A little common sense, please
Before posting a comment, tip, question or answer to lovemoney.com, you’re likely to spend some time reading other people’s posts... which brings us to an important question: can you trust what you read here?
When assessing the credibility of any user-generated content on our site, check the username behind the post – do you know that person? Have you seen their posts before? If not, click on their username or avatar to see their profile and make a more informed judgement based on what you see there.
Another thing to consider is whether the post has attracted any recommendations – this will be displayed top-right of the post. Most messages don’t attract any, so one or two recommendations indicate a thoughtful post, while three or more are a sure sign of quality.
If you like the message you may also want to add your endorsement by clicking ‘recommend’ on the bottom of the message area. If you don't like it because you think it is inappropriate in some way, please hit "report" and let us know why.
Beware of trolls
Just about every online community has its share of trolls – disruptive community members who go against the grain of site and, in general, cause trouble. Trolls usually give themselves away with posts that feature one or more of the following characteristics:
- innuendo and rumour
- more innuendo and rumour
- LOTS OF CAPITALS
- irrelevant or controversial comments
- por grammer and speling
The best way to deal with trolls is to just steer clear and report any inappropriate posts. The bulk of the lovemoney.com community is decidedly helpful and positive, so it’s unlikely you’ll spot many trolls on our site.
Different ways to comment on lovemoney.com
Our site is a thriving online community. User-generated content (stuff posted by people like you!) is an important part of our site, so we offer a range of different forums for members to have their say:
- post questions and answers on Q&A
- offer tips on all sorts of tasks in our Goals tool
- review any number of financial products and offer your own experiences and opinions
- say a little bit about yourself on your profile page
- comment on all our articles, videos and blog posts
Every member of lovemoney.com is invited to contribute as much as they like to each of these areas. All we ask is that you use a little common sense when you do it. Below we’ll walk you through some posting guidelines.
Make your posts informative
We have high standards on the site. The best way to start a discussion is to contribute to it. Always keep in mind that you are more likely to draw responses and additional help when you provide some information yourself. Please, avoid posting anything that:
- offers little or no information
- contains emotion at the expense of reason
- hypes an opportunity
- attacks another person
We are generous here and assume the best of every participant, and new members are given a certain amount of benefit of the doubt, However, a person posting in the style above would have used up at least one unit's worth of benefit of the doubt.
This is not to say that you have to always write a lengthy message providing elaborate information. Just that we want the reading of our site to be time well spent for everyone, and that means putting as much information and thought as possible into all of your posts.
Stay on topic
Whether you’re reviewing products, tipping tasks on our Goals tool, or commenting on an article, each comment thread is limited to posts about the topic under discussion. If you want to post about something else, please do so in the appropriate place. If you have a specific question or want to start a friendly debate, Q&A might be the best place to post.
Civil discussion to benefit the whole community
We aim to make the website a delightful place for you to spend your time. Along these lines, most members of our community are intelligent, reasonable people who want to find useful information and have constructive discussions.
That does not mean that you will always agree with everything that others will say here. You have your own unique perspective to offer and we want to hear it. A lively discussion can draw out the subtle points of an issue. However, if you disagree with an opinion, go ahead and challenge that opinion, but don't attack the person who expressed it. You are never going to ‘win’ an argument on the internet. If you can agree to disagree we can all gain.
We have found that these guidelines for civil discussion really do work:
- stick to facts both in presenting your own argument and in countering the arguments of others
- don't sensationalise; allow the facts to speak for themselves
- comment on what other posters say, but avoid commenting on the person
- tell people what you think, not what you want them to think
- tell people what you have done and why, not what you want them to do, or stop doing
- don't use sarcasm – it just doesn’t come across online
- avoid colourful metaphors which cast those who may disagree with you as idiots or scoundrels
- assume that other posters start with positive intentions
If you think that a discussion has gone outside the bounds of civil disagreement please resist the temptation to join a slanging match. Instead, use the ‘report’ link to alert our staff. We will sort it out with minimum disruption.
