Commenting Rules of Engagement
We believe that a community becomes stronger when people engage one another in honest, informed conversation.
We encourage you to share your opinions, using videos and images to explain your viewpoints.
But at the same time, we insist on a civil exchange of ideas.
So that we’re clear, we will not tolerate:
- Personal attacks on private people.
- Threats or insults.
- False, misleading or defamatory statements.
- Crude or obscene language, even if it’s obscured with dashes and other forms of punctuation.
- Hate speech.
- Contributors who hijack conversations, misrepresent themselves or promote commercial products and services.
Our community benefits when we engage in constructive conversations about the issues we face. We invite you to join us.
But if you cannot honor the letter and spirit of these rules, we’ll continue the discussion without you.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How do I create an account?
- At the bottom of the story page (where the comments are located) click on the box that features a grey head and a question mark.
- You can choose between logging in with a social media account of your choice (Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Twitter, Windows Live and Yahoo) or creating a Viafoura account.
- If you use a Viafoura account, you do not have to use your real name, but it is encouraged.
- Once you’ve decided which account you’d like to log in with, go ahead and click “sign up” or “log in” at the bottom. This is the account that you will use to comment on our website.
2. How do I post a comment?
- At the bottom of a story page, you should see a box that has “Write your comment here” in grey text.
- Make sure you are signed in, then begin typing your comment.
- You can also record a video using a webcam, upload a video or upload an image to share using the buttons below the box.
- When you’re done with your comment, make sure you are logged in and then click “submit.”
- The comment should post immediately.
3. How do I like or reply to a comment?
- When you are signed in, you can click “Like” on the bottom right side of a comment to like it.
- To reply, you can click on “Reply” next to “Like” and a reply box will appear with the original commenter’s name already included. From there, you can comment as normal.
4. How do I upload an avatar/profile photo, change my password, change my display name or manage my email notifications?
- When you are signed in, go to the comments section of any story and click on your name or the box with he grey head and a question mark.
- A pop-up box will appear. Click on “Settings.” There, you will see an option to upload an avatar. You can use any photo you like as long as it is appropriate for a family newspaper’s website. Uploaded images must be 1MB or smaller and be .jpg, .png or .gif files.
- You can also edit your display name, change your password and manage your email notifications here.
- Make sure to click “Save Changes” at the bottom once you make any changes.
5. What are ranks and badges?
- Ranks are a measure of each commenters’s involvement in the commenting community on elkharttruth.com. It’s based on comments, level of activity, how many people “like” and respond to comments and other factors. The best rank is #1 and it goes down from there.
- Badges are another way to measure each user’s involvement.
- The Truth badge is given to The Elkhart Truth staff members.
- The Verified badge is assigned by The Elkhart Truth and given to leaders in the community.
- The Connected badge is automatically given to commenters who reply to other comments twice within 30 days.
- The Engaged badge is automatically given to commenters who make two comments and two likes within 30 days.
- The Authoritative badge is automatically given to commenters who make one like and two replies within 90 days.
- The Video Star badge is automatically given to commenters who made one video reply within 30 days.
- The Active badge is automatically given to commenters who make one comment within 14 days.
6. How do I subscribe to a user’s comments?
- Subscribing to a user’s comments will send you an email each time that person comments on elkharttruth.com.
- To subscribe, make sure you are signed in and click on the commenter’s profile picture or name and click on the “Subscribe” button.
- To unsubscribe, make sure you are signed in and click on the commenter’s profile picture or name and click on the “Unsubscribe” button.
7. How do I share a comment?
- When you are signed in, hover your mouse over the “Share” button on the bottom right corner of the comment.
- You will see buttons appear to share the comment on Facebook, Twitter and via email.
- Click on the preferred method and follow the on-screen instructions.
8. How do I flag an inappropriate comment?
- When you see a comment that you believe violates The Elkhart Truth’s commenting policy (stated above), click on the “Flag” button in the upper right hand corner of the comment.
- This will flag the content to The Elkhart Truth for review.
9. How do I subscribe or unsubscribe to a comment thread on a story?
- When you are signed in, click on “Subscribe” underneath a comment on a story. You will receive email notifications about any replies to that comment based on your email subscription preferences.
- To unsubscribe, click on “Unsubscribe” underneath the same comment on the same story. You will no longer receive email notifications.
10. Why did my comment get deleted?
- The Elkhart Truth deletes comments when and only when they violate the stated commenting policy.
- Commenters may rewrite and republish a deleted comment.
- If you believe your comment was deleted and it did not violate The Elkhart Truth’s commenting policy, send a detailed email including your name, commenting account information, the story on which your comment originally appeared and why you believe it did not violate the commenting policy to firstname.lastname@example.org.