Contribute to civil discussion | Editorial
March 11, 2011 · 1:43 PM
Readers of our online edition, NorthKitsapHerald.com, can contribute comments to news stories, editorials and letters to the editor. We encourage participation and contribution to the discussion of issues and exchange of ideas.
Here’s how you can help: Keep your comments on-topic. Keep your comments civil, smart and free of profanity. Avoid contributing anything you wouldn’t want your mother to read. Just because you have the right to say something doesn’t always mean you should, particularly if it’s a disparaging remark, a personal attack or an unfounded accusation. We can disagree, but we can do it respectfully and in a way that contributes to, and encourages contributions to, the discussion.
A reader wrote this on a snopes.com message board way back in ’06: “I am so tired of people trying to defend general rudeness with ‘It’s a public forum, I can say whatever I want.’ Yes, I agree, they can say whatever they want but that doesn’t mean a) that they *should* say whatever they want, and/or b) that others automatically lose their right to get upset about the statements made, just because they are allowed to say them.”
To comment on NorthKitsapHerald.com, you must have a user account. Getting one requires answering three easy questions and you can sign up at the bottom of any story on our site. It is important that all participants in a discussion be honest about their identity so we prefer that you use your real name when commenting, just like when you submit a letter to the print edition. Freedom of speech means you can share your view. It also means you should be willing to stand behind it, and it means others can challenge you on it.
Sometimes people’s passions get the better of them and they leave comments that don’t meet our community standards. In those cases, readers can help police the comments by using the “Flag” button beneath each comment. Flagged items are brought to an administrator’s attention. On the rare occasion when someone simply doesn’t want to live by our community standards, we may prevent them from using the site.
Our goal with online commenting, as with letters to the editor, continues to be to encourage community discussion and healthy debate. Join the conversation today. But keep it civil.