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Opednews Policies On Content, Behavior and Banning; Comments Encouraged

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Headlined to H2 3/14/13

opednews.com

We're happy to celebrate 10 years building a thriving, activist community and publishing liberal, progressive, socialist, and revolutionary content.  We thank you for your involvement and support, donations, writing, volunteering and participation in the community

We members of the Senior Editor and Managing Editor teams have collaborated on this article to provide more clarity about policies and guidelines at Opednews. 

We're proud to be one of the most widely-read progressive sites on the Internet and one of the 4500 news sites Google news indexes. We have not wavered in our vision-- to be a unique, open venue for all types of writers, from the famous to the novice, and to cover a very wide range of topics -- topics often banned from other sites. 


Rob Kall and socialist Senator Bernie Sanders by rob kall

We are also proud to be allied with people like Bernie Sanders, Cindy Sheehan, Dennis Kucinich, Ray McGovern, Ann Wright, Paul Craig Roberts and David Swanson; as well as organizations like Code Pink, Psychologists for Human Rights, The World Can't Wait, RootsAction, Coalition for Voting Integrity, PA Healthcare for All, the Public Banking Institute, Healthcare-NOW!, a number of national whistleblower organizations, and a multitude of other leading activists and organizations. 

Opednews has evolved its journalistic and community policies through much work, discussion, and soul-searching by a volunteer team of extraordinary editors and advisers. This is how a site sculpts its own, unique identity, and that identity has as much to do with what the sculptor removes from her carving, as it does with what she chooses to retain.

Over 30 years ago, Rob Kall, our publisher and editor in chief, wrote an article for Writers Digest on how to generate hundreds of article ideas. The magazine used it as their cover story. He started with a line that Readers Digest ended up quoting:

"Guido the plumber and Michelangelo obtained their marble from the same quarry, but what each saw in the marble made the difference between a nobleman's sink and a brilliant sculpture."

Actually, when he first drafted the quotation, he used the word toilet instead of sink. The editor at Writer's Digest changed it. Now, the quote is listed on over 90 websites, and little did Rob know that it would become a metaphor for some people about Opednews.

For some, Opednews is like Michelangelo -- creating a great work, exposing the truth within the stone. For others, we are a toilet. So be it. C'est la vie.

Opednews.com aggressively covers...

  • Activism -- positive, progressive, socialist movements and actions, occupy, anti-war, peace, animal rights, civil disobedience, revolutions...
  • The problems, misdeeds and deceptions of the duopoly -- both Democrats and Republicans.
  • Corporate globalization, economics, corporate crime and abuses, corporatism and its influence on politics.
  • Politics -- Constitutional rights, Congress, the Supreme Court, the White House.
  • Media -- right- and left-wing, as well as right-wing extremist groups who wield influence on the media.
  • Ecology, energy.
  • Education-- issues of dumbing down, privatization, affordability, student debt, vouchers...
  • erosion or taking away of rights, bigotry, racism, inequality, gender, etc.
  • World issues -- Israel/Palestine, Iran, Egypt, Arab Spring, Iraq, Afghanistan, Burma, Greece, Europe, China, Africa. 
  • The arts, living, health and science, religion, notable quotations.
  • solid writing on JFK and RFK assassinations. 
  • New, visionary, revolutionary ideas, and so much more.

There are some topics, after long debate and even some periods of coverage, which we have decided not to explore, discuss, or give our attention to. These include:

  • HAARP and Chemtrail conspiracy theories. (See our FAQ on other conspiracy theories)
  • Claims that all vaccines are dangerous or a conspiracy to kill or maim people. (See FAQ)
  • 911 Truth Re-hashes and old news (See FAQ)
  • Theories that Sandy Hook was a government black operation or theories that mass murders are really coordinated by the government, or, believe it or not, that Hurricane Sandy was a government operation.

There ARE people who want to focus their attention on these kinds of theories. We choose not to--and instead-- to leave those topics for other sites. Therefore, content on those subjects will not be published here. That's our right and responsibility as a publisher: to set policy, as it is every publisher's responsibility.

Opednews is not for everyone. To complicate matters, because of our open door policies and bottom-up approach, it is not always immediately obvious to editors or to readers and contributors, when there is a fit that doesn't work. 

When a poor fit between Opednews and a commenter, submitter or editor becomes apparent, we try to deal with it as quickly, fairly and kindly as we can.  Sometimes it goes smoothly, sometimes people get really angry. 

As most major sites do, Opednews continues to fine-tune our policy about unpleasant or nasty users. We don't want them to be part of our community. We welcome well-thought-out, alternate viewpoints, presented with common courtesy. But folks who are argumentative (in their relationship with the site, not because they disagree on an issue) cranky, or mean set their own fate for losing privileges and access to the site via banning.

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I appreciate knowing the rules. However, aside fro... by Dushan29 on Friday, Mar 15, 2013 at 11:43:54 AM
I helped on this draft, and you are asking some of... by Meryl Ann Butler on Friday, Mar 15, 2013 at 12:18:12 PM
Thank you Meryl for your quick response. I was goi... by Dushan29 on Sunday, Mar 17, 2013 at 2:34:08 PM
We don't moderate comments here. Someone posts a c... by Rob Kall on Friday, Mar 15, 2013 at 12:52:29 PM
Anyone can censor.  It is not the purview of ... by Joe Giambrone on Friday, Mar 15, 2013 at 11:58:26 AM
that each one of us "censors" our daily life. Ever... by Meryl Ann Butler on Friday, Mar 15, 2013 at 12:22:03 PM
I believe that censorship of crudeness (profanity)... by Daniel Penisten on Friday, Mar 15, 2013 at 10:52:20 PM
(Which I don't believe for a minute is real, sorry... by Kim Cassidy on Friday, Mar 15, 2013 at 10:58:42 PM
I put the ASS in Cassidy.... by Kim Cassidy on Friday, Mar 15, 2013 at 11:00:30 PM
It is "Penis Ten", but that is not true. I never m... by Daniel Penisten on Saturday, Mar 16, 2013 at 12:29:59 PM
Bravo to you, the team and Rob Kall, not only for ... by Robert S. Becker on Friday, Mar 15, 2013 at 12:06:52 PM
Several of us worked hard on this, and it's reward... by Meryl Ann Butler on Friday, Mar 15, 2013 at 12:26:43 PM
Rob,  congradulations for handling the discus... by mainehonza on Friday, Mar 15, 2013 at 4:01:53 PM
There have to be rules in every community. These a... by Marianne Hoynes on Friday, Mar 15, 2013 at 6:36:51 PM
 It had been nearly 10 years and  people... by Mark Sashine on Friday, Mar 15, 2013 at 7:48:57 PM
Understanding more about exactly where we are goin... by Meryl Ann Butler on Friday, Mar 15, 2013 at 8:42:43 PM
I wrote a question to you in a comment to theresa ... by Kim Cassidy on Friday, Mar 15, 2013 at 10:54:41 PM
I'll be glad to, I want to give it my undivided at... by Meryl Ann Butler on Friday, Mar 15, 2013 at 11:26:24 PM
This site does a good job of connecting people and... by Adam Smith on Friday, Mar 15, 2013 at 8:07:37 PM
Your idea about a sort of "Resource" section on th... by Meryl Ann Butler on Friday, Mar 15, 2013 at 8:38:32 PM
In response to your suggestion that opednews publi... by Linda Milazzo on Saturday, Mar 16, 2013 at 9:06:37 AM
I second the RESOURCE idea. Of course, there will ... by Susan Lee Schwartz on Sunday, Mar 17, 2013 at 10:45:47 AM
  I am upset because oped talks of the evil... by Theresa Paulfranz on Friday, Mar 15, 2013 at 9:08:00 PM
And I hope the slight sexism you mention is not as... by Kim Cassidy on Friday, Mar 15, 2013 at 10:46:18 PM
"I give up, because at the last moment I am unsure... by Swamper Tom on Friday, Mar 15, 2013 at 11:39:20 PM
In all honesty, I am looking around for such a pla... by Swamper Tom on Friday, Mar 15, 2013 at 11:41:42 PM
thanks for sharing your thoughts. I'm sure Rob wil... by Meryl Ann Butler on Saturday, Mar 16, 2013 at 12:40:25 AM
I'm not sure it matters any more though. Once you ... by Swamper Tom on Saturday, Mar 16, 2013 at 2:14:03 AM
I don't know what the answer is to your problem, b... by Swamper Tom on Saturday, Mar 16, 2013 at 2:18:24 AM
I once asked him in a comment to one of his articl... by Ad Du on Sunday, Mar 17, 2013 at 9:06:44 PM
I think it is not easy to get "banned" here. I per... by Daniel Penisten on Saturday, Mar 16, 2013 at 12:46:56 PM
We wrote this policy statement to make it clear wh... by Rob Kall on Saturday, Mar 16, 2013 at 1:04:39 PM
or Salon or Truthdig.  They take relatively f... by Robert S. Becker on Saturday, Mar 16, 2013 at 3:32:42 PM
You banned Ned?  Damn.  Now, I'm worried... by steveswimmer on Saturday, Mar 16, 2013 at 4:26:57 PM
Leave the rest.   You're not.   But ... by Mary Wilson on Sunday, Mar 17, 2013 at 8:08:19 AM
Thanks , Ned. Coming from you; Well that is really... by steveswimmer on Sunday, Mar 17, 2013 at 7:43:18 PM
And the taking back of your words. I did feel it w... by Swamper Tom on Saturday, Mar 16, 2013 at 11:44:18 PM
Cueballs, cronies, cupids.   C-words? &nbs... by Mary Wilson on Sunday, Mar 17, 2013 at 8:01:35 AM
I was responding to  some banned members out ... by Rob Kall on Sunday, Mar 17, 2013 at 5:23:19 PM
Knowing that you do give an option for editing or ... by Kim Cassidy on Sunday, Mar 17, 2013 at 12:47:00 AM
We will not help provide expanded bandwidth to peo... by Rob Kall on Sunday, Mar 17, 2013 at 4:55:13 PM
He was sort of like the town drunk, in a way. Most... by J. Edward Tremlett on Sunday, Mar 17, 2013 at 11:40:19 AM
But  there are funny drunks, and there are me... by Meryl Ann Butler on Sunday, Mar 17, 2013 at 12:32:39 PM
Eventually, someone just goes too far. ... by J. Edward Tremlett on Sunday, Mar 17, 2013 at 1:18:39 PM
'Fools imagine certain things to be real because t... by Mary Wilson on Sunday, Mar 17, 2013 at 12:21:40 PM
  In this culture there are very few thi... by Theresa Paulfranz on Saturday, Mar 16, 2013 at 1:01:38 AM
I minored in womens studies. I agree about sexism... by Kim Cassidy on Sunday, Mar 17, 2013 at 12:57:15 AM
We have about 20 different form letters we use to ... by Rob Kall on Saturday, Mar 16, 2013 at 11:35:44 AM
and questions like these are one of the reasons wh... by Meryl Ann Butler on Sunday, Mar 17, 2013 at 5:51:15 PM
Quit worrying.  Banning occurs to probably le... by John Reed on Sunday, Mar 17, 2013 at 7:17:34 PM
it should be titled, "Don't worry, be happy" LOL &... by Meryl Ann Butler on Sunday, Mar 17, 2013 at 8:15:04 PM
I believe Oped News would publish more articles by... by Daniel Penisten on Friday, Mar 15, 2013 at 11:09:47 PM
the Managing Editor team is 60% women (or 75% wome... by Meryl Ann Butler on Saturday, Mar 16, 2013 at 12:44:17 AM
Theresa: Thanks for the kind comment.  I wake... by Burl Hall on Saturday, Mar 16, 2013 at 3:31:34 AM
  I have a lot of brain damage. Writing ... by Theresa Paulfranz on Saturday, Mar 16, 2013 at 10:59:45 AM
           &nb... by Theresa Paulfranz on Saturday, Mar 16, 2013 at 11:04:37 AM
I love your though process, your explanations, met... by Susan Lee Schwartz on Sunday, Mar 17, 2013 at 10:27:29 AM
...of you and Bernie Sanders, Rob. Two of a few of... by Daniel Penisten on Friday, Mar 15, 2013 at 10:12:57 PM
Comparisons Between Egg and Sperm and Yin ... by Theresa Paulfranz on Friday, Mar 15, 2013 at 11:52:40 PM
  I have turned myself into a pretzel to... by Theresa Paulfranz on Saturday, Mar 16, 2013 at 12:27:50 AM
Dearest Theresa. May your voice of the Matriarchal... by Daniel Penisten on Saturday, Mar 16, 2013 at 1:11:23 PM
