Comment Guidelines

Firstly, we appreciate all those who take the time to comment as the feedback adds another dimension to Bernews – providing analysis, additional information, humour and more.

All comments are moderated. They are initially held, and normally approved within minutes from 5am to midnight. Comments left overnight are often approved at a slower rate, our apologies for this.

Although we attempt not to infringe free speech in most circumstances, there are a variety of comments that may not be approved.

Comments Not Permitted For Legal & Other Reasons

  • General: Profanity, racial slurs, homophobic slurs, most comments of a sexual nature
  • Court stories: Referencing a past bad act or assuming guilt before someone is convicted and/or trying to post names/facts that may have been specifically left out. In many cases, these are not our rules, they are the ‘laws of the land’.
  • Libel and unproven accusations: Accusing people, who have not been convicted, of things such as theft and corruption.  The person may, in fact, be guilty of the offence in question but without a conviction saying as much can be deemed libelous and we could be sued. Subsequent comments complaining about not being able to libel people will also be deleted.
  • Deaths: Extremely insensitive remarks about someone passing away and/or trying to post the person’s name or the fact they have died before the police officially release the information. In the interest of not ‘sweeping things under the carpet’ when the person’s death results from activities like drunk driving and participating in the gang lifestyle, there is some leeway – but only some.
  • Family: Attacks on family members are off limits, and comments referencing people’s mothers/children are prone to be deleted. Posting people’s “personal family business”  is also prone to be deleted.
  • Gangs:  Posting under gang names, ‘bigging up’ gangs, promoting lack of co-operation with police investigations
  • Physical threats: Generally not permitted for legal reasons
  • Promotions/Links: With the exception of some things [eg: charity events], promotional comments and/or links will often not be approved. We are 100% dependent on linked banner ads for revenue, and like any business we cannot afford to give away our entire product free and/or promote the competition every single day and remain viable.  You are welcome to email advertising@bernews.com and purchase advertising.
  • Kids: The old adage ‘if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all‘ will be applied to stories involving persons under 18. There are some exceptions such as a teenager being charged in Court with a crime.
  • Wildly off topic: Many times totally off topic comments will be permitted, but we do reserve the right to delete totally them on some occasions. [It often depends on the nature of them, negative ones are far more likely to be 'chopped']
  • Articles about the accomplishments of young people: Many times when we post about young people’s accomplishments, it is met with demands for someone else to be spotlighted and/or other negative comments. If you are making a general complaint/attack on a positive story, we are very likely to block it. Due to ongoing issues with this, we have instituted a zero tolerance policy effective 2014.
  • Attacks On Us:  Some people are under the mistaken impression they can come to our website and attack/insult us, even attacking our parents. This isn’t acceptable in ‘brick or mortar’ businesses, and as a digital business we do not accept it either. If someone walked into an office and verbally abused the staff it’s likely they will be asked to leave, so we will do the same. If someone walked into a restaurant and tried to leave a flyer on their door falsely claiming  the chicken was really rats, the restaurant will pull down the flyer, and we will do the same if your comment falsely accuses us of something.

Those are general guidelines, but it will often depend on the circumstance and the story in question. For example if you make a harsh comment about a teenage scholarship winner it will  not be approved, but if you said someone twice as harsh about a convicted murderer it would sail through.

Please do not automatically assume we have barred your comment, as all comments are filtered through spam filtering technology which from time to time flags legitimate comments.  If you find that your comment isn’t immediately showing up, it may have been erroneously flagged as spam. We apologize for this, and you can email us at info@bernews.com to bring it to our attention.

There is only so much we will accept, and we have no problem removing your ability to comment if we deem it called for. You won’t notice any changes on your end, but all your comments will be automatically deleted by our system going forward in order to save staff from having to deal with your repeated insults/racism/threats – whatever form they may take.

All comments within this website are the responsibility of the commenter, not the owners, administrators, contributors, editors, or authors. By submitting a comment, you agree that the comment content is your own, and to hold Bernews Ltd and all subsidiaries and representatives harmless from any and all repercussions, damages, or liability.

Comments are strictly separate from the article, and do not represent the views of Bernews Ltd, or affiliates. All trackbacks will be treated inline with our Comments Policy.

To request removal of a comment that you feel may be libelous in nature please email us at info@bernews.com with your name and a link to the article in question.  Please do not contact us asking for the identity of a commentator, as it will not be provided.

In the end comments are approved at the sole discretion of Bernews.com, and our decision to block comments we deem unsuitable is final. Please recall that in the end allowing comments that will get us sued will result in us being pushed out of business/bankrupted, our staff being unemployed, and the readers losing the coverage we provide – so we appreciate your understanding in these matters.

And thanks for commenting!

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