Make it readable and people will respond
We recommend you format your message to look like the print in a broadsheet newspaper, employing capital and lower case letters in a traditional manner. Typing in block capitals is viewed as SHOUTING, and a message written entirely in capital letters is an eyesore. The indiscriminate use of lower case letters, on the other hand, can look lazy or sloppy.
Plain text will do for most messages, but if you want to get a little more elaborate you are welcome to format your comments with bold and italic.
Not everyone will read your reply immediately after reading the message to which you are responding. So if you are replying to another message it is a good idea to either quote a fragment of the message (and use italics to show that it is a quote) or address the person to whom you are responding (by typing ‘@[their username]’ at the top of your comment).
Remember, you are in a public place
Everything you write on the site is potentially available to everyone on the planet. That is why they call it the World Wide Web. lovemoney.com has hundreds of thousands of readers, so there’s a good chance that people you know in real life read this site. Common sense applies: don’t post confidential or privileged information about yourself or your employers, and avoid insulting your family, neighbours and colleagues.
The laws of libel apply on our site as in any other public forum, so please do not write anything which might provoke others to consult their lawyers. On the other hand, if you feel that you have been defamed by someone on our site please use the ‘report’ mechanism to alert us to the message and our staff will deal with it.
Please also be aware that anything that you post may be highlighted or reproduced elsewhere (for example in an article on the site).
While we love to hear from people with special expertise which they want to share with us, we already know of more than one, regrettable, case in which people have been reprimanded by their employers for posting information about the company which employed them. Please be sure that what you post belongs in the public domain.
Treat copyright right
Contributors may summarise articles and quote an occasional sentence or two, but not an entire article. Sometimes a press release from a company may be posted in its entirety, but not if it has been obtained via a copyright-protected news service. Articles copied into the site in their entirety will be removed. If in doubt, post a link to the interesting item; it is almost always safer.
We won't tolerate anyone playing copycat with us, and we must insist that our readership likewise respect anyone else's work. If you do not, you may find yourself on the receiving end of a stern email from one of our staff. Those who persist in flouting the copyright law may find their membership cancelled.
No advertising or solicitation
It is against our rules to advertise or solicit for business anywhere on the site without our permission. This rule is strictly enforced, and if violated, may result in the cancellation of your membership.
Solicitation includes, but is not limited to
- requests to be emailed
- posting phone numbers for your business
- posting one's own website address, especially if that site has a substantial commercial element to it
We employ a particularly strict interpretation of this policy with regard to ‘sign up and mention me’ messages promoting various pyramid marketing schemes. Most of these organisations have a responsible anti-spam policy. When we report abuse of our site to them they will typically cancel the membership of the guilty party.
Please don't repeatedly post the same message across the site – this is construed as spamming. The only exception to this rule is if you have asked an appropriate question in an appropriate place and it has been ignored. In this case, asking the question again after a reasonable time is acceptable.
Bear in mind that while some messages simply get overlooked, there are reasons why a message may go unanswered:
- it may have been answered before, elsewhere – do a quick search to check
- it may be that no one knows the answer
- it may be that the readers don't understand the question
Often rephrasing an unanswered question will increase its chances of attracting an answer. Using sarcasm or an accusing tone, on the other hand, tends to reduce the chances of obtaining an answer.
We cannot give advice via email
The aim of our website is to put you in control of your money. We want to make you aware of issues that affect you and your money, and we want to help you make your own decisions and avoid being ripped off when seeking advice from others.
You are welcome to use our site to discuss issues that concern you and, we hope, to be educated by the experience. But we are not a regulated Financial Adviser and cannot give personal advice so please do not ask for it.
These posting guidelines are intended to compliment and further explain the official terms and conditions and disclaimer, which are linked in the footer of all pages. A condition of membership is that you agree to abide by them so please do take the time to read over them to ensure you get the best from the site.