Remember my post from last summer about comments at my library’s website? Here’s a follow-up post to that earlier discussion.
Because of all those comments (some of which were mean, snarky and personal), we needed a good, fair, “official” way to deal with them. So I started poking around other websites with commenting policies and guidelines, and came up with a library version of commenting guidelines.
Our discussion guidelines are posted (via a link) beside the comment box on each page of our website. Here’s what it says:
Community Discussion Guidelines:
Here are some guidelines to posting comments and content at Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library’s digital branch. The goal? To help you have fun!
We encourage comments:
- We want to hear from you! Please post comments, questions, and other thoughts … as you think them. That’s what we’re here for.
- Stay on Topic – stick to the subject and issues raised by the post, not the person who made it or others that commented on it
- Think before you press the publish button. Remember that this is a public forum, and your words will be archived on this site and available for anyone to find for a long time – the web has a very long memory.
- If you can’t be polite, don’t say it. Respect is the name of the game. You must respect your fellow commenters.
- Don’t post copyrighted materials (articles, videos, audio, etc) that you do not have permission to reproduce or distribute.
- Don’t post content that installs viruses, worms, malware, trojans, etc.
- Don’t post content that is obscene, libelous, defamatory or hateful
- Don’t post spam
- Don’t post personal, real-life information such as home addresses and home phone numbers.
What will we do?
- We’ll respond to comments, answer questions, and provide suggestions as appropriate.
- Sometimes we’ll join a comment thread to help focus (or refocus) the discussion, or to get people talking.
- If you break one of the guidelines above (or come close to it), we’ll email you and ask you to stop. We might also post a reminder to the discussion. If it continues, we will delete your comments and block you from posting.
- We will remove any posts that are obviously commercial or otherwise spam-like.
- We will remove content that puts us in legal jeopardy, such as potentially libelous or defamatory postings, or material posted in potential breach of copyright.