Comments policy

We are happy to accept comments on this blog to encourage sensible and constructive discussion.

General guidance

Please see our website for our general feedback policy.

Our blog comments guidelines are designed to balance freedom of speech with ensuring a mature and disciplined attitude to discussions is maintained.

All comments will be moderated before they appear. It is not our policy to censor comments. However, we moderate so that we can filter out spam comments or unacceptable comments.

We will remove any unlawful, offensive, defamatory or inappropriate information.

We ask that users act responsibly when commenting or replying to comments. Any repeated misuse will result in the user being banned (via their IP address).

We will to respond to comments within the council’s published standards – a full reply within one working day.

Moderation rules will be reviewed in light of experience.  Our policy is to use commonsense, but we’ve included a longer explanation of how we will apply commonsense.

Disclaimer

The comments facility is provided on an ‘as is’ basis. We offer no guarantee of accuracy of the information contained in comments. We accept no liability whatsoever for any comments.

Unless indicated otherwise, the comments are personal views, and do not represent the views of North Devon Council.

Acceptable content

Comments should be posted in the English language only.

Comments will not be cleared which could be judged to be:

Offensive: material that might reasonably be expected to cause distress to others. Comments should be civil, tasteful and polite. They should not be mean-spirited, or contributed with the intention of causing trouble. They should not include vulgar language. They should show respect for users of all ages and abilities.

Defamatory: adversely affecting the reputation of a clearly identifiable person, company or organisation.

Personal: including private information about yourself or other people.

Harassing: harassment is unwanted conduct (that could include insults and ‘jokes’) affecting the dignity of another, including written attacks on another person. Such conduct could relate to gender, race, nationality, sexual orientation, religion, disability or other similarly sensitive issues.

Obscene: material that is offensive, indecent or pornographic, including any material of a sexual nature.

Confidential: any information, disclosure of which would constitute a breach of the common law duty of confidentiality.

An incitement: any posting that seeks to influence another to the commission of a criminal offence.

In contempt of court: disclosing information about live court proceedings before that information has been heard in court or where reporting restrictions are in place. Please note that we will generally bar any postings relating to court proceedings, as we cannot be expected to know or investigate the legal status of individual cases.

Advertising: postings advertising a service or business.

Party political: postings that are clearly party political in nature. This is particularly relevant during elections, and those postings that canvass support for, or opposition to, any political party.

In breach of copyright: comments that may infringe any of the laws governing copyright.

Using multiple log-ins: if you use multiple log-ins for the purpose of disrupting the community or annoying other users you may be barred from the forum.

Duplicate or overly repetitive or trivial comments.

Spamming or off-topic material.

Impersonation postings perceived as impersonating another through user name or views.

Using vulgar or offensive user names.

One-to-one arguments: such comments should be conducted through private email and not through public discussion.

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