It’s to be expected that the passion’s and opinion’s of the citizens in our nation are running high, as discussions about COVID-19 and the ensuing Nov. 3 general election continue.

The Journal’s Facebook page is an accompaniment to our print and online editions, and helps us accomplish our mission to provide relevant, accurate and useful information that contributes to people’s lives and a healthy democracy.

We encourage people to comment on the topic at hand, with decency, kindness and accuracy, and hope they do so after fully reading the stories we have posted, so they are well informed about the topic being discussed in the posts. Some of those stories about COVID-19 are free to all who want to read, in an effort to provide facts about it through the community. Other stories offered to readers through a subscription to this newspaper’s online and print editions — it helps to pay for staff and resources to gather and create the stories we provide.

We don’t have a lot of rules about posting, because we want to cultivate a healthy and respectful community — online and in-person. But we do ask that posts, when interacting with us or others on Facebook:

-Stay on topic and do not post inaccurate information.

-Do not use profane, vulgar, violent or hateful speech.

-Do not use personal insults and name-calling.

-Include only original material; no memes.

Comments should add to the discussion, and when they simply degrade it, we will will take action.

Comments that include profanity will be deleted, and when we do that, it also deletes replies to that comment. That is the nature of Facebook.

We ask that you refrain from mean-spirited comments that disrespect the opinions of others, who have different experiences and perceptions about the virus and about the candidates seeking elected offices.

We want the comments on our page to add to a healthy and fuller community discussion on topics that affect and interest us all. And for the most part, people have done that. However, as of late, we see a number of mean and nasty comments, including profanity, as well as memes.

We delete memes because they are not original material, and do not add to the conversation. If you are unfamiliar with the term, an internet meme is a concept or idea that is passed along in posts via the Internet. An Internet meme could be anything from an image to an email or video file; however, the most common meme is an image of a person or animal with a funny or witty caption, according to Webopedia website.

We respect people who reasonably and rationally state their opinion. What we, and others, don’t respect so much is the negative, nasty-spirited posts that don’t seem to be at all productive, or enlightening, or kind. They are there just to jab people. While we don’t like those comments, and wish people would simply not comment when they feel the need to be mean, we continue to support the right to voice those opinions on our Facebook page — provided they they follow our guidelines.

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