Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail community is shaped by its readers; help us make it a place for intelligent, insightful and entertaining conversation. We understand that conversations can get spirited (the best ones do!), but please argue fairly and be constructive. In short, treat others as you expect to be treated.

How do I comment?

Commenting is now reserved for subscribers of Globe Unlimited. You will find comments and commenting tools at the bottom of most articles. Subscribers should be able to participate if logged in. (Not sure if you’re logged in? Check by scrolling to the top and looking for your username on the top right.) Non-subscribers will be able to see comments but will not be able participate in any way, including writing or replying to comments, reporting comments or showing “respect” (by clicking on the “Respect” button).

Why are comments for subscribers only?

Our priority is to make commenting a valuable experience for our subscribers and we believe this new format will help us reduce the number of trolls in our comments.

We recently experimented with a subscriber-only Facebook group, opening it to readers interested in engaging with Globe staff and other subscribers. It’s not a large group (about 2,500) but we have found the conversations to be incredibly constructive. We’ve held members of the group to high standards in their commenting which has elevated the level of conversation. Globe journalists including Marina Strauss, Eric Reguly and James Bradshaw regularly discuss their work with readers and each other in the group. It has become a welcoming, engaging place built on a foundation of trust and respect between our readers and our journalists. Our goal is to replicate this environment with our new commenting policies and to protect our subscribers and journalists from harassment and abuse.

Please visit our subscriptions page if you would like to become a subscriber. Readers can also engage with our articles on The Globe and Mail’s Facebook page and on Twitter.

How are comments moderated?

We ask our subscriber community to self-moderate and abide by the rules outlined in this guide. We believe our subscribers can add to the discussion on the many topics we cover. We have dedicated newsroom staff who monitor and moderate as needed on specific stories. The Globe also works closely with ICUC, a moderation service that helps our editors manage comments across the site. The Globe has worked with ICUC for three years and the staff there know our audience well. Our new commenting platform also relies on algorithms which automatically flag comments that include certain language for moderators (namely hate speech and swear words. It even knows WHEN YOU YELL!).

When and why are comments closed?

  • Legal reasons: A story involves a trial, crime or other legal case, and comments by readers could breach a publication ban or otherwise reveal information that could put The Globe at risk. In this situation, comments are closed by default at the time the story is posted, and an automated message is posted saying that comments “have been closed for legal reasons.”

  • Abuse: A story involves a particularly contentious issue, and provokes comments that are offensive, vulgar, racist and/or libellous. In this situation, our policy is to close the story when the volume of such comments becomes unmanageable, at which point an automated message is posted notifying readers that comments on the story “have been closed because an overwhelming number of users were making offensive statements.”
  • What kinds of comments are removed?

    • Personal attacks:Attacks against our writers, against other commenters and against the subjects in our articles will be removed. Name-calling, threats and verbal abuse is not tolerated.
    • Spam: Do not flood the comments with multiple messages that say the same thing. Messages promoting your business, project or a special deal will be removed.
    • Trolling: Stay relevant and on topic. If you purposely try to derail a conversation or post inflammatory comments, they will be removed and you will be at risk of being suspended or banned.
    • Racism, sexism and other discrimination: Attacking a group of people or making broad statements against groups is not allowed.
    • Illegal activities: Do not make libellous statements or comments that include false or unsubstantiated allegations. If the legality of your comment is in question, it will be removed.
    • Moderation complaints: These fall under off-topic and are unlikely to result in a resolution. Please report moderation complaints to our customer service representatives so we can deal with them.
    • Offensive usernames: If your username includes words that are offensive or abusive, your account will be blocked.

    Do Reporters and writers read and respond to comments?

    While our journalists are certainly encouraged to read the comments and jump into the conversation, it is completely up to them. Time constraints are often an issue but you will see their names in the comments from time to time. All Globe reporters and editors will have a “Staff” badge next to their name.

    Does the Globe and Mail edit comments?

    No. Comments are not edited or changed in any way by Globe staff or moderators. But users have a chance to edit their own comments up to seven minutes after they are published.

    I see a typo or error. Should I report it in the comments?

    No. To flag a typo or error for correction, please use our reporting form.

    Can I delete my comment?

    No, comments cannot be deleted once posted. Users, however, have seven minutes to edit a comment after they have posted it.

    To edit a comment, users simply need to select the “EDIT” option in the right corner of the comment within seven minutes of publishing. Comments can be edited more than once.

    I can't see my comment - what happened?

    Try sorting comments by “newest first”, your comment should be at the top. If your comment does not appear or has disappeared, it is possible it is has been flagged for review or has been rejected by the community or by a moderator because it violated our guidelines.

    What other comment features are available?

    • Replies to comments: you can reply to other users’ comments by using the “reply’ ”icon under each comment.
    • Share: You have the option to share any comment or conversation thread via a unique link. Just click the down-facing arrow located at the top right corner of the comment and select “share”.
    • Respect: not everyone likes a comment, but you may respect what the person is saying or the argument they are making. Click here and show some to a fellow commenter.
    • Comment sorting: You can choose to display comments on an article by “newest first”, “oldest first,” “most respected first” and “most replied first”. Just click the dropdown menu at the top of the comment thread.

    About this document

    These guidelines have been created by members of our editorial staff, including our Public Editor, head of audience and social media and communities editor, incorporating feedback from our moderators and users.

    Further information

    Read our full terms and conditions. If you have an issue with your account, please contact customer service. If you have an issue with moderation, please report it here. You can also contact our Public Editor.

    Note

    The views expressed in the comments of this site do not necessarily reflect or represent the views of The Globe and Mail, its staff or contributors. The Globe and Mail reserves the right to ban any commenter. The Globe and Mail may publish comments within the paper and on digital platforms.