Toward a more thoughtful conversation on stories

September 27, 2010

Visitors to this space may recall that I wrote this summer about the issues Reuters and other news organizations face in dealing with reader comments on stories.

I’ve become increasingly concerned about the quality of discourse in comments on news stories on and on other major news sites.  On some stories,  the “conversation”  has been little more than  partisans slinging invective at each other under  the cloak of anonymity.

I believe our time-challenged, professional readers want to see a more rewarding conversation—and my colleagues who lead are introducing a new process for comments that I believe will help bring that about.

The new process, which gives special status to readers whose comments have passed muster in the past, won’t address the anonymity issue, but I do think it is an important step toward a more civil and thoughtful conversation.

Let me introduce Richard Baum, Reuters Global Editor for Consumer Media, to tell you about the new process:


Like many major news publishers, we’ve agonized over how to balance our enthusiasm for reader comments on stories with our belief that few people would benefit from a free-for-all. Most of our readers respect our request for comments that “advance the story,” by submitting relevant anecdotes, links and data or by challenging our reporting when they think we’ve fallen short of our editorial standards. It’s rewarding, sometimes even exhilarating, to see the way our audience builds on our coverage.

Where we struggle is with comments that we believe contribute nothing useful to the conversation. I’m not talking about obscenities and spam — we have software that aims to block the publication of those — but something more subjective. Most of our readers are business professionals who value their time highly. We believe they want comments that are as rewarding to read as they are to write. The challenge is how we deliver that experience in a way that doesn’t delay the publication of good comments nor use up resources that might be better deployed on other parts of the site.

I’ll explain how we’re tackling that shortly. But first, here are some examples of the type of comments that fall foul of our moderators:
– racism and other hate language that isn’t caught by our software filters
– obscene words with letters substituted to get around the software filters
– semi-literate spelling; we’re not looking for perfection, but people shouldn’t have to struggle to determine the meaning
– uncivil behavior towards other commentators; debate is welcome, schoolyard taunts are not
– incitement to violence
– comments that have nothing to do with the story
– comments that have been pasted across multiple stories
– comments that are unusually long, unless they’re very well written
– excessive use of capital letters

Some of the guidelines for our moderators are hard to define precisely. Mocking of public people can be fair sport, for example, but a moderator that has just approved 30 comments calling someone an idiot can rightly decide that there’s little incremental value in publishing the 31st. When we block comments of this nature, it’s because of issues of repetition, taste or legal risk, not political bias.

Until recently, our moderation process involved editors going through a basket of all incoming comments, publishing the ones that met our standards and blocking the others. (It’s a binary decision: we don’t have the resources to edit comments.)

This was unsatisfactory because it delayed the publication of good comments, especially overnight and at weekends when our staffing is lighter.

Our new process grants a kind of VIP status on people who have had comments approved previously. When you register to comment on, our moderation software tags you as a new user. Your comments go through the same moderation process as before, but every time we approve a comment, you score a point.

Once you’ve reached a certain number of points, you become a recognized user. Congratulations: your comments will be published instantly from now on. Our editors will still review your comments after they’ve been published and will remove them if they don’t meet our standards. When that happens, you’ll lose points. Lose enough points and you’ll revert to new user status.

The highest scoring commentators will be classified as expert users, earning additional privileges that we’ll implement in future. You can see approval statistics for each reader on public profile pages like this, accessed by clicking on the name next to a comment.

It’s not a perfect system, but we believe it’s a foundation for facilitating a civil and rewarding discussion that’s open to the widest range of people. Let me know what you think.


We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see

Now I know why I’m rarely published. I may not be ignorant, illiterate or rude..just average or boring. At least it’s not because of your elitist attitudes.

Posted by pHenry | Report as abusive

You missed one issue – trolls. It would be good to add a ‘rule’ that censored obvious trolls: rnet)

Seems like the article as already attracted one, but by saying that I’m worried I may trigger the “uncivil behavior” rule.

Posted by nicfulton | Report as abusive

I wholeheartedly agree with your analysis as to what is fit to print vrs. what is not. It is not a matter of censorship or being elitist; it is a matter of whether the submission is civil and/or has any value. I fail to comprehend why there are so many writers who use the opportunity to be uncivil and or aggressive.

Posted by FastBill | Report as abusive

I hope I won’t get ‘nuked’ for this comment, but I’d like to see an improvement on the quality of the stories themselves, if possible.
You say -”Most of our readers are business professionals who value their time highly.” This is descriptive of me, and I sometime I get annoyed reading a story on Reuters that’s not real news (I.E. both new and with minimal importance to anyone…).
In other words, I don’t like being taken for granted as an audience, and I don’t appreciate journalists wasting my time with their (sometime uninformed) opinions rather than real facts.
Reuters is better than most sites I know, but there’s still plenty of room for you to improve, and you need to let your readers help you get better through their comments – as much as possible.

Posted by yr2009 | Report as abusive

Up to now, I have liked commenting. A little creepy to see how you compile user’s comments creating a profile of their opinions. It might have the effect of chilling speech. I like the basic rules about civility but would encourage you to keep censorship to a minimum and to get rid of the user profiles. Privacy and protections matter.

I would also encourage Reuters to not just give us soundbites and to cite the specific study or data relied on in articles. When something looks odd to me, I like to check the source (i.e. – see the specific study cited). If I cannot find the study online because the cite is too vague, I have to doubt the author’s credibility, especially if the data looked skewed at first sight.

Posted by KimoLee | Report as abusive

“I’ve become increasingly concerned about the quality of discourse in comments on news stories on and on other major news sites. On some stories, the “conversation” has been little more than partisans slinging invective at each other under the cloak of anonymity.

I believe our time-challenged, professional readers want to see a more rewarding conversation”

Reuters, you’ve already lost the high ground on this issue by allowing opinion pieces like “America’s Canadian road trip starts today” to appear on your website. The article is little more than a partisan slinging invective under the cloak of journalism. 10/09/23/americas-canadian-road-trip-sta rts-today/

Posted by gmmw | Report as abusive

A totally worthwhile change. I rarely read the comments these days because the signal-to-noise ratio is so low. This should help, although there are ways of gaming this system too.

Obvious additional steps would include allowing user-settable filters so that I only see commentators above a certain threshold; sorting comments by some combination of time and commentator level, rather than strictly by time; delaying low-value comments for longer (the flip side to displaying expert comments immediately); letting users participate in flagging comments and thereby adjusting the commentator’s own level; and implementing a level for people who choose to post under their own names, as verified by a $1 charge against their credit card.

The biggest single danger is that since it is Reuters employees doing the flagging, their own biases will affect their judgment.

Posted by PatrickBowman | Report as abusive

One question:
Why did you not follow the moderation model that many online communities follow, you say that you pay editors to review comments yet you have a large community commenting on stories on Reuters. On most sites volunteer moderation works quite well.
Weirdly people will put quite a lot of work into moderating forums for nothing more than a title, a little authority and a username in red or with a star next to it.

It’ll be interesting to see if this gets past the editors reviewing posts since I’m advocating replacing them with volunteers.

Posted by ThirstyHobo | Report as abusive

Thanks for the thoughtful comments. Patrick, your idea of user-settable filters is already on our to-do list. I don’t think individual bias will be an issue because impartiality is at the heart of everything we do at Reuters, whether it’s reporting or moderating.

ThirstyHobo, we do want to let volunteers take a role in moderation. Our new system is a first step to that as it will allow us to identify the most active members of our community. It hasn’t been easy to get that information previously.

Let me also clarify that, contrary to some reports, we have not ended anonymous comments. You still control the screen name that displays against your comments. I’m of the opinion that we should give people incentives to identify themselves better, so expect to see our process evolve in that direction.

Richard Baum, Global Editor, Consumer Media

Posted by RichardBaum | Report as abusive

It all seems worth a try, however I’d like to caution Reuters and readers regarding filters that can be set by users.


During the run up to the Iraq war when American flags were selling faster than they could be produced, there was a lot of information that should have been questioned that wasn’t. Critical questions and legitimate doubts were buried by an avalanche of popular sentiment or never expressed at all.

It’s easy to discern what the masses believe but they are not necessarily the people who are doing the best thinking or asking the right questions.

Posted by breezinthru | Report as abusive

You guys need to LIGHTEN UP. America currently has ENOUGH censorship and repression going on. When you refuse to post a harmless comment like mine about FAITH discovering “other dimensions,” there is something excessively oppressive about your system.

Posted by Speak_Easy | Report as abusive

“I’m of the opinion that we should give people incentives to identify themselves better, so expect to see our process evolve in that direction.”

This is an unhealthy trend. Anonymity online is essential in order to preserve freedom of speech without having to fear that somebody who dislikes what one says might show up on their dark front porch some night with a baseball bat–or worse. Stop trying to SNOOP AND SURVEILL on every comment that appears online, and just do your job of presenting news or at least reasonably interesting stories. And please STOP trying to twist and shape or manipulate viewer opinions. Just present the stories and let us decide for ourselves. Thank you.

Posted by Speak_Easy | Report as abusive

thank you for this lucid and revealing overview -your hierarchy and jacobs ladder system seems eminently fair – I like the re-edit that some papers offer for comments and the reply option and the plus or minus option -have you considered those ?

Posted by phrage | Report as abusive

The talks look good on surface but what if a reader finds the report/article itself to be provocative? Does these filters apply to your reporters as well??

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive

Who defines thoughtful?

Posted by superbigmikey | Report as abusive

It’s my belief that censorship however it may be justified is an affront to the American way. I have been ocassionally censored by Reuters but bear no malice. However, I feel that the unvarnished opinion conveys the most information. Anger is without a doubt a valid state of mind and can be conveyed sometimes in only the strongest possible terms. I do not shrink in the face of other’s profanity or anger but rather I find it gives me a clear sense of the depth of passion held by the commentator. The maintenance of politically correct dialog serves only to water down those passions and is therefore rejected by myself and many I know. I always have the option to skip past the diatribe and read on further down the page.


Posted by Doc00001 | Report as abusive

In regarding censorship of posts: This is a private site, and in my opinion Reuters has every right to attempt the control of quality of comments. It seems to me, while being a new user, that ideas aren’t censored here. It also seems in the interest of the site that the way in which the ideas are presented contributes to the interest in the comments themselves.
I’ve participated in other news forums, where after a while, the comments just deteriorate into bashing, insulting, partisanship and inflexibility, rather than a discourse of ideas. I’m seriously thinking that maintaining a public forum in the tradition of “shock/angry” radio or TV, does no one well in the end, and although editing comments has intrinsic dangers (which I’m sure the editors are well aware of) maybe this avenue of exchange will be a slight breath of fresh air. Thanks.

