Every day tens of thousands of people across the world participate on CNN.com -- leaving comments, posting iReports, recommending stories to friends and more.
These are the ground rules for all that activity:
What We're Here For.
It's simple. At CNN we've known for a long time that our work is better when we don't pretend we have all the answers ourselves. So we're here to share what we know, listen, talk, discuss, and get to a closer understanding of the world we're all living in. Together.
Our sweet Southern grandmothers would put it this way: if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all. But since we're based in Atlanta, where the sway of our sweet grandmothers has given way to the more cosmopolitan approach of a global city, we'll say it like this: be polite. Address others the way you would want to be addressed. No name-calling, no personal attacks.
Be Thoughtful, Be Truthful, Be Relevant.
Of course. This is CNN.
No Way, No How.
There are a few things we just won't tolerate - obscenities, threats, hate speech, material that's ethnically or racially offensive, abusive comments and spam, to name a few. You can see a complete list of what's not accepted in the CNN.com terms of service.
If You See Something, Say Something.
If you spot a comment you think violates these guidelines (or violates a guideline we haven't written yet, but should), please let us know. There's a little "report abuse" button next to every comment and every iReport. Clicking it will tell our moderators they should check it out. And if enough people click the "report abuse" button, the material will be temporarily hidden until someone can review it.
How moderation works.
For the most part, comments and iReports on CNN.com post immediately and may be removed following community flagging or for other reasons. We call this approach "post-moderation." We believe in post-moderation because it allows for near real-time discussion and fosters real conversation. From time to time, though, moderators may choose to limit some conversations to pre-moderation (meaning a human reads each comment before it posts) or to cut off comments altogether on particularly sensitive or controversial topics where the discussion devolves into ugliness.
Comments that include links do not appear on the site unless a moderator has reviewed them. We can't always get to everything, so if your comment doesn't make it to the site, that might be why.
When We Say We're In It Together, We Mean It.
Many comments have generated follow-up stories for CNN -- a lot of you have personal experiences, tips or sources, and we have our iReport team and many of our producers, editors and reporters reading and participating in the comments, always labeled as CNN staff. We may contact you if you have an insight we want to explore further - we'll do this by e-mailing you at the address connected to your CNN account (or, if you've included your phone number in your iReport profile, we'll call). Or if you want to contact us directly with a tip, start here.
This Is A Work In Progress.
We'll probably adjust these guidelines as we go. If you have a suggestion, drop us a line. The folks looking after commenting at CNN.com are the same people behind CNN iReport. You can catch us all at firstname.lastname@example.org, or join our weekly roundtable chat on the iReport blog.
That's it, folks. Above all, we're after a lively and thoughtful conversation about the news of our world. Be insightful, be concise, be kind. We look forward to more great conversation, together.
The Community Guidelines posted on this site were updated on January 19, 2011.