A reminder about our Code of Conduct — and a warning to those who violate it

On Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving, I had to remove two comments that crossed the line regarding our code of conduct. I’ve posted our code below in full below, although it is always available for review on our About page.

I don’t appreciate the offensive comments that bring out the worst in others. I would hope it isn’t true, but at times it feels like some commenters are posting solely for the purpose of seeing how many people they can get a rise out of — and I’m tired of that.

Turns out, many of our readers are also tired of it. I’ve heard from a few old-timers who say they will no longer post for fear of being attacked.

So I am taking a hard line, folks. Please express your opinions but do so respectfully. Don’t throw out accusations that are insulting, offensive and/or you can’t prove. And if you get out of line, your comment will disappear, and I’m not going to tell you why. If you do this routinely, even after seeing that I’ve removed your comments, you will be banned from the site. End of story.

— Teresa Wippel, Publisher

My Edmonds News Code of Conduct

By registering to post on My Edmonds News, you agree to abide by this Code of Conduct. While our code is in fact a set of guidelines, any deliberate violation of the following points – especially those that harm other members – will result in a loss of site privileges.

My Edmonds News users agree to not do the following:
– plagiarize the work of others, fail to acknowledge source material, or use images that belong to others without their permission;
– abuse, threaten or verbally attack other members, individuals, or My Edmonds News staff. We do not tolerate bullies, and we’ll do our best to spot them and get rid of them;
– post libelous, obscene or pornographic material or content that contains racist, sexist, homophobic and other slurs;
– deliberately post stories that are untrue, false or misleading or that make false representations about the poster him/herself;

My Edmonds News readers will:
– be accountable for stories they post and follow up by correcting known errors;
– resist attacks, insults and threats and instead remain civil and focused on the ideas being presented rather than the individuals expressing them;
– promote interactivity and dialogue that supports real community collaboration;
– avoid the use of ALL CAPS in their comments as that is seen by others as shouting. At a maximum, we request no more than three ALL CAPS word per comment.

Our anti-flaming/baiting policy:
According to Wikipedia, “Flaming is the hostile and insulting interaction between Internet users. An Internet user typically generates a flame response to other posts or users posting on a site, and is usually not constructive, does not clarify a discussion, and does not persuade others. Sometimes, flamers attempt to assert their authority, or establish a position of superiority over other users.”

Flamers tend to end conversations by entering them; they create a hostile environment in which real discourse is quashed in favor of insults and abuse. Deciding who is or isn’t a flamer, and how that contributor will be handled, is at the final and sole discretion of My Edmonds News staff.

Once a user has been pinpointed as a flamer, (one or more instances of obvious flaming, and/or reported flaming from other site users), the following steps will be taken:

1. Send the user a warning indicating that they’re at risk of forfeiting their membership. Sometimes we may also or instead post a comment in response to the comment in question.
2. Observe the user for signs of reform or response. Should the user reform or respond and apologize, they will be given another chance.
3. Should he or she ignore staff or continue the behavior, we will block him/her from posting to the site without further notice. All decisions will be at the sole discretion of the Editor.

The mission of My Edmonds News is to be an online gathering place for neighbors and friends. As such, there is no room for hate speech or abusive or inflammatory behavior to make your point. Remember the golden rule: Treat others as you wish to be treated.

  1. Yes, good news. I’ve been fortunate not seeing those posts but occasionally I do post my opinion about things and would not appreciate out and out abuse in response. Thank you!
    Pat Sherwood

  2. Thank you Theresa.. I agree with everything you said and repeat violators who continually rudely berate other commenters or make speculative accusations on a rgular basis should be banned.

  3. Theresa, thanks for this. There have been some exchanges in these pages recently that you would not necessarily show to prospective newcomers as proof of the city’s congeniality and tolerant spirit. Edmonds can be better than that.

  4. I seem to miss all these blow-ups somehow. The Internet really seems to lend itself to pointless bickering, and there’s never any shortage of people eager to do it.

  5. Well said and well done! I have stopped reading the comments on CNN and similar sites, as they were starting to erode my belief in the basic goodness of people. Thank you!

  6. I respect and appreciate the stand you have taken on these type of comments. I raalize that there a lot of negative things happening in the area, but we do not have to have them thrown in our face in a negative way. Constructive and positive comments are always welcome. You are doing a great job! Keep up the good work!

    1. Not “kumbaya only” — I think that would be rather juiceless and dull — but there’s no need for personal attacks, ad hominem insults, etc. A good test of a community is whether it can welcome and tolerate civil disagreement.

  7. I love a good honest debate it spices up the conversation.
    For some reason Teresa when I pull my M.E.N. out of my favorites I only get the main features. I do not get the ads or the on going comments. Do you know how I can fix this.

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