These comment rules outline what we consider is acceptable and unacceptable when posting a comment on our website or social media pages.
You are legally responsible for what you post
We welcome your opinions but don’t forget that you are legally responsible for what you submit. Please consider how your comment could be received by others. Many different types of people of different ages may view your comment.
Please be polite
Do not use swear words or crude or sexual language. Only English is allowed. Keep your submissions relevant to the story or topic. Do not insult other contributions or discuss the non-appearance or removal of any content on this Site or the suspension or termination of any users.
If you consider that a comment does not comply with these rules or our Terms please email us here. This should only be used for serious complaints, not simply because you disagree with something said.
No libel or other abuse
You must not make or encourage comments which are:
defamatory, false or misleading;
insulting, threatening or abusive;
obscene or of a sexual nature;
offensive, racist, sexist, homophobic or discriminatory against any religions or other groups.
Please respect people’s privacy
You are not allowed to submit confidential or private information. For example, you must not upload the telephone number, email address or any other contact details of any person without their permission.
You should not write anything which could prejudice pending or on-going court proceedings of which you are aware. For example, if you have any personal knowledge about someone who has been arrested or charged or being prosecuted for an offence, you must not mention it. If you do, you could be in contempt of court, which is an extremely serious matter.
No advertising, solicitation or investigations
You must not use our Site for:
the promotion of any products, services or chain messages or for any other commercial purpose without our prior consent;
an investigation e.g. tracing the whereabouts of any person.
We retain the right to remove comments that refer to any sponsorship, petition, campaign or scheme, at our discretion.
No impersonation and proper disclosure
You must not pretend to be someone else (e.g. an expert, another user or a member of our team). You must not pretend that you are unconnected to a story or topic, when in fact you are. If you have a personal connection to a story or topic, you should disclose your connection or, where appropriate, not comment at all.
Linking and copyright infringement
You may insert links to websites (URLs). You must not infringe another person’s copyright, for example by copying and pasting content from another site and using it as your own comment.
Respect the spirit as well as the letter of the House Rules
In deciding what is acceptable, please also respect the spirit and tone of these rules and the community.
Removal of content
If your comment violates the letter or spirit of these rules or our Terms it may be removed. If we do remove something, we will generally remove whole posts, or where necessary, whole threads (not parts). This means that even if only one sentence is objectionable, the whole comment will usually be removed (or not published).
If your comment or a thread is removed, this may be for any number of reasons. Usually, this will be because the comment breaks these rules or our Terms or is the subject of an abuse report. Sometimes, the comment may be removed because it is connected to another comment which is being removed. We hope that you will understand that, once properly notified of a complaint, we may have to remove a comment for legal reasons.
If your content has been removed, we may email you to let you know or to inform you if you have been suspended or banned from submitting further comments to the Site.
If you are aware that content has been removed, you must not deliberately resubmit the same content.
Suspension and termination
We reserve the right to suspend or ban your account at our sole discretion. Here are some reasons why we might do so:
Breaching these rules or our Terms;
Serious failure to respect the spirit and tone of the community;
Conduct or comments that demand a disproportionate amount of our time or that abuse a member of our team.
The length of a suspension or whether we ban you depends on all the circumstances. Bans are generally for extreme cases and repeated serious abuse.
If we suspend or ban your registration, you must not attempt to re-register or submit content (e.g. using someone else’s account), without our permission.