New Comment Policy


Note: As of January 1, commenters are required to post under their full name (as explained below).  For now, all comments will go into the moderation queue and be released by the moderators.

Adopted Policy on January 2, 2019 by the Vanguard Board

As of January 1, 2019 – all commenters shall be required to post under their publicly known full first and last name.  Commenters are encouraged to sign up and post through Facebook, however, the Vanguard will maintain a manual sign up and log in for non-Facebook users and requests.

The Vanguard may take reasonable steps to determine an individual is posting under their legal name including on some occasions the request for a copy of identification.

All posts that fail to comply with this policy will be taken down.  The Moderator, the Editor and the Vanguard Board are solely responsible for establishing and carrying out this policy.

All Previous policies will remain in effect EXCEPT as pertains to anonymous posting.

Amended and approved by the Vanguard Board on July 11, 2018


  • Hate Speech. Comments that constitute hateful speech will be removed. Hate speech is speech that attacks a person or group on the basis of race, religion, gender, disability, or sexual orientation.
  • Insults direct at a Commenter or Contributor. Directly calling someone a name that is or could be construed as derogatory will be removed by the moderator. When the Content Moderator removes a post for this reason, they will leave a note as to why with “[Moderator]” in front of their comment or edit.
  • Off Topic Commenting – Comments that do not pertain to the topic of the main post will be removed by the moderator. However, this shall be done at the discretion of the moderator.
  • Debating Moderator Practices. An article’s comments section won’t be used to debate these guidelines or a decision of the Content Moderator. Concern about the removal of a comment should be addressed in an email to the Content Moderator. The moderator will keep confidential all email exchanges related to disagreements, and the identities of those raising concerns.
  • Personal Comments: Discussions should be limited to the topic of conversation and not focus on the individual commenters. Any comments that focus on personal rather than substantive and topical should be removed.
  • Doxing: Doxing is not permissible. Doxing is defined as: “search for and publish private or identifying information about (a particular individual) on the Internet, typically with malicious intent.”  This could be the posting personal but otherwise publicly available information.  We should particularly remove such information when the commenter is posting anonymously.
  • Anonymous Privilege: The Vanguard continues to allow some posters to not post under their full legal name.  However, that privilege comes with limitations.  People who post anonymously who routinely violate these rules may have their anonymous status – at the discretion of the Vanguard Editorial Board and Moderator – stripped.



About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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27 thoughts on “New Comment Policy”

  1. Matt Williams

    We should particularly remove such information when the commenter is posting anonymously.

    That language in the doxing bullet makes no sense to retain, since there is no anaonymous posting any more.

  2. Dianne C Tobias

    This is off comment but why do I get the DV Terms Of Use screen with every new screen that comes up. Clicking I Accept does not seem to make it go away!

  3. Jim Frame

    Gaaah!  What happened to the website!?  The article photos are way too big and annoyingly rescale when first exposed, the article subtitles are jammed in between photos, and the Monthly Subscriber box fills 1/3 of the screen.  Whoever designed this needs to go back to user interface school.

    1. David Greenwald Post author

      Sorry, I didn’t realize they were going to go live before debugging it. The new site shouldn’t look like this, but obviously they didn’t get it done.

      1. Alan Miller

        No change.  I get one article on top, then the monthly subscribe box, then other articles below, and comments below that.  Is that how it is supposed to be.  If so: BOO

        1. Alan Miller

          Why boo?

          The lead article should be at the top of a list, so people can choose what to read from the list.  As well, the other articles are buried below, and no longer top to bottom but across, less intuitive.  The monthly subscription takes up far to much upper-level real estate.  Once you decide to subscribe or not, what is the point?  Perhaps it could be prominent once a month, but as is it is just in the way.  Having the comments on the side makes it easier to see at a glance, now you have to scroll down, so why bother?

          As well, the comments could be improved by having them in order instead of in threads.  As is, if someone comments on a thread, the new comment is easily missed if it is not on the bottom.  Commenters can refer to who they are commenting to — i’ve seen this style on other blogs and it is much better.

          As well, it would be good to be able to subscribe to comments on articles by email notification, so you’d know if someone commented.  As is, I’ve gone back days later and found a comment I’d wish to reply to, but by that time the discussion, as such, is basically over.