Posted by Madlights | Report as abusive

“The new process, which gives special status to readers whose comments have passed muster in the past, won’t address the anonymity issue, but I do think it is an important step toward a more civil and thoughtful conversation.”


Allowing some posters to comment on articles before their publication is, in my opinion, highly unethical. I’ve seen this amazing phenomenon on Reuters again and again, where some posted comments have time stamps earlier than the time the article was published.

“All animals are equal, except some animals are more equal than others.” — George Orwell

Posted by barberrr | Report as abusive

I sincerely appreciate Reuters desire for propriety and superior quality as to what you make public, and I respect that. However there are times I feel that either the writer, editor, or the management might have a less than impartial agenda on an issue and may not accept an adverse response. You might in those situations consider an appeal process, or am I being naive. Thank you IH

Posted by izzyis1 | Report as abusive

I like the idea of a second window where the uncensored comments can be accessed. That way, there is a record of how well the censors are doing their job. I am supportive of the basic desire to cut out the nonsense; I am just distrustful of the commercial imperatives that might contaminate the process. Turkeys don’t vote for Christmas and to expect employees of Reuters not to downgrade comments which display a greater understanding of the story than their colleagues who wrote it is either naive or disingenuous.

Posted by CubaSupport | Report as abusive

The idea is very good, but I see a problem with the “Report as abusive” tool.
Imagine that we have two distinct readers for very controversial topics, e. g., the whole issue around Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
There may be some readers who use this buttom only to undermine the credibility of comments from the opposite side, although they are not abusive, but just convey an opposite opinion.
I don’t know if that is too much, but you should also monitor the readers that use the “Report as abusive” buttom too much, in order to try to identify why they are doing that.

Posted by Brazilian1 | Report as abusive

Wow…You people don’t want much – do you?? One’s point-of-view is exactly that – One’s point-of-view!! There is way too much of this PC nonsense today!! “Freedom of Expression” is NOT about censorship!!!

Posted by MAKEMYDAY1 | Report as abusive

Hmm. Filter process demonstrates bias. Example: “Shooting could tame tough political rhetoric” article. Comments are allowed for those slinging unsupported accusations of blame at Conservative politicians and commentators while rebuttal is disallowed.

Posted by clr80 | Report as abusive

I agree.

Posted by losconinhum | Report as abusive

I wonder about this approach. The whole point of journalism is to provide thoughtful news, analysis, and sometimes opinion on, at times, very controversial subject matter. For example, when Reuters reports on Terrorism, but then indicates that commenters cannot say anything “racist,” that poses a problem, doesn’t it?

The reason I read the comments section is that I want to see how both sides of an issue frame their arguments. It helps me think more rationally about the world I live in. Commenters who may not agree with the politically or market driven “can’t we all just get along” approach should have their say without the business or editorial side influencing the speech and cutting it off because it might be offensive to some large group of people.

As Ricky Gervais demonstrated so delightfully at the recent Golden Globe awards…there is definitely a time and place for offensive commentary.

Posted by kbeverid | Report as abusive

During the past elections,
I was dismayed to read many of the comments
on Reuters that appeared to be heavily slanted
in favor of certain candidates and viewpoints that happened to agree with Reuters business reporting viewpoint.

It appeared that “campaign operatives”
and/or staunch partisans
were “loading the comments sections”
with political slogans and “rehearsed
talking points” and intelligent discourse
seem to be buried and at times missing from the discussions.

It reflected badly on Reuters and made me question
the objectivity of the censors of the Reuters comments sections.

What is being done to reform this process so that open, honest, intellectual and fact based discussions are preserved and cheap angry partisanship comments without
factual basis are encouraged to find other outlets??!!

Posted by InvestorZ44 | Report as abusive

I am always weary of anyones opinion of what is relevant and what is not…although I do agree that some posts are just plain ignorant..but then again it was their opinion however badly they presented it…I dont mind weeding thru the insane to the mundane to the downright moronic postings I have had to endure on other news sites ..but I can live with them because I have a scroll button on my mouse..But what I cannot stand is rotton stinky old spam you know the ones “(This may be off topic but)” you know the ones I mean long as you can keep those at bay I say let the other ones have their say no matter how stupid it is, after all they are part of the public….and stupid or not they deserve a say….

Posted by akita96th | Report as abusive

Just so the filter-person doesn’t just take advantage to allow only one-sided mud slinging.


“Dear mudslinger:

We get it that you are brainwashed to believing the other side are complete morons and your side has all the answers. If you have something constructive and responsible to say in a civil manner then please do so.”

Posted by vich | Report as abusive

Reuters is not a democratically elected government news-source. It is a privately funded outlet with a set of parameters it feels promotes an environment of discussion. Personally my few posts are blatently anti-big business. as well as anti big government and probably for the most part anti-Reuters. Still my posts have been seen here. I think the freedom here is in that we can choose to participate in a recognized net publication, or not. Personally, it is an opportunity to express my opinion to the opposition.

Posted by bleachman | Report as abusive

I feel you can have any policy you want; however, the policy is only credible if you also apply it consumption of content as well, meaning you would need to screen your readers for the same characteristics. For example, if you do not want ignorant people posting comments, you should not allow ignorant people to read your articles. If you ‘sell’ a product to a person, I feel you have provided them an inherent priviledge to provide feedback on what you sold them, regardless of what that feedback is.

Posted by mpk | Report as abusive

I feel that there is a definitive slant on what is posted. Where does Reuters originate? Libya has a greater relation to Europe than America. Maybe I am taking slight offense because I don’t understand the format. I will look at other editions @ europe or England and see how they are addressed.

Posted by dr.bob | Report as abusive

You clearly use other filters, as well. Over months of time, I have written some comments critical of corporate power. I also ask why so many of those responsible for our economic woes get off scott free in the press. My letters all have the tone you observe in this one. I have wondered why Reuters often has not printed them.

Then, a little research showed that Reuter’s corporate officers all sit on boards of banking or investment institutions. Reuters is part of the vast interlocking corporate ownership club. Mystery solved.

Of course, you probably won’t print this either.

Posted by psittacid | Report as abusive

I genuinely don’t mean to sound negative, but in my opinion the whole concept of readers’ comments is wrong-headed — and all the issues you’ve outlined above are the result of pursuing an inherently flawed idea.

I visit your site because you are professionals who provide mostly unbiased and well written information about current events. Your readers, on the other hand, are people whose writing is of no interest to me or to anyone else. If others wanted to read their comments, they would have successful careers as journalists and wouldn’t be using your comment field as the means by which to transmit their work.

There are countless online venues for people to engage in open discourse on current events and countless other topics. Most of these deteriorate into vulgar nonsense almost immediately, which is all well and good for people who want to read such things. But why in the world should a professional news agency publish the work of thousands of unknown and mostly uninformed laymen on a daily basis?

I think it’s just a bad idea from start to finish.

Posted by GregRoss | Report as abusive

“When we block comments of this nature, it’s because of issues of repetition, taste or legal risk, not political bias.”

Legal risk, such as what? We live in America, protected by the First Amendment. You especially are not liable for the content published for your users. I don’t agree with this, it sounds more like an excuse. I know I’m new here, but I am also a web developer and I know my rights thereof. I agree that calling someone an “idiot” however many times is lame, old and just not what users want to read, but claiming to remove those types of excessive comments because of legal risks is simply not a valid excuse in my book. Supporting the right of free speech, of competent conversation, regardless of how pointed it may be is our duty as Americans, but simply filtering out the lame comments for the purpose of a high standard of content is something completely different.


Posted by cjohnweb | Report as abusive

Nobody reads the comments anyway. I mean, most of the time it’s just people screaming in the wind. It’s a release device. I would not treat it as anything more than that.

Posted by swagva | Report as abusive

I wanted to understand why my contribution hadn’t been passed. There is no feedback to the contributor, even though logged in, detailing why comments have been filtered.
Initially I thought it might have been due to a browser failure. So I tried again and realising the second time that it must have been filtered and followed the link here on policy re filtering.
Apparently, my attempt to humorously juxtapose the statements made by those ridiculing Chavez for postulating socio-ecological reasons with those who believe life begins with intelligent design and ends with the Rapture is considered a contravention. Even though I didn’t use rude words, hate speech, capitalisation, etc.
However, contrast that with one that made it through immediately prior.
…”Maybe the guy has syphilis”.
Oh yes, I can see how that conforms to the guide lines; definitely a well informed business comment.
No doubt this unfavourable observation will add one to the filter for me. I wonder if it would be so on the Reuters UK site.
Inevitably, such a filter will have a positive feedback loop and eventually will achieve a dead pool of similar ideas that will reflect the desired readership, who will be content with all the ‘sensible’ like minded opinions reflecting back at them, filtered of the undesirable impurities of differing thought.
This may in part help explain why US citizens find it hard to understand the opinions and motivations of many around the world.

Posted by Catweasel | Report as abusive

Good call by the Staff at Rueters. There’s nothing more than reading insults and ignorance in the comments section. I know that when I add a link, it’s to build on the story, not degrade it. Civil discourse should be the rule of all good Americans.

Posted by gfrc2 | Report as abusive

I am also LarryinParker. You recently exercised your option to block me from the site. I accept your judgement. But, I do not understand your acceptance of comments from Verela, USAPragmatist, and NobleKin. They lob both personal and general insults (tea bagger, bagger, party of no, Republicon, etc., even though they do not know the political affiliation of their target. They ignore the content of the articles that they make their posts under. If you look into their collective comments, they tend to blindly spew the same pro-liberal, pro-Obama, pro-Democrat partisan theme. Be fair in your evaluations.

Posted by mytwocentsworth | Report as abusive

I like it.

Posted by Prepared | Report as abusive

I like this moderation; unless of course my comment isn’t approved! I am a writer though and so will comment more now that I have read this. I find it difficult to moderate comments on my blog; I don’t get as many as I would like but try to be as generous as possible. If they aren’t offensive to anyone they stay. I can take criticism and even reply to it! I hope I add to my ‘score’ for writing this!

