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At UKrant: New rules for responding to articles

Every day, the editorial staff at the UKrant wonders: What are we writing about, why are we writing about it, and how are we writing about it? A look behind the scenes.

Recently, the UKrant was flooded with hundreds of inappropriate (to put it mildly) responses on a story about diversity at the RUG and the city of Groningen. We invite people to join the discussion, but this was not a discussion.

For us, it was reason enough to, for the first time in the digital history of UKrant, shut down the comment section for this article, locking down Disqus. Both during and after the ‘discussion’, we removed several comments, because we felt they crossed a boundary (and for anyone saying we started moderating a bit late: you are, unfortunately, correct).

Because of this issue, we decided to more clearly define the rules for responding to articles on ukrant.nl.

Our basic principle was, and still is: Everyone is allowed to participate and respond to discussions. And it’s fine if these discussions are fierce. But there are limits, which we’ve defined in the seven guidelines below.

The editors have the right to ban you if you consistently fail to respect these guidelines. Comments that don’t conform to the guidelines will be removed without prior communication with the writer (we’ll often have no choice to contact the writer anyone, as most comments on are website are anonymous.)

The rules: 

  1. No ad hominem arguments. Respond to the content of the article. Get your facts straight. Insults, hurtful remarks, discrimination, baiting, agitation, crude language, mudslinging, and the like are unacceptable.
  2. Comments containing external links or external content will be removed; if your argument is sound, you won’t need them.
  3. Repeatedly responding to similar themes with the same message will be considered ‘nagging’. These comments will also be removed, as they (no longer) contribute anything to the discussion.
  4. We do not tolerate racism, sexism, homophobia, or any other form of hate speech.
  5. We remove responses that constitute copyright infringement.
  6. We remove any and all comments with a commercial slant or that look like spam. This includes comments where people or organisations post propaganda or external links without adding anything of substance to the discussion.
  7. Please make sure your contributions are relevant. Keep comments on topic.

If everyone respects these rules, the UKrant comment section will be what it was always meant to be: a platform for intelligent discussion, where people listen to each other.

Rob Siebelink, editor-in-chief UKrant

Nederlands

05 March 2019 | 5-3-2019, 15:22