Comments FAQ:

What is your comment policy?

The objective of the Monitor is "To injure no man, but to bless all mankind." This principle extends to our comments.

Comments are not screened before publication. Constructive debate about our stories is welcome, but personal attacks on other commenters are not. Please do not post comments that are commercial in nature or that violate any copyrights. Comments that we regard as obscene, defamatory, or intended to incite violence will be removed. If you find a comment offensive, you may flag it. Please note that, when posting a comment, you agree to our Terms of Service.

How do I post a comment?
You can find links to make comments and to read other readers' comments at the bottom of each page on most stories. Clicking either "view reader comments" or "comment on this story" will open the comments interface and reveal all comments.

Do I have to sign up to make comments?
We require readers to log in to make comments.

How do I login?
You can use your Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, or Disqus accounts to leave comments on our site. You can log in by clicking the gray 'DISQUS' icon above the 'Add New Comment' box or by clicking 'Post as ...' after writing your comment.

What is Disqus?
Disqus provides comment software for many websites, including ours. If you don't have a Facebook, Twitter, or Yahoo profile - or don't wish to use them to comment on - you can create a Disqus profile. Simply click the gray 'DISQUS' icon above the 'Add New Comment' box, and click the Disqus icon. At the bottom of the resulting window you will find a link to register a new profile.

Why do I have to log in?
We require logins so that readers can have a persistent profile on our site, and as an attempt to raise the level of discourse. We encourage all commenters to use their real first and last names.

How do I post with my Facebook or Twitter account?
You can log in with your social media profiles by clicking the gray 'DISQUS' icon above the 'Add New Comment' box, and choosing either Twitter or Facebook.

Why are these comments appearing out of chronological order?
Readers can choose the order in which comments appear. Above the list of reader comments, you can 'Sort by' rating, newest first, or oldest first.

What do those "Like" and "reply" buttons mean?
If you like what someone has said in their comment, click the "Like" button. You can only "like" a story once. Your "like" vote will help other readers find useful comments. If you want to respond directly to what someone has said, use the reply button. This will group your reply under that person's comment. Please refrain from personal attacks on other commenters.

How will I know if someone replies to my comment?
If you use the 'Subscribe by email' or 'Subscribe by RSS' buttons you will be notified whenever anyone leaves a comment on that story. We would also encourage you to visit again and see where the conversation has gone.

What are the "reactions" I sometimes see in the comments section?

This is a list of those who are linking to the story from Twitter.

I see a comment that contains something rude, spam, or something else that shouldn't be here. What should I do?
Comments can be flagged for attention by our moderators. Please flag the offending comment and we will take a closer look at it. Comments should be flagged only if they violate our comment policy. Please do not flag a comment simply because you disagree with what is being said.

Wait a minute, that commenter's name is rude!
Flag the comment and we will take a look.

How do I flag a comment?
When moving your mouse cursor over the offending post, you should see a blue 'Flag' link in the lower left corner of the comment. Just click that link.

My comments didn't show up. What should I do?
The system was designed for quick commenting, but it's possible that your comment may be processing by our system. Wait a couple minutes and check for your comment again. If your comment contained obscenities or terms that often appear in spam messages, it may have been caught by our automatic filters. Try making the comment again and leaving out those words.

Are you censoring me?
We will never remove comments for containing unpopular ideas or sentiments, but we will remove defamatory, obscene, violent, copyrighted, or commercial comments, as well as those containing personal attacks on other commenters.