Posted by Mike10613 | Report as abusive

I would be interested in finding out why my comments have not been posted. I am a former college grad, a nurse, and I feel that my comments meet all of the requirements. I have read some of the comments rom other posters and I believe that my comments are acceptable and worthwhile. Please, let me know what you think…

Posted by dannakt777 | Report as abusive

This policy represents the defeat of the internet. In the beginning, comments were freely offered to visitors, regardless of what they had to say. The press/media initially suffered as blogs became more popular for this very reason. No longer did the commoner have to address a name in a high office and merely hope their words would be heard.

But today, even the blogging has been assimilated into the corpo-gov media and once again, we are left to write to unknown censors in high offices and merely hope our words are worthy of their holy approval.

Posted by sincityq | Report as abusive

I do not support freedom of speech.

However, I do support freedom of discussion and the cross examination of the disclosed factual evidence.

Unfortunately, most “Western” media outlets do not allow certain political opinions and/or assertions for certain stories that are historically incorrect and/or falsified and/or completely bias, even if those assertions and/or opinions are backed by factual evidence, remain on topic and do not contain insults and/or profanity.

Has everyone read 1984 by George Orwell?…….I do hope so.

Posted by WNS818 | Report as abusive

Why does Reuters remove comments that are truthful? For instance, if someone makes a factually truthful comment — that the Qu’ran itself requires Muslims to kill non-Muslims, and states that Islam will be at peace only when it is the world’s sole religion — that is not racism or hate speech, or uncivil in any way. I did not asset that all Muslims believe this … many may not. I merely stated that the Qu’ran calls for it, which it does. It is a mere statement of fact which should not offend anyone. So why remove statements that are not offensive, and state factual truths? Or, does Reuters consider the truth itself is offensive?

Posted by Billw13175 | Report as abusive

Without seeing the “banned” coments we won’t know what the BIAS is here, but we can guess.

Posted by DickTuck | Report as abusive

I have chosen the name Tony BLiar because I thought he was very representative of how we now are in what the Hindus call the KaliYuga – The Age of LIES. He and G.W. Bush lied to take us into Iraq (WMDs)…the media, now arguably the Fourth Arm of Government is engaged not in educating, and ennobling society – but rather to Manufacture Consent – to brainwash. Mind Control by Media is now a common part of Social Engineering in a Corporatocracy. Mussolini said that Fascism should be called by it’s more correct name – CORPORATISM. Well, what do we expect when all the Media is owned and controlled by Corporations and their Oligarch Masters? As JFK said, If you make Peaceful Revolution Impossible you make Violent Revolution Inevitable. I think he was right, and very sadly, this is probably what will occur. Though I think it will not go well for the Oligarchs. They may “think” that they have it all under control, but MANY insiders, in the military, even in government, when push comes to shove and the evil greedy oligarch go too far, their will be mass conversions happening rapidly in last minute attacks of SANITY. The New World Order will NOT succeed.

Posted by TonyBliar | Report as abusive

Actually, the editor i think is trying to safe guard themself from further embrassment due to lack of skills of their own reporters/journalist. So, these guys would only be publishing comments that are favourable for reuters and those that critizies would be removed. hahahhahahha, not a bad way old man, to save your own ass.

Posted by rajeshnayyar198 | Report as abusive

starb4dawn wrote “Who are you to decide what has value for others? I find the whole tone to be arrogant and not something I will waste my time reading or posting on. To bad just might be your loss.”

If starb4dawn wants to tell everyone that he/she doesn’t want to waste his/her time commenting reading or posting in that comment…why did he/she do just exactly that?? Doesn’t make sense to me.

Posted by Ashau | Report as abusive

I have been posting on McClatchey for a while now, and I disagree with most of the stories they post, and so far, I might have had one or two posts banned out of maybe, a hundred. Calling someone a name usually means you cannot find adequate words in your vocabulary to make a legitimate point.

Posted by connman | Report as abusive


This is a great very good idea, specially the part where you continually review the comments for people that have already earned the “VIP” status.
I have dealt in the pass with the problem of “bot” commenter and that can be really bad in a website.

Best regards and keep the good work,
Simple Guy

Posted by SimpleGuy | Report as abusive

As an odd note, it seems somewhat strange that i’m able to reply to some stories, or articles, but some i’m not able to.
Is there some reason for this?

Posted by Laster | Report as abusive

I have to say that I am in total agreement with this policy, and it is a shame that other leading news agencies have not adopted similar methods. I am a firm proponent of the right to free speech, however as a privately owned and operated website, I do not agree that this policy in any ways violates this most sacred of natural human rights, any more than the opinion and editorial sections of a broadsheet do.
More than anything I believe that such a policy will empower regular users, by encouraging them to give adequate thought and care in composing their comments.
The internet is littered with news sites and articles with scores of meaningless comments, it will not hurt to have one with slightly fewer.

Posted by scoult | Report as abusive

LOL “Fast Bill”…

We it’s supposed to be an issue of being civil, but it’s likely not. The people posting on this thread are probably writing civil posts.

Also, you say it’s an issue of whether the comments have any value…..

Apparently you haven’t had any posts rejected. Are you actually reading the excellent points these posters are making, in a very civil way? What makes you think that these unhappy readers opinions were ever given in a way that is unsavory? Opinion shouldn’t be open to censorship.

Posted by ChalupaHell | Report as abusive

I really don´t agree with the current policy on this website. It seams like 50% of my comments are blocked from being posted, and these comments are only in disagreement with mainstream media´s opinion on any given current issue. If I comment about something that is political incorrect or is in strong disagreement with an article my comment is usually blocked from being posted.

Posted by BEANSnGRAVY | Report as abusive

Moderator – please read last sentance thanks
Does Reuters know that its own website has a really clunky feature – when you log in, you need a screen name, and there is no inline correction – it isn’t untill after you type in a name that the program tells you no special characters (without telling you that a space is a special character)
glad to see that Reuters, which bills itself as an information technology company, is in the 1990s when it comes to its own blog software…
Not only that, there is no “contact the webmaster” link, which is where this comment should have gone

Posted by joeenuf | Report as abusive

One thing I like about Reuters, is it seems they are relatively honest, and they enjoy keeping the peace.

Posted by flylikeaneagle | Report as abusive

How do you know when your comment is no longer “pending approval” and has been posted?

Posted by CloudyNuageux | Report as abusive

Is there a way to see the Twitter feeds on the comment page? Or must you join Twitter to see them? I can’t do that from my work computer, and I usually read at lunch.

Posted by starleaf | Report as abusive

It’s Reuters site – they’re free to run it however they want. It’s designed by Reuters for a specific audience, as they point out. It’s a private site, not a public service. If you fail to contribute to enhancing the site, Reuters has every right to cut you off. You’re free to create your own site where you can say whatever you want. I don’t see why I should have my time wasted by having to read lies, nonsense, prejudice, name calling and interminable boring repetitions of the same diatribe. You’re free to exercise your freedom of speech whereever else you find someone willing to hand you a megaphone and where there is an audience interested in hearing what you have to say. At Twitter, you’re free to say whatever you want to whoever is willing to listen.

Posted by WhooHoo | Report as abusive

People constantly throw out that word “biased.” I am certain it’s used way entirely too much. Now that’s my opinion…Even if it’s biased.

Posted by notyouinhere | Report as abusive

I’m fairly certain that adding a feature to ‘ignore all’ by a given user (cookie controlled) would allow users to censor comments themselves. Some people enjoy thought-provoking discussion, or even a little witty reparte, while others don’t like to read comments that disagree with their own ideas.

Allowing users more control of this process would take the pressure reuters seems to feel in trying to keep a civil discourse.

Posted by Kad | Report as abusive

This points “system” is clearly designed to favor those who support Reuters and their biased reporting. Be favorable, and you’ll get a point. Criticize, and there’s no points for you. Of late, Reuters reporting on the economy, and particularly on unemployment issues, has been clearly biased and factually incorrect. And, the articles have suspiciously appeared when the market is faltering. But any attempts to point this out have been quashed by corporate censors. Honest critique exposes these issues for open discussion, but Reuters does not allow this. Oops, I did it again – Dang, am I ever going to earn any points?

Posted by Last13Weeks | Report as abusive

This is rational makes tremendous sense. It is also recognized that publications and media from companies such a reuters is not obligated to publish things they don’t approve of. They are not government, they are private businesses. However, I do worry that with the power of the press, if comments by the average person are filtered, then the average joe will get a false reading on the ‘pulse’ of the community. During times of frustration and concern, are we limited to posting fliers at the town square? What obligation does the press have to allow the common voice when it is possible? Should everything, including comments, be reviewed for marketing and branding purposes? Who does the press represent? The press? The people? The Advertisers? It’s paying (direct & indirect) customers? Also, would you see these rules being applied differently during times of plenty when everyone is satisfied than during times of strife where people need to be heard and tough discourse need to be permitted? As I said, these rules are rational and sensical. Perhaps these comment sections are truly the wrong place to express opinions, I’ll buy that. And perhaps we need to find better methods to communicate with each other. But in this world of media soundbites, what are they?

Posted by SeaWa | Report as abusive

It is Reuters site. And they can do as they choose. However, as the “Press”, they have moral and ethical obligations to the community in which they serve. Yes, they serve. This should be true for the other news agencies as well. Frankly, I haven’t seen a problem, Reuters appears to be doing a good job.

Posted by SeaWa | Report as abusive

Virtually every author believes that their latest peace (sic) offering is the most important piece of wisdom needed to complete the puzzle. Likewise every editor has a moral responsibility to their readers and fudiciary obligations to the publication.
No one likes being rejected but unlike Last13Weeks I am not so naive as to blame honest people for having an opinion. Considering the large volume of blogs and venues plus the almost infinite number of channels available publishing a good piece is not a problem. Getting folks to read past the fold is.
So I support the points system with two minor changes.

1) an automated email reply containing a permalink to the article and a copy of the “proposed comment.” That way the poster would “know” it at least hit the desk;


2) notification of it acceptance or the reasons for rejection. It is understood that editorial comments would create an excessive workload but simply numbering the list shown above having the moderator hitting the buzzer for each offense – kinda like they do on America/Britain’s Got talent!

Posted by GLsword | Report as abusive

Well…The justification for censorship is just delightful…NOT. Then if one wants to read trash where does one go?
The problem that Reuters is facing is the understanding that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
If I want to read trash then I have many different venues on the Internet to read from. I understand that the editorial staff of Reuters is attempting to exude the treasure from the trash and publish “worthy” comments. But just who is to judge what is trash and what is treasure? In the final analysis it is the reader who determines if the product is trash or treasure.
If the reader is not the one to do the final analysis then all Reuters is doing is publishing that which is agreeable to the editorial staff of Reuters. That does not give justice, it does not lend to a full and accurate pulse of the reading public.

