‘Pool Rules Set Tone For Comments’
Worried about users posting abusive comments? Perhaps you should try creating a set of ‘pool rules’.
A prominently placed list of clear rules along the lines of those used at local swimming pools could help newspapers combat offensive posts from readers, according to a community news specialist.
Michelle Ferrier writes for Poynter Online: “Back when you were a kid spending the afternoon at the community pool, remember how you used to hesitate when you glanced at those signs bearing the pool rules - just as you were about to dive head first into the shallow end?
“If your news or community site allows comments, why not put similar notices in a prominent place and format so users will likely notice them, and then let their conscience be their guide.”
Ferrier, who is managing editor of community website MyTopiaCafe, says rules should make it clear exactly what is not acceptable and how readers can complain if they spot an inappropriate post.
She believes the rules placed at the bottom of stories by the Corpus Christi Caller-Times in Texas provide a shining example of good guidance.