October 25, 2016


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Winnipeg Free Press Comments Terms & Conditions

The Winnipeg Free Press allows readers to comment on most news articles, columns and blogs. This feature gives readers the chance to respond to our stories and engage in dialogue with others in the community about stories that matter to you.

Join the discussion of what is happening in our community, across the country and around the world. But before you do so, please review the rules and terms below. By submitting your comments, you agree to our terms and conditions and our privacy policy.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I comment?

On any article, look for a link like this: Comments (0)

The number in the brackets is the number of comments so far. Click on that link to see the discussion. If the bracketed number is 0, then you can grab the top spot!

You must register and login before commenting. Links allowing you to do so are at the bottom of each article. After logging in, a Pluck Comment Form will appear at the bottom of every story that is accepting comments.

What are the rules for commenting? 

  • Remember that the comments you post can be seen by everyone who visits the page, including people involved in the story. Play nice.
  • Don’t use ALL CAPS. It’s considered shouting.
  • Keep your language civil and your tone family-friendly. If you wouldn't say it in front of your mother, we probably won't allow it.
  • We don't allow comments that contain graphic, abusive, hateful, racist, explicit or otherwise inappropriate subject matter.  This includes "dog-whistle" racism and obscene words with letters substituted to avoid filters.
  • We allow comments that criticize our journalism, but we do not allow comments that attack our journalists.  You can say you disagree with or find an article lacking; you cannot insult the person who wrote it.
  • Similarly, we allow comments that criticize story subjects' or other commenters' actions or opinions, but we do not allow comments that attack individuals personally.  No name-calling or uncivil behaviour. Debate is welcome, schoolyard taunts are not.
  • We don't allow comments that suggest or encourage illegal activity. This includes comments that suggest, incite or endorse violence in any way, including vigilante or jailhouse violence.
  • Don't advertise for goods, services, products etc. in our comment areas, and don't say things that defame anyone or any organization.  If you post a comment that includes a URL, it will go to a pre-moderated queue.
  • Out of respect for the families of the deceased, we typically don't allow comments that could be considered insensitive on stories about fatal accidents or homicides. Before posting a comment on such stories, please consider: what if the person involved was your friend or family member?
  • Unless the story is actually about the subject, refrain from referencing Hitler. Seriously.
  • Don't post the same comment numerous times; such comments are considered spam.
  • No trolling -- that is, posting deliberately inflammatory or off-topic material. Please do not feed the trolls.
  • No sock-puppetry -- that is, creating multiple identities for purposes of deception. Do not use more than one account to circumvent a block or ban, to repeatedly give thumbs up or thumbs down to a comment, to repeatedly report a comment as abusive, to vote or enter a contest multiple times, or to falsely give support or attack a position or person. Users employing sock puppets risk having all accounts banned.
  • Comments may be edited, blocked or deleted at Winnipeg Free Press’ discretion -- that means any comment, at any time, for any reason.
  • Remember that you participate at your own risk, taking personal responsibility for your comments, your username and any information you provide.
  • If you submit comments that break these rules, we may block or ban you. We do not warn or inform commenters if they are blocked or banned.  If you are banned, you will still be able to post comments, but other users will not be able to see them.
  • See our detailed Terms and Conditions below for more information.

I tried to post a comment and I've seen the message "Please wait while we add your comment" for a long time.  What's going on?

Your comment is too long. Our comment system has a limit of around 1,500 characters per comment.  Comments longer than that cause the system interface to time out, and you'll see the message above endlessly.

If you see the "please wait" bar for more than a minute or so on an average web connection, something has gone wrong with your comment.   Refresh the page and try posting something shorter.

I submitted a comment and now it's "under review."  What does this mean?

Comments that are flagged in our system as spam are marked as "under review" in the system.

The flag can occur for several reasons, including an automatic trigger such as when a comment includes a link to a website, or a user trigger, such as other users reporting a comment as spam or giving it multiple thumbs down.

The placeholder "under review" text will appear until a moderator reviews the comment.  That could take a few minutes to a few hours, depending on the time of day and number of comments in the system.

I find a comment offensive. What should I do?

We encourage all readers to share their opinions and challenge the views of our writers and others by commenting on our stories. If you disagree with a comment, consider posting your own comment to share your perspective.

You can also share your opinion on comments by voting for or against them using the "thumbs up" and "thumbs down" icons on each comment.  Comments that have been "voted down" a particular number of times are flagged in our moderation queue for another look.

If you find a comment that is racist, abusive, offensive, or otherwise doesn't meet the standards outlined on this page, click on "Report abuse" next to the comment to alert our moderators to it. Moderators will review your report and the comment, and determine if it should stay or be removed.

Our third-party moderation company  handles all abuse reports and they are mandated to deal with reported comments within three hours, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

If you reported a comment and it remains on the site after three hours, our moderators have determined it meets our guidelines.

Do not report comments you disagree with.  Report only comments that do not meet the standards outlined on this page.

My comment was removed. Why?

As per our Terms and Conditions, the Free Press reserves the right to edit or remove any comment at any time for any reason. 

If your comment included a web link, it might move to a pre-moderation queue to ensure it is not spam.

If you think your comment was removed in error, please remember that at least two people interpreted it as offensive: the reader who reported it, and the moderator who removed it. Try rewording your comment so your true meaning is more clear and submitting it again.

Why aren’t comments accepted on certain stories?

The Winnipeg Free Press can turn off the ability to comment on stories and articles at our discretion.

Comments are often turned off on stories involving children, active court cases, when publication bans are in effect, and in situations where a large number of offensive comments has been received.

Out of respect for the families of the deceased, we may turn comments off on stories about fatal accidents, homicides and missing persons.

I don't like a particular commenter. What can I do?

If you find a particular commenter's submissions offensive, disagreeable or just tiring, you can ignore the user.  Just find a comment from the person and click on their username. You'll be taken to their persona page.  Under their avatar, there is a link to "ignore" the user.

Once you've ignored a user their comments will appear as blocked to you when you are logged in. If the person private-messages you, their message will go to your "Ignored" folder.

Someone is private-messaging me and I don't like it. What can I do?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not moderate the content of private messages; they are private, as their name suggests; consider private messages as you would email.

If you feel you have been personally threatened or your safety is at risk based on the content of a private message, please contact police.

If you find a particular commenter's messages offensive, disagreeable or just tiring, you can ignore the user.  Just find a comment or message from the person and click on their username. You'll be taken to their persona page.  Under their avatar, there is a link to "ignore" the user.

Once you've ignored a user their comments will appear as blocked to you when you are logged in. If the person private-messages you, their message will go to your "Ignored" folder.

How do I add one of those little pictures?

You can add a user avatar, review your own comment history, connect with other social media, message other users, and interact with our forum in other ways via your Persona page.

To find your Persona page, click on your name in the comment box that appears at the top of the comments widget when you are logged in.

To add an avatar, click on Edit Profile. You can add a photo or graphic, or connect your Pluck persona to your Facebook, Twitter and/or Linked In profiles in which case the avatar or profile picture you are using there will be used on our site.

All submitted avatar photos will be pre-moderated, so it might take a while before your avatar appears next to your comment.

To change your avatar, follow the same process as above. Your new avatar, once moderated, will appear next to all your comments, including comments that previously showed your old avatar.

Winnipeg Free Press Comment Terms and Conditions

The following terms and conditions apply to commenting everywhere on our site. By participating you are agreeing to abide by them. A breach of these terms could result in immediate and permanent suspension from future participation.

  • The Winnipeg Free Press is not responsible for the content of any comment. You acknowledge that comments represent the views and opinions of the person posting the comment and do not represent the views or opinions of the Winnipeg Free Press.
  • Avoid inappropriate material. You agree that you will not post any libellous, defamatory, unlawful, inflammatory, obscene, abusive, pornographic or otherwise inappropriate material. You will not post anything encouraging conduct that could constitute a criminal offense or give rise to a civil liability, or that provides instructional information about illegal activities. If you do, you indemnify Winnipeg Free Press and its affiliates for any resulting damages, including the costs of legal fees. 

    You agree that you will not use threatening or abusive language, or anything that discriminates on the basis on race, religion, age, nationality, gender, sexual preference, etc. While expressing opinions, do not enter into personal attacks or publish any material that constitutes hate speech. Baseless, unproven accusations will not be tolerated.

    The Winnipeg Free Press reserves the right to monitor all comments and delete, move or edit any comment and/or block or ban any user at any time for any reason.
  • Use for non–commercial purposes. The information on this site may not be used for any commercial purposes without the written consent of the Winnipeg Free Press. You may not use the site to solicit funds or promote commercial activities, nor to post or transmit junk mail, chain letters, unsolicited mass mailing or spam, nor to promote any contest, sweepstakes, barter, advertising, and/or pyramid scheme.
  • Use of website: You agree that you will not restrict or inhibit any other user from using and enjoying the website, interfere or attempt to interfere with the proper workings of the site or do anything that imposes an unreasonable or disproportionately large load on website infrastructure. You agree that you will not solicit passwords or personal identifying information from other users, nor will you post any submission that contains a virus or other harmful component.
  • Do not violate others’ rights. You agree not to knowingly post content that violates or infringes on the rights of others, including copyright, trademark, trade secret, patent or other intellectual property right of any third party and including the privacy right of any individual.
  • Protect Your Password. You are responsible to protect the confidentiality of your Winnipeg Free Press password and are fully responsible for all activities that occur under your password. You agree to immediately notify WFP of any unauthorized use of your password or any other breach of security. WFP cannot and will not be liable for any loss or damage arising from your failure to comply with this section.
  • Winnipeg Free Press rights. By submitting a comment, you grant Winnipeg Free Press a royalty–free, irrevocable, perpetual, exclusive license (which it may sublicense) to use, publish, reproduce, modify, translate such content and distribute it in whole or in part with other works in any form, media or technology. You further agree that any posted message or submission may be published, edited, modified, transmitted and displayed in a Winnipeg Free Press website or publication, and you waive all moral rights in having the material changed or altered.
  • Privacy policy. When you submit a comment, you agree the Winnipeg Free Press may use your registration information in the event a Winnipeg Free Press reporter may want to contact you to clarify or discuss further your submission. You also agree to the Winnipeg Free Press’ privacy policy.