Spartan Newsroom comment policy

Spartan Newsroom is designed to provide an educational experience for students in the School of Journalism at Michigan State University, while offering a public service to the Michigan State community via news and information. We aim to create an environment that’s welcoming and safe for everyone — including our student reporters, staff and website visitors. We use Disqus to help moderate comments on this site.

Content on our site is produced by student journalists who have varied experience with journalism. We welcome useful, constructive criticism. Spot a typo or an error? Let us know so we can fix it.

We reserve the right to delete comments and ban users as needed to keep comment threads civil and substantive.

We have a strict comment policy that we strictly enforce. Discussions and disagreement about issues is OK, but remember to criticize ideas, not people.

If your comment does not immediately appear on the site after posting, it may have been flagged for review by Disqus’s automated moderation system. We do not allow new comments on content that is more than 30 days old.

There are a number of things that may get a comment flagged for review:

  • Use of any curse words, slurs or other words we have added to our blacklist will automatically flag a comment for moderation before it can appear on our site.
  • Use of URLs/links in your comment will automatically flag a comment for moderation. Normally we’re all about citing sources, but for security reasons we simply don’t allow links of any kind in comments. Sorry.
  • Other readers may also flag comments (please do not abuse this option for other users with whom you simply disagree – that could result in consequences for yourself.)
  • This list is not all-inclusive.

Here are some things that will get a comment deleted:

  • Name-calling or personal attacks of any kind
  • Ad hominem attacks
  • Responding to a post’s tone instead of its actual content
  • Knee-jerk contradiction
  • Bullying of any kind, including cyber-bullying
  • Comments that are not related to the article
  • Content deemed inappropriate for a general audience. Keep it PG to PG-13, please.
  • Promoting products, services and other websites. This isn’t a space for advertisements.

Here are some things that will get your account banned.

  • Engaging in any of the previously mentioned inappropriate behaviors.
  • We reserve the right to ban commenters who develop a pattern of poor behavior OR who exhibit any behavior that we deem particularly egregious.
  • Misrepresenting yourself as someone you’re not, including impersonating authors or other commenters or trying to circumvent a ban by returning with a sock puppet or new account.
  • Serial flagging of commenters without just cause.

If you see something, say something

Please help us keep this a safe, welcoming space by flagging content that does not meet our standards or by contacting us. Thank you!