Frequently Asked Questions
FAQ: HuffPost User Accounts
Q: Why do I need to create an account on the Huffington Post?
A: In order to post a comment you need to create a username and password and log into the site.
Q: Where can I change my screen name?
A: You cannot change your screen name once you have registered. Every email address has to be associated with one screen name. You are welcome to register a new screen name with another email account.
FAQ: Comments & Moderation
Q: What is the Huffington Post's Comment Policy?
A: Community and Commenting Guiding Principles
The Huffington Post has a thriving user community and actively encourages commenting
on news stories and blog posts. We are dedicated to this community and strive to maintain
a respectful, engaging and informative conversation. Towards that end, we have general
guidelines for commenting. They are enforced 24/7 by a moderating system that features a
team of staff and community moderators, and moderation tools. If you wish to participate in the
community, we ask that you follow the guidelines below and the spirit of the community they
seek to create.
(I) If your comments consistently or intentionally make this community a less civil and enjoyable place to be, you and your comments will be excluded from it.
The Huffington Post promotes a receptive, transparent and civil atmosphere for comments and
users. Critical, in-depth and intelligent discussions and debates are encouraged and the best of
these are highlighted in various ways, such as through the Community Pundit program.
Everyone is welcome and encouraged to voice their opinion regardless of identity, politics,
ideology, religion or agreement with other community members, the author of the post or staff
members as long as those opinions are respectful and constructively add to the conversation.
However, this community does not tolerate direct or indirect attacks, name-calling or insults,
nor does it tolerate intentional attempts to derail, hijack, troll or bait others into an emotional
response. These types of comments will be removed from the community where warranted.
Individuals who consistently or intentionally post these types of comments will be warned and, if
necessary, excluded from the community.
(II) Many comments are pre-moderated.
To maintain a civil atmosphere, our moderation team may read comments before they are
displayed to other users. If this is the case, you may see your comment pending approval.
Approval times can vary depending on the site-wide comment load, so please be patient -- we
will get to all comments as quickly as possible.
(III) The community monitors itself, in conjunction with the core moderaton team - and you can help!
Every member of this community has the power and responsibility to help elevate the level of
conversation and remove the trolls who would degrade it. On every comment, you can "Fan
and Favorite" (F&F;) users who are posting great content, or flag a comment for review by a
moderator. Taking these simple actions helps bring great content to the top and removes bad
Community members who consistently and reliably flag comments that are removed by our
moderators may be given additional tools that will allow them to hide or remove comments
entirely. We take this ability very seriously and if you see any of the "community moderators"acting inappropriately, please report them to us
(IV) Be yourself, only yourself, and just one of yourself.
Every person's opinion is valuable and unique. Pretending to be someone else removes that
unique value from you or from others. Don't misrepresent yourself or others, spread mis-
information, create multiple accounts or "astroturf". If you do, you will make the community a
less enjoyable and valuable place to be and will be removed when we see it.
(V) This community is a safe space.
We strongly believe that the Huffington Post should be a safe space for individuals, groups
and their ideas. As such, violent and hostile language or calls for violence and hostility are
not welcome here. If you directly or indirectly threaten the physical or mental well being of a
member of this community, or an individual or group who is the subject of an article, you will
be removed immediately. If a credible threat is made against an individual or group, not only
will it be removed but it is likely that it will be reported to law enforcement agencies and we will
cooperate with them to any extent requested.
Personal identifiable information should never be posted to the Huffington Post comments
section. It never turns out well for anyone.
If you see any threats, harassment or personal information trolling please report it quickly
(VI) If you have comments, we are here and we have real people who read and reply.
If you have complaints, questions, concerns, or just feedback - