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Seeking Alpha users have often noted that a good discussion in comments is as valuable as a published article, and often more so. Commenters contribute different perspectives, extra insights, and often suggest helpful corrections or point out flaws in an author’s data or argument.
So we welcome comment contributions from users, and we especially welcome comments which disagree with an article or with another commenter. Seeking Alpha users read our site to learn and digest actionable investment ideas but they are responsible for their own investment decisions. So dissenting views in comments help readers examine an idea from all perspectives before making an investment decision and are therefore a crucial part of Seeking Alpha’s value.
Why moderation and oversight?
People say one should never discuss money, politics or religion. Seeking Alpha focuses on the first of these delicate topics, and discussion sometimes strays into the latter two areas, though we try to discourage it, because our focus is on finance.
Passionate discussions are always welcome on the site, but we believe that comments should be genuine, helpful responses and that users should behave with and be able to expect high ethical and intellectual standards from other commenters. So we will delete comments which we believe detract from civilized conversation (and repeat offenders will have their posting privileges revoked or their accounts deleted). Such material includes:
- obscenities or abusive language about another user or the topic under discussion
- personal attacks on another user or contributor
- unsubstantiated allegations against an article’s author
- blanket dismissal of someone else’s ideas
- comments which mislead other users
All new users start out in moderation, and most move quickly out to unmoderated posting once we have been able to assess the quality of their site contributions.
Users sometimes mistakenly believe that contributors can delete comments from their articles. This is not the case: comment moderation and oversight decisions are made not by contributors but by our independent, in-house team at Seeking Alpha. We strive to make these decisions consistently and fairly, and we aim to inform you of the reasons for the actions we take. We do sometimes make mistakes but we believe on balance the community is a better place for our efforts.
Users tell us that they appreciate the quality of the community on Seeking Alpha and that, unlike other forums or message boards, the site is largely free of spam, promotion, and offensive or abusive material.
Commenters as individuals, and as part of the community
We don't view Seeking Alpha as a platform for free speech as much as a community of investors, where inclusion is earned by constructive participation.
Our primary responsibility is to build a constructive framework for discussion for our contributors, commenters and readers. So where we identify it, we remove material which damages the civility, coherence and seriousness of communal discussion, even if that material is not specifically abusive or obscene. (In this category are posts from commenters whose tone is particularly aggressive, who dominate the conversation to the exclusion of other users, who engage in persistent self-promotion, or who post irrelevant material that draws the conversation off topic.) Users who contravene our community expectations risk having their commenting privileges or, in the most serious cases, their entire Seeking Alpha account removed.
Alongside public comment threads, where you can post content others would find interesting that contributes to a wider discussion, Seeking Alpha provides direct messaging for users to engage in private conversations. We do not monitor the content of your private messages; our moderators can only deal with inappropriate messages if you report them to us by clicking the “spam” button above the message. Users who send unsolicited or promotional, threatening, insulting or abusive content to other users risk being banned from posting and excluded from the Seeking Alpha community.
Comments vs. Instablogs
Comments are for dialog; no one comment or commenter should dominate a single discussion. If you have something to say that is longer or broader in scope, it should be posted as an Instablog. You may add a reference to this Instablog in a comment you make on an article discussion thread if doing so adds value to the discussion, by posting a one-paragraph summary and a link back to the Instablog itself.
Shorter discussions and observations about specific stocks that are not necessarily connected to an article or news item can be posted as StockTalks. Any stock ticker symbol you include should be typed in capitals and preceded by a $ sign (for example, $AAPL) to ensure that it is linked to the appropriate quote page so that others can follow and find your conversation.
We strive to make the StockTalk community a place where users can fruitfully exchange investment ideas in public, so we do not adjudicate disputes between users in StockTalks and argumentative threads will be removed.
StockTalk is not an appropriate place for engaging in long monologues (even if they are part of a discussion with other users). Observations that exceed the length of a handful of StockTalks should be posted as an Instablog. If you wish, you may post a single StockTalk with a link to the Instablog so that users can find the Instablog and continue discussion in the comment thread there.
StockTalks containing clearly abusive language should be reported to our moderators using the Report Abuse button below a specific StockTalk.
Removal of content
We strive to maintain Seeking Alpha articles and discussions as a useful resource and an accurate archive of user perspectives. Once you have contributed to the discussion, your contributions become part of the discussion as a whole, so as a result we cannot remove comments, StockTalks or Instablogs at your request.
To encourage high-quality discussion, we encourage users to post their thoughts in a clearly presented form which is easy for the reading and commenting community to digest. We reserve the right to delete posts written in ALL CAPS or formatted in an otherwise distracting way and to ban users who persistently submit such material, because such submissions damage the flow of the discussion.
Corrections to your and others’ comments
Users can edit their own comments soon after they have been submitted. After that time, they may email us at email@example.com to request correction of their own typos and errors of grammar or spelling. Other than by reader request, we do not edit user comments.
We will also not penalize commenters whose first language is not English for misspellings or grammatical errors. Website users who attack non-native English speakers for linguistic mistakes will be asked to stop doing so.
Seeking Alpha reserves the right to decide on the relevance and pertinence of any links in comments and to remove any (including, but not limited to: spam, promotions, trading strategy websites, financial products) which we believe may be detrimental to or misleading to our users, even if they are pertinent to the subject matter. If you include links to material produced by an entity with which you have a relationship, you must disclose your relationship to that entity.
Disclosure for paid commenters
If you receive money for writing your comments (for example, as an IR professional or a paid consultant) you must disclose this by adding a declaration below your comment itself such as “I am the investor relations officer for XYZ company” or “I am a paid consultant for ABC company”.
Corrections and disputes
Commenters sometimes alert our team to corrections or disputes about an article in their comments. Our team tries to forward such comments to the appropriate Seeking Alpha department, but we remind you that you can email firstname.lastname@example.org and if you wish to file a formal complaint about an article, you should submit our formal dispute form here.
How to report problematic comments to the moderation team
You can do either of the following:
-- Click the Report Abuse link below a comment to tell us about material that is clearly objectionable, both in and out of context.
-- Alternatively, email email@example.com if the issue requires more explanation. Please include details of:
- the text of the comment you are reporting
- the username of the commenter who posted it
- the URL of the comment you found offensive (which you can copy from the menu you get by right/control-clicking on the chain-link icon below the comment)
- some background about the history of the commenter's problematic interactions, and links to any other objectionable remarks they have made
We cannot respond to all queries we receive but we will assess them according to the constraints of our workflow.