GENERAL GUIDELINES

We at RTL believe it is vital to encourage respectful discussion in response to the content published on our site. Our FAQ contains everything you need to know about posting a comment, comment moderation, and other topics.

FAQ

  1. How can I leave a comment on RTL Today?

    • Login: You must be logged in to leave a comment on RTL.lu or today.rtl.lu. You can create an account here: My RTL, my login
      We encourage users to sign comments with their full names, although pseudonyms and nicknames are permitted. It is forbidden to pose as another user, as is using another user’s nickname.
      Comments will only be accepted by moderators if they are signed with a nickname or full name. If the relevant box is empty, the comment cannot be validated and published.
    • Posting comments: Before submitting your comment, consider that all comments can be viewed publicly and should therefore be open, constructive, respectful and critical. We therefore ask users to:
      • Remain fair and factual;
      • Respect the views of other users, journalists and contributors;
      • Avoid posting in anger;
      • Stay on topic;
      • Where necessary, back up your opinions with factual arguments;
      • Use clear and concise language to express your opinion;
      • Proofread comments before submitting them;
      • If an article is in English, try to comment in English. However, Luxembourgish, German and French are also permitted;
      • Avoid using caps lock. Comments can contain up to 1,000 characters. Any comments exceeding this length will fall into the “letters to the editor” category. Equally, short comments such as “Thank you” or “Good article” will not be published.

  2. Why wasn’t my comment published?

    Moderating individual comments takes time and requires a fair amount of work. Alongside many worthy comments, our moderators are repeatedly subjected to insults and aggressive posts. Although our readers will never see these posts, they must be checked and sorted on a daily basis. The RTL team would much rather devote energy and time into creating content on a diverse and interesting set of topics for the site. We therefore ask users to exercise patience and understanding, if their comment has not yet been published. Furthermore, comments which do not observe the guidelines will be rejected from publication.

  3. Why would a comment be rejected? (examples)

    • The objective of the guidelines is not to practise censorship; rather it is to encourage constructive and legitimate participation in an online debate. With this in mind, certain types of comments are not permitted:
      • Illegal content, for example, hate speech, sexism, xenophobia, racism, insults, violence, pornographic material, or discrimination against sexual orientation, religion, nationality or skin colour.
      • Inappropriate comments such as obscenities, personal attacks, or two-sided formulations.
      • Comments that do not respect freedom of opinion.
      • Spam, advertising, external links, commercial content or false information.
    • If these rules are not adhered to, RTL’s moderators reserve the right to:
      • warn the users responsible;
      • refuse publication of the comment;
      • ban the user from leaving comments on the site, or, if required, begin legal proceedings against the user.

    Through moderating comments which do not conform to the guidelines, RTL hopes to create a safe space for users to express their thoughts and reactions to articles without concern. Users who repeatedly break the rules will be banned from the site. Often, these users are so-called trolls, who hide behind anonymity in order to leave inflammatory messages.

    Below are a number of examples of comments which have been refused publication on RTL.lu (translated):

    - A personal attack:
    Refused :“Everyone knows that Mr X is a racist.” (A direct attack without concrete evidence to support the accusation).

    - An insult:
    Refused :“Mrs X is a stupid cow.”

    - An aggressive comment:
    Refused :“That man deserves to be punched.”

    - Hate speech, attacking a person based on their religious or ethnic background:
    Refused :“I’m not surprised this person was charged with theft, look at where he comes from.”

    - Sexism:
    Refused :“That blonde is pretty, but not the brightest.”

    - A comment personally attacking another user, journalist or witness:
    Refused :“I’m surprised you understood this article, it isn’t on your level, is it?”

    The internet is not without rules. National and international laws and rules apply to social media, making certain types of comments unacceptable. Users have a responsibility to observe the rules when posting comments on the site and must accept the guidelines prior to doing so.

  4. Why is it not possible to comment on every article?

    Opening the comments function on an article is an editorial decision, and editorial staff reserve the right to open or close comments as they see fit. Certain topics or themes are more likely to spark discussions which could result in an infraction of our rules. For this reason, comments are usually closed on these articles.

    Examples of articles without comments (there can be exceptions to this rule)

    • Court cases, with the exception of those on a large national scale. With the majority of cases comments are closed out of concern for those implicated. From experience, moderators know that opening comments to these cases usually results in off-topic or emotional arguments.
    • Brief news articles, or faits-divers, for example, accidents or missing persons articles do not usually require comments.
    • Service articles, for example bulletins regarding water pollution or road closures.
    • International news articles rarely have the comment function enabled. RTL’s preference is to keep discussions to Luxembourg-based topics. International news is less likely to be examined in the form of an analysis, unlike national news.

    Other reasons which could affect the lack of comment function:

    • If there is already an article about a similar topic with comments, the editorial team may decide not to reopen comments a second time to avoid opening a parallel debate. Usually such articles are accompanied by links to articles with the comment function enabled.
    • If RTL has already published a number of articles regarding the same topic, for example, smoking laws, future articles on the same topic may not have comments enabled to avoid repetition.
    • Sensitive subjects, such as the classic example of refugee homes. These topics have sparked inflammatory comments in the past. Other sensitive issues include the Luxembourgish language, or the economy in the greater region, which usually prompt responses from a number of groups using negative experiences to justify generalisations, without nuance. These experiences have led RTL editors to think twice before opening the comment section for such topics – not for fear of the response, but to avoid giving such writers a platform.
    • Timing: Comments might not opened on time-sensitive articles, or on topics spawning huge numbers of responses.
    • Suspending the comment function: On occasion, moderators will suspend comments in order to halt arguments between users.

  5. Can a user include links in a comment?

    Yes – but only if the links are to other articles on RTL.lu, RTL 5minutes.lu or RTL Today.lu. External links will be blocked to avoid any forms of advertising or false information (fake news).

  6. How long do comments remain up on the site?

    The comment function is available for up to 72 hours and comments are visible on site for two weeks. RTL retains the right to lengthen or shorten the discussion time.

  7. How can I communicate with other users?

    It is possible to reply to other users‘ comments by clicking the “reply” symbol beneath their comment. A reply will be visible directly under the original comment.

  8. Is it possible to rate another user?

    It is possible to rate comments through the thumbs up or thumbs down buttons. There is a star rating system which lends more prominence to users who regularly leave constructive comments and observe the guidelines, and who rarely have comments rejected by moderators. There is also the option to mute certain users. This function will hide all comments by this user from your view. The muted user will not be aware of this.

  9. How to report comments?

    The “report” button allows users to send a report to moderators if a comment sparks concern or violates guidelines.

  10. How can I give feedback to RTL?

    RTL prides itself on interactivity with its readers and users. If you would like to submit a message, positive or negative, you can do so via this link: https://www.rtl.lu/feedback. (or https://today.rtl.lu/feedback). For messages to the editorial team, it is best to use this option rather than leaving comments on articles. The team will endeavour to respond to messages, so please leave an email address in order to be contacted.

  11. Where can the terms and conditions be found?

    Terms and conditions (Conditions d'utilisation) can be found here: https://www.today.rtl.lu/terms as well as further information on the site.

    Thank you for your understanding. We are grateful to users who observe these rules.
    This charter may be subjected to updates in future.
    Sources: Netiquette in conjunction with Conseil de Presse a Bee Secure (2017), La charte de l’espace des contributions du « Monde » en 10 questions