Guidelines for posting comments when comments are being moderated

We know that comment threads can be a thorny place to be, particularly when the comments are on something controversial.

With that in mind, in December 2009 we began moderating comments on certain stories that seemed highly likely to hurt our community or certain members of it.

These stories are rare; we certainly hope not even once per week. But in circumstances where someone's life may be on the line or where someone, through no fault of their own, may have become the object of ridicule, we will pre-approve comments before their publication.

In those instances, for a comment to be approved, editors will be looking for these characteristics:

      1) The comment provides important information to our community.
      2) The comment makes a respectful critique of important issues raised in this story.
      3) The comment expresses remorse, provides a fond memory of or generally would reflect positively upon someone who is now deceased.
      4) The comment lends context to the reporting already available.
      5) The comment provokes thought from other readers about the issues raised in the story.
      6) The comment corrects substantial misinformation in the published story

If you have questions about what these guidelines mean, please contact digital editor Alex Parker. Please note, because of the volume of comments we receive, it will not be possible to answer specific questions about why your comment was rejected.

Also, please note that our approving a comment does not indicate The World Company's endorsement or even acceptance of the statements made therein. Responsibility for the comment remains with the individual who made the comment.