Commenting on Slate
Everything you need to know about our discussion threads.
Last updated Oct. 6, 2022
What are the rules for commenting on Slate?
• No hate speech, slurs, or offensive language.
• No spam or advertising, including personal websites.
• Don’t personally attack any person or group of people, including the writers, moderators, minorities, majorities, and members of political parties with which you disagree.
• Linked, quoted, or sourced content must include context explaining why it’s relevant to the Slate article. Never post content you didn’t create without attribution.
• Don’t repost a comment multiple times.
• Don’t impersonate someone you’re not.
• Don’t comment from multiple accounts.
What if my opinion is considered hateful or offensive to others?
Slate welcomes criticism, debate, and disagreement. We believe that, in order to have a healthy debate, people from all backgrounds must feel valued and welcome to contribute. This means, on rare occasions when a free airing of views comes into conflict with welcoming people from all backgrounds, we will prioritize welcoming people from traditionally marginalized groups. These groups do include people of color, people with disabilities, and members of the LGBTQ community, and do not include political parties or ideologies.
Our moderators’ decisions are subjective. They are trying to improve the overall quality of the comment threads for all readers. They have to work quickly and efficiently. They have broad discretion to remove comments, and their decisions are final.
If you believe a moderator has deleted your comment in error, don’t debate their decision in the thread. Email email@example.com with questions and concerns.
OK, but can I swear?
In recognition of evolving social norms, Slate now allows commenters to use profanity, within reason, as long as the word does not double as a slur or attack on a group of people. Abuse of this leniency around profanity may result in removal of your comment, and personal attacks containing obscenities are grounds for a long suspension or permanent ban from commenting.
We want the comments section to have value to all readers, and we don’t think readers want to wade through off-topic threads and lengthy monologues.
Therefore, avoid the following:
• Comments as long or longer than the article itself.
• Going too far off topic.
• Moving from your specific beef with an article to a general indictment of Slate or the media as a whole.
We will sometimes cut off a discussion that feels unproductive and close comments on a story. In doing so, we are exercising editorial judgment, much as print newspapers and magazines do when they choose which letters to publish in their Letters to the Editor sections.
In some cases, comments won’t appear on the site until a moderator can read and approve them. We often have a backlog of comments awaiting review, so please be patient with us. When clearing that queue, our moderators give priority to comments that make their point succinctly and clearly.
Can you summarize that for me? TL;DR.
Make your comments respectful, succinct, and relevant.
You deleted my comment! That’s censorship! Aren’t you violating my right to speech?
If you disagree with our decision not to publish your comment, we encourage you to publish it elsewhere. Twitter, Facebook, and other relatively open platforms make it easier than ever to express your views.
There are also other ways to send feedback to Slate:
• Email general comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Notify us about factual errors at email@example.com.
• Send questions about commenting to firstname.lastname@example.org.