Voice of San Diego’s comment section is surprisingly robust. I’ve been at other media organizations where, for one reason or another, the space below stories was eerily quiet – like, crickets.

Or worse, the comment section was filled with nothing but vitriolic trolls and hateful ad hominem attacks.

For the most part, folks who share their thoughts on Voice tend to be well-mannered, thoughtfully adding to the conversation our stories often start.

Thanks for that, guys and gals.

But every now and then people misbehave. At one point in our 11-year history, we even decided to lift the veil provided by anonymity in attempt to clean up comments and keep them from descending into racist, sexist or just vulgar and rude remarks. That policy worked for a while.

In recent years, though, we’ve backed off and allowed anonymous commenters. Sometimes that causes problems, but most of the time it’s been OK. Plus, we like the idea of getting comments from people who, if forced to use their real names, wouldn’t feel comfortable.

We decided it was time to put our new policy into print. Starting today, here’s what you’ll see above our comments section:

We expect all commenters to be constructive and civil.

The best comments come from people who use their real names, but anonymous comments are allowed.

If your comment includes profanity, looks like spam, personally attacks someone else or is otherwise deemed offensive, we reserve the right to delete it.

Sometimes we might edit out profanity instead of deleting an entire comment.

We reserve the right to delete comments at any time without explanation.

This comment policy is subject to change at any time.

We hope everyone will happily abide.

If you have any questions or comments about our new policy, shoot me an email. And you ever have a longer, more thoughtful comment, please remember that submitting a commentary is always an option.

Kinsee Morlan was formerly the Engagement Editor at Voice of San Diego and author of the Culture Report. She also managed VOSD’s podcasts and covered...

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