Commenting guidelines

Posting comments is a privilege we are pleased to offer our visitors. Please understand that we set the bar high when it comes to online dialogue because it is our goal to create an environment for civil and productive community conversation.

Here is a list of the types of comments that are generally not allowed on news stories:

  • Any generalizations about a specific group of people
  • Comments that mask or attempt to mask inappropriate language and profanity or that are outright crude
  • Comments made from accounts with fake or offensive names
  • Name-calling. This includes commonly used words like loser, idiot, moron, jerk, or using the names of WRAL staff.
  • Personal attacks or attempts to ridicule other commenters
  • Comments that are potentially hurtful to crime and accident victims and their families
  • Comments that make race or citizenship an issue, when neither is indicated or an issue in the story
  • Degrading comments about someone who has died
  • Assumptions of guilt or innocence in crime stories, or advocacy for punishment of the accused. Remember, a charge is not a conviction and suspects are innocent until proven guilty.
  • Comments that make assumptions about subjects in the story. Example: “He was probably drunk and on steroids.”
  • Comments that are unrelated to the topic or the comments of others
  • Comments that don’t focus on a topic, but another poster instead
  • Comments that contain personally identifiable information -- that is to say, information that makes your specific identity known to others
  • Statistics that don’t reference a verifiable source.
  • Comments that are repeatedly posted
  • Solicitations for a business or product
  • Comments that inquire about deleted posts, or posts that were not allowed

If you read a comment that you believe violates these guidelines, please click the "Report Abuse" link and the comment will be reviewed.

We always have the right to remove postings, and/or cancel accounts to enforce these guidelines or the Terms of Service or as we deem necessary to maintain the integrity of the site or our business. Whatever action we choose to take, our decision is final. We will not always explain our actions, but rest assured we do not take these decisions lightly.

Please direct comments about typos or possible errors in news stories to the online newsroom.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies, and we will moderate accordingly.

If your comments are consistently not included and you’d like to find out why, we suggest re-reading the above list.