Terms and Conditions: User submitted content and comments

Last updated 05:00 07/12/2016

We (Fairfax New Zealand Limited) invite our readers (you) to post comments and profile information in a number of areas of the website.

These include but are not limited to the comments sections of stories published on the website, your public profile and assignment submissions. If you submit any material to the site, these terms and conditions apply.

The views which are expressed in the comments areas are not our views or opinions, nor the views or opinions of any of our staff or our related entities. We accept no liability in respect of any material posted in the comments areas, nor are we responsible for the content and accuracy of that material.

If you place reliance on material posted on this site you do so at your own risk, and you indemnify us (and our related entities) from any liabilities, claims, costs, loss (including consequential loss) or damage suffered or caused by reason of your reliance on any material posted in the comments areas.

Please direct any questions or comments about this policy to comments@stuff.co.nz.

Comment policy

Here at Stuff we welcome comments from readers on our website and across our social networks.

We invite you to discuss issues and share your views. We encourage robust debate and criticism provided it is civil. But our comment section and social networks are all moderated online discussions, not public forums. We reserve the right to reject comments, images or links that:

* contain offensive language (including use of symbols);

* include personal attacks of any kind (including mocking other readers, or abusing Fairfax journalists or contributors);

* are likely to offend or target any ethnic, racial, nationality or religious group;

* are homophobic, transphobic, sexist, offensive or obscene;

* contain spam or include links to other sites;

* are clearly off topic;

* impersonate an individual or organisation, are fraudulent, defamatory of any person, threatening or invasive of another’s privacy or otherwise illegal;

* are trolling or threatening;

* infringe on copyrights or trademarks;

* are self-promoting;

* violate the law or breach court-ordered suppressions or have the potential to breach future suppressions; or

* constitute a contempt of court or that contain details of cases and individuals before the courts;

* violate our terms and conditions for user generated content;

* are too long (we recommend no more than approximately 200 words);

*promote, advertise or solicit the sale of any goods or services

* just generally aren't very nice.

Usernames are also bound by these Terms and Conditions and offensive usernames will be blocked. Using your real name is preferred best practice.

We reserve the right to cut, crop, edit or refuse to publish your content. We may remove your content from use at any time.

Our rights

We retain the right and discretion (but not the obligation) to edit, delete, reject or remove any comment which you post or seek to post in the comment and Stuff Nation areas.

You grant us a non-exclusive, royalty-free, perpetual, worldwide licence to republish any material you submit to us, without limitation, in any format.

We retain the right and discretion to terminate your Stuff Nation account if we believe you are abusing the services in any way, or have breached these terms and conditions.

You consent to our collecting and storing your email and IP address for security purposes.

Your obligations

You will not post any material:

Which is not original work in which you own the copyright, or which in any way violates or infringes (or could reasonably be expected to violate or infringe) the copyright, identity, registered trademark or intellectual property rights of another person;

Which is (or could reasonably be expected to be) obscene, offensive, pornographic, vulgar, profane, indecent or otherwise illegal;

Which is (or could reasonably be expected to be) defamatory of any person;

Which racially or religiously vilifies, incites violence or hatred, or is likely to offend, insult or humiliate others based on race, religion, ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation or any physical or mental disability; or

Which you know or suspect (or ought reasonably to have known or suspected) to be false, misleading or deceptive.

You will not use the comment or profile areas for the purpose of:

advertising, promoting or soliciting any goods or services, or otherwise engaging in trade or commerce; or

providing any financial advice, or advice of any kind in relation to any financial product.

Indemnities

You agree to fully indemnify and hold us (and our related entities) harmless against any liabilities, claims, costs, loss (including consequential loss) or damage incurred as a result of any material you post in the comments areas, or as a result of any breach by you of these terms and conditions.

Notwithstanding any indemnity provided by you under these terms and conditions, we and/or our related entities retain the right to assume the conduct of any defence to a claim brought against us, and of any proceeding or appeal issued by us, and you agree to provide all reasonable cooperation (including by making available relevant documents) that we may require from you in relation to any such claim, proceeding or appeal.

Additional Terms and Conditions

For all content that you submit or display on our site is subject at all times to the Website Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.

Governing law

These terms and conditions shall be construed and applied in accordance with the laws of New Zealand, and you consent to the exclusive jurisdiction of the New Zealand Courts to determine any matter or dispute which arises under these terms and conditions in accordance with the laws of New Zealand.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Do I have to use my real name?

Commenting under your real name is not required, but is encouraged. We find readers who comment under their real names, rather than a pseudonym, are more likely to engage in intelligent, respectful discussions and debate.

Do you edit comments?

No. Comments are reviewed against our Terms and Conditions and either approved or rejected.

Why do you let other people’s mean comments through but not mine?

It’s ok to disagree with the subject matter of a story, as long as your comment is well thought out and adds value to the debate. Bear in mind, your comment must meet our terms and conditions for publication.

Why has it taken so long for my comment to appear?

We receive thousands of comments every day. They are manually moderated by our (human) editors, in addition to other duties. While we try to get through them as quickly as possible, at peak times there can be a delay between when your comment is posted and when it is published to the site.

Why are comments not open on certain stories?

We reserve the right to decide which stories we open comments on. A range of factors might inform that decision - including staff resourcing and the topic of the story.

When considering the topic, we'll be particularly mindful whether the story is likely to elicit a high volume of comments that would breach our terms and conditions. For instance, we rarely open comments on stories about court proceedings or other legally contentious topics.

Why can’t I add a comment to an existing thread?

In order to keep comments at a manageable level for our editors, when readers have had fair and reasonable opportunity to discuss or debate a particular news story, the ability to comment will be switched off - at which point we will move to newer discussions. This is where you'll be seeing comments you can up or down vote, but not add to the discussion any further.

We appreciate this means some threads may not be active as long as you would like them to, but is the only way we can realistically maintain a civil comments community.

Why are my comments never approved?

Provided your comment meets our terms and conditions, it will be approved for publishing to the Stuff site. Readers who repeatedly breach our terms and conditions or post offensive comments may find their username has been blocked.

Can I criticise Stuff?

We welcome strong opinions and critique of our work and critical comments of the article in question will be approved. However, we will not approve any comments which attack our staff or contributors, or which are abusive of the subjects of stories.

Comments which discuss or critique our moderation policy will be considered off-topic and rejected.

Another user’s offensive comment has been approved, what can I do?

If there is a comment posted by another user which you feel is in breach of our T&Cs and should not have been approved, you can 'flag' it underneath (to the left of where you would up or down vote) which will resubmit it to our editors for review.

Where you believe a comment posted by another user which breaches one or more of the Digital Communications Principles set out in the Harmful Digital Communications Act 2015, you may lodge a complaint by emailing comments@stuff.co.nz. Where you have submitted a valid complaint, Fairfax will respond within 48 hours. You can find more information on the Harmful Digital Communications Act here.  

I want to link to an external site, why won’t you approve it?

We do not allow links to websites, with the exception of Stuff articles or Govt-owned domains. This is as much as to protect our readers from malicious / pornographic websites as it is to protect Fairfax Media NZ’s reputation.

I have more than 200 words to say on a subject, where can I post it?

You are welcome to write us an opinion piece of 300 words or more for Stuff Nation. You can submit that here.

Did you reject my comment because you’re in thrall to John Key?

No.

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