Blog Commenting Rules:
This blog aims to be a forum for lively and spirited debate and discussion. We encourage visitors to our blog to get involved, and share their thoughts on important issues.  We do have basic rules to keep the exchange civil and constructive.   These rules are:
1. Please be respectful. No personal or transparently spiteful attacks.
2. Spam or solicitations of any kind are not allowed.
3. Comments with profanity and slanderous remarks are not allowed.
4. Please stay on subject. No blatantly off-subject comments please.
5. Repetitive comments that are designed to disrupt the conversation will not be allowed.
6. If your first comments here are attacks on others do not expect the comments to appear on our blog. Drive by comments and or insults should go to the Whidbey News Times or Facebook.

Any comment found violating the rules set forth above will be removed without notification by the administrators.

Moderation and Banning of users:
We want to be upfront with our readers and commenters, we have had a lot of requests to moderate comments and/or ban users. Here is how we handle these requests at Island Politics.

If a commenters comments are in violation if our commenting rules and an article author or other commenter notifies us of this and in OUR judgement the complaint is appropriate we will place the offender on a moderation list where that users furthur comments will be held for approval. If the comment is appropriate and within our rules it will be allowed. If it is in violation of our commenting guidelines a personal e mail will be sent to the commenter, provided the commenter has used a valid e mail address, with an explanation and request for the comment to be corrected. If the moderated commenter continues to make inappropriate posts he will be permanently banned from using our site.

This is the only way to be fair to other users, commenters and authors and hold all of our comment section users to the rules we have here at Island Politics.

Your first post will be held for moderator approval so do not expect it to appear instantly.

Once our moderators have approved your first comment your subsequent posts will appear in real time as long as you are using the same name and e mail address on the subsequent posts. We do this to control the blog spammers who flood blogs with advertisement not to control who posts here. If this is not adhered to we can always change this blog to comments by registration only and we don’t want that to happen

Anyone may reply to any and all postings where comments are allowed. However, we are not responsible for the content in any reply.  Unless the language used is objectionable, incites an extreme response, or is a personal attack on another user you are free to speak your mind. We reserve the right to delete any posts that do not follow our simple rules which are outlined here.

Replies/comments must refer to the reference article on the page.  Replies on a thread that do not refer its posted article will be removed.  For example, if the there is an article that addresses a particular issue then all replies must on that article thread must address that issue.

Users must obey U.S. Copyright laws. Short quotes from copyrighted articles and web sites may be used in replies, but nothing more.  It is always best to state your opinion in your own words.

Please, no name morphing or sock puppets: Our moderators must approve every comment from a new username or e mail address before they appear on the site. Once you have chosen a username and e mail to comment under please try and use the same username and e mail address to post your comments. After we approve your initial comment we do not want to have to moderate your comments every time you comment. Multiple names and multiple e mail addresses from the same IP address will delay your comments and will more than likely lead to your comments being deleted. Please help make our job easier!

Stay on Topic: Replies must refer to the subject of the thread’s article.

Watch Your Language:  Foul language and ersatz foul language that people use to get around dirty word filters (i.e. @sshole, F*%#, etc.) is absolutely not tolerated.  If you can’t say your piece without cursing then you have nothing worthwhile to say.  People who violate this rule will find themselves banished from the site.

“Chatting”: You may respond to other replies on a thread but you must address the comments content. The idea is to respond to or add information to that reply, in relationship to the theme of that thread. It is never to engage in a conversation with others.

Don’t Get Personal or Pick a Fight:  Keep the comments to the issue(s)/topic(s) at hand.  Only comment on the merits of another user’s comment.  If you don’t agree with someone, it is what it is.  Name-calling, derision, goading, baiting and being impolite are not tolerated.  That is the way it should be.  Repetitive comments are not allowed. If you can’t be civil, go over to someplace else, there are plenty of other websites.

“Screaming for Attention”  Do not post in ALL-CAPS, bold entire blocks of text or use repeating characters

“Serial Posting”: Do not post the same comment on multiple threads.  Copying and pasting a comment into different threads will trigger the systems firewall protocols that guard against the ‘spamming’ of threads.

HTML CODE: We do allow “hot” URL links, and URLs are allowed to be posted as long as they are on topic.  You can use <b> bold and <i> ital to emphasize a word or phrase or for quoted material.  You may not use bold or ital for an entire comment/reply.  That is also considered “screaming for attention” just like using all-caps.

Personal essays: Vanity Comments, chain letters, parodies, songs, poems and un-attributed screeds are not permitted and will be removed.

Cite Your Sources
It’s highly likely that at some time you’ll want to refer to another article or blog post that you read online within your own post. While it’s okay to copy a phrase or a few words without violating copyright laws, to stay within the rules of fair use, you must attribute the source where that quote came from. You should do this by citing the original author’s name and the website or blog name where the quote was originally used along with a link back to the original source.

Ask Permission
While citing a few words or a phrase and attributing your source is acceptable under fair use laws, it’s important to understand that fair use laws as they pertain to online content are still a gray area in courtrooms. If you plan to copy more than a few words or phrases, it’s best to err on the side of caution and ask the original author for permission to republish their words (with proper attribution, of course).

Asking permission also applies to the use of photos and images. Unless a photo or image you plan to use comes from a source that clearly gives permission for you to use it, you must ask the original photographer or designer for permission to use (with proper attribution).