Mon12222014

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Reader Comments: Frequently Asked Questions and Terms of Use

The Town Crier moderates comments at losaltosonline.com. That means that when a reader submits a comment, it remains in "pending" status until a staff member activates it.

Town Crier staff moderate comments to establish a baseline of civil, on-topic conversation. Staff do not fact-check comments for veracity and reader comments don't reflect the opinions or beliefs of the newspaper. That is intentional – the reader comments section exists as a place for community members to share information and opinions directly, without endorsement or qualification. 

Registered users can comment without having to re-enter their details each time they post. They can also see what comments they have made that remain pending.  All print subscribers are invited to register the digital account already included in their subscription here using the name under which they subscribe. The Town Crier also offers digital-only subscriptions. Details about both subscription type are available here.

Why do you moderate comments?

We want to invite courteous conversation that adds insights, questions and criticisms to the news we report. We don’t post comments that threaten, offer only abuse or stray off topic from the story/event being discussed. 

Some examples of inappropriate content include vulgarity or personal attacks, content in which commenters misidentify or misrepresent themselves, and commercial promotion (aka spam). SHOUTING (writing messages entirely in caps) derails conversation. 

Where will my comment be displayed? Why isn’t it there yet?
Staff members moderate submitted comments, which means that submissions outside of business hours may take longer to post. Once approved, a comment appears at the bottom of the story on which you commented. If quoted or excerpted elsewhere in the paper, comments may be corrected for spelling, grammar or punctuation.

Why didn't you post my comment?
Staff delete comments that are menacing or that resort to name-calling. Participants are welcome to submit critical comments but they must include substantive informational content.  

I found an inappropriate comment, where can I report it?
You can email Digital Media Editor Eliza Ridgeway at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . We don’t censor comments that express unpopular opinions or offer criticisms (including criticism of the Town Crier), but we do moderate to block inappropriate comments.

I see an error in a story. Where should I report it?
If you see an error, please directly email the reporter with your feedback. You can also submit corrections directly to Editor in Chief Bruce Barton at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . You are also welcome to comment on a story you believe contains an error.

Terms of Use
LosAltosOnline.com offers an open forum for community members to add their voice to local discussion. If you don't accept the terms of use described below, don't participate by posting content.

As a commenter at losaltosonline.com, you must:

•  agree to be respectful, truthful and solely responsible for what you post

• agree to not impersonate someone else

• agree to not use threatening or hateful language or post information that is abusive or libelous

• agree that the Town Crier may republish some or all of the content you post, either in print or online

• agree to not submit posts that are commercial in nature and promote or link to other products, services or websites, or that are not your own work or in the common domain

• agree that we may edit or remove information you post, although we do not have any obligation to review content that is posted on losaltosonline.com

• acknowledge that we do not assess or ensure the accuracy of content posted in comments at losaltosonline.com and do not take responsibility for content posted there

The Town Crier hosts losaltosonline.com on servers in California for readers primarily resident in California. If you find content on losaltosonline.com that you believe violates our terms of use, please contact Digital Editor Eliza Ridgeway at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , 650-948-9000 ex. 319, 138 Main Street, Los Altos, CA, 94022.

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