The Jackson Free Press requires that users be registered in order to add comments to blog entries or participate in the forums. This is done to avoid anonymous posts and, hopefully, to cut down on unproductive comments. Please ensure that responses to required registration entries are factual, or you will be removed from the system. Other entries are optional, but you are responsible for their content.
Members who masquerade as other persons or other commenters on the site will be blocked from commenting.
We may send updates via e-mail to those registered members who opt to join our mailing list. Mailing list recipients can opt out at any time by altering their profile or by replying to the opt-out link in any mailing list e-mail message.
Jackson Free Press management reserves the right to delete posts or comments for any reason, and/or to suspend members at any time, although we are under no obligation to do so. The content of comments and user posts are the responsiblity of the poster. A variety of opinions are welcome and encouraged. However, posts containing inflammatory, obscene or hate language, as well as ad hominem (personal attacks) are strictly forbidden and may be deleted at our discretion and/or the user account(s) from which such comments are placed may be suspended. Please be considerate and stay on-topic, particularly in comments.
Also, please refrain from trying to tell other people what they think, or what they just said. Their comments should speak for their beliefs; your comments should speak for yours.
In general, our suggestion is that you treat others that you would like to be treated -- and when you disagree, do so without being disagreeable. We seek interesting and engaging conversation on the Jackson Free Press website, not personal attacks or arguments meant to belittle others.
Likewise, comments need to be on the topic of the article thread, avoid repeating the same assertions over and over and show a willingness to engage others without being overly disagreeable. Commentors who persistently "snark" without offering interesting counter arguments are more likely to be deleted.
Specific Commenting Guidelines
In specific, your comments may be deleted or portions stricken at our discretion (and user accounts subsequently banned) if they contain the following:
1. Personal ("ad hominem") attacks either of other posters or any individual. (Example: "You are stupid"; "he is racist.") However, comments such as "I believe his actions are bigoted because ..." are more acceptable, as long as they are made in the spirit of true dialogue.
2. Continual mischaracterization of what other people are saying, or what they believe. "You are just a fascist" would qualify (and violate No. 1). Or, much of what follows introductions such as "You're just saying that ..." or "In fact, what you're implying is..." is incorrect. Obviously, some of that will occur in the course of conversation, but if you are just there to try make someone else look bad by re-casting their comments in the worst possible light, then you are in violation of this user agreement.
3. Quoting outside sources and articles in their entirety. This may violate "fair use" copyright policies. Please just include relevant excerpts from other pieces and a link to get to them. Please attribute all outside sources by providing links to the material.
4. "Trolling." What this means is that your actions on the site are meant to pick a fight, disrupt conversation or elicit a reaction from particular users (or administrator) rather than move dialogue forward. This includes comments that simply belittle other people's arguments and viewpoints without adding to the discussion. We typically will warn people who we feel are engaging in "troll" behavior before blocking your account, but we reserve the right to block your account at any time.
5. Registering under several different screen names. We allow you to post anonymously, but encourage you not to because you are more credible under your own name (and it keeps most people nicer). However, some people have tried to register under different screen names so that their darker personas can have an outlet. We will delete additional screen names as we note that happening.
6. General bad netiquette, such as berating bloggers for poor grammar and spelling, and filling screen after screen with comments so that you are dominating the comments. We allow some off-color language, but will delete your comments if you go too far. As (U.S. Supreme Court Justice) Potter Stewart said, you know it when you see it.
7. Libelous and unfactual statements. Although posters are responsible for their own comments, we may delete clearly libelous comments or unsubstantiated accusations because our commenting system is not intended as an outlet for smearing people.
8. Comment "spam" messages for purely commercial purposes. (Even if it's faked to sound like a real comment, but links to your college essay writing service—for instance.) If you post product or service pitches, the post may be deleted and your account may be immediately suspended.
9. Inappropriately personal comments about our writers or commenters. This is similar to #1 above, but we will err on the side of caution to respect the feelings of our writers, columnists and contributors when they're writing about emotional or personal issues.
10. Complaints about the moderation, the moderator, or the fact that your comment didn't get through.
11. Hate speech, or hateful comments directed toward a writer, other commenter or particular class or people based on their race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation or belief system.
Again, generally speaking, if you disagree with someone, do it agreeably and speak to the facts you'll be in good shape. Our goal is to let get good conversations flow about the stories and commentary we post.
We will never share, sell, or trade any of your private or personal information. However, we may provide to law enforcement at our discretion (or as required by court order) any pertinent information in cases where it appears a law has been broken or a member is suffering any sort of harassment.
Jackson Free Press, Inc. is not responsible for information placed in public view by our members. Nor are we responsible for decisions made by the Disqus commenting system, including Disqus commenting history or any information made public by that device.
By default, our pages are available to the public, and items from your personal profile or your comments may be featured on the home page either automatically or at the discretion of our administrators. As with any website, it is important to consider carefully what personal information you would like in public view.
Agreement to Terms
By posting a comment and/or registering directly on the Jackson Free Press website, you agree to the above conditions and you affirm that you have read the privacy statement and that you do not object to your comments being published online by the Jackson Free Press and/or printed in the Jackson Free Press' publications. If this agreement and/or privacy statement is altered in any way, members will be notified by e-mail and the new policies will be posted.
These terms shall be governed by the laws of the State of Mississippi without giving effect to any conflict of laws or principles that may provide the application of the law to another jurisdiction.