Saturday 31 December 2011

Censorship versus free speech's new comment policy is here

Saturday, December 31, 2011
© The Cairns Post

Stand up and be counted: is introducing important changes to our comment policy we believe will lift the quality of debate. 

From tomorrow, is rolling out our new comment policy, as we enter an exciting year for our region, a year featuring State and Council elections guaranteed to polarise opinion.

Since launching in 2008, has become the essential bookmark for those keen to engage in daily discourse on the past, present and future of Cairns and Far North Queensland.

Each day we receive hundreds of comments that are mostly opinionated, intelligent and thought-provoking.

Most days we publish hundreds of comments, the vast majority adding a great deal to the way our readers think about Cairns and the region.

Often, the comments we receive are colourful or controversial and generate heated discussion.

Wherever possible we encourage free speech and as broad a debate as possible.

Our readers can comment on almost every article we publish (some articles have comments closed for legal reasons). aims always to be inclusive and safe, and we strive to ensure that you will find reliably stimulating, entertaining and intelligent debate.

To help us achieve these goals, from January 1 2012, readers who submit comments to must provide their full name (first name and surname) and a suburb or town before comments are considered for publication.

All commentators must also include a genuine email address (which will not be published).

These changes bring in line with the newspaper, which boasts a century-old tradition of Far Northerners standing up and being counted.

The new policy also mirrors our relationship with our large community on, who, knowing anonymity makes comments valueless, are happy to have their real names attached.

From now on, if you have something to say, you need to put your name to it.

Some of our most regular posters contribute anonymously, and we very much hope engaged commentators such as Beliak, Davo, Eeeek, The Grey Ghost and Veritas will join Alison Alloway, Leigh Dall’Osto, Clem Wright and the hundreds of others posting under their own names.

Some regulars will be unhappy with the changes, but we are unapologetic.

We have no desire to stifle debate, we simply wish to make everyone commentating on accountable for their comments.

Our moderation team carefully review each comment before publishing and will be following our new comment policy.

Comments will be rejected if they do not add to the debate, are offensive, illegal or meaningless, or contain clear errors.

If what you want to say is too sensitive to attach your name to or you feel that commenting publicly could you place yourself, your family or your job at risk, contact our news desk privately by emailing

We love that our community includes such a wide range of voices, and encourage you to join in by demonstrating and sharing your intelligence and passion.

Thanks for participating, you make our website what it is.

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  1. as said on cant put name on the comment then it not worth printing jim cavill

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