Commenting Rules

How to report abuse

If you see a post that is offensive or violates our term of service, simply flag the comment by clicking the flag icon. Additionally, you can email the Observer-Reporter at comments@observer-reporter.com.

Commenting Terms of Service 

The Observer-Reporter's Comments program is a benefit to paid subscribers and a  service for communication, self-expression and freedom of speech, and encourages the availability of information, healthy debate, and new connections between our readers. As a result, there are some boundaries on the type of content that can be posted on the Observer-Reporter in order to uphold these values and the freedom of expression it encourages.

By using our commenting system, you agree to be bound by our terms of service. We reserve the right to change these terms or impose new conditions as needed; by continuing to use our site, you are agreeing to such changes as modified.

The Observer-Reporter, Observer Publishing Company, and observer-reporter.com are not responsible for content you post. Any content you provide becomes the property of the Observer-Reporter, which has sole discretion over its use.

Our team reviews all content, and has sole discretion on who can comment. Any member that insults, threatens or verbally abuses another member, uses defamatory language, or deliberately disrupts discussions will be banned. Please stay on topic. “Trolling” to incite emotional responses and disrupt conversations will be deleted. We also may choose to close threads early or not open them up at all, due to the sensitivity of the content of the article, or if the comments have become too off topic or negative.

If we find that you have violated our terms of service, we may take one or more of the following actions based on the severity of the violation:

  • Delete the offending comment
  • Disable the comment stream
  • Disable the author's access to his/her account
  • Report the user to law enforcement

Letters to the Editor- Comments are no longer allowed on Letters to the Editor articles. Letters to the Editor are written by readers who have their identity verified before being published. Because our online comment system allows users to be anonymous, we feel it is a double standard to allow anonymous commenters to respond to a verified reader's opinion. If you have a response to a Letter to the Editor, we suggest submitting a letter by following instructions at http://www.observer-reporter.com/content/editorletter.

The following is a list of terms of service violations: 

False or Inaccurate information: In keeping with newsroom standards, do not contribute content that you know is inaccurate, false or confidential.

Crude content: Don't post content just to be shocking or graphic. We will not tolerate shocking images, crude language, or inappropriate behavior.

Violence & harassment: Do not threaten other people or encourage violence against another person or group. Do not harass or bully others.

Adult Content: We do not allow adult content, including images or videos that contain nudity or sexual activity. We also have a zero tolerance policy towards content that exploits children, including publishing or distributing child sexual abuse imagery, or encourages or promotes sexual attraction towards children.

Hate Speech: We will not allow content that promotes hate or violence towards groups based on race, ethnicity, religion, disability, gender, age, veteran status, or sexual orientation/gender identity.

Illegal activities: We will not tolerate any content that engages in illegal activities or promotes dangerous activities. Please also do not use your post to sell or promote illegal drugs. In serious cases, we may report you to the appropriate authorities.

Personal and confidential information: Do not publish any personal or confidential information about another person. We will not allow anyone posts of someone else's credit card numbers, Social Security numbers, unlisted phone numbers, driver's license numbers, etc. Likewise, information that is already available elsewhere on the Internet or in public records is not considered to be private or confidential under our policies.

Spam: We will not tolerate spam. Some examples of spam include posting comments that promote a product or service, designed to drive traffic to your site or to move it up in search, and using content from other sources for the purpose of generating revenue or other personal gain. We also do not allow links to other sites, unless they are a legitimate, fact-checked source that supports your comment or the article you are commenting on. 

Malware and viruses: Do not create posts that transmit viruses, cause pop-ups, and/or attempt to install software without the reader's consent, or otherwise impact readers with malicious code.