The Register comment guidelines 2010

Care and feeding of the forums

1. Firstly and perhaps most importantly: Moderation is at our discretion. We publish what we feel is fit for publication. We accept the vast majority of all comments posted, and we try to be broad-minded and consistent - but in the end if we don't want it published on our site, it doesn't go up. Correspondence will rarely be entered into on individual decisions.

Comments may take longer to appear at different times of the day or when we are very busy (especially at the weekend) - all comments are moderated individually. If your comment doesn't show up immediately, be patient - we often have a backlog to work through.

Queries and complaints should be directed to Reg Forums. Several moderators look after the threads and each uses his or her own judgement (and comments on individual stories are not usually moderated by the author).

Technical issues should be addressed to the Reg Webmaster.

2. When posting a comment, think about what you're saying and remember you're addressing real people. Be legible and intelligible. Be polite. Animated debate is great - nasty arguments and abuse, not so much. (And try and rein in your pedantry... tis human to err, especially when pointing out the errors of others.)

3. Be pertinent - redundant comments repeating what others have said are liable to be deleted. Try and stay on topic. Read the article before you post, and read the thread too.

4. No trolling - it's OK to be provocative, but trolling is another matter.

5. No spam, no links to porn - don't pimp your own website, blog or business. If you're linking to something that may be seen as naughty, help your fellow commenters by adding a NSFW note.

6. We're thick-skinned, but... if you slag off The Register or its writers your comment is likely to get canned - this is our house, after all. Requests for writers to be sacked or for stories not to have been published are never going to get through. Use your common sense.

7. That person who doesn't hate the company you hate... they're not a corporate shill. Don't accuse them of it. Similarly, no one is paying our writers to be nice, or horrible, about anyone. Don't accuse them of it either. Oh, and the moderators are not Nazis. Don't be silly.

8. Please post your comment in the comment box, not in the title field. Currently we allow posts of up to 2000 characters, much longer than most forums, but try not to post enormous essays or margin-busting links.

9. If we suspect comments of being libellous we reject them. We err on the side of caution. Remember we are subject to UK libel laws.

10. Post no personal details about others, please. And don't post your own contact details. How do we know they are yours? We will not publish them.

11. Don't be a racist arsehole, a homophobic wanker, a xenophobic idiot or a sexist pig. You know when you're crossing a line - if you don't, learn.

12. We're grateful for corrections. Feel free to post these as comments but in the understanding they won't be published. Alternatively, email Reg Production.

13. If you want to take issue with the content of a story, email the author from their byline link at the top of the story. They will usually be happy to help, if you're courteous. (Please be courteous.)

14. Do use the 'report comment' button - we take note of each one and often withdraw comments after complaints, and we're grateful for your assistance as spam and other unwelcome things do sometimes slip through - but don't abuse it. A differing opinion does not make reasonable grounds for reporting a comment.

15. If you are persistently abusive in any way we may warn you. In very rare circumstances we'll zap your account.

16. We do not have time to edit comments. If you are abusive in an otherwise sensible, insightful post, we may reject the entire comment. Sometimes we'll alert you to this. If your comment is rejected, feel free to edit it yourself and resubmit.

17. Once again - moderation is at our discretion. Having your comment published on this site is not one of your human rights.

These guidelines are subject to revision. We always welcome your comments and appreciate it when you respect the forums, the moderators and each other. Above all, don't get too upset... it's just the internet. ®

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