Beacon Media Group Online Comments Policy

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Company Position

Beacon Media Group is committed to providing an inclusive and safe digital space where readers and commenters can interact among themselves as well as our journalists to converse about topics that are of interest to them.

We believe that comments are an important element in digital journalism because they allow readers to respond to an article instantly: asking questions, pointing out errors, giving new leads etc.

However, more often than not, things are said to journalists and/or other readers which would be unimaginable face-to-face.

Comments moderation minimises the harm caused by abusive behaviour, but let’s not pretend that this is an easy problem to fix. We acknowledge the fact that mobs can form quickly. Trolls can be incredibly organised and this may lead to commenters competing to see who can be the most cruel or the most obnoxious.  A poor, unpleasant or otherwise harmful level of commentary runs counter to the philosophy on which the company is based, and to the wellbeing of its users and we will do our best to discard such comments whenever we can.

Is that the kind of culture we want to live in?

Help us host better conversations online – Rally with us behind this cause. Report abusers. Lead the conversation.

You can help us maintain respectful online dialogue by using a reasonable tone of voice, act with maturity and consideration and be pleasant in your participation.

We are interested in comments that are well-articulated, well-informed and relevant to the article. We believe that such comments will enrich our content and better reflect the real sentiment on current issues.

Comments should therefore be civil and reflect Beacon Media Group’s standards for a safe and respectful dialogue, as outlined in this policy.

How should we, as a digital news organisation, respond to this?

Commenters are asked to respect and abide by our Comments Policy which are aimed at providing a safe space to keep the conversation respectful and constructive.

Those who do not respect the Comments Policy and whose comments are therefore abusive or off-topic will be banned from the Newsbook Facebook Page. They will no longer be able to like or comment on our Page’s posts, message our Page or Like our Page.

What constitutes abusive or disruptive behaviour?

  1. Extreme abuse – threats to kill, rape, cause physical harm to other commenters and/or BMG personnel, or to fear such harm. Abuse comments may be reported.
  2. Author abuse – demeaning and/or insulting comments targeted at the author of the article with the aim of intimidating them.
  3. Contemptuous trolling – comments aimed at personally mocking or dismissing readers or BMG personnel.
  4. Xenophobia, racism, sexism, homophobia – hate speech that encourages discrimination, violence, mistreatment, threats or harm to individuals or groups of individualsbased on race, origin, religion, gender, disability, or sexual orientation.
  5. Whataboutery – comments that are clearly off-topic and are designed to derail a constructive conversation between commenters.
  6. Defamation – comments which contain a false and slanderous statement about another commenter or about Beacon Media Group or its personnel, which unjustly harms their reputation.
  7. Misrepresentation – comments designed to misrepresent content produced by BMG and/or BMG personnel.
  8. Advertising – comments posted by commenters who are not existing clients of Beacon Media Group and are designed for financial gain.
  9. Spam – Comment spam or “spomment”, are typically characterized by the presence of replies that are irrelevant to the blog entry, with the aim of capturing the readers who would not otherwise have anything to do with it intentionally.

Ownership

Whatever readers choose to post or upload to our platforms is owned by them, as long as it is completely new and original. New and original content is defined as content which does not contain anyone else’s content, like videos, music, song lyrics, or other copyrighted content.

Content posted to our platforms may be used and or stored by Beacon Media Group. Where necessary, news-related content may be edited by our Editorial team.