Wikinews:Comment Space

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? This is a proposed policy. You can choose to follow it. If it is followed by all, and has wide community support, it may become an official policy. Please comment on the collaboration page of the policy on any changes you would like to make, or just edit the page directly. References or links to this page should not describe it as "policy".


The comments space is for discussion of news articles. This space exists so that people can give their personal opinions or speculation about news articles and the events surrounding news articles. Comments about problems in news articles such as factual or grammatical errors should instead by discussed on the article's collaboration/Talk page. It may be helpful to think of the comments space as an almost unmoderated blog where you can start your own threads. Feel free to comment on any and all articles.

The nature of news is such that it will often contain unsavoury things; in the interests of fairness, people who agree with such cannot be simply prohibited from speaking. As such, there are very few things you cannot say on comments: space. Racism, homophobia and the like are generally accepted, as is the right for those who object to say what they think of such people.

A key test is an interview with a neo-Nazi politician. This has been done once: The local Nazi Party's website linked the interview. Of course, many commenters were shocked by the man's views - but it would have been inherently wrong to interview the man and then deny the fascists the chance to defend themselves from the outpouring of feeling they encountered.

This is the only place on Wikinews where such will be tolerated; in all other namespaces, WN:E applies.

Some things that will be removed:

  1. Mindless nonsense (e.g. 'Hello I'm cool hehe' or random character strings)
  2. Shameless advertising of no - or very weak - connection to the topic at hand
  3. Utterly irrelevant comments (these are effectively nonsense). As a rule of thumb, provided each post is at least tangentially related to the last - and the first post is related to the article - then a thread can be allowed to drift naturally wherever it may.
  4. Legally problematic content (See below)
  5. Other material at request or direct action of WMF staff

Applicable laws[edit]

Wikinews has its servers located in Florida, in the United States of America and therefore Wikinews must be careful to abide by all applicable Florida state and US federal laws. Therefore, comments that are either illegal or legally problematic in the United States can be removed as they would be removed from any page. In particular, threats to kill or injure are illegal.

Repeated violations of law can be considered disruptive, and may eventually be dealt with by blocking.

Wikinews will not intervene where comments may be in violation of other laws, even if the poster is within that jurisdiction. Individual posters are responsible for ensuring they write within the laws of their land. Posters should bear in mind, comments pages are open to the public and authorities in their area can access them. Nothing prevents users notifying police or other organisations if they deem it appropriate.