Thank you to the hundreds of readers who got in touch following our open call for input on our comments policy in recent weeks. We’ve been working through your notes on the shared draft, on social, via email and on comments pages, and have revised it accordingly.
We believe that the comments section can be a valuable place where readers and reporters can converse about the topic of a given article. But without clear guidelines on acceptable behavior, that space can devolve, quickly, into nastiness and name calling. That climate stifles debate and keeps many from telling their own stories. Part of our role as a news organization is to offer readers who love Maine a space to share their ideas and experiences. Enforcing a code of conduct helps accomplish that.
The new policy would not have been possible without the input of BDN readers. We know that not everyone will agree with all of our decisions. But we hope you will respect them, for the sake of making BDN comments a decent place, with decent people, having decent conversations.
The new policy in full is over here. This reminder from the old policy still stands, though: Be civil. Stay on topic. Don’t abuse people. Don’t embarrass your mother.
A number of commenters also asked for an FAQ, which we’ve put together here. We’ll update that from time to time.
We will keep you posted on our progress as we seek to further improve the BDN comments.