VPR's Online Comments Policy

Mar 23, 2017

Visitors to VPR.net post hundreds of comments every month. We welcome and value your comments, the overwhelming majority of which are thoughtful and constructive. Every day, listeners contribute to Vermont Edition, provide feedback to our reporters and add important perspective and information to our coverage via the comments section.

But every now and then, we need to remove an offensive or inappropriate comment. Because we sometimes get inquiries from visitors – and even questions from our own staff – about how we make that call, we want to take the opportunity to share our ground rules.

So, without further ado, here is the general policy for commenting at VPR.net and our criteria for removing a post:

  1. Keep the comments on topic.
  2. Direct comments to the topic, not at each other or individuals.
  3. No profanity.
  4. No copyright violations. Quotes and links are welcome, but don't copy/paste from other sites. Read our Copyright Policy for instructions regarding copyright violations.
  5. Let's keep the conversation "Vermonty:" thoughtful, considerate, respectful, neighborly.
  6. We retain the right to remove anything at any time for any reason and, for the purposes of site comments, determine the definition of "Vermonty" (see previous rule).

What do we do if we suspect a comment violates a rule above? Generally, if at least two VPR staff members agree it's a violation, the comment can be removed. When it's a particularly difficult call, we'll consult a director within News & Programming before taking any action.

We don't take removing comments lightly, and we strive to be fair and considerate before removing comments or even banning users. While we encourage and appreciate audience feedback, we strive to a high quality of content at VPR.net – and comments are a part of that.

Update March 23, 2017: Beginning on March 23, 2017, visitors who would like to leave a comment at VPR.net must register in Disqus using an email or social media account: you can still use a pseudonym to protect your public identity, but all commenters must register with Disqus. Your email address or social media contact will be remain private and will not display with your comments, although VPR moderators can view it if we need to contact you about a comment.

VPR does not sell or share the information you use to register an account with Disqus, the third-party service we use as our comments platform. VPR’s privacy policy is here. To view the Disqus privacy policy, click here. You will still choose an alias to appear next to your comments - we suggest your First Name and Town, but you can choose anything - and your contact information and identity will remain private.

We’re making this change as part of an overall effort to raise and sustain the quality of conversations at VPR.net. This will discourage many, but not all, “abusive” comments, and give us more tools to ban “trolls” and those violating this policy.

As always, we welcome your private feedback via email, mail or phone, as well as your public comments in social media. - VPR Staff