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A friendly reminder regarding the Comment Guidelines

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“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” –Maya Angelou

Election season brings even greater passion than usual to NON’s comments section.  We feel lucky that so many smart, civically-engaged people are interested in sharing their thoughts here.
Please read the comment policy below, and follow it.  This request is directed at everyone.  If part of you wonders if this request might be directed towards you in particular, then please read the comment policy twice.  
We’ve received questions about the meaning of the policy against ascribing motives.  For a comment to violate this policy, it needs to unambiguously ascribe motives.  Example: “Jane Smith is deliberately holding back this City with her opposition to this capital budget.”
In cases where you believe a commenter has misunderstood your point of view, or misunderstood the facts, we encourage you to express your thoughts with a polite reply.  Discussion of issues and facts is preferable to discussion of people and personalities.  Light is preferable to heat.
Last, please be gentle with each other, and with the writer.  She’s working very hard to provide you a valuable public service while still grieving the sudden loss of her husband.  You can help by donating in the box to the right, and by attending our fundraiser on November 3rd at My Three Sons.
Thanks for your understanding, for your support, and for your continued participation in Norwalk’s digital town square.
Sincerely,

John Levin, Chair
Dede Farnsworth
Claire Schoen
Pete Torrano
Bob Welsh
Board Members, Chapman Hyperlocal Media

 

 

Comments policy

Our goal is to provide a forum for information and a healthy exchange of ideas – constructive, informative, entertaining or all of the above. We pride ourselves in providing an online venue where intelligent, mature people can debate, suggest, converse and exchange ideas without wading through the muck found on many sites.

We encourage:

  • Adding information to the post. If you know something we don’t, please do share it!
  • Updates. We don’t live in a static world. Updating info helps everyone.
  • Opinions: Like, say, noses, everyone has one. Feel free to share yours, but please be respectful.

 

In a perfect world, the next set of items would not be necessary. Unfortunately, not everyone can play nice with others:

  • This is something every child in the U.S. is being taught: Do not insult, bully, threaten or harass the writers or your fellow commenters. Continued violators will be banned.
  • Offensive, inappropriate or annoying comments – basically, being a troll – may be deleted or subjected to distempering. Trolls will be banned.
  • Character assassination by innuendo will not be tolerated and will result in a loss of comment privileges.
  • Parenting, physical characteristics, children, marital relationships, interpersonal relationships — other than as they pertain to official duties or documented, proven illegalities — are not public business and will not be allowed and will result in a loss of comment privileges.  
  • Spam once, you are gone. This means junk comments, promotional copies or attachments.
    Do not ascribe motives to people without proof. It is harmful to the discourse and could create a legal situation.
  • Sock puppets – alias accounts created by previously banned commenters or by commenters who are seeking third-party approval the easy way – will be banned.
  • Racist, sexist, anti-Semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments will be deleted. Continued violators will be banned.
  • Creativity is a wonderful thing, but finding creative ways to try to avoid getting flagged for policy violations is not cool. Comments will be deleted.
  • Please don’t include e-mail addresses, physical addresses, or phone numbers in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion, or for the purpose of harassing or publicly exposing the private data of others. Such comments will be redacted or removed.
  • The game of trying to guess – or making assertions – about the identities of posters using screen names has gotten old and annoying, and it is most often wrong or unverifiable. Further, it is harmful to the discourse, and potentially libelous. We will no longer allow it. Comments that try to “out” another commenter will be disallowed, and the commenter will be placed on moderation.
  • Language, folks. Keep it clean. People of all ages and sensitivities read this news site, and many are offended or should not be exposed to foul, vulgar or crass language.
  • Continual posting of erroneous information, especially after having been told it is erroneous, will not be allowed. If your post is deleted for this reason and you feel your information is correct, send us backup information to prove your statements are valid.
  • Elected and appointed officials with decision-making power – and candidates asking for votes – must use their real names when commenting on stories.

We make mistakes. We want to fix them.

  • We welcome alerts about typos, incorrect names, factual errors, and the like.
  • We generally do not correct quoted text.
  • Allegations of factual errors will be corrected at the editor’s discretion if verifiable documentation is available.
  • Requests for credit or attribution may be honored at the editor’s discretion if verifiable documentation is submitted.

 

Send an email to [email protected] if you think a comment is offensive or breaks the above rules.

We reserve the right to modify the rules. Continual violators will be banned from commenting.

Comments represent the opinion of the commenter and the commenter alone. NancyOnNorwalk and Chapman Hyperlocal Media Inc. take no responsibility for opinions or the veracity of statements made by commenters on this website.

