We’ve made a few tweaks to Berkeleyside’s comments system in recent months in an effort to improve the quality and civility of the conversation on the site. It’s part of our periodic policy review aimed at improving the forum for all readers.
See Berkeleyside’s full comments policy; you’ll also find a link to it at the foot of each story
We’ve removed downvotes because we believe constructive criticism requires elaboration; we’ve shortened the commenting window to 48 hours to curb repetition and unproductive back-and-forths; we’re featuring more comments to highlight the quality of discourse we hope to see more often; and, like many newsrooms locally and nationally, we’re now requiring a click to open the comments section.
We encourage comments that respond to our reporting with a piece of important context, a thoughtful insight, a relevant personal experience or an observation of something we missed. Alternatively, if you want to flag us about a typo or other minor error, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’re making more of an effort to reject comments that duplicate a point that’s already been made. And we’re not approving comments that simply harp on the same theme without proposing solutions and could be made on any story vaguely related to the topic.
We’re also placing an increased emphasis on brevity. Long-winded comments and comments with multiple, difficult-to-verify links will not be approved. We also reject comments by users who flood the feed and dominate discussion.
We believe inclusive, spirited discussion can strengthen our journalism, hold us to account and create a more informed, engaged community, and we appreciate the contributions of our commenters who strive toward this ideal.
Berkeleyside comments are reviewed by an editor before appearing on the site and we trust readers will understand that moderation may take longer than usual outside business hours. We continue to ban hate speech, bullying, attacks on non-public figures, broad generalizations about a group, speculation, false statements, denigrations of people’s physical appearance and racist, sexist and homophobic remarks. We reserve the right to delete any comment at any time and to turn off comments on any story. Any commenter who causes too much consternation will be banned.
Have feedback? Here’s how to reach us.
Read Berkeleyside’s full comments policy, which you can also find a link to at the foot of each story. If you catch a typo or want a correction, email an editor at email@example.com. If you have a tip, fill out this form. If you’d like to make a well-reasoned argument too long for a comment, submit an op-ed. If you believe a comment violates our policy or have a question about moderation, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.