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DISCUSSION GUIDELINES

Every public forum has its own guidelines. Here are ours. Please keep them in mind while posting a comment.

We welcome comments on any of the columns, but 48 hours after the initial posting of a column, the Ombudsman will leave the conversation. Please keep posts to 200 words or less, as we reserve the right to edit for brevity and clarity, and will not post comments that do not abide by the guidelines.

—Chantal de la Rionda, Office of the Ombudsman

Language If you can't be polite, don't say it. This includes profanity, name calling, slander, comments about someone's family, comparisons to notorious dictators, etc. If there's a question whether the comment is appropriate, it probably shouldn't be posted. And under no circumstances should you post anything that could be taken as threatening, harassing, sexist or racist.

Clarity The goal of this forum is to allow people to express their thoughts regarding NPR- related topics. To ensure this is done in a succinct and clear manner, we are setting a 200-word limit on your comments. We will not censor your posts, but we reserve the right to edit for brevity as well as clarity.

Obscenities We're not going to list the words we object to; you know what they are. Remember, this is a public forum, and we want everyone to feel comfortable participating.

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Citation We're not asking for annotated bibliographies here, but should you reference someone else's thoughts, make a note if it. You're welcome to link to relevant content and to quote from other people's work with attribution. But that doesn't mean you can copy and paste wholesale.

Focus Please stay on topic. That way we can all have the best possible discussion and concentrate our energy on the same issue. Think of it this way — if you hosted a book club meeting at your house, you wouldn't want someone to show up and insist on discussing reality TV shows.

Campaigning We know that NPR listeners are intelligent and vigorously interested in many different arenas. Feel free to share your ideas and experiences about religion, politics, and other things. But this is not a place for advertising, promotion, recruiting, campaigning, soliciting or proselytizing.

False Information At NPR, we are always delighted to hear from listeners, and we appreciate the story pitches and your news tips. However, NPR reserves the right not to publicize allegations, conspiracy theories and other information which we know to be false or unsubstantiated.

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