Posted by trippintom | Report as abusive

This article fails to provide: 1) any timeline for when decisions will be made regarding comments and 2) any information about whether Reuters will contact the commenter with their decision.

Posted by Carlottamg | Report as abusive

so we have to agree with the editor? or we get the boot? yep sounds like censorship to me an to think i came here because i didn’t like bloomberg.

Posted by RDH | Report as abusive

censorship is the first step toward the ignorance. If editor is not after comments on his or her story then the comments box should be removed.
A true journalist should not be afraid if some people do object to his or her story, and an honest editor should honestly only edit parts which are not written with a respect toward other’s belief.
Other wise the whole thing becomes like other extreme opinionated media outlet pages where you are allowed to write a bunch of stuff and expect no response.
so you can finally agree to pad yourself on the back. see no one disagreed.!! Hurray good thinking.

Posted by Falkon110 | Report as abusive

Are you really at legal risk for what commenters say?

This all sounds well-and-good, provided that my own thoughtful invective isn’t hushed over.

Posted by stat_arb | Report as abusive

The ability to up-vote comments would be helpful. I feel like I haven’t left my mark if I can’t up-vote a good comment — especially if it disagrees with an opinion piece.

Posted by stat_arb | Report as abusive

I thought Reuters freedom from bias and impartiality are the wave crests which other media organisations aspire to ride on, clearly there’s been a huge splash in the seas of objectiveness and those traits that Churchill and the Reuters’ trust firmly established during the world war, have now sunk with titanic effect. Is there any difference between what Reuters allows in terms of user comments againt what say, News corp. allows? Both have agendas which they wish to re-affirm through user comments

Posted by jase_prasad | Report as abusive

Finding an algorithm based application that screens sales tactics, profanities, name calling and disconnected matter but lets the rest (including typos) fly is almost impossible. Here’s an somewhat amusing example from another blog expressing a previous frustrating experience with a Google-based software based screening app.(even as smartly written as most Googles apps are):
“Please be careful about the language context, especially if you’re doing i18n. I once tried to set up a Google Group for the course I was giving called “Sanal ortamda görselleĹźtirme” which is turkish for “Visualization in virtual media”. Google was stupid enough to reject it because the title contained the word “anal”. Sanal[tr]=Virtual[en] and Google shamelessly accused me of profanity! :D Please don’t let weird things like this happen. – edgerunner Sep 19 ’10 at 12:05″
I suggest simply allowing other blog members to report offensive posts in the same fashion craigslist does.It works for the most part. Cheers!

Posted by pantognoni | Report as abusive

Wow! So much for America being a free country! Communism at it’s best

Posted by Jackiethek | Report as abusive

What ever happened to free speech? Your control on comments is only a veiled attempt to hide the real truths, and limit free speech. One would think the media would understand the importance of free speech, but it appears YOU only want free speech for the press. If you don’t like the heat then get out of the kitchen. Translation…if you can’t tell the truth in the news then stop doing it.

Posted by KJinAZ | Report as abusive

If you are paying humans to perform this activity I think you need to rethink your technology strategy or just stop allowing comment on your stories. The main point of allowing comment is to get reader loyalty, however, the reality of online interaction does not fit that model. You cannot shape public discourse, merely record it shut it off. Your policy seems to be trying to enforce a little bit of both while allowing views that agree with whomever is censoring the material to bleed through. The result will be a stilted form of news reporting and your reputation will eventually become connected to that practice.

Posted by Bagwa | Report as abusive

Dean Wright wrote, “Visitors to this space may recall that I wrote this summer about the issues Reuters and other news organizations face in dealing with reader comments on stories.” You began your summer article argument with the issue of not knowing the name of the those posting. Why do you care? Your registration does not even recommend this and commonly rejects it. There is so much technology and community participant censorship you don’t need to treat this like we’re living in 1984.

In your summer article you reinforced your antiquated know the name concern with, “Print newspapers and magazines only publish signed letters to the editor and almost all verify the sender’s identity before publication.” Really? . . . Print newspapers and magazines. This is the Internet.

I say censorship, restriction, and moderator bias. You say “. . . open to the widest range of people.” With your policy, it is not.

Posted by Riverview98 | Report as abusive

If your readers are reading comments, it’s stands to reason they have the time to do so. Your “saving our readers time” argument is obviously bogus. I understand not wanting to publish the comments of trolls, but it would be more honest to say, “we won’t publish highly abusive or irrelevant comments.”

As for comments that may be submitted word for word to multiple articles. Before blowing them off as spam, you should consider that they may be relevant to more than one article. For instance, a comment regarding Rick Perry’s fitness for POTUS may be relevant in virtually any article that involves Republican candidates for President. Readers are smart. Chances are if they’ve read a comment before they’ll just skip it if they see it again. There’s no need for this censorship.

Posted by R.Henry | Report as abusive

How do I access approval statistics – particularly for my own posts? I can’t seem to get access to anything.

I do agree with some of the commentators here that there is a risk of Reuters refusing approval of comments that disagree with their bias.

Posted by ActionDan | Report as abusive

Perhaps a more fair system (rather than Reuters approving each comment) would be one that allows readers to rate the comments that are added to articles.

Posted by ActionDan | Report as abusive

I respectfully disagree with this policy. Part of a free press is to present all sides. If someone does go off-topic or is abusive i can see a warning, a suspension and then expulsion, but not fiat censorship.

Mr. Reuters would be displeased.

Posted by ComputerExpert | Report as abusive

I do not see a problem with Reuters’ policy. They are a private business and they are not forcing you to read their articles or make comments. If you do not agree with their policy, you have the absolute freedom to read articles and comment somewhere else.

Posted by TinyLee | Report as abusive

moderators are censors, let’s not be disingenuous. You would be better served with modeling intellectual integrity by being more forthright about your position.

By the way, I do not think it is indefensible. I think you can make a reasonable case for censorship on a forum based on a clear cut criteria that is designed to support the expression of divergent perspectives in the most respectful manner possible.

I suspect that Reuters (which btw has a very public history of bias in regards to content) is more than likely using the opportunity to filter out the contributions that do not support the status quo of Reuter’s owners. Like any substantial questions or concerns nuclear power, for example, or armament production and sales all around the world.

Posted by 33SBT33 | Report as abusive

Reuters is undoubtedly one of the best news sources the west has. Keep up the good work, and be brave. The world desperately needs to be kept informed as we head into the social and economic maelstrom.

Posted by Tiu | Report as abusive

committing to the full and effective dissemination of news, facts and social ephemera that creates our ‘living society’ should include all hints and reaction of those who can and do actually read what is written.

comment creator’s are seeking link to the world, their own and others, via the many commercialized news outlets (crafted by scholarly and seasoned writers) as well as the heady and often raw comments of readers alone.

do not expect Puritanism, cleansed comments unless you are willing to exclude (and offend) a bulk of readers who’s only real participation in nation-making may be a few words uttered (written) in response to another.

it is the very core of our free society, TO EXPRESS, without suppression, coercion and contempt from others!

i agree with the ‘fiat censorship’ statement from ComputerExpert. a method of limitation, cooldown or other is much more effective than an outright ban.

we’re not all here creating our Post Doctorate Thesis, that’s for dang sure.

Posted by PhreeB4God | Report as abusive

People just do not go off randomly without a reason? I am sure someone took his children just like all the other suicides in this country never give the right reason but cover it up! Police use people like this for target practice deadly force to shut the doors on the objecting problem, and cover it over with madness, ang mayhem that our government is causing.(CPS) Allot of mothers and fathers grandpa’s and aunts are going crazy i wonder why I am ashamed of this kind of answer trained police could have shot him in the leg or what the hell is a dart gun invented to tranquilize a animal for when they cannot even use them on people! My sick world Armageddon is rearing it’s ugly head on the children of naughty a…. All comments need posted routers I hate your sevice!

Posted by Myst8040 | Report as abusive

I totally agree with your policy as explained, but remain a little confused about a few things. 6/idUS337705365820110926

I posted a comment on this article (comment was long but well written in my opinion, politely disagreeing with the author on some points) and subsequently returned to the article to find that ALL comments on that article had been deleted! Article says 0 (zero) comments. Totally confused. Did I do something wrong? And the others who posted, did they do something wrong too?
If you can, please send me a private message explaining one or two things I can do better when commenting. I got blocked from commenting on the old for some reason, and could never figure out why (I have a feeling I was blocked out by retaliatory “abuse reports” from people whose real [spam] abuse I had reported… If you could somehow prevent this kind of petty retaliation, that would be most welcome.)

Posted by matthewslyman | Report as abusive

It’s a shame that the less-than-stellar people who can’t convey opinions and ideas without resorting to name-calling and using txt spk wen tieping cuz its kool 2 do now are filtered.

I think it will actually be nice to read comments that have value and not have to decipher what the meaning is or deal with spam comments.

Posted by FlamingLiberal | Report as abusive

Apparently, the writers gets to practice freedom of speech, while the readers are subject to censorship. I like all the comments. May as well be a book store who only sells one book because most of their customers are professional one book readers. I will be sure this is the last time I respond to the censor police.

Posted by voxin2 | Report as abusive

The policy is just more evidence of the elitist mindset of journalism schools and the journalism profession these days. They think they know better than the reader what the reader wants and “needs.”

Posted by RealEstateSEO | Report as abusive

This is truly a great policy… I probably got my first comment booted already for too many capital letters! Guess I need to find a better way to get someone’s attention when I can’t grab their arm and tell them they are in danger! (I just erased two exclamation points, lol) But thanks for the opportunity to have voice without having first to endure reading through utter impertinence in order to get to the good stuff(:

Posted by 1irishrainbow | Report as abusive

Why is it I always face the onus of not participating in Facebook or Tweet, etc., no matter where I go?

I really appreciate Reuters for a) not sinking to tabloid level and b) for allowing me to comment without adherence to the said memberships.

