Voice of OC Unveils New Comment Policy

Along with the recent launch of our new website, we’ve switched to a new comments platform that will give you, the reader, more control over the community conversation.

When Voice of OC first launched in 2010, we allowed total anonymity to our commenters with the belief that readers should be able to say what they think about the personalities and issues in our articles without fear of retribution.

Unfortunately, some users have used this space to hijack conversations with personal attacks and unrelated rants that verge on hate speech. So in July 2014, we switched to a Facebook-only commenting system to encourage a more transparent and civil conversation.

We’ve since heard from many readers who don’t use social media but still want to participate in the community conversation. Our new comment platform, Disqus, gives you more options for how to participate in and moderate the community conversation.

In addition to logging in via your Facebook or Twitter account, you can also create a Disqus account with a verified email address.

We encourage users to react and reply to others’ comments. Here’s a rundown of the Disqus features that will help you participate in moderating and organizing the conversation:

  • Flagging: Users can flag comments that violate our community guidelines. Comments that are flagged several times will be hidden from view.
  • Up and Down Votes: Comments with the most “up” votes will be moved up the queue. Use this feature to help other readers find the most relevant, insightful and interesting comments. Conversely, comments with a large number of “down” votes will be moved to the bottom of the comment thread.
  • Reply Function: Disqus includes a reply feature that allows you to respond to a specific user’s comment. If you want to engage in a one-on-one dialogue, you can send other Disqus users private messages.

While some news organizations employ full-time web moderators, Voice of OC does not and cannot actively moderate comments on our website. Voice of OC is not responsible for the content posted by its users. However, we have the right (but not the obligation) to review, screen and delete any content posted on our website.

We respect your right to participate in the conversation, but we also reserve the right to ban any users and IP addresses that abuse and violate our community rules.

Here are our Community Guidelines:

  • Don’t use obscenities. Disqus will block comments containing vulgar and obscene language. If you want to have your say, keep it clean.
  • Stay on Topic. Comments should be relevant to the article. Our website is not a place for users to have one-on-one arguments and free-ranging conversation. Don’t use public forums for individual communications.
  • Be yourself – and not someone else. Don’t pose as another person when you are posting on the site.
  • Be Respectful. Focus your remarks on positions, not personalities. No personal attacks, name-calling, libel, defamation, hate speech, obscene or pornographic language.

We hope this system facilitates the vibrant and creative civic discussion that you deserve. If you have any questions or concerns, please email Thy Vo at thyanhvo@gmail.com.