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Comments Policy

TheJournal.ie Comments Policy

TheJournal.ie is committed to providing an open forum for discussion and debate on stories in the news.

We hope you will engage with us and other readers by sharing your views, responding to the views of others, or making suggestions about stories.

In order to promote sharing, and to facilitate open and transparent discussion on our stories, TheJournal.ie does not remove comments because we disagree with the sentiment or opinions being expressed.

Neither will we normally remove comments solely because they are conveyed in hyperbolic or angry tones, or because they contain profanities.

We do not moderate comments before they are published, and we never edit comments after they have been published.

Because we believe that intelligent and productive debate happens when all participants feel welcome, we have laid out a set of guidelines for everyone commenting on TheJournal.ie.

We encourage all users to familiarise themselves with these guidelines to ensure that they can continue to contribute to the conversation. We reserve the right to remove without notification comments which we feel are in breach of our guidelines.

In addition, our guidelines will be upheld on a three-strikes-and-you’re-out basis (see below for more details):

  • Do not make personal remarks about the author of a story, about individuals mentioned in stories, or about other commenters. We encourage committed, passionate and even heated debate on any of the issues or stories that TheJournal.ie covers, but ad-hominem insults or insinuations are not part of this. Play the ball, not the player.
  • Stay on topic. Of course we want discussion to be as wide-ranging as possible, and we understand that conversations can take unexpected turns. But we’d like to make our comments areas a place for people to debate the news. If you have any suggestions, criticisms, ideas or complaints about TheJournal.ie website, we’d love to hear them at hello@thejournal.ie. And if you’d like to trade insults about any author or user’s political, religious or geographic background, please take it elsewhere.
  • Treat other commenters with respect. Even if what they are saying is unreasonable, you will make your point much more effectively if you do so in civil terms.
  • Try and be clear about the point you are making. Be aware that to someone in a different place, or from a different background, the finer points of your tone may not be obvious. If somebody seems not to have picked up on your irony or sarcasm, be tolerant.
  • In the interests of clarity, good use of grammar, spelling and punctuation are encouraged. Posting in block capitals is considered ‘shouty’, and is to be avoided.
  • Don’t use bad language excessively. Posts which are just a stream of invective do not contribute anything to the debate and may be removed.
  • Do not make comments which are racist, sexist, homophobic, offensive on the grounds of religion, nationality or demographic group. Do not make comments which are threatening or harassing or which could be perceived as such.
  • Don’t be provocative just for the sake of it. Equally, if you feel someone else is being deliberately provocative, don’t respond – it only encourages them. Give their comment a thumbs-down and move on. If you feel strongly that comments made by another user are in breach of these guidelines and should be removed, let us know by clicking  “Report this comment” and inputting the details.
  • Don’t use the comments space to notify us of technical or editorial errors, or to make offensive, insulting or personal remarks to or about the author of a story or comment. Your constructive criticisms are always welcome, but we would ask you to use the “Have Feedback? Alert the Author” link at the end of every story, or mail the author directly.
  • Don’t post personal information or make derogatory remarks about commenters or any other individuals. Any such material may be removed without notification.
  • Do not use comments to promote commercial products or services. However, we welcome the use of links to relevant blogs and sites.
  • Any content which is libellous, prejudicial to an ongoing court case, or could otherwise land us in legal trouble, will be removed on notification or otherwise. You will not necessarily be notified if we have removed a comment.
  • Please be aware before you submit a comment that you will not be offered an opportunity to edit it, and TheJournal.ie may not be able to remove it post-publication.
  • TheJournal.ie will not enter into any discussion with users about comments which have been removed or the decision to block a user.

We want our website to be a place where everyone can join an open and civilised debate. If you come across a comment that you believe goes outside these guidelines, or is offensive enough to merit removing, please bring it to the attention of the team by clicking ‘report this comment as offensive’. You will be asked to give your reasons for wanting the comment removed.

If you simply disagree – or agree – with the sentiments being expressed in a comment, you can use the thumbs up/thumbs down function.

Commenters who repeatedly flout these guidelines will be barred from joining the discussion. This operates on a three-strikes-and-you’re-out basis: if we have to remove three comments posted by you, you will be blacklisted. You will not necessarily be notified when comments are removed. TheJournal.ie will not enter into any correspondence with or about users who have been blacklisted.

Please note that TheJournal.ie cannot endorse or stand by the accuracy, truthfulness or reliability of any material posted by users in the comments space. Statements made by users of TheJournal.ie only reflect the views of that user, and are not representative of the views of the TheJournal.ie, or any of its editorial team.

While we do not and cannot review every comment, we reserve the right to remove any we deem unacceptable without notification. We reserve the right to block at our discretion users who are in breach of these guidelines.

Finally, we do not monitor comments. However, we reserve the right to take down material that comes to our attention via a complaint or otherwise. We separately reserve the right to ban users on the basis set out above. While we operate a three strikes policy, on occasion a particular situation may be significantly serious to demand immediate removal and banning. All decisions in relation to these matters are carried out at our own discretion.