And of course it’s an unparalleled privilege that all of us are allowed to comment, though too many of us do not merit the attention…

Posted by w.burton | Report as abusive

As 33SBT33 said earlier, you need “clear cut criteria” to ensure discrimination does not occur by editors, as it is commonplace, and is in fact the reason I and others stopped using Yahoo! News – anyone reading the articles can see complaints about editorial bias have been frequent. The concern is not about such a system, I would love to see a WELL-IMPLEMENTED SYSTEM – however, if the criteria are not clearly defined and comprehensively spelled out, there exists major potential for editorial discrimination and bias, particularly if you also lack a clear disciplinary policy for abusive editors, so that they cannot simply sweet-talk their way out of discipline after their discrimination occurs.

Finally, I would recommend that you, when implementing such a policy, clearly present it in its entirety to the commenting public, placing it on the site so it is easy to find by commenters (probably below the comment box), so that there is no confusion about the rules and safeguards in place by those commenting. Transparency does in fact have good value in preventing abuse so long as it is used logically and with common sense, rather than simply as a political buzzword/talking point.

Posted by Jzyehoshua | Report as abusive

Mr. Wright:

I attempted to submit the follow comment to the story below.

Obviously, for “past transgressions” of telling you what I thought of your editorial staff and policies I have been completely banned from posting comments at all, no matter how well they comply with your “rules of ethics,” which simply proves that my original charges are correct — you engage in yellow sheet “journalism” with no integrity at all, and misuse the media you supposedly offer for reasonable rebuttal of articles.

I quit posting for a long time, but decided to give it another try recently, but I can see there is no point, since you have “blacklisted” me from your worthless, one-sided reporting for daring to disagree — preferring instead to listen only to toadies who promote the liberal line.

I am a retired CPA, MBA and think I have sufficient education and experience in finance and economics to contribute to your discussion meaningfully.

Otherwise quit pussyfooting around by blocking my access without telling me. At least tell me why you are suppressing my right to free speech. At the very least, please simply remove my login and I will know not to waste my time either reading or reply to your slanted articles.

Your deliberate blocking of my access, without any reason to me, is not only not professional, but extremely childish as well.

How about acting like a grownup working for a real news organization for change? I challenge you to prove me wrong and post this reply to the article on China jobs, just to prove me wrong.

Gordon T DeBaker

“Punishing China no boon for U.S. manufacturing jobs”

What US manufacturing jobs would those be — exactly?

You state “by far the most value embedded in the device accrues to Apple and sustains thousands of well-paid design, software, management and marketing jobs in the United States,” which may very will be true.

But the ugly truth is that most people filling those “US” jobs you describe are often cheap-labor imports from other countries, not “real” American jobs.

How do I know?

I worked as a Plant Controller in the high-tech industry since it began in the 1980s, for some of the largest chip and software companies in the world, and I have seen the drift to cheap labor from overseas firsthand as soon as the internet became capable of “virtual control” over distant manufacturing facilities.

I had to take “early retirement” because my job was “outsourced” to someone in Asia a few years ago. Am I bitter, and does this influence what I am saying? Yes, it most certainly does.

But it is also happens to be the absolute truth, which is far from what your article doe

Posted by Gordon2352 | Report as abusive

My thoughts on actual help for our economy.

1. Open the Oil Reserves for at least two (2) years – This can lower our gas prices to under $2.50 giving a HUGE jump start to our economy.

2. Require all Corporations to INVEST IN AMERICA (like FRANCE’s ELITE DID) by remitting a “Pay America Tax” to help jump start the economy. With the corporation’s unbelievable record profits – a one-time “Pay America Tax” could help reduce our 14T deficit. This “Pay America Tax” is to be paid solely toward paying down our current 14T deficit!

3. Since the news organizations state the World in now a GLOBAL entity – Create a “Professional Work Program” where all countries will be economically rewarded for hiring professionals to fill these positions in their countries. Make it policy for these professionals to mentor the countries citizens. Mentoring for these positions would help elevate the profitability of a company with a constant flow of ready educated and trained employees that can start the job with little to no training down time!

4. New start-up companies by having free market conventions that encourage nationals from different countries to work together to start new companies that will have a global effect for both countries!

Posted by Anonymous | Report as abusive

Hey, sounds like kindergarten rules. I can do that.

Posted by appratchik | Report as abusive

Yes my friend welcome to international bank coliseum forget state banks?rolling debts at other countries expenses!!!
Gordon Gekko says !!Hello.

Posted by Jokes | Report as abusive

You come across as an arrogant, censoring twit. Try to get over yourself. Humans express themselves and at times the spice of human emotion:disgust, anger, joy, fear needs to be openly expressed. Must be nice to sit in a cubicle with your stomach full and your mind deadened.

Posted by johnpatrick46 | Report as abusive

Sounds like censorship to me? So you decide what you tell us, and also, what we can hear from each other? You are defeating the whole purpose of freedom of speech, but I guess if that’s your solution, go for it. I myself will also go someplace else for peoples “real” opinions on the issue. If I want a politically correct answer I now know where to come. If i want real opinions I will go else where.

Posted by itsallwrong | Report as abusive

I’ve just read over this and it’s basically the same principle I have applied to many of the blogs I own.

Once I see a user leave several good comments on my blog I know I can trust them for leaving more useful comments.

It’s an excellent system and I think it will work quite well, especially with a well recognized website like

Posted by DarioM | Report as abusive

I wrote some time ago a column on Free Speech, hat-free-speech-use-it-own-it/
I still don’t believe in anonymity; here in America we’re not afraid, or shouldn’t be, to put our name and reputation on what we write, IF we believe it. There may be circumstances where anonymity is needed-whistleblowers, revealers of wrongdoing by corporate and public officials-but in the area of public discourse and opinion, there is no room for the cowardice of anonymity.

Posted by Mediaman | Report as abusive

there should be some relaxation in posting comments but should not be as free as others do.

Posted by ChAliGhafoor | Report as abusive

How long does the preocess take? Is there a way of monitoring the status of your comments in queue? Or how about a method to ask about certain comments that were removed without explanation…

I posted a resonably nice comment several hours ago and saw nothing posted. So i just posted another comment to the same article just a few minutes ago. We’ll see what happens.

Following guidelenes, expecting response.

Posted by thisjustin125 | Report as abusive

Ah, the simplicity of establishing positive guidelines. I appreciate that these conversation blocks are moderated for constructive communication and against destructive attempts to despoil the function of our deliberations.

Censorship? If by censorship you mean you want to spread vile hatred, animosity, confusion and insanity abroad, then you are simply not welcome in a constructive environment, random abusive commentator. Therefore, for the purpose of this website, you should go elsewhere to berate, abuse and defame people. This paragraph is for the readers, not the author.

Posted by Xeraphim | Report as abusive

I have no problem with your explanation of what criteria you use for your moderation. Given the mentality of so many in our vastly declining educational system, it had to be explaned.

Your explanations, at one time, used to be a given in social discourse, & didn’t need to be expounded upon. Anyone who read comment pages in any newspaper knew that. Unfortunately, today it has to be spelled out explictly.

In actuality, this problem is far worse than name calling, baiting, bullying, etc. that the internet has opened up to all. Without standards, the jungle rules.

thank You!

Posted by VickyBevis | Report as abusive

Sounds reasonable enough on the surface. I would like to see some sort of feedback system. (for example … your comment was deemed unworthy due to item “x” of our list of potential infringements…) I would also like to see the list or definition of comments that qualify as racism or hate language. I for one would not want to accidentally come accross as a racist or a hate monger.

Posted by uncommensense | Report as abusive

It’s your ball, so you make the rules.

I do think there should be some automated notice to the poster when a comment is disapproved or pulled before the nuclear action of blocking all of their comments. I did a post on one article on Nov. 18th early in the morning. Three other posts of others were added that originated after mine.

Then no more posts were added for three days! Needless to say by the time my comment appeared the article was no longer timely, and most who commented over that four day period did so “in the blind”…unaware of what their peers were saying. Such dilution, while not common, can be abused!

Some of your Blog “post” windows give instant response when a post is submitted. Today I found one that is strangely unresponsive.

The poster doesn’t know if the comment was “accepted for review”, lost in the electrons of the net…or what. Usually I can tell is a comment is “on hold” by checking my profile, but not this time. Such makes double-posts much more likely with no hostile intent!

Posted by OneOfTheSheep | Report as abusive

It seems like “meeting your standards” equates to agreeing with your position. I have posted several comments over the past months, none of them abusive, profane, or belittling to anyone. However, most, admittedly, indicated a position other than liberal Reuters or the liberal media as a whole.

Your censors blocked virtually all of them. As I said, none were offensive . None of them belittled another posted. None contained profanity, and all were directly on the subject of the post. I can see no reason beyone your disagreement with the political stand for blocking them. So much for freedom of speech.

Posted by Ashau | Report as abusive

What about when we quote a historical figure who uses obscenity such as Richard M Nixon on Donald Rumsfeld:
“at least Rummy is tough enough. He’s a ruthless little bastard. You can be sure of that.”? Likewise for direct Mark Twain literary quotes, are we supposed to make them PC?

Posted by jbgfour | Report as abusive

Posts are important for every online business, a blessing of web 2.0. I have been using a lot of online forums, youtube, b&w, fp, toi,and many others. Except with some newspapers, the policy of Reuters is comparatively very strict. Hard to find a reason. Believe readers here don’t matter.

Posted by abhi1498 | Report as abusive

“It seems like “meeting your standards” equates to agreeing with your position. I have posted several comments over the past months, none of them abusive, profane, or belittling to anyone. However, most, admittedly, indicated a position other than liberal Reuters or the liberal media as a whole.”

This is quite correct. Reuters is only interested in posting comments that agree with their position. I have had numerous comments removed and my account banned while strictly following the posting guidelines. It is a weak attempt to try and shape public opinion and most people can see it very clearly.

Posted by JackinFL | Report as abusive

If “Wisdom is known by her children,” then comments from your readers will reflect the values of your readers. I agree, to help serious readers avoid useless comments, some filtering is required.

Posted by Mooron | Report as abusive

If this forum is edited, why do double and even triple posts get through? Also, even though I’m from the opposite end of the political spectrum as Ashau, I have also seen completely unoffensive comments disappear.

Posted by RGR | Report as abusive

why bother to even comment ,if it doesn’t meet your criteria,your not going to print it,plain and simple take your comment section off.

Posted by theplumber | Report as abusive

I came. I saw. I commented. It disappeared. Don’ know where? Don’t know why?