If one woman's conspiratorial view is aloud a comm... by Julie Munn on Saturday, Mar 16, 2013 at 3:51:35 AM
Frauds come in two sizes.   Small is better... by Mary Wilson on Sunday, Mar 17, 2013 at 8:17:46 AM
if Op-Ed truly wants to build a community with a s... by laurie steele on Saturday, Mar 16, 2013 at 4:59:24 AM
....are usually used by criminals to perpetuate so... by Swamper Tom on Saturday, Mar 16, 2013 at 5:29:40 AM
...are easy to spot, we all know them well. 9/11, ... by Swamper Tom on Saturday, Mar 16, 2013 at 9:54:28 AM
Right?... by Kim Cassidy on Sunday, Mar 17, 2013 at 1:12:23 AM
  I wrote an article once and then spent... by Theresa Paulfranz on Saturday, Mar 16, 2013 at 10:52:49 AM
These self-righteous, self-important shills, spamm... by Rob Kall on Saturday, Mar 16, 2013 at 12:45:23 PM
theresa, if often seems to me that when someone wr... by laurie steele on Sunday, Mar 17, 2013 at 5:40:21 AM
It is interesting to see Rob venture forth into th... by Mary Wilson on Sunday, Mar 17, 2013 at 8:42:48 AM
Here's another one. Just signed up a few days ago,... by Rob Kall on Saturday, Mar 16, 2013 at 12:16:15 PM
i am a 49 year old woman living in southern califo... by laurie steele on Sunday, Mar 17, 2013 at 5:24:59 AM
As a new member of OEN, which then touted itself,... by Joan Mootry on Sunday, Mar 17, 2013 at 7:19:51 PM
     The articles concerning 9... by Bob Gormley on Saturday, Mar 16, 2013 at 9:19:43 AM
I think that Oped is 'Bigger than 9/11 Truth'. The... by Paul Repstock on Saturday, Mar 16, 2013 at 10:08:17 AM
What If The Bill of Rights No Longer Applies by wh... by Lance Ciepiela on Saturday, Mar 16, 2013 at 11:05:10 AM
Some topics are such "Hot Button" emotional issues... by Paul Repstock on Saturday, Mar 16, 2013 at 11:40:14 AM
We are Free to Choose, what We read and respond to... by Daniel Penisten on Saturday, Mar 16, 2013 at 1:28:08 PM
There is only so much room on the page. A top news... by Paul Repstock on Saturday, Mar 16, 2013 at 2:38:39 PM
Movement to reopen the investigation on tower 7 in... by Kim Cassidy on Sunday, Mar 17, 2013 at 1:24:35 AM
An adgenda is a motivator. We are all lucky that R... by Paul Repstock on Saturday, Mar 16, 2013 at 9:52:26 AM
Exactly.... by Susan Lee Schwartz on Sunday, Mar 17, 2013 at 7:06:57 PM
Am not sure how that works.... by Michael Dewey on Saturday, Mar 16, 2013 at 10:37:56 AM
Yes, we actually have the ability, with a few clic... by Rob Kall on Saturday, Mar 16, 2013 at 12:31:18 PM
Thanks for this. It does a nice job of explaining ... by Robert De Filippis on Saturday, Mar 16, 2013 at 2:35:52 PM
what have you got against a well designed toilet? ... by molly cruz on Saturday, Mar 16, 2013 at 3:49:32 PM
I just wrote a lighthearted comment defending toil... by molly cruz on Saturday, Mar 16, 2013 at 4:15:40 PM
... by molly cruz on Saturday, Mar 16, 2013 at 4:17:42 PM
Thaks, Rob and crew.  Your sanity-measures ma... by Penny Dever-Reynolds on Saturday, Mar 16, 2013 at 5:03:11 PM
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I sa... by Tsara Shelton on Saturday, Mar 16, 2013 at 8:41:12 PM
Your expression of ideas shows us that. A failure... by Paul Repstock on Sunday, Mar 17, 2013 at 3:57:54 PM
Thanks for that!! I guess I shouldn't have sa... by Tsara Shelton on Sunday, Mar 17, 2013 at 7:46:50 PM
COMMENT  Rob, I love your site because... by Susan Lee Schwartz on Saturday, Mar 16, 2013 at 9:39:02 PM
  Madam,  Please hurry up your articles ... by Ad Du on Sunday, Mar 17, 2013 at 10:26:13 PM
Remember, this is a draft with a request for input... by Rob Kall on Monday, Mar 18, 2013 at 1:08:40 PM
