disagree with.
- Stay on topic. If you’re commenting on a story about a particular issue, don’t steer the conversation toward something else.
Notes about privacy, myths debunked. Despite rumors to the contrary, Patch editors do not see and review comments before they are posted. Patch editors see comments when readers do — when they're live on the site.
Patch also does not share users' emails or IP addresses with anyone.
Patch does not censor comments based on whether editors agree with them. All readers are free to offer their opinions on the topic at hand, without fear of removal. Patch editors only delete comments that run afoul of our rules, such as attacks on other users, libelous comments, profane statements and the like.
We at Patch would like to thank our readers for helping this site to grow tremendously since it launched on Dec. 23, 2010.
We sincerely appreciate the interest and interaction and respectfully ask all readers to use the comment sections responsibly.
If you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to e-mail Denise Di Stephan, the local editor, at email@example.com. Thank you for listening.