Asheville Watchdog believes in actively involving our audience in matters of interest to the community, and that includes developing channels for meaningful discourse with, and among, our readers. By inviting your participation and engaging in a dialogue, we hope to increase public trust in our journalism and improve the diversity of voices and experiences in our news report.

The guidelines are meant to ensure that the comments stream remains a civil place for everyone to exchange ideas and information. But we also reject any comment that:

  • infringes upon or violates the copyrights, trademarks or other intellectual property rights of any person
  • is libelous or defamatory
  • is obscene, pornographic, sexually explicit, or vulgar
  • violates a person’s right to privacy
  • violates any local, state, national, or international law
  • contains or advocates illegal or violent acts
  • degrades others on the basis of gender, race, class, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability, or other classification
  • is predatory, hateful, or intended to intimidate or harass, or contains derogatory name-calling
  • is a duplicate or repost of something you’ve already posted on the site
  • contains advertising
  • contains a solicitation of any kind
  • misrepresents your identity or affiliation
  • impersonates others
  • is in poor taste or is otherwise objectionable

And furthermore, for The Watchdog and, honestly, for life in general:

  • Exercise consideration and respect in your speech and actions.
  • Passionate conversations are part of solving problems. Disagreements happen all the time and are necessary to consider difficult questions. That said, we ask that you keep conversations professional, respectful and consider other parties’ points of view. In short, don’t make it personal.
  • Remember that the boundaries of good taste, humor, personal space, and physical interaction differ from person to person; if you sense someone feels uncomfortable — whether they explicitly state it or not — be respectful of those boundaries.
  • Refrain from demeaning, discriminatory or harassing behavior.