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Our comments policy and an explanation from the CuencaHighLife staff

Although CuencaHighLife and been praised for the openness of our article comments section, we’ve also received complaints for allowing personal attacks. We agree that in some cases these attacks and the occasional lack of civility go too far.

To provide guidance for our moderators and clarification for our readers, we have developed a brief comments policy and include it below.

The new policy is primarily intended to curb the most extreme cases of personal attacks and to keep comments focused on the articles they are posted under. We remain committed to open and frank discussions, even when they are strongly worded, and welcome a lively debate between and among commenters.

Where we draw the line is at what we consider gross incivility among commenters or toward authors of articles. In the course of discussions, it’s fine for commenters to say that someone is “ignorant of the facts” or “poorly informed,” but not that he or she is an “ignoramus,” “knuckle-dragger,” “dolt,” or “shit head,” since such name-calling is mean-spirited and adds nothing to the discussion. Comments questioning the sanity, intelligence level, race, or ethnicity of other commenters will also be prohibited. Profanity is discouraged but will be considered on a case-by-case basis as it relates to the article.

Our comments policy, as well as our commitment to maintaining an open forum, is based on our responsibility to the Ecuador and Cuenca expat communities, as well to readers in other countries considering relocating to Ecuador. CuencaHighLife is the only English-language media in Ecuador that attempts to cover the news on a daily basis with original content, not computer program translations. Our sense of responsibility is also based on the fact that we reach a substantially larger audience than other expat-oriented media. Our readership is four times that of any other English-language website in Ecuador and at least 20 times that of any English-language periodic print media.

We take our job seriously and want to improve the quality of our product.

CuencaHighLife Comments Policy

CuencaHighLife appreciates and encourages vigorous discussion and debate in its article comments sections. To maintain a constructive and civil discourse, however, these are the rules of engagement. Comments should always be relevant to the article they are posted to. Disagreements between commenters are acceptable as long as they focus on issues in the article, or issues related to those in the article, not on the personalities of commenters. We do not allow racial or ethnic slurs or remarks questioning the sanity or intelligence of commenters (words and terms such as idiot, shit head, dolt, knuckle-dragger, moron, schmuck, bull-shitter, and nit-wit, in reference to commenters, are out of bounds). Attacks on individuals and businesses, unless they are in direct reference to information cited in an article, are not appropriate. Profanity is discouraged. We do not ban commenters, only comments we consider offensive. The approval of all comments on the CuencaHighLife website is at the discretion of the moderators.

CuencaHighLife accepts anonymous comments but encourages the use of real names. We understand, however, that “real names” used on the internet are often fake. Commenters can post either as guests or registered members of the comment section.

—David Morrill, editor
—Jonathan Mogrovejo, general manager