Commenting on Baristanet

UPDATED: May 2015

Baristanet reports on local issues, covers town meetings, shares food and entertainment news, and even helps people track down their lost pets. Baristanet also provides an opportunity for readers to discuss issues by commenting. Baristanet has published more than 300,000 comments from readers. Baristanet allows readers to comment on the site, as long as they don’t leave comments that violate our commenting guidelines. Comments that involve personal attacks, profanity or are argumentative, repetitive and hostile, will not be published. Using comments repeatedly to promote personal agenda/business will result in comments being marked as spam and removed. If you think your comment was rejected in error (or possibly marked as spam), write to [email protected] with questions. Comments that question why a comment was removed will not be published.

Baristanet prefers to allow readers to comment in “real time,” but reserves the right to switch to comment moderation before publication across the site as needed to maintain a civil discourse and ensure readers and community members are not being attacked. Commenters who repeatedly violate comment guidelines will be banned. If you think you have been banned in error, contact us at [email protected]. Baristanet reserves the right to close comments on any post at its discretion, including when the discussion becomes repetitive or when it requires excessive moderation. Baristanet may redact a portion of a comment that violates guidelines.

When you leave a comment on a post, you start or join a conversation. Being part of a conversation means adding to the discussion, bringing forth new information, engaging others in discussion or just being entertaining. Like guests at a party, just because you’ve accepted an invitation to comment, doesn’t mean there isn’t commenting etiquette that’s expected. That etiquette includes not attacking your host. If you have concerns or questions about Baristanet, do us the courtesy of contacting us at [email protected].

Try not to change the subject.

Imagine you’re in your favorite coffee shop and talking passionately with a group of people about a new development in town. Then some joker walks in and says “How about those Jets?” Don’t be that joker — comments on a specific blog post are to generate discussion about that topic. Want to get people talking about a new topic? Write us at [email protected].

Bring something new to the discussion.

Think you have an original thought? Sure, maybe you do. Or maybe 10 other people have left the same insight in comments. Before you hit publish, take a moment to see where the discussion is, and whether you can add something new to it. If reading all the comments takes too long, don’t comment.

Mind your manners.

Don’t be nasty. Sniping and arguing with other commenters gets old fast. Like many other sites, Baristanet reserves the right to maintain civil discourse on the site. That includes rejecting comments that are just plain dumb, uninteresting or unhelpful. Not sure what would get you banned? If you wouldn’t post it under your real name or here on our Facebook page, then you probably shouldn’t try to post it here. That goes for profanity, too, which gets automatically filtered.

Don’t be a jerk.

We love to know we’ve gotten something wrong – a typo, an errant semi-colon, a misspelling. There’s just a right way to do it. Either leave a comment like “heads up – you’ve got a typo.” Or send an email to [email protected] pointing out the error.

Be clear and avoid sarcasm.

Remember, we can’t see your face. The same sentence can read genuine or sarcastic – and easily be taken the wrong way. Take extra care here to make your message clear and avoid making unintended online attacks.

Don’t hide behind your anonymity.

It’s fine to have an online handle and opt not to use your real name (especially since your boss would freak if he/she saw how much time you spent online). It’s not alright to out someone else, disclose personal information, or be otherwise cowardly by making accusations or character attacks against someone you name specifically when you are hiding behind the cloak of anonymity. If you can’t own it, don’t say it. If you do, it’s you who will be banned.

Respectfully disagree.

We all don’t agree on everything, and sometimes people say some stupid things. You wouldn’t call them out face to face – so don’t do it here. You can state your peace and disagree with someone without insulting that person. Believe me, I know you can do it.

Beware commenter’s remorse.

We can’t tell you how many times we’ve gone in to delete comments from people who didn’t want to say what they said. Call it commenter’s remorse. Either way, the comment gets seen by hundreds, even thousands, before it gets deleted (never mind that it lives in Google’s cache). So think before you comment.

Ignore the trolls.

If someone irks you online, they probably get a vicarious thrill from doing so. Don’t stroke their ego. Once you engage in the vitriol, you become part of it. Instead, drop a line at [email protected] and let our moderator know if you think someone has crossed a line.

Don’t bore us – and everyone else.

Some sites ban without warning anyone who leaves comments like “Not news”, “Who Cares” or “slow news day.” We’re not there yet, but we’re close. These comments are off topic and insulting. If you don’t like an item, ignore it. Every post doesn’t have to be for you. The site gets over 9,000 visits a day – so when you comment, you write to the audience we’ve taken time to develop. We want to protect that and protect the overall experience everyone has when they step into our hyperlocal online community. So play nice, or don’t play at all. Thanks.