What is the goal of the commenting section?
Our goal is to facilitate informed conversation on current events and community issues. We hope readers use comments to discuss the topic discussed in our stories and further the discussion on the issues. We offer an online forum for the university and Blacksburg communities to discuss matters of interest.
Why are comments deleted?
Comments not meeting the following criteria are deleted by moderation:
- Comments must make a coherent contribution to the discussion.
- No spam, advertising or unexplained links will be tolerated.
- Comments must not contain personal attacks, name-calling, hateful language, obscenity, profanity (including variations with letters replaced by symbols) or sexually explicit material.
- Comments may not contain intimidating or threatening material, nor may they contain material that degrades others based on race, ethnicity, gender, class, sexual orientation, religion, disability or other classifications.
- While comments may remain anonymous, obvious impersonation attempts will not be tolerated.
- Comments may not contain material that violates any local, state or federal laws, nor material that advocates the commission of a crime.
- Comments may not include libelous or defamatory material.
How are comments moderated?
A team of people on the Collegiate Times editorial staff moderates the comments. The main moderator is the Public Editor, who enforces ethical standards at the paper and is our liaison for readers.
When a user submits a comment, it is posted immediately with no review by our staff. If a comment violates our discussion policy, it is deleted. Our moderation team checks the comments regularly. Readers may also flag comments they deem inappropriate. The moderation team reviews flagged comments immediately.
May I remain anonymous?
Yes. We understand that many users may have interesting and important contributions to make to the conversation that they would not make if they were forced to identify themselves. We believe those contributions are important, and in our mission to create the most open, tolerant and effective discussion, we allow users to post anonymously.
It should be noted that we will not allow obvious impersonations or other material that falsifies or your identity or degrades other readers.
Can I verify my identity?
Absolutely. We offer Facebook Connect for users who wish to verify the authenticity of their identity.
Can I post new information related to the story in the comment section?
Yes, we would also encourage you to email news tips to firstname.lastname@example.org, call our tip line at 540-200-TIPS or tweet @CollegiateTimes.
Can I post criticism of the Collegiate Times?
Yes, we encourage readers to critique our work and inform us of any inaccuracies or inconsistencies that may hinder the community’s understanding of our reporting. Our goal is to serve the community with high-quality journalism. We will gladly accept and consider suggestions for improvement or corrections to our work. We also encourage you to write us a letter to the editor for our print edition.
Note that these comments must be stated in a civil manner. Any comments phrased in a hateful or degrading fashion will be deleted for violating our discussion policy.
It is important to explain that our moderation team will not treat critical comments differently than other comments. Staff members who create content do not have the ability to moderate comments on their content and are barred from responding to comments on their content.
How else may this comment be used?
The Collegiate Times may use comments posted online in other media, such as in our print edition or on social networking sites.