        2. David Greenwald Post author

          Feedback is helpful.  The subscriber line is supposed to be a long, thin strip that should look more like a separator than it does.  There are a lot of changes still to be made.

        3. Alan Miller

          OK, those are my suggestions and meant to evoke others’ opinions so you can get a sense of what is liked.

          Don’t understand ‘subscription bar’ but I assume you mean there already is a way to subscribe to an article — I’ll see if I can figure it out.

        4. Matt Williams

          I concur with a lot of what Alan has suggested

          I’m not sure what the purpose of having one unchanging article at the top of the splash page is.  The old revolving first story prompted broader reading of multiple articles.  The unchanging article comes across as a de facto advertisement that the Vanguard is getting paid for by the subject of the article.

          Like Alan, I find the Monthly Subscribers box to be a total waste of space.  First, it unnecessarily spans the whole width of the page.  If your revenue model requires its presence, at least it should be reduced in size.  One option is to have it flush right aligned, with a width no wider than the advertisements column.  That makes logical functional sense because all it really is is an advertisement for the Vanguard itself.

          The “Top Stories” area would move up into the space to the left of Monthly Subscribers.  That “Top Stories” area would always display eight stories regardless of how many days that covers.  Right now you are only showing five stories with a bunch of wasted white space where stories 7-9 should be.

          “Latest Comments” needs to have a link to a full page of comments the same way that the old set-up did.

          Given the new layout, the black Breaking News scroll is both useless and a total waste of space.  Consider replacing it with a scroll of the Latest Comments.with a “More Comments link at the far right side of the scroll.

          Once you have converted Latest Comments comments into a scroll, the current Latest Comments box can go away and you can move the “Subscribe to the latest …” box down to the right of the “Court Watch” box

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            I’ll see how people feel when they make the series of changes that are still in the works. The Monthly Subscribers area is supposed to be much smaller and the top 5 articles are supposed to be basically at the top of the website.

        5. Alan Miller

          I’ll see how people feel when they make the series of changes that are still in the works.

          It’s not a personal attack.  There’s another website I frequent daily for professional news.  They changed their layout a few weeks ago, and it is unusable.   We’re trying to help, so that doesn’t happen here.

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            I’m not viewing it as a personal attack – what I’m telling you is that this isn’t the final format.

        6. Matt Williams

          David, you missed my message … Not Top 5 articles … either Top 4 (in one row) or Top 8 (in two rows).  Effective use of white space is a basic layout rule in graphic design.

  4. Dave Hart

    David, I don’t know if it’s just me or if the new policy is having an interesting positive effect where discussion on some articles is remaining active longer than before.  Previously, it seemed like there was a race to be the first to post comments and that the comments went cold the following day.  Do you have any way of reporting back on the extent that a topic stays alive longer after its initial post since January 1?  Maybe too early, but it’s just my general impression.  If so, it’s a good thing.  Often more thoughtful comments come in after people have a chance to actually think about things before rattling off their opinions.

    1. Alan Miller

      I will miss the conservatives-first-out-the-gate, as it challenges the articles and makes for lively discussion.  Assuming they don’t have heavy withdrawl symptoms and return under their own names.  Having said that, I have always supported a no-anonymous policy, not for the individuals involved or political type, but so everyone is equal and there aren’t anonymous people taking personal pot-shots at those who identify themselves.  Having said that, the worst offenders remain, but they live by their own words and die by the moderator.

      I don’t think there is any way to say if things are ‘better’ at this point.  Certainly the inane back-and-forth-because-I-can’t-be-the-last-to-post-or-I-appear-to-have-lost mentality seems to have diminished, so far.  The fact that the discussion continues past one day is better, partly I think it’s due to the lower level of comments, so people go back to earlier discussions — so that may return.  That’s where I think alert subscriptions to articles and a single timeline thread would help as well.

      We are all of course waiting for all those attacked by the anons and ran so far, far away — to return soon from the land of the dead.  That’s when we-all Vanguard commenters can stand by the Ghandi statue, hold hands and sing “The Age of Aquarius”.

      1. David Greenwald Post author

        We’ve already seen a few people return – I’m not sure I would characterize them as “attacked by the anons” but a few people pointed out to me in the last week of last year when there was a lot of comments, that there wasn’t much depth to them and no one else was going to want to get involved. I would rather have 20 good comments and discussion, than 100 no holds bar forays.

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