7 comments

Donna Smirniotopoulos October 20, 2017 at 9:56 am

Thanks folks. I’m sure moderating yesterday’s thread created all kinds of unnecessary work for Nancy. For my part, I do try to abide, but have my lapses, including one deliberate one yesterday that did manage to squeak by if only for a few minutes. Sorry!

Has the board considered tweaking the comments policy to allow some currently prohibited comments to stand and let the poster deal with possible legal consequences?

Finally, Oscar Wilde said, “all bad poetry springs from genuine feeling.” My wish is that our feelings would not enter into robust dialogue. While the intent to insult may be a poor impulse, our tendency to continually feel offended does little to elevate any “sincere” discussion.

Bob Welsh October 20, 2017 at 12:26 pm

Bryan Meek: Thanks for the chuckle!

Donna S: Nancy and the board have already begun discussing changes to the comment policy but they probably will not occur until after the election at the earliest. Yesterday Nancy spent hours moderating some rather “passionate” comments. Any changes would need to come with guidelines that are clear to readers and easily applied to all. Should you have any specific ideas in this regard, feel free to e-mail.

The reference to feelings was to invite readers to consider how their comments land with others. Nearly everyone here seeks to persuade and I’ve never succeeded in persuading anyone with accusations or aspersions.

Elsa Peterson Obuchowski October 20, 2017 at 1:38 pm

The quotation attributed to Maya Angelou is memorable, but in years of searching I have been unable to trace its origin.
As a professional editor I’m often called upon to provide copyright permission information for quoted material; in fact, I’m the author of a book on copyright and permissions. I’ve found that many popular quotations attributed to famous individuals are either misquoted/paraphrased or altogether apocryphal.
If anyone can provide documentation of where & when Maya Angelou wrote, published, or uttered those words, I’d love to know.

Maria Alarcon October 20, 2017 at 2:03 pm

Translation: please do not go against our agenda.
What’s going on is, people are starting to wake up, and defend themselves and their country, and the left are trying to hide the decent, from fear that actual information will spread, and they will lose their uninformed base.
Let’s call it what it is. You can’t suppress all of the non liberal comments, thus, every now and then, some get through.
Free speech or freedom of thought should NEVER be supressed.
Articles and opinions are published here and all over the mainstream media, daily, that openly insult and bash not only our president but our country and all of the patriots in it. Nobody seems to have a problem with how they feel! Grow up. If you can dish it out, you better be able to take it as well.

Rem October 20, 2017 at 5:11 pm

Dear Nancy et al,

I agree with you that it’s great to have such a dedicated following willing to discuss openly on your site. It’s certainly many a bloggers’ dream, for sure. Have you considered commenting plugins to lessen the administrative burden? Some are designed to allow commentators to directly interact with each other and some have automatic filters for bad language. They also have voting features which may prove informative. You would still have need for moderation of course, not even the big media sites have been able to avoid that… Here is one such link that reviews fairly recent options (assuming you use WordPress): https://winningwp.com/best-commenting-plugins-for-wordpress/

Bob Welsh October 21, 2017 at 1:52 pm

Elsa: That’s interesting. I heard this at the Unitarian Church in Westport, so unfortunately I’m unable to connect you with the original source. Whether or not it’s apocryphal I admire the quote’s wisdom.

Rem: Thank you. Most of the comment editing relates to insults and ascribing of motives. Very few use swear words. We have discussed an up/down vote feature. As I understand it, the way the site is built makes it hard to add the feature, and our web developer Eric Chapman — who is also Nancy’s son — has a full-time day job.

Maria, and All: The general goal here is politeness. When editing comments, Nancy strives to use a scalpel rather than a cleaver. You and others come here because you care about Norwalk and you know the value of reporting that shines a light on Norwalk’s civic affairs. If you want Nancy to do more of that reporting, how about policing yourselves when commenting, so that Nancy doesn’t have to?

Those willing to police themselves may benefit from: https://brainfodder.org/how-to-politely-disagree/

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About this site

NancyOnNorwwalk.com was conceived as the place to go for Norwalk residents to get the real, unvarnished story about what is going on in and around their city. NancyOnNorwalk does not intend to be a print newspaper online; rather, it exists to pull the curtain back and shine a spotlight on how Norwalk is run and what is happening regarding issues that have an impact on taxpayers’ pocketbooks and safety. As an independent site, NancyOnNorwalk’s first and only allegiance is to the reader.

About Nancy

Nancy came to Norwalk in September 2010 and, after reporting on Norwalk for two years for another company, resigned to begin Nancy On Norwalk so she engage in journalism the way it was meant to be done. She is married to career journalist Mark Chapman, has a son, Eric (the artist and web designer who built this website), and two cats – a middle-aged lady and a young hottie who are learning how to peacefully co-exist.