Comment Policy

Your Humble Community Editor

THE COMMENT GUIDELINES, IN A TWEET: Treat your readers as you’d treat fellow students in a class. Be kind. Write in good faith. Stay on topic. Write carefully & well. Have fun.


Hey there. Welcome to North by Northwestern.

We use Disqus here, a hosted service that lets you use Facebook, Twitter or a stable anonymous username. These are Disqus’s advantages, and you’re encouraged to take advantage of them. Vast, anonymous forums don’t have much precedent in the history of American universities; they don’t in and of themselves improve our campus conversation; and we at NBN don’t plan on perpetuating them. So we ask that you use your real name, through Facebook or Twitter, or a stable pseudonym.

Most comments appear on the site without moderation, but on some stories–selected by the editors–no comments will appear without being approved. Approved, specifically, by the Community Editor. We strive for a collegial, generous atmosphere, and we’re unafraid to delete comments after they’re published.

Here are some reasons we might delete a comment:

1. It fails to take a Northwestern student, faculty member or administrator in good faith.

2. It falsely assumes the identity of a Northwestern student, faculty member or others related to a story’s content (E.g., it pretends to be written by someone it’s not).

3. It fails a basic test of 21st-century courtesy or legality, by commiting defamation or libel, being offensive, or deploying a slur.

4. It is an Announcement, such as, to paraphrase Alan Jacobs, “No rational person could be religious,” or “Morty Schapiro wants to destroy fraternities at Northwestern.”

5. It is boring or unsubstantive. NBN, vanguard of an institution of higher education, disapproves of boors and bores of most every sort (though not of Boers).

If you disagree with a comment deletion decision, you can petition or .

Also, while we strike comments from the record, we don’t strike them from existence: A history of deleted, public comments can be requested by any member of the Northwestern University community at any time.

Our expectations for comments might sound limiting, but they come down to this: Treat other commenters as you’d treat other students in a seminar, and treat the subject at hand as if you’re talking in front of a really cool TA. Because you probably are.

Now let’s have fun, and start chatting.