I took this photo  when he was included in th... by Susan Lee Schwartz on Saturday, Mar 16, 2013 at 9:47:39 PM
;-)... by Meryl Ann Butler on Sunday, Mar 17, 2013 at 12:10:34 AM
I wrote an article on a published scientific repor... by Peter Duveen on Sunday, Mar 17, 2013 at 7:53:20 AM
I enjoy the writing and dialogue that takes place ... by Peter Duveen on Sunday, Mar 17, 2013 at 8:54:48 AM
I remember the old days. Submit an article to a ma... by Rob Kall on Monday, Mar 18, 2013 at 1:24:28 PM
I've enjoyed opednews for some time and have even ... by w s on Sunday, Mar 17, 2013 at 9:25:26 AM
  Rob is very clear,  and many of the co... by Susan Lee Schwartz on Sunday, Mar 17, 2013 at 12:54:39 PM
"Ironically, some of the writers we've banned have... by J. Edward Tremlett on Sunday, Mar 17, 2013 at 11:35:23 AM
Greed for non-greed, is still greed nonetheless. ... by Mary Wilson on Sunday, Mar 17, 2013 at 12:30:48 PM
Mary wouldn't actually be Michael, would it?How ma... by J. Edward Tremlett on Sunday, Mar 17, 2013 at 1:24:19 PM
I think Ned has had a sex change, and is Mary Wils... by Meryl Ann Butler on Sunday, Mar 17, 2013 at 2:39:06 PM
Hallelujah, I see the light,You're just too good f... by Robert S. Becker on Sunday, Mar 17, 2013 at 1:43:34 PM
clever, and a bit o' humor is appreciated...... by Meryl Ann Butler on Sunday, Mar 17, 2013 at 2:37:22 PM
altogether gave away the game.  Would someone... by Robert S. Becker on Sunday, Mar 17, 2013 at 3:36:42 PM
she needs to get a life.... by Susan Lee Schwartz on Sunday, Mar 17, 2013 at 7:09:31 PM
everyone has an opinion and a rectum... and too ma... by Susan Lee Schwartz on Sunday, Mar 17, 2013 at 7:12:59 PM
Originally this  commenter posed as an elderl... by Mark Sashine on Sunday, Mar 17, 2013 at 1:56:07 PM
The IP is from the same area as Ned Ludd. The styl... by Rob Kall on Sunday, Mar 17, 2013 at 2:23:41 PM
Although the song does open with the lyric line "S... by Linda Milazzo on Monday, Mar 18, 2013 at 12:02:53 AM
I had an incredible experience with an OEN edi... by Cameron Salisbury on Sunday, Mar 17, 2013 at 3:44:37 PM
Although I realize that 9-11, Sandy Hook and Chemt... by Neal Chalabi Chambers on Sunday, Mar 17, 2013 at 4:22:28 PM
"Although I realize that 9-11, Sandy Hook and Chem... by James Hadstate on Monday, Mar 18, 2013 at 4:11:27 PM
is that it is OEN's website and they can make up a... by Amy Schreiner on Sunday, Mar 17, 2013 at 4:34:28 PM
Nothing is perfect, and in fact I've had one artic... by Dan Mage on Sunday, Mar 17, 2013 at 7:32:11 PM
The best sources for truth and substantive questio... by Joan Mootry on Sunday, Mar 17, 2013 at 9:01:19 PM
Is it ok to write or comment on Democratic leaders... by Simple Truth on Sunday, Mar 17, 2013 at 11:08:54 PM
from a progressive perspective. But if you're... by Rob Kall on Monday, Mar 18, 2013 at 2:32:50 PM
I don't know. I do know that I feel like a socket ... by E. T. SIMON on Monday, Mar 18, 2013 at 9:46:52 AM
With 40-50 editors, response to article submission... by Rob Kall on Monday, Mar 18, 2013 at 1:37:41 PM
Thank You Rob. I do appreciate your reply.Glad to... by E. T. SIMON on Monday, Mar 18, 2013 at 4:28:28 PM
Things ain't what they used to be.... by Michael Gillespie on Monday, Mar 18, 2013 at 1:36:09 PM
We've taken the time to put into writing what has ... by Rob Kall on Monday, Mar 18, 2013 at 2:29:52 PM
Keeping away from the warmonger propaganda madness... by jean labrek on Monday, Mar 18, 2013 at 5:11:33 PM