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Community Guidelines

The Globe and Mail community is shaped by readers, and it’s up to you to help make a safe destination for intelligent, insightful and respectful conversation. We understand that debate can get spirited (the best ones do) and some news stories rightfully provoke anger and frustration. But please argue fairly, be constructive, avoid personal attacks and stay on topic. In short, treat others as you expect to be treated among company in real life. The Globe is committed to protecting its community.

How do I comment?

Commenting is a benefit for subscribers of Globeandmail.com. You can find comments and commenting tools at the bottom of most articles. Subscribers should be able to participate if logged in. (Not sure if you’re logged in? Check by scrolling to the top and looking for your username on the top right.) Non-subscribers will be able to see comments but will not be able to participate.

Please visit The Globe’s subscriptions page if you would like to become a subscriber. Readers can also engage with The Globe and Mail’s Facebook page and Twitter account.

When and why are comments closed?

  • Legal reasons: A story involves a trial, crime or other legal case, and comments by readers could breach a publication ban or otherwise reveal information that could put The Globe at risk. Comments are closed by default at the time the story is posted, and an automated message is posted saying that comments “have been closed for legal reasons.”

  • Abuse: A story involves a particularly contentious issue, and provokes comments that are offensive, hateful, vulgar, racist or libellous. The Globe’s policy is to close the story when the volume of such comments becomes unmanageable, at which point an automated message is posted notifying readers that comments on the story “have been closed because an overwhelming number of users were making offensive statements.”
  • What kinds of comments are removed?

    • Personal attacks: Attacks against Globe staff and contributors, other subscribers and the subjects of Globe articles will be removed. Name-calling, threats, verbal abuse and doxxing are not tolerated. Doxxing will automatically result in a ban.
    • Spam: Do not flood the community with multiple messages that say the same thing. Messages promoting your business, project or a special deal will be removed. Efforts to filter spam may catch an insightful link that a subscriber wishes to share. Please click here if you feel that is the case with a submitted comment.
    • Links:Links to other websites are strongly discouraged and will at best slow down the publication of your comment or cause it to be deleted. If you want to recommend another link, then please suggest keywords on how to search for said article as opposed to a link.
    • Trolling: Stay relevant and on topic. Purposely trying to derail a conversation or post inflammatory comments is not tolerated and posts will be removed.
    • Racism, sexism and other discrimination: Attacking a group of people or making broad statements against groups is not tolerated. Hate speech is not tolerated.
    • Illegal activities: Do not make libellous statements or comments that include false or unsubstantiated allegations. If the legality of your comment is in question, it will be removed.
    • Moderation complaints: These fall under off-topic and are unlikely to result in a resolution. Please report moderation complaints here.
    • Offensive usernames: If your username includes words that are offensive or abusive, your account will be blocked.

    CAN I BE SUSPENDED OR BANNED?

    Persistent violations of the community guidelines are subject to suspensions over periods of one hour, three hours, one day, one week or a permanent ban of your account. In particular, The Globe does not tolerate any comment activity that threatens the safety and wellbeing of anyone, nor any comment activity that is hateful in nature. The Globe will act accordingly to protect its community.

    HOW ARE COMMENTS MODERATED?

    If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour. We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner. Comments that violate the community guidelines will not be posted.

    We also ask you to self-moderate and abide by the rules outlined in this guide. We believe you add to the discussion on the many topics we cover. We have newsroom staff who monitor and moderate comments as needed. The Globe also works closely with ICUC, a moderation service that helps Globe editors manage comments across the site 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The commenting platform also deploys algorithms which automatically flag comments that may include questionable language, spam or UNNECESSARY YELLING.

    On a daily basis, The Globe sees a high volume of comments as you engage with the news of the day. Sometimes comments are mistakenly rejected, and some comments that violate the community guidelines are approved. If you feel that a comment of yours or a comment you have read falls into one of these categories, please click here or use the Report function beside the comment in question.

    DO REPORTERS AND WRITERS READ AND RESPOND TO COMMENTS?

    While Globe journalists are certainly encouraged to read the comments and jump into the conversation, it is completely up to them. Time constraints are often an issue, but you will see their names in the comments from time to time. All Globe reporters and editors will have a Staff badge next to their name.

    DOES THE GLOBE EDIT COMMENTS?

    No. Comments are not edited or changed in any way by Globe staff or moderators. But subscribers have a chance to edit their own comments up to seven minutes after they are published.

    I SEE A TYPO OR ERROR. SHOULD I REPORT IT IN THE COMMENTS?

    No. To flag a typo or error for correction, please click here.

    CAN I DELETE MY COMMENT?

    No, comments cannot be deleted once posted. Subscribers, however, have seven minutes to edit a comment after they have posted it. To edit a comment, subscribers can select the Edit option in the right corner of the comment within seven minutes of publishing. Comments can be edited more than once.

    I CAN'T SEE MY COMMENT - WHAT HAPPENED?

    Try sorting comments by Newest First and your comment should be at the top. If your comment does not appear or has disappeared, it has been possibly flagged for review or rejected by a moderator because it violated the community guidelines. If this happens, please review our guidelines, change your comment and try again.

    WHAT OTHER COMMENT FEATURES ARE AVAILABLE?

    • Replies to comments: You can reply to other comments by using the Reply icon under each comment.
    • Share: You have the option to share any comment or conversation thread via a unique link. Click the down-facing arrow located at the top-right corner of the comment and select Share.
    • Respect: Not everyone likes a comment, but you may respect what the person is saying or the argument they are making. Click Respect to show support for a fellow subscriber.
    • Featured comments: The Globe’s moderation team may choose to highlight comments they find the most insightful or thought-provoking at the top of a comment thread. You can help them by choosing to Respect a comment.
    • Comment sorting: You can choose to display comments on an article by Newest First, Oldest First, Most Respected First and Most Replied First. Click the dropdown menu at the top of the comment thread.

    ABOUT THIS DOCUMENT

    These community guidelines have been created by members of The Globe’s editorial staff, including the Executive Editor, Public Editor and Head of Programming, incorporating feedback from moderators and subscribers.

    FURTHER INFORMATION

    Read The Globe’s full terms and conditions. If you have an issue with your account, please contact Customer Care. If you have an issue with moderation, please report it here.

    NOTE

    The views expressed in the comments of this site do not necessarily reflect or represent the views of The Globe and Mail, its staff or contributors. The Globe and Mail reserves the right to ban any commenter. The Globe and Mail may publish comments within the paper and on digital platforms.