The Consumerist Comments Code

The Consumerist Comments Code, which we repost every now and again, is intended to promote a discussion filled with substantive information, insights, humorous observations and relevant personal experiences. In other words, comments that other people would want to read. Here are some rules to help make this possible… (And while we’re on the topic of commenters, don’t forget to add your email address to your user profile by going to http://consumerist.com/people/yourscreenname/profile/ so you can keep your commenter profile when we transition to a new platform this Fall)

CONSUMERIST COMMENTS CODE

Above all, don’t be a jerk and don’t be boring. Ask yourself, is my comment boring, repetitive, or not substantively contributing to an engaging discussion? If you can answer yes, don’t hit submit.

No junk comments

Your comment should be a meaningful response to the issue raised in the post. Take some time when writing a comment, it’s not a race and you don’t have an edit button. Objections to an editor’s headlines or writing style or a post’s entire existence should be emailed directly to the post’s author. Verboten: “+1″ “Why is this on Consumerist?”, “tldr”, “Why did they even shop there in the first place?”, “This is a non-issue”, “Slow news day?” “Pwnd” “Yawn”, “First”, “People still ______” (use dialup, eat fast food, breathe air, and so forth), “Old news”, “lol”, “This is why I don’t shop there,” etc.

Stay on topic

Read the full post before commenting. We highly advise reading linked articles before commenting as well. Avoid tangential political rants or partisan diatribes.

Read other people’s comments before posting
See what’s already been said before adding your piece. If you just skim to the end and make your response, chances are you may end up repeating what’s already been said in the conversation. The comments should be a dialog between commenters, not just the place where your arrows affixed with your messages that you blindly shoot in happen to land.

Avoid blaming the poster or victim or commenting only to be negative

Please, suggest alternate courses of action, or add important information that might help others or that we missed. Don’t attack people. Assume good faith. Tipsters need help, not ridicule. Express contrary opinions, but treat others as you would like to be treated. Don’t constantly spew negativity, be it about other posters, the site, the article, or anything. Commenting is a privilege, and can be removed at any time at our discretion.

No sexism, racism, homophobia, xenophobia or hatred

Don’t put this crap in our comments. Don’t post links to hate, porn, spam, or shock sites, or their ilk.

No flame wars

A bunch of screaming strangers? Boring! Keep cursing to a minimum. Debate the idea, not the person. Pointing out other commenters spelling or grammatical errors is not a productive exercise.

Make it readable

Go easy on the caps and exclamation points.

Send your copyedits to the top

The quickest way to get grammar, spelling, or punctuation errors fixed is to email the author and/or site editor directly.

No sockpuppets

If you post about a company you work for, or pays you in some way, you must disclose this relationship in your comment.

One account per person
Do not create multiple commenter accounts and use them simultaneously. If you cannot access your commenter account, please contact our comment moderator at moderator@consumerist.com for technical assistance.

Don’t tell people how to break the law
Providing instructions on how to commit criminal acts is not ok.

Commenters are not moderators

If you see a commenter violating these rules, email moderator@consumerist.com. Posting only to point out someone is breaking the rules is distracting and unnecessary. So no rules lawyering or “junior moderating” in the threads. Don’t try to argue the fine points of how your comments are just within the rules. Always post with the spirit of the comments code and not just its letter.

What happens if I break these rules?

You may be banned, or, perhaps worse, “disemvoweled.” We might warn you in the comments. We also might not. If you ignore a warning, you will probably be banned. If you feel your ban is unwarranted, email your appeal to moderator@consumerist.com and we’ll see if we can work it out.

What’s “Disemvoweling?”
It’s when a moderator removes all the vowels from your comment, making it very hard to read. This is when you’ve said something out of line that doesn’t warrant a ban, but we just don’t want to have to see it or subject others to it. If you get disemvoweled, consider it a warning that a ban may be imminent.