Story comments policy for Hearing Times

Hearing Times is designed in part to be a forum for discussion and debate and we therefore welcome readers’ comments on the site. Users should however be aware of the need for the site to operate within the law, and for it to uphold the good name of deaf and hard of hearing communities.

Comments are currently post-moderated which means they will automatically appear on the site after they are submitted. However comments which are offensive or legally questionable will be removed.

As a general guideline, comments which make reasoned criticism will be allowed to remain on the site. But comments which contain gratuitous personal attacks on named individuals or which otherwise bring the newspaper into disrepute will be deleted.

 

We will also delete comments that are irrelevant to the story under which they appear, any comments containing obscenities, and any comments containing racist or otherwise discriminatory language.

 

If you wish to report a comment which in your opinion breaches any of the above guidelines, please use the ‘Report this comment’ facility, giving a reason or reasons why you think it should be deleted.

 

Comments will generally remain open on all stories, but owing to occasional abuse of the comment facility in the past, they will sometimes be disabled in the evenings and at weekends.

 

Please do not use the story comments facility to point out any spelling or grammatical errors on this site, as once the necessary correction is made, they will become obsolete and will have to be manually deleted. Instead, please click on the link above the comments section which reads ‘Spotted an error? Email the editor’.

 

If you have any observations to make about our comments policy, please email the Hearing Times team at info@hearingtimes.co.uk

 


House Rules

 

Please read these rules carefully. They outline what we consider is acceptable and unacceptable content. We may update the rules from time to time, so please read them before posting a comment.

 

    Rule 1: We welcome your opinions

        We welcome your opinions. We want our readers to see and understand different points of view. Try to contribute to the thread, rather than just stating if you agree or disagree. Unless you have a witty one-liner, please explain why you hold your opinion.

 

    Rule 2: This is a public forum

        Once your comment is online, everyone with Internet access can read it. Please make your comment clear to ensure that it is not misunderstood. Your comment may be rated by other users and categorised e.g. best and worst rated. You can express a strong opinion but please do not go over the top. Don't forget that you are legally responsible for what you submit. Please consider how your comment could be received by others. Many different types of people of different ages may view your comment.

 

    Rule 3: Language and relevance

        Please be polite. Do not use swear words or crude or sexual language. Only English is allowed. Keep your submissions relevant to the story or topic. Do not insult other contributions or discuss the non-appearance or removal of any content on this Site or the suspension or termination of any users. If you would like to discuss the operation of the Site with us, please email us on community@dailymailonline.co.uk.

 

    Rule 4: Report abuse

        We strongly support the MailOnline community in maintaining high standards of participation. If you consider that a comment does not comply with these rules or our Terms, please use the relevant Report Abuse facility, located just under the comment in issue. The facility should only be used for serious complaints, not simply because you disagree with something said.

 

    Rule 5: No libel or other abuse

 

        You must not make or encourage comments which are:

            • defamatory, false or misleading;

            • insulting, threatening or abusive;

            • obscene or of a sexual nature;

            • offensive, racist, sexist, homophobic or discriminatory against any religions or other groups.

 

    Rule 6: Confidentiality, privacy and contempt

        Please respect people's privacy. You are not allowed to submit confidential or private information. For example, you must not upload the telephone number, email address or any other contact details of any person.

        You should not write anything which could prejudice pending or on-going court proceedings of which you are aware. For example, if you have any personal knowledge about someone who has been arrested or charged or being prosecuted for an offence, you must not mention it. If you do, you could be in contempt of court, which is an extremely serious matter.

 

    Rule 7: No advertising, solicitation or investigations

 

        You must not use our Site for:

            • the promotion of any products or services or for any other commercial purpose;

            • any sponsorship, petition, campaign, scheme or chain message;;

            • an investigation e.g. tracing the whereabouts of any person.

 

    Rule 8: No impersonation and proper disclosure

        You must not pretend to be someone else (e.g. an expert, another user or a member of our team). You must not pretend that you are unconnected to a story or topic, when in fact you are. If you have a personal connection to a story or topic, you should disclose your connection or, where appropriate, not comment at all.

 

    Rule 9: No linking or copyright infringement

        You must not insert links to websites (URLs) or submit content which would be an infringement of copyright.

 

    Rule 10: Comments on articles v our message boards

        Registered users can submit an unlimited number of comments across the MailOnline site. However, there is a maximum of 10 comments per article in 24 hours. We may increase or decrease this limit from time to time. If you want to contribute to an ongoing debate about a topic, please use our message boards at www.dailymail.co.uk/debate.

 

    Rule 11: Respect the spirit as well as the letter of the House Rules

        In deciding what is acceptable, please also respect the spirit and tone of these rules and the community.

 

    Rule 12: Removal of content

        Reader comments that violate the letter or spirit of these rules or our Terms may be removed (or, if checked in advance, not published in the first place). If we do remove something, we will generally remove whole posts, or where necessary, whole threads (not parts). This means that even if only one sentence is objectionable, the whole comment will usually be removed (or not published).

        If a comment or a thread is removed, this may be for any number of reasons. Usually, this will be because the comment breaks these rules or our Terms or is the subject of an abuse report. Sometimes, the comment may be removed because it is connected to another comment which is being removed. We hope that you will understand that, once properly notified of a complaint, we may have to remove a comment for legal reasons (whatever the rights and wrongs).

        If your content has been removed, we may email you to let you know or to inform you if you have been suspended or banned from submitting further comments to the Site.

        If you are aware that content has been removed, you must not deliberately resubmit the same content.

 

    Rule 13: Suspension and termination

 

        We reserve the right to suspend or ban an account at our sole discretion. Here are some reasons why we might do so:

            • Breaching these rules or our Terms;

            • Serious failure to respect the spirit and tone of the community;

            • Conduct or comments that demand a disproportionate amount of our time or that abuse our staff.

 

        The length of a suspension or whether we ban someone depends on all the circumstances. Bans are generally for extreme cases and repeated serious abuse.

        If we suspend or ban your registration, you must not attempt to re-register or submit content (e.g. using someone else's account), without our permission.

 

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