Community standards

Comments and discussion

RealKM welcomes your comments and discussion on articles.

We want RealKM to be a place for intelligent discussion. By posting, you’ll be contributing to independent, fact-based debate.

Please follow these guidelines to help keep things on track. They have been adapted from the community standards and content removal policy for The Conversation.

In brief

  • Don’t attack people and don’t respond to attacks
  • Keep your posts on topic and constructive
  • Take responsibility for the quality of the conversations you take part in
  • Above all, respect others and their opinions

Use your real name

We prefer real names: they help us maintain a transparent forum. We reserve the right to delete comments made under aliases.

Be considerate

We’re here to talk about ideas, not the people behind them.

We’ll delete: personal attacks directed at anyone; all forms of discrimination (or posts that could be interpreted as such); posts we believe exist only to provoke or mislead; posts identifying or sharing the personal information of another person (including children) without their consent; and comments that are commercial or repeatedly shared external links.

Be respectful

Treat people with the respect you’d like to receive. Admit when you’re wrong. You’ll come across opinions you disagree with. That doesn’t make them invalid.

Be on-topic

Keep comments relevant to the article and replies relevant to the initiating post. We reserve the right to delete off-topic comments to keep threads on track.

For example: in an article about the policy response to climate change, comments about the science of climate change will be considered off topic.

Be constructive

Explain why you disagree or agree with something. Your reasoning is as important as your opinion.

“This article sucks”

will be deleted.

“I disagree with this article. Here’s why…”

won’t be.

“You’re an idiot”

will be deleted.

“Have you considered…”

won’t be.

In keeping with the evidence-based approach of RealKM, back up your ideas with evidence and fact where possible. If you’re claiming something as scientific fact, provide credible references. Ask any questions you have for the author or your fellow commenters.

Aim to add a new idea to each approach rather than repeating what’s already been said. Move on if things get stuck.

We’ll distinguish between constructive comments and smear campaigns. We’ll remove any deliberate attempts to misinform, distort facts or misrepresent the opinions of others.

Be legal

Don’t post anything that may put us in legal jeopardy – nothing defamatory, nothing in breach of copyright.

Be proactive

Take responsibility for the quality of the conversations you participate in; only reply to things you consider worth your attention.

Report posts you think violate these standards.

What we’ll do

We reserve the right to remove comments that breach these standards and lock accounts of commenters who breach them repeatedly. We take a zero-tolerance approach to discrimination.

Replies to comments that have been deleted may themselves be deleted, either to remove the thread or because they don’t make sense out of context. Comments may be closed if these standards aren’t met.

As per our content removal policy (below), we will only remove comments that don’t violate these standards in exceptional circumstances.

We won’t discuss moderation actions on the site. If you need to discuss anything, please contact us.

Content removal policy

Articles

We will only take down an article if we are legally required to do so (if the article is found to be defamatory or in violation of copyright, for example), or if it contains major flaws or inaccuracies that warrant complete retraction. In most cases factual errors will be able to be corrected and readers notified of the change. Readers will always be notified if an article is retracted in full.

Comments

We view comments on RealKM as public statements made explicitly for publication. For that reason comments that comply with community standards will not be removed, save in exceptional circumstances such as:

  • the comment poses a risk to someone’s health (mental or physical) or safety
  • an account has been compromised
  • it raises a legal issue that requires removal

This is not an exhaustive list, but the general principle is that what is said cannot be unsaid so please think carefully before you post. We will, however, do what we can to ensure vulnerable people or groups are protected.

Photographs

Photographs on our articles will only be removed if they violate our editorial principles or if they are licensed incorrectly. If you believe a photograph of yours has been used inappropriately or without permission please contact us.