Comments policy

We welcome thoughtful, respectful and well-reasoned comments from all of our readers. Our aim is to promote a civil and charitable discourse about topics of the day. To that end, we have a few rules:

  1. Introduce yourself. We ask commenters to engage as themselves, not anonymously. And remember that you’re in conversation with other real people.
  2. Be brief. Keep your comments to a reasonable length (200-300 words should be the maximum).
  3. Keep on topic. Squarely address the topic of the article. Do not use comments as a soapbox for your favorite issues or causes.
  4. Be charitable. Comments are for discussion, not for shouting down points you disagree with. Refrain from ad hominem attacks on authors and your fellow contributors. Be charitable even about those public figures with whom you may disagree.
  5. Use your own words. Do not copy and paste long quotes from secondary sources. A link, or brief citation, will suffice.
  6. Choose your spots. You should not comment on every article where comments are open, nor more than one or two times per article. Let other readers have their say.
  7. Don’t soapbox. Engage the article and other commenters about the article. Don’t use the article as a jumping off point to deliver a lecture on the article’s topic or to rattle off a set of talking points.

There are a number of different reasons that your comment may be automatically held for moderation before it’s posted publicly. We have a small staff. Comments posted after hours and on weekends may not be moderated until the next business day.

Comments that do not follow this policy may be removed at the editors’ discretion. Ignoring the spirit of these guidelines (especially by being uncharitable or dominating the conversation) may lead to commenting privileges being suspended for a time or removed permanently.

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