NC Health News is committed to preventing the spread of misinformation and hate speech. As journalists, we value equally free speech and the protection of civil, productive, fact-driven dialogue.

Comments containing false and misleading information, racist and sexist language or other forms of hate speech and discrimination, or personal attacks posted to NC Health News’ social media platforms will be reviewed by our page moderators and may be hidden or deleted. Participants who continually abuse our policy will be banned from commenting on NC Health News’ social media pages.

When commenting, please respect and abide by the house rules:

We welcome comments but will delete those with any kind of product pitch, profanity, personal or ad hominem attacks or those from anyone who doesn’t list what appears to be an actual e-mail address. We will not include html links in our comments, and will delete them in yours.

We will also end any thread of comments that are repetitive. Because we moderate comments, we cannot, and will not, continue reacting to repeatedly inaccurate or unsubstantiated claims.

North Carolina Health News encourages users to suggest removal of comments that violate any of the house rules, which can be boiled down to:

Is it kind? Is it necessary? Does it add value to the conversation?

For those who want more detail:

1.    Keep it clean – This is a public forum, open to civilized people who do not appreciate obscene, vulgar or sexually-oriented language, no matter how creatively spelled.
2.    Keep it civil – Do not defame, threaten, abuse or invade the privacy of other readers or the subjects of stories. No racism, sexism or any other sort of -ism that degrades another person will be tolerated.
3.    Keep it peaceful – Comments that include threats of violence, or incite violence in any form, will not be approved.
4.    Keep it truthful and legal – Do not lie, impersonate another individual or post comments that advocate illegal activity.
5.    Keep on topic – Stay focused on the subject at hand. Do not post advertisements or solicitations for funds, goods, or services.
6.    Be responsible – Comments are the sole responsibility of those who post them.
7.    Share your knowledge – Give us your eyewitness accounts, background and observations. If you see a factual error in a story or think there are issues we should follow up on, please call or e-mail us.
8.    Exercise your authority – Police these comments and suggest removal of those that violate the house rules.
9. Keep it short – This is a public forum, but it’s not your soapbox. We reserve the right to cut off comments that are longer than 350 words.
10. No links – In keeping with not making our site your soapbox, we will delete links from comments. We do this also because links are often spam, or advertising for products or events that we have not reviewed, and we don’t allow that on other parts of our site either. To keep it fair we delete all links included in comments.
11. And remember – Rules violators may be permanently banned from commenting.

This is a civilized place for public discussion

Please treat this discussion forum with the same respect you would a public park. We, too, are a shared community resource — a place to share skills, knowledge and interests through ongoing conversation.

These are not hard and fast rules, merely aids to the human judgment of our community. Use these guidelines to keep this a clean, well-lighted place for civilized public discourse.

We reserve the right to apply these standards to comments on our social media pages as well, primarily Facebook.

Improve the discussion

Help us make this a great place for discussion by always working to improve the conversation in some way, however small. If you are not sure your post adds value, or think it might detract from the dialogue, think over what you want to say and try again later.

The topics discussed on NC Health News matter to us, and we want you to act as if they matter to you, too. Be respectful of the topics and the people discussing them, even if you disagree with some of what is being said.

Be agreeable, even when you disagree

You may wish to respond to something by disagreeing with it. That’s fine. But remember to criticize ideas, not people. Please avoid name-calling, ad hominem attacks, responding to a comment’s tone instead of its actual content, and knee-jerk contradiction. Instead, provide reasoned counter-arguments that improve the conversation.

Questions about commenting may be sent to: