Public Commenting Policy

Commenting on Highland Park Planet

Highland Park Planet is a community forum. We encourage you to participate in the ongoing conversation, and add to the story with your opinions and knowledge, by using the comment section below the articles. This is a moderated forum. For this online community to work, everyone must adhere to basic etiquette and – on this website – HPP’s commenting policy. In a nutshell, the purpose of the conversation should be to learn from each other and achieve better understanding. Respectful debate is encouraged, but flaming, personal attacks, spreading defaming false information, or other anti-social or disruptive behavior is not permitted. A good rule of thumb is BE NICE.

These are HPP’s own self-enforced policies. This is not a law and nobody is making us do it. Although we are committed to the fair and consistent implementation of this policy, we reserve the right to selectively enforce it, or not enforce it, based on time, resources, our judgment, and our vacation schedules. If you feel that someone crossed a line, email the editor or the author of the story directly and let us know.

Breaking the policy may lead, at our discretion, to removal of your posts, suspensions from posting, or outright banning.

Don’t Change the Subject
In moderating this site, we may remove any comments that do not directly apply to the subject material of the story. Not only is it critical to keep a conversation focused in order to make the most out of the conversation, it’s only polite.

No Personal Attacks – Respectfully Disagree
Personal attacks and nastiness in general may get your post deleted, and eventually will get you banned from commenting on the site. We have a no tolerance policy on poor behavior. We will use our own subjective mores to ensure that our website is a safe space for discussion.

Rumors and Unverified Information – Tread Lightly
In a world where we don’t always have all the facts, even with a news site, we often must speculate to make sense of developing issues. We welcome this on our site. However a line is crossed when people make strong declarative statements, with no corroborating information, that can be damaging or misleading. We reserve the right to delete any comments that contain rumors and allegations that are unsupported by corroborating facts that might be damaging to an individual or organization.

Pointing out Mistakes Respectfully
If you want to try to correct someone else, do so by stating your facts (references are good) without degrading the person. Sarcasm does not translate well online. If we make a mistake (and it is inevitable that we will) that is significant enough that it must be redressed, send emails to us directly with the title “Correction”.

Make your message extra clear. Using those few extra words to make your meaning crystal clear is often well worth it. What makes sense in your head can easily be interpreted differently or misunderstood by others if it’s not sufficiently spelled out.

Shouting Down, Hijacking, and Piling On
If you made your point 3 or 4 times, but others inexplicably haven’t surrendered to your point of view, don’t keep posting again and again with the same information to beat your adversary into submission through sheer volume. If you post too much in one thread, without adding new information, you will stymie the rest of the conversation and your posts may be removed. Repeat offenses that clog the free flow of discussion may lead to suspensions or banning.