1. Introduction to the Comments Policy

The comments’ sections of and related platforms are open forums for discussion on the stories that impact or interest its users. As such, An Sionnach Fionn (ASF) does not moderate your comments, nor edit comments after they are published. It’s worth noting before you submit a comment that you will not be offered an opportunity to edit it, so think carefully before you post. In order to maintain a lively and inclusive environment for debate ASF all commenters are required to consent to the Comments Policy in full.

2.  I want to reward good commenting behaviour

If you have enjoyed a particular comment or commenter’s contribution, you have the option to:

  • Give the individual comment an immediate ‘thumbs-up’

3. I want to alert An Sionnach Fionn to defamatory or offensive comments

An Sionnach Fionn does not moderate comments, nor does it remove comments because it disagrees with the sentiment or opinions being expressed. However, there are a number of ways in which you can alert ASF to comments which you believe are deeply offensive or are defamatory towards an individual or individuals.

Report a comment as offensive. You will be asked to give your reasons for believing that it flouts the Comments Policy and/or the Terms of Use.

4. An Sionnach Fionn’s commenting community guidelines

The intention of all An Sionnach Fionn comments sections is to provide a platform for intelligent, productive and entertaining debate.

ASF reserves the right to remove without notification comments which are flagged and found in breach of ASF’s guidelines. Users who indulge in particularly egregious commenting behaviour may be permanently barred from further participation in conversations. ASF cannot enter into correspondence about deletions or bans.

Please familiarise yourself with these standards to ensure continued participation in our commenting community.

5. Play the ball, not the player

Do not make personal remarks about the author of a story, about individuals mentioned in stories, or about other commenters. ASF encourages committed and passionate debate, but ad-hominem insults or insinuations are not part of this.

6. Be the voice of reason

If all commenters agreed with each other, a comments section would be a dull and unenlightened space. But there are ways to phrase dissent without resorting to foul language, incivility and “caps-on” shouting. Even if you believe that another commenter is being unreasonable, express that in a reasonable fashion. Respect each other as human beings.

7. No hate speech

Do not make comments which are racist, sexist, homophobic, sectarian or xenophobic. Do not make comments which are threatening or harassing or which could be perceived as such towards any individual or group of individuals.

8. Do not post defamatory content

Users who are found to have posted defamatory content on a comments section of An Sionnach Fionn will have their commenting privileges withdrawn.

9. Stay on topic

Of course ASF wants discussion to be as wide-ranging as possible, and ASF understands that conversations can take unexpected turns. But ASF wishes to make its comments areas a place for people to talk about the topic in front of them. Resorting to generalisations or dragging the comments off on a tangent that is not pertinent stifles insightful debate.

10. Don’t be a troll

Having a different viewpoint to other commenters or holding views that are not palatable to all-comers is not trolling if those views are sincerely held. However, don’t be provocative just for the sake of it. Equally, if you feel someone else is being deliberately provocative, don’t respond – it only encourages them. If you feel strongly that comments made by another user are deeply offensive as outlined in these guidelines, let ASF know by using the contact form.

11. Safeguard personal information

Don’t post sensitive personal information or the personal details of others in ASF’s comments section. Be privacy- and safety-mindful at all times.

12. This is not a marketplace

An Sionnach Fionn welcomes links in its comments sections which add context or extra information to the debate at hand. Do not use comments to promote commercial products or services.

13. Contacting the author of a story

Please be aware that the authors of articles and stories on An Sionnach Fionn may not monitor the comments underneath their work. Please do not use the comments space to notify ASF of technical or editorial errors, or to make offensive, insulting or personal remarks to or about the author of a story or comment.

14. General policy on comments

ASF wants its website to be a place where everyone can join an open and civilised debate. Please note that An Sionnach Fionn cannot endorse or stand by the accuracy, truthfulness or reliability of any material posted by users in the comments space. Statements made by users of An Sionnach Fionn platforms only reflect the views of that user and are not representative of the views of An Sionnach Fionn.

While ASF does not and cannot review every comment, it reserves the right to remove any it deems unacceptable upon receipt of a notify and take down request, without notification of the user. ASF reserves the right to block at its discretion users who are in breach of its terms and conditions.