Toward a Less Toxic Discourse | Sojourners

Toward a Less Toxic Discourse

To our readers,

As I’ve led our online coverage over the past seven years, I’ve constantly sought better and more efficient ways of connecting with you and hearing what you have to say in response to our reporting and commentary. I’m so grateful for the time you take to engage in the conversations we prompt, and you regularly provide our editors with encouragement, story ideas, and much-needed diversity of opinion.

Many of you have also expressed to us that the comments section on sojo.net is no longer a venue for healthy conversation. Rather, there has been an increase of toxic and often anonymous debates, and we too often see violations of our Community Comment Covenant (reprinted below for your reference), which include ad hominem attacks of our writers, staff, and other readers. In light of this trend, we have decided to close comments on our articles in both the online publication and the online version of the magazine.

We still want to hear from you! We encourage you to submit your feedback directly on the article you're reading in an email Letter to the Editors. These submissions will go directly to the editorial staff and could help influence our ongoing coverage or be considered for publication. You also can always connect directly and engage with our wider Sojourners audience via Twitter, Instagram, and in various ways on Facebook.

I’m hopeful that these changes will help revive a healthy discourse and better serve you, our loyal readers. And, as always, I’m eager to hear your feedback. Feel free to send me a note at the link below.

Sojourners' Community Comment Covenant

I will express myself with civility, courtesy, and respect for every member of the Sojourners online community, especially toward those with whom I disagree, even if I feel disrespected by them. (Romans 12:17-21)

I will express my disagreements with other community members' ideas without insulting, mocking, or slandering them personally. (Matthew 5:22)

I will not exaggerate others' beliefs nor make unfounded prejudicial assumptions based on labels, categories, or stereotypes. I will always extend the benefit of the doubt. (Ephesians 4:29)

I will hold others accountable by clicking "report" on comments that violate these principles, based not on what ideas are expressed but on how they're expressed. ( 2 Thessalonians 3:13-15)

I understand that comments reported as abusive are reviewed by Sojourners staff and are subject to removal. Repeat offenders will be blocked from making further comments. (Proverbs 18:7)

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