Posted by SanjayJ | Report as abusive

My experience is quite similar to those reported by Ashau of 10/27. I really question who and how these comments are filtered. Mine were neither rude, profane, nor verbose, but they didn’t seem to live up to the liberal ideal, so go figure?

Posted by SupStew | Report as abusive

To further “flesh out” my comment of 10/26, posting now on 11/8 at 11pm CST, two days ago my profile showed over 60 posts with zero “removals” and zero “abusive”. Today it shows 81 posts with 4 removed and two “abusive”.

With no way to review or identify the 4 removed or the 2 deemed by someone (Reuters or a reader?) “abusive, how am I supposed to perceive or correct my purported transgressions?

I am observing less and less currency in the review and posting of “held” comments. In the case of “As Troops Leave…”, four days from 11/4; the same for “The Physics of an Economic Crisis”.

There was three day period from 11/4 to 11/7 for “Rick Perry & AL Gore…”. For “Analysis: Economy’s Shifts” I am still waiting to see a thoughtful response to “Whassup” posted 11/4 appear. Four days lag?

“Analysis: U.S. Gets a Reprieve…”, posted 11/6, still waiting to see; same thing with “Coments: Fear Grows of Gridlock”.

Without regard to the reasons behind such moderator delays, the dynamics of a healthy reciprocity of ideas is hopelessly being lost. That’s in no one’s best interest.

Posted by OneOfTheSheep | Report as abusive

I doubt anyone reads the posts, and if so, how come some terrible racist posts can go through?

If some one’s post is rejected, it should be replaced by a short word: something like:
“Anonymousxxx’s post rejected, reason: racism inciting to violence”

Posted by garilou | Report as abusive

censorship plain and simple

Posted by mitch52 | Report as abusive

I didn’t read the whole thing, however I’d imagine an organisation such as Reuters would want the following from the feedback/comments on articles;

1. No racism/personal attacks/religious vilification/etc
2. No base-less claims.

That said, I believe that if you can prove your point, from a respectable source(such as one of the main media outlets, for example Reuters and Al Jazeera), then it should remain.

3. Try your best to keep sentences readable. The beauty of the English language is that you can miss letters and have it read perfectly fine.

4. If your comment isn’t posted, don’t complain that it wasn’t accepted. I’m sure the staff at Reuters have something better to do than read comments by the general public which offer little to no extra on the topic at hand.

Posted by rob1990 | Report as abusive

Reuters doesn’t believe in free speech. They can publish anything they want so as to influence voter’s minds. I want to read everyone’s comments. I know that this comment will not be posted. None of my posts are posted. There is one story I commented on three days ago, and it was not posted. In fact, there were only 6 comments posted. You know, then, that these “moderators” kept a lot of people’s views from the public.

Posted by madampolo | Report as abusive

Allow me to translate: ‘We will simply remove any comments that we feel interferes with the propaganda message we are trying to make.’

I especially like the part where name calling and vulgarity is okay, but posting factual information across many threads (regardless of whether relevant or not) will not be allowed.

Posted by stambo2001 | Report as abusive

I see! I hope most understand what is meant when someone types the acronym “POTUS” which means “President of the United States”. I am used to use acronyms because most blogs only give you a certain amount of characters per session. Thanks. Your instructions are very useful.

Posted by afrommi | Report as abusive

I for one have been writing on CNN, BBC and many other forums under pseudo names, in the inner circle there these concerns that constantly nags our fellow contributors, if one is to say something about the jewish community or comment against Israel, they are afriad of being labelled anti-semetic and consequences. So using a pseudo name is something that is being done in the wrting industry for decades now. It’s not a sign of cowardice but sign of the times. Good job reuters you have been fair in your reporting a “shade” below BBC.

Posted by politicaljunkie | Report as abusive

The worst and the most vile free for all is CNN comments, Reuters is head and shoulders above all that I for one welcome it immensely. I have been a reuter “fan” where I would make my finacial decisions, in the good old days prior to the arrival of the internet, when Reuters had installed telex /fax machines in all 5 star hotels through out the world. They have remained neutral and fair in their reporting with highest standards of jounalists. Kudos Reuters!

Posted by politicaljunkie | Report as abusive

It’s not hard to get kicked off here. Pretty much any comment that is

Posted by Noah-Fing-Whey | Report as abusive

On the off chance that Reuters management is not up to its necks in directing this “managed democracy”, I’d like to give an example of the really flagrant political censorship that’s been going on with user comments lately. I know for a fact I’m not the only one this has been happening to.

If this is the work of rogue moderators pursuing personal (or other) agendas, an audit of non-published comments and some staff changes are in order.

Here’s a comment that’s well-written, thought-provoking, meets all the guidelines — and was blocked from becoming one of the thoughts in that “more thoughtful conversation”: 4/us-greece-idUSTRE7AD0PT20111114


The bizarre situation here is that Lucas Papademos was governor of the Bank of Greece at the time when — it is now publicly acknowledged — Greece was fraudulently cooking its books to “qualify” for euro membership.

So the guy being hailed and trusted by the markets to clear up Greece’s finances at the moment is the one who muddied them in the first place.

In fact, he’s responsible for the entire current act of the European financial crisis, which wouldn’t have happened if unqualified Greece weren’t proving just how unqualified it is for euro membership in a big way at the moment.

Now is that good corporate governance? Promote the guy who drove the company into bankruptcy to CEO?


Posted by Jenn_L | Report as abusive

So much for freedom of the press. You are free to say whatever you want as long as it offends no one.

Posted by britjunkie | Report as abusive

Sorry gentlemen..The time delay between making a comment and seeing it posted is unacceptable.Not much point in making a comment!! Why not have spellcheck,many people are lost without it and won’t make a comment.Seems many high IQ people are poor spellers.

Posted by HONEYBIRD | Report as abusive

I have read your reasons and am willing to abide by your rules,you are correct there is no room for school yard shenanigans . We cannot learn anything by acting like spoiled children ,I hope i can make reuters a better site with my contributions.

Posted by gp72908 | Report as abusive

Good grief, what Reuters’s is saying is that too many people are just ripping on the people posting comments and totally ignoring what the article is about. Posting a comment that does not focus on the main topic is going to get rejected, that is not censorship. I agree with them that people with knowledge pertaining to the article are getting shouted down, made fun of, bullied and their comments diluted between all those weird, mean and pointless political posts. What’s wrong with what Write said??

Posted by DavidinWY | Report as abusive

Overly time consuming as screened comments are so late to be posted when approved, the comment is dead of old age. I have no problem with the system, just think you have an obligation to review in a timely manner.

Posted by AZWarrior | Report as abusive

I know I have already commented here, but this problem is also about so called “Astroturf Blogging”. I wonder just how many of these comments are from persons that are paid to make comments that are inflammatory and contain false statements, “There really are lizard-aliens in the Obama administration”. It has been widely reported. It is a fact that has is widely accepted”. Now, believe everything you read in the paper, hear on the radio or watch on TV if you want, but how much of the problem is because some clearance house of lies and liars are paying others to start rumors so that it spreads until some journalist gets ordered to run that story as “fact” will be next weeks headlines, but I for one like to write my opinions because I have so many good ones! I also want to thank the guy who moderated my last post, I was wondering if I was using the correct spelling of the word “Too”, guess I was wrong! But seriously people, use that spell-check!

Posted by DavidinWY | Report as abusive

Censorship of free speech by (of all institutions!!!) the press? Tell me it’s not true!! I happen to be one of the (now apparently) dumb schmucks that supports a person’s right to make political/social comment on any issue within a free society, yes even the racist, religious zealot or indeed any of the other agenda driven activists (be they nutcase or not) that make up our wonderful democracies. I’m a grown up…allow me to act as my our censor.

“I may not agree with what you say, but I will fight to the death for your right to say it” -Voltaire.

Posted by Alonegunman | Report as abusive

I’ve just posted (attempted)two comments, using rather thoughtful sarcasm to make my point of perceived hypocracies of the protesters. No foul language, no ripping on any poster and, I believe I am well in line with the state rules/guidelines of Reuters.

Quite simply, why are pithy comments not published. Should anyone of authority have an answer, I’m all ears, err, I mean, eyes.

Thanks in advance.

Posted by cdog11 | Report as abusive

While I understand the reasoning behind this policy, I do find it a bit troubling. To me, it looks like what you’re basically doing is imposing a set of editorial guidelines on your readers as if they were your reporters.

Here’s the problem: If your commenting filter goes beyond the blocking of spam, unrelated content, and unlawful activity, you have officially ventured into the realm of censorship.

For example, what if the next commenter is really offended by my remarks and, buried within a set of criticisms, calls me an idiot or some other personal pejorative? Under the guidelines you mentioned, that post would be subject to being blocked, regardless of how valid his points may have been. That, in turn, has a chilling effect on other commenters, ultimately resulting in less open dialogue on an issue.

As far as repetition goes; again, we’re not your writing staff. We’re end-users responding to your content. If 31 people post the same comment, why exactly do you feel it’s your place to place an arbitrary limit on that? Repetition in comments by diverse users can be a valuable (albeit unscientific) metric for guaging public reaction to a story. If you’re artificially capping that at an arbitrary number, that benefit is completely erased.

I like the points system, but I believe you need to cut some of the fat out of those guidelines, as some of them are simply not reasonable and antithetical to the open exchange of ideas. Simply ask yourself: If offensive speech is undesirable, then who gets to decide what speech is offensive and what speech is not?

What alarms me most about this, however, is that you’re a news organization. You of all people should already know this. I, for one, will probably avoid commenting on Reuters articles– even though I just signed-up– because of this policy. I would strongly suggest you come up with a less bulky set of guidelines before gains a reputation for censorship of its readers.

Posted by KrisCraig | Report as abusive

I very much appreciated “Toward a more thoughtful conversation on stories.” I’m concerned as well that we encourage helpful and thoughtful dialog. Iron sharpens iron as one person sharpens another.

In addition, I have grown most by those who have challenged my position with thoughtful and well-reasoned conversation. I hope to participate in the conversation in such a way as to build a good reputation and encourage readers of your articles. Thanks again.

Posted by dcalves1 | Report as abusive

Oh for goodness’ sake. What tantrums people throw when asked to behave politely.

Reuters has no obligation to allow abusive language or hate speech. They’re not the government; they’re not required to put up with verbal attacks disguised as “free speech”. They can make any rules for their website that they want, and anyone who doesn’t like it is free to go elsewhere.

Posted by ExiledStar | Report as abusive

I think you should be very careful to insure your reviewers don’t have a liberal bias and, therefore, exercise censorship rather than “filtering”. The problem I have with your policy is most news organizations are run by liberals who are not sympathetic to conservative sentiments and, therefore, squash them in the name of “elevating the discourse”.

Posted by Jimboni | Report as abusive

No wonder Reuters commentators are so different from other websites’. Only a few people who benefit from the propaganda are allowed to comment. Good for you…finally learning from China and allowing other independant news organizations to rise. It’s funny how near the end the people at the top make it easier for the up and coming to succeed.

Posted by Sumedha | Report as abusive

Do you have to be a reporter to post with you guys; .. a post is a post- It isn’t Classified. I am surprised at you guys. One sided conversation helps no one.. So, I wonder; if posting on your sight goes through rigorous editing- how do you claim to be objective? Reuters is a News gatherer and supplier.. Propaganda is not one that comes to mind when I research, but limiting scope of imagination and response from audience response is shallow..almost arrogant. Don’t be such a snob- It’s pretty rare that I ever witness Tom-Foolery inside responses..maybe anger, but most of the time, foolish folks get tired or have diapers to change.. I respect Reuters; you guys are noted quite a bit as responsible sources, but I have to question your options of posting.. After all, It is your research, but fear of the question integrity or quality of resource might improve reliability.. I don’t take any journalist news to my information bank- especially now!

Posted by OlleoBuggii7 | Report as abusive

Looks to me like this is so heavily censored that nothing of any merit ever gets though. Boring! And un- American.

Posted by impact09 | Report as abusive

It looks like your “Standards” are similar to the Chinese Communists, it’s no wonder there are so few posts on your stories.

Posted by impact09 | Report as abusive

I find it ironic that my comment about free speech is being reviewed for approval.

Posted by Thisisjustwrong | Report as abusive

Please spare me with your propaganda….I posted a comment in retort to one of your anti-Ron Paul stories, yet you would not post it, I’m certain because I mentioned that the U.S. has no need to support Israel. You conveniently did not post it and then when I sent a comment about not posting it, you wouldn’t even post that one! So, you’re not fooling the more intelligent members of our country…classic corporate controlled media.I will be surprised if this comment is posted….

Posted by sickofzion | Report as abusive

Let’s suppose somebody’s IQ is too low to be able to meet your conditions. Such a person doesn’t have the right to enjoy the freedom of speech? Is the freedom of speech reserved for the elite?

Posted by srelu | Report as abusive

Does anyone know how I can track which comments I have been rejected on and the one’s that are reported as abusive. Because I would like to apologize to the people I have offended in the spirit of peace.

Posted by politicaljunkie | Report as abusive

I don’t like this policy but… you have sword, do what you want

Posted by MostGoodNews | Report as abusive

I am trying to participate under the penname Lacordaire to the discussion of Jean-Claude Trichet’s personal paper, without success. Seeing the comments you selected, it is obvious to me that Reuters is biased in favor of the most conservative anglo-saxon anti-Europe opinions. Some are reasonably expressed but some are so naive and insulting that I am surprised they were selected. Correct me if I am wrong.

Posted by combastille | Report as abusive

Everyone’s opinion is valid and it should be treated as such.

Nice and simple.

Posted by PhilosoMonkey | Report as abusive

Are you going to moderate my comments if I tell you this is censorship, and a terrible idea?

Posted by JackBQuick | Report as abusive

Filter process? I don’t agree. There’s no freedom of speech!

Posted by rainbow1004 | Report as abusive

I was a little set back a little about the approach Reuters was taking but after reading more about the review process I think it makes sense. We are all prone to responding to columns or comments that push one of our hot buttons. We all can use a calm editor once in a while.

Posted by MajorMinor | Report as abusive

I’m not sure if your software is working or not. My contributions are new to Reuters and the software indicates almost all of my comments have been removed, when they haven’t.

Also, I have a lot of “reported” and if what I am posting is viewed as abuse, I’d have to just paste poems about fluffy sheep!

Posted by MajorMinor | Report as abusive

i dont like this…you are picking and choosing who gets to say what. Unfortunately i dont see a way around the spammers and people who are not interested in meaningful debate. I will let you know if i do.

Posted by theylie | Report as abusive

Hey folks, it’s Reuters’ web site. If you are a guest in someone’s home, you abide by their rules.

Posted by AZWarrior | Report as abusive

And again we have even Reuters that is having problems with posts. I would ask Richard Baum to read some of our countries newspapers that were in print during our countries founding. If you look closely it was full of comments. An example would be perhaps of Benjamin Franklin, (who by the way did me a favor by inventing bi-focals.)

Franklin was a Loyalist. He did not wish to see the United States at war with mother England.

Benjamin Franklin had been chosen by the Pennsylvania colonial legislature to represent the colonies before the crown. If the colonies were pissed, or sick of paying unfair taxes (or as was more often the case, not paying them), it was Franklin’s job to let the crown know.

Unfortunately, Ben really loved the crown. Right before the revolution, he had been trying, unsuccessfully, to convince the king to take back Pennsylvania from the Penn family, and put it under royal control.

So if you ‘censor’, and this is what you are doing, you do a great disservice to what is great.

It will come I feat to what Disqus is doing as well. It is too easy to moderate and not allow free discourse, even it the discourse is wrong.

Leave the comments alone. Do not moderate them. For in the comments those who understand what is happening will control the theme and take that person to task. I have see this happen several times on posts that are not moderated.

If you need to close the comment section after a fixed number of days or a number of posts.

Let the people post what they want. Elect as a bona fide news organization, to take it to another level.

Example: A lot of people angry over Congress’ inability and some inflmatory comments have been posted. Create a new comment section on: How did the constructive criticism help you understand today’s Congress?

Of course some will argue the point: What constructive criticism. Which is exactly what a news organization should do. Create an outlet for everyone no matter how angry or upset.

Reuters has been a very reliable authoritative news organization. Do not throw that away in moderating comments.

Posted by windmillchaser1 | Report as abusive

Reuters is not independent, unbiased nor is it disinterested as it should be. It is a mega corporation with economic interests tied to its news reporting. It is news reporting has to be seriously discounted.

Posted by deadmanspoint | Report as abusive

Bravo, Reuters! I left social networking sites for the very same reasons you put parameters on the content of comments. I don’t like to read hundreds of inane and poorly constructed thoughts by people that are just venting their frustrations. I will certainly remain a loyal reader knowing that only credible, considerate and well thought out comments will appear on your site.

Posted by chancefavors... | Report as abusive

Other then vulgarity or the inciting of violence, let the comments fly. We can skip reading the garbage.

Everyone should have a chance to have their voice heard though.

Posted by BradCS | Report as abusive

Why does your censorship take sooooo sloooooooooowwww???

I have posted comments that take several hours at best to show. This only inhibits the dialog among readers/posters. At this time, your censorship method deserves an F+.

Posted by ManOfMettle | Report as abusive

I just made a very intelectural post with NO vulgar words and nothing but respect and it needs “approval?” I will never read this web source again; nor post here again. I prefer to go to sites that have open dialogue. How sad…

Posted by Integrated5150 | Report as abusive

Censorship is a very bad idea.

Posted by Osirismen | Report as abusive

I agree in principle, provided that what is being censored (yes, of course it is censorship) is form and not content. We all have the choice to go post somewhere else, where foul language and personal insult takes the place of articulate argument. Also, let’s not forget, that freedom of speech is not an absolute right and it applies only to restrictions imposed by state’s authority. In any case, to paraphrase a fundamental Supreme Court opinion: freedom of speech does not give anyone the right to shout “Fire!” in a crowded theater.

Posted by 112233 | Report as abusive

i’m trying to comment on an article (  /idUSTRE80J25K20120121). I don’t think my comment is offensive, i’m just disagreeing with article’s premise. And I don’t even oppose the view, i just don’t agree with the reasoning given. There is no rude language.

I hope my comment is not being suppressed because I disagree. Freedom of speech is not only a journalist’s prerogative, we deserve the same.

Posted by JaneQ | Report as abusive

GARBAGE – censorship. Can’t stand the heat close it down

Posted by maximum | Report as abusive

This is your website and I have no objections to your
rules as long as they are not biased.

Posted by domerguy | Report as abusive

As others, have posted a thoughtful yet critical post that took time, energy, and grit out of my day to do so. Not posting it removes me as a candidate for considering further ‘stories’ on the Reuters site. Censoring opposing opinion, which is obviously what this policy gives license to do without anyone but the poster knowing it happened, is problematic for an international news agency that wishes to remain a major player in the industry, whether others are doing it or not, which is one reason The Guardian and Huffington Post are blazing ahead of the pack. Looking forward….

Posted by Iconicologist | Report as abusive

Well, I must say that I have come to believe that the First Amendment is probably the single most important piece of our democracy. Your blatant attempt to filter and control commentary on news issues is a clear and reprehensible violation of the First Amendment. You should be embarrassed to call yourself a member of the free press.

Posted by lawdoc | Report as abusive

I have just posted a comment with an article why I think the author is wrong. I have taken care to make my points clear, and I was in no way abusive towards him. Will Reuter’s censor it? At least it will still be on my Facebook page.

Posted by lcyw20 | Report as abusive

Seems to be a reasonable approach and if it stops abuse and unfair comment or innacurate comment then I am in favour.
I hope that linkage with comment on other articles is permitted as this sometimes gives credence to an argument or exposes contradictory statements to an argument.
I also note that being in the UK now seems to be a bar on commentary on Reuters US??? Also, some of your article ‘closing for comment’ times are quite arbitrary and with very short time scales. typically the Airbus 380 article on cracks in the wing structure (just one an example) which closed for comment as I was about to make one!

Posted by TommyUK1 | Report as abusive

I totally agree with the concern for the tragic descent of public dialog these days and especially on these comment sections; but if you choose and pick only what suits your fancy; it’s isn’t a valued discourse even though you may have some of the riff raff. Poor concept. I will find little use in reading you comments section if they are filtered through your paradigm. For you to subjectively determine what is appropriate or not is no longer an accurate picture of the spectrum of comment. Many of your readers a mature to handle it. Thanks, daddy, for messing up a formally good news outlet.

Posted by Chub | Report as abusive

I’ve noticed that in the last two articles I commented on — both dealing with the free market approach to healthcare, and written by CEOs in the healthcare industry — my comments were never posted.

Considering the nature of the subject, the fact they seemed to receive no comments at all was a bit odd.

Both my comments were critical of a marketing approach to healthcare, which I believe is the wrong approach, but the healthcare industry in this country has a strong backing and would not have like what I said.

I do not consider this to be a coincidence.

While you seem to have “loosened up” somewhat in terms of your heavy censorship, on some other articles you clearly have a long way to go to achieve what I consider a reasonably balanced viewpoint.

For example, I consider Bloomberg to have a reasonably balanced policy on comments. They review before posting, but there is a very high likelihood of critical comments being posted.

Perhaps you could use a similar model.

Being able to see and read what others think about a particular subject is an important reason for having a news website, and censorship defeats this purpose, as well as destroying your credibility as a news source.

Your guidelines stated above appear to be reasonable, but clearly you are not implementing them as advertised.


Posted by Gordon2352 | Report as abusive

A better system would be to allow readers to rate the comments of others. Publish everything, but the garbage would be moved to the bottom of the list. Good comments would float to the top.

But I do not believe you will do this. You really want to censor comments, don’t you?

Posted by jim_aes | Report as abusive

Typical of liberal biased news organizations “.Lets see if we like what they say .”

Posted by fizzo | Report as abusive

If you are going to censure then should provide the author with “what” is being censured so they can re-write. Do you censure ‘quoted’ material? Even if the original is given note? Do you censure ! marks … just what are you excluding? The very general list you provide is fine for those who want nothing more than ad hominem content but for people who post for proper purposes, it leaves a lot to be desired. Thank you.

Posted by RogerDane | Report as abusive

If (and of course this won’t help unless it is actually “allowed” and seen) you browse to : posting name here then you can see if your posts have been summarily removed or if you have been charged with (gasp) “abuse!” Remember, if you are called abusive (and all that means is someone hit the abuse button or a couple did, which could be collusion actually) then your posts might not make it. I don’t think I like this process. Elitism mixed with ‘popular’ versus the ‘unpopular’ … means you have about a 33% chance of getting posted.

Posted by RogerDane | Report as abusive

This is soo annoying and patronizing. “We” are to be ragged as to whether we meet “approval” before our comments are published. This is a double standard.

Posted by scwiggle | Report as abusive

Come on Reuters, quit beating around the bush and just say it. Your moderators are censors that only let through what they deem politically correct.

Posted by RonPaulSucks | Report as abusive

I can understand if something is balantly offensive or abusive or if it is inflamatory towards another poster but otherwise everyone’s opinion matters not just your “business professionals who highly value there time” as I am sure most of us do! and I am sure they know how to quickly scan and read what they prefer.

Posted by Misty11 | Report as abusive

One more step toward a media we can be ashamed of.

Posted by savethaland | Report as abusive

You dont want honest oppinions on what the real people think and feel. Just the people that think like you do. SWEET!

Posted by ddowdy | Report as abusive

So sarcasm is forboten then?

Posted by beep_BEEEEEP | Report as abusive

@fizzo What evidence do you have that Reuters has a liberal bias? From what I’ve seen, they don’t censor content based on the political sentiment expressed (as evidenced by the fact that your comment was approved).

And correct me if I’m wrong, but don’t radical conservative groups like the Family Research Council openly advocate for increased government censorship of content they deem “offensive” with the help of Republican lawmakers and presidents who appoint “conservatives” to the Federal Censorship Commission?

Holy hypocracy, Batman!

That said, I’m definitely NOT a fan of this censorship policy that Reuters has chosen to imploy. It is not befitting a respectable news organization that purports to support freedom of expression. I continue to hope that they will eventually realize this policy is wrong and reverse it. We’re not journalists and we’re not publishing articles. We’re readers who are commenting on stories that have already been published.

Posted by KrisCraig | Report as abusive

Censorship concerns aside, this “points” system of yours does not appear to be working. I’ve been posting approved comments for months now and I’m still forced to wait for “moderation” before my comments appear.

How much longer do I have to demonstrate that I contribute value to these discussions before the restrictions on my free speech are loosened?

Posted by KrisCraig | Report as abusive

Everyone opinion is valid unless the pre-auditors decide your not valid. These post are rigged they don’t like it they don’t post it.

No democracy or freedom of speech on this site.

Posted by EyeTweaks | Report as abusive

reuters had my respect for over 60 years, notice i said ‘had’! i’ll read your articles, with a lot more skepticism, and a lot less faith!!!!!!!!

Posted by bearfoot | Report as abusive

This action by Reuters confirms my suspicion that the liberal media “spins” the news with the intent of manipulating public opinion for their own agenda. (They probably won’t post this…)

Posted by Chauffeur | Report as abusive

Quoting from your article.

“It’s rewarding, sometimes even exhilarating, to see the way our audience builds on our coverage.”

Wow, “exhilarating” (even)… you gotta get out of the newsroom more often and get a lot more family time!

Posted by ConnorVlakancic | Report as abusive

Keep your censored news and feedback. Have fun in the unemployment line.

Posted by Keoni | Report as abusive

I like a good debate and sometimes that involves descriptions that look suspiciously like name calling. I like name calling. I even like cursing. It makes what you say A little less ambiguous. Sorry if it’s offensive to some but when it is accompanied by clear logic and reason it’s really awesome. Like how in the world can you respond to a typical Santorum comment about women (which he is not) without the overwhelming urge to use epithet or expletive. Really hard to express how abysmally ignorant the guy is. (this will probably get censored)

Posted by Gwaldabi | Report as abusive

Reuters “news” articles are often nothing but commentary. DO we the public get a chance to review the “story” before it gets published? No way. Face it, the Reuters editors don’t like the instaneous criticism to their interpretation of facts, or the biased representation of those facts. Real journalism is lost because writers/reporters are overwhelming left-leaning. The public is the loser.

Posted by richarttow | Report as abusive

If mention history and direct civil rights abuse is also forbiden, then editing and publish love stories is what to expect of this institution.

Posted by TheLionScribe | Report as abusive

I like the new rules. I have a psychology project that sometimes explains Reuters stories.

The nonsense and filth posted makes my message, explaining suicide clusters for instance, hard to find and read.

If any of the moderators have a computer at home or children in high school, college, they should have the free information from my nine year psychology project.

Email every one you work with this URL, VisionAndPsychosis.Net

Posted by LKTucker | Report as abusive

Pres Obama PLEASE be specific. What alternate energy sources are you talking about. Be specific . Steve Chu your Secretary of Energy has and is squandering hundreds millions of Tax dollars on new battery technologies . There isn’t one, unless he can change the Atomic Weight of the elements . Example can he change the atomic weight of Lithium which id used in the Toyota hybrid vehicles.. No he cannot.
No one can. So what has Steve Chu in mind to replace gasoline , squander more tax dollars on batteries or solar power . both are inefficient compared to burning fossil fuel .
.. My advice Mr. President fire Dr. Chu, he is a paper academic and lacking CS (common sense), and PLEASE be specific when you talk about solutions. What about looking at fuel cells a true source of energy

Posted by GalacticCat | Report as abusive

It would be encouraging if Reuters would at least notify us when our novice comments have been rejected. After three days I assume a post will not be published but I have no way of knowing why, exactly. But I’ll keep plugging away, at least for a while, because the level of commentary here is refreshing by comparison to what is found on some other sites.

Posted by ChicagoFats | Report as abusive

Yes, I agree…Al-

Posted by AlfredSchrader | Report as abusive

While you seem to have “loosened up” somewhat in terms of your heavy censorship, on some other articles you clearly have a long way to go to achieve what I consider a reasonably balanced viewpoint.
For example, I consider Bloomberg to have a reasonably balanced policy on comments. They review before posting, but there is a very high likelihood of critical comments being posted.
apartment shanghai for rent

Posted by guestp | Report as abusive

”Most of our readers are business professionals who value their time highly.” This is descriptive of me, and I sometime I get annoyed reading a story on Reuters that’s not real news (I.E. both new and with minimal importance to anyone…).
In other words, I don’t like being taken for granted as an audience, and I don’t appreciate journalists wasting my time with their (sometime uninformed) opinions rather than real facts.
shanghai apartment

Posted by guestp | Report as abusive

haha nice one

Posted by mbragi | Report as abusive

I took the time and agreed to share my yahoo information with rueters in order to post and I’m looked down upoon because its my first comment. gee I hope I earn enough points so I can state my opion. sorry that new commenters aren’t worthy, maybe if we only use your website and build up enough comments on articles that we don’t really care about we will have enough points to be able to make a comment, great system hope it works out for you.

Posted by jimmyshine | Report as abusive

I support your decision on all points. However, I will be looking for fairness on your part to differing points of view, even the ones to which I’m opposed. If you appear to favor one over another, that will affect my opinion of Reuters as a news source. As you know, you have a responsiblity as journalists to be fair and impartial. I trust you will be faithful to your calling.

Posted by Josorr | Report as abusive

A VIP preference for commenting smacks of censorship. It’s one thing to eliminate comments that are not tasteful but when it’s clear the comment is civil and informed -why the delay? In the end you’ll end up loosing some of the most interesting people
who come to your site.

Posted by LACarlson | Report as abusive

I do not consider this to be a coincidence.

While you seem to have “loosened up” somewhat in terms of your heavy censorship, on some other articles you clearly have a long way to go to achieve what I consider a reasonably balanced viewpoint.

shanghai apartment

Posted by guestp | Report as abusive

This sound like what the demos want to do to freedom of speak

Posted by sderf | Report as abusive

At least if we post something and you deny it, do us the courtesy with a response as to why so that we may improve.

Posted by Missouriconserv | Report as abusive

If we want to solve our problems as a society, we must do so in true and full earnest. In doing so, always speak your heart and true feelings as they will never be considered a lie or unjustified, but rather the window in which you see things through. Those different perspectives are what form the greatest of society’s successes, and in their honesty, yield a guaranteed assurance of good will, nurtured through the heart, for the well being for all of mankind. God Bless

Posted by rainman96 | Report as abusive

By allowing the capital gains tax to increase, it seems baby boomers would be adversely affected since many of them have retirement accounts invested in the market. I’m thinking we would’nt be in this pickle if the government had not spent so much in the first place. By allowing the government to collect more revenue without making them accountable for they’re spend seems like an act of stupidity “by the People”, which is what politician have come to expect from us. Now they’re pissed because “we the People” are paying attention.

Posted by Publuis | Report as abusive