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Facebook commenting FAQ

Updated Monday, June 10.

Do I need a Facebook account to view comments on stories?

No, posted comments are public for everyone to see. However, if your workplace bans access to Facebook, the comments may be prevented from appearing.

Do I need to have a Facebook account to comment?

Yes, you need to have an active Facebook account to comment. We look for real names, a photo, and enough information on it to convince us you are a real person. Whether you do anything else with your Facebook account other than use it to log in and post comments is entirely up to you.

Please note that once you've signed up with Facebook, you MUST have a profile photo and a least four friends for your comment to become visible on the site. If you do not meet these requirements, your comment must be approved by a moderator before it appears on the site. Keep in mind that we do not monitor comments on a regular basis, so your comments may not be visible right away.

If you don't have a Facebook account, you will be prompted to sign up for one when you try to post a comment on our website. You can also get one at http://www.facebook.com.

Is The Observer being paid by Facebook to do this?

No. We're using Facebook Comments to improve the environment for conversation and to make it easy to comment on stories and share them with your friends.

Will Facebook be moderating the comments now?

No, Facebook does not moderate comments. But you can report an inappropriate or abusive comment. To do so, hover over the upper right corner of the comment until an "X" appears. Then click the "X" and choose "Report". The comment will be removed from your view. Facebook tracks abuse reports and automatically bans users who are consistently abusive.

Observer staff will continue to delete inappropriate comments and ban users who consistently violate our comment guidelines, which remain the same.

How do I sign in if I am reading the story and wish to comment?

After you enter text in the comment box and click on “Comment,” a pop-up window will appear asking you to sign-in via Facebook. If you do not see the pop-up window after you click on “Comment,” make sure that you have your pop-up blocker turned off.

If you are already signed-in to Facebook on your computer or device, you won’t be asked to sign-in. You can simply post your comment.

How do I manage my account, change privacy settings, and share my comments?

You can learn about these options and more by visiting Facebook’s help center at https://www.facebook.com/help.

Are the Terms of Use for the website staying the same?

Yes they are, and you can find them at http://www.charlotteobserver.com/terms_of_service. Our commenting guidelines also remain the same.

Why does my Facebook profile picture and name appear on the comments page when I haven't even posted a comment?

If you're signed in at Facebook.com, your information will appear, but it is not visible to anyone else until your comment is published.

Will all my comments be posted to my Facebook page so everyone can see it?

Not necessarily. When you begin to post a comment, you’ll see the option "‘Post to Facebook" directly under the comment box. Uncheck that box if you do not want the comment to be shown on your Facebook page.

Do I have to use my own photo?

No, you can pick whatever else best expresses yourself as your photo. The photo shown is the main photo on your Facebook account page.

Can other people commenting see my personal information, e-mail, location, etc?

That depends on how you’ve set your privacy options. Facebook has robust privacy settings. You can set your privacy options by going here: http://www.facebook.com/help/privacy.

What is a Top Commenter and how do I become one? Facebook automatically assigns the Top Commenter badge to users whose comments are most often "Liked" by others. To earn the Top Commenter badge, be civil and respectful, respect other viewpoints and follow our comment guidelines (posted above the comments area on each story).

What if I still have questions about the system and how to use it?

You can e-mail us at online@charlotteobserver.com and we’ll help you out.

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The Charlotte Observer welcomes your comments on news of the day. The more voices engaged in conversation, the better for us all, but do keep it civil. Please refrain from profanity, obscenity, spam, name-calling or attacking others for their views.

Have a news tip? You can send it to a local news editor; email local@charlotteobserver.com to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Charlotte Observer.

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Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

The Charlotte Observer welcomes your comments on news of the day. The more voices engaged in conversation, the better for us all, but do keep it civil. Please refrain from profanity, obscenity, spam, name-calling or attacking others for their views.

Have a news tip? You can send it to a local news editor; email local@charlotteobserver.com to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Charlotte Observer.

  Read more


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