Commenting Guidelines

MaineToday Media is pleased to provide this opportunity for you to share information, experiences and opinions. Simply fill out the form which is reached by clicking on the comment link at the end of an article, and your comments may appear among other people’s comments in that area.

Due to the large number of inappropriate comments received under the past system, we are using human moderation to approve all comments before they are posted. One of the disadvantages of this process is that it does, regrettably, increase the time it may take for your message to appear. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Staff members review comments with the intent of encouraging open discourse, and will apply judgment in this process.

Comments that may generally be rejected by newspapers staffers include the following:

Hate speech
Comments with language that degrades others on the basis of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, or disability.
Personal attack
Comments with threatening, intimidating, libelous, defamatory, obscene, pornographic or profane language.
Name-calling about private individuals or commenters.
Material that can be considered an invasion of privacy. This includes phone numbers, email addresses, URLs or other specific personal information.

Off topic
Comments that are “off-topic” – unrelated to the topic of the article or the comments of others.

Advertising/Spam
Comments that are repeatedly posted (cut/paste/spamming)
Solicitations of any type

Copyright/Plagiarism
Content that appears to violate copyright laws (brief excerpts are OK; lengthy excerpts are not).

Other
Attempts to communicate an obscenity or profanity by using punctuation or dashes to partially spell out an offensive word.
Comments where it appears the commenter is masquerading as another person.
Information that violates any applicable local, state, national or international law.
Comments that instigate or encourage others to commit illegal activities or cause injury or property damage to any person.

This list of guidelines is not comprehensive.
Furthermore, while we are reluctant to impose specific limits on the number of posts by any one commenter, we do ask you to exercise restraint. Discussions dominated by the frequency and verbosity of an individual commenter become less interesting and useful to other members of the audience.

MaineToday Media does not represent or guarantee the truthfulness, accuracy, or reliability of communications posted in comments or endorse any opinions expressed in comments. By entering the commenting area, you acknowledge that any reliance on material posted by other commenters will be at your own risk. Also, please be aware that some comment participants enjoy antagonizing and upsetting others with language that may be considered mean- spirited or rude.

Finally, this area is not an appropriate place to tell us a story has typos in it, or to direct a private email to the reporter or editor. If you’d like to tell us about a specific problem, you may either e-mail the writer, whose address is found at the bottom of an article, or direct other feedback via the “Questions/Comments” link at the very bottom of every page, and indicate who should receive your note.

On some occasions, you may receive an email at the address you listed when posting a comment, from a news staff member of MaineToday Media, or from a staff member from one its sister newspapers in the MaineToday Media company, following up on your comment for possible quoting or background in news reporting. It is entirely up to you whether or not to respond.

MaineToday Media reserves the right to amend or change these rules at any time.