Courtesy, please.

In the last few weeks of protests, things have gotten a little rough in some of the Facebook discussions.

We appreciate courteous guests here. When you visit you are agreeing to the guidelines we share with the News Journal and hundreds of other publications: https://static.delawareonline.com/conversation-guidelines, also found below.

We expect courtesy in comments on our Facebook local news pages in 2020:

- no cussing - no trolling - no links to outside sites as “comments” - no hashtags. Sorry. - no insulting other commenters, subjects of our coverage or staff

Please keep your comments in line with the story. If you’re not going to read the story, don’t post a random comment.

What is trolling?

- posting the same thing a bunch of times - posting something unrelated to the story - posting something to get a reaction

This is an election year, and this news page is not an election discussion group. There are plenty of places online the express your political opinions.

Trolling includes posting “Biden 2020” or “Trump 2020” or about any other political candidate. Remember, even in the days of “Letters to the Editor,” not every one was published and many were edited down to fit the page. It is the staff’s role to use its judgement about what is appropriate.

Ours are local news pages. Hashtags and outside links only propagate items around Facebook and they may not be true.

Our staff is busy working on news stories and does not have the time to monitor everyone’s behavior. As we said, we’d like courteous discussions.

So: Swearing in a comment means a hidden comment. Cuss or insult people and you are banned. Trolls will be hidden. Persistent trolls, political spam, generic “the media sucks” “fake news” comments and those who complain about “censorship” will be banned. None of these add anything to discussing local news.

Conversation Guidelines

USA TODAY Network Conversation Guidelines

As guided by USA TODAY Network's Principles of Ethical Conduct for Newsrooms, we "encourage and promote views that foster understanding, insight and civil discourse. We seek to offer viewpoints that represent various views on a particular topic." All views, respectfully presented, are welcome. By joining the conversation you agree to all the relevant conditions in the Terms of Service and as Terms of Service apply for Facebook.

We reserve the right to suspend users and/or remove comments that, in our judgment, infringe on other users' ability to take part in dialogue on our website. Violations that may result in removal include:

    Personal attacks, abuse or harassment of other community members, subjects of our coverage or staff;

    Hate speech or stereotypes that attack or disparage an ethnic, sexual or religious group or a member of any such group;

    Obscenities, vulgarities or any variation of such that suggests, connotes or contains indecent, offensive or lewd speech;

    Advertisements/promotions, spam (including multiple posts that contain the same or similar content), off-topic content, plagiarism and/or copyrighted material.

    Commenting under pseudonym/fake Facebook account.

If you see a violation of these guidelines, report it to Facebook by clicking the "X" in the upper right corner of the comment in question, and marking the comment as spam or abuse.

Facebook Commenting FAQs

Q: Where can I comment?

A: To comment on a story page or blog post, make sure you are signed into Facebook. Then click on the chat balloon icon in the gray rail located on the left of the story. A comment box should pop up and you can post your comment there.

Q: Do I need to have a Facebook account to comment?

A: Yes. To add a comment, you'll need to log in at Facebook. If you don't have a Facebook account, you can get one at http://www.facebook.com. Signing up for an account is quick, easy and free. Please note that once you've signed up with Facebook, you MUST have a profile photo and a least four friends for your comment to become visible on the site.

Q: Will my friends on Facebook see my comments?

A: When you submit a comment, it will also appear on Facebook if you leave the "Post my comment to my Facebook profile" box checked.

Q: Why does my Facebook profile picture and name appear on the comments page when I haven't even posted a comment?

A: If you're signed in at Facebook.com, your information will appear, but it is not visible to anyone else until your comment is published.

Q: Will people be able to view my Facebook profile if I post a comment?

A: What others see when they click on your name or picture on our site is determined by your Facebook privacy settings. Those settings allow you to decide how much information you want to share with your friends or others. To adjust your Facebook privacy settings, visit http://www.facebook.com/settings/?tab=privacy.

Q: How do I report an inappropriate or abusive comment?

A: Hover over the upper right corner of the comment until an "X" appears. Then click the "X" and choose one of the options to report a comment as spam or abuse. The comment will be removed from your view. Facebook tracks abuse reports and automatically bans users who are consistently abusive.

Q: What is a Top Commenter and how do I become one?

A: Facebook automatically assigns The Top Commenter badge to users whose comments are most often "Liked" by others. To earn the Top Commenter badge, keep doing what you're doing: being civil and respectful, respecting other viewpoints and following the Conversation Guidelines.

Q: Why can't I see the comments?

A: Comments on this site are public, which means anyone logged in or out of Facebook should be able to view them. If you cannot see the comments, please check with your IT department. Some government agencies and other employers block Facebook domains and applications from their servers.

If you're having problems with your Facebook account, please visit Facebook's Help page.