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Comments guidelines

Welcome to the Los Angeles Times commenting community. Please help us maintain civility and focus, both by keeping comments respectful and on-topic and by alerting us to comments that don’t live up to that expectation.

By commenting on latimes.com, you agree to abide by our standards of conduct, which are laid out in legal terminology in our full Terms of Service.

Here’s the quick version: We hope you will throw yourself into the debate in the Comments section on the articles you read. Be as critical or as admiring as you like. But treat other commenters and the articles' subjects and authors the way you'd like to be treated. Be respectful, not profane, offensive or inflammatory. Be relevant and original. If there’s an error in an article, report it. Don't use the comment section to pitch products or websites. And don't upload an image or a video unless it's one of yours.

Learn more in our Terms of Service about our policy for reader-submitted content and the ways in which we may reuse it.


Please follow these five guidelines when commenting on our site:

1. Be relevant

Discuss the story and stay on topic. (Blatantly promotional commercial messages are not allowed.)

2. Be respectful

Keep things civil. Avoid abusive or offensive language, threats, hate speech, libel and calls for violence. And please, don't make jokes about the misfortune of others. Imagine it was your loved one in the story and show some restraint.

3. Be honest

Use your own identity; don't pose as another person. Don’t publish copyrighted material that belongs to someone else.

4. Be discreet

Don’t publish telephone numbers, addresses or other personal information about yourself or others.

5. Be responsible

Think about what you’ve written before hitting that button. And help us moderate by flagging comments that violate these guidelines. (Click on Comment to open a panel that allows you to flag comments as inappropriate.)


Commenting terms of use

Commenting is a privilege that can be revoked for violations of our terms of use. Inappropriate comments may be deleted. Users who violate the guidelines will be banned from commenting, perhaps with their previous comments deleted.

The site is moderated at the sole discretion of The Times, as laid out in the Terms of Service. Because of the volume of reader comments, we generally cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

Your comments become the property of the Los Angeles Times, and we may contact commenters as part of our news reporting.

Users are solely responsible for what they post and can be held responsible for violations of the law. The Los Angeles Times cannot verify the content of comments and does not vouch for their accuracy.


Complete Terms and Conditions

View the Los Angeles Times’ complete Terms of Use and Privacy Statement.


FAQs

Q: How do I leave a comment?

A: Log into Los Angeles Times, then type and post a comment.


Q: How do I vote up or down on a comment, or report abuse?

A: Click on the Comment link below each comment to open a panel from which you can give a comment thumbs up or down, or report a comment for being spam or for violating our commenting guidelines.


Q: How do I get points?

A: Everyone who comments receives a certain number of points to get started. Positive engagements — such as posting comments that get likes from other commenters, visiting the site often or commenting frequently — are rewarded with points. You may also purchase points; and as a subscriber, you can receive points as a reward or special perk.


Q: Can I lose points?

A: Yes, you can lose points for having comments flagged or deleted for violating our commenting guidelines. (Those are: Be relevant, respectful, honest, discreet and responsible. See above.)


Q: What is a “Promoted Comment”?

A: If you really want to make sure certain comments are seen first, you can spend points to have them displayed in a new “Promoted Comments” section at the top of the comments area – whether the comment is yours or someone else’s.


Q: How do I promote a comment?

A: Click on the “Promote” link below your comment, and the system will show you how many points are needed to display the comment in the Promoted Comments area.


Q: What if several people bid to be in the Promoted Comment spots?

A: Whoever spends the most points wins the top spot. The next two bidders will have their comments displayed below.


Q: What do points cost?

A: The more you buy, the less expensive they are on a sliding scale that starts at 22 points for $1 and goes up to 880 points for $10. The prices may change as we experiment with this system.


Q: Why are there promoted comments?

A: We’ve learned that some of you really feel strongly about making sure you are heard on certain stories. This system gives you a way to have those comments prominently displayed. The bidding system is intended to give everyone a chance to compete for those prominent spots.


Q: Why can points be purchased?

A: We recognize that people who are not frequent, loyal users of our site have probably not accumulated many points, but they may really want to have their comments displayed prominently on some stories.


Q: Who can promote a comment?

A: Anyone. Readers can promote their own comments or someone else's.


Q: How do I know if someone replies to my comment?

A: By default, you will be notified via email if someone replies to your comment. (You can turn that function off, if you want to.)


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