December 5 2013 Latest news:
We are committed to encouraging sensible and passionate debate on the issues and stories that matter to you. We welcome your views and welcome a healthy conversation and understand that certain issues will cause anger and frustration as they mean a lot to our communities.
However, we are also committed to looking after those who use our websites and we want our readers to feel that their views and opinions will be accepted, even if they are not necessarily agreed with. We want to encourage opposition views and accept that some readers will disagree with the tone of our stories but we will not accept personal attacks on individuals, abuse or inappropriate language.
We operate a post-moderation policy which means that comments should appear immediately once uploaded. However, some comments may be held in a queue if our system spots what it thinks is bad language or a word or phrase we’re not comfortable with. If this happens then our moderation team will check the comment and make a decision to accept or reject it. Posts that include links to other websites or web pages will also be held in a queue and will be dealt with in the same manner.
There is also the option for readers to report a comment that they think is offensive or inappropriate and these will be judged and removed if our editorial standards team feel that is the appropriate course of action. Please do not report a comment if you simply disagree with it.
We most certainly will not tolerate any kind of prejudice or threatening remarks and we reserve the right to ban individuals when appropriate. This kind of decision will not be taken lightly but we are keen to create an environment in which readers feel comfortable participating.
Be aware that you may be misunderstood, so try to be clear about what you are saying, and expect that people may misinterpret your contribution. Text isn't always a great medium for a change in tone, therefore sarcasm, humour etc doesn't always come across when using words on a screen.
We will, when necessary, remove user postings or comments from our articles. We will not edit posts to change the meaning, spelling, or anything else intended by the user. Even if only part of a comment or posting is perceived as breaching the community guidelines, the whole thing may be removed. Also, when a comment or post is removed for any of the reasons above, it is sometimes necessary to delete subsequent messages which refer to explicitly or quote from the removed comment.
We reserve the right to take steps or implement measures which we hope will benefit the whole community. Because we are ultimately responsible for everything which appears on this site, all actions and decisions taken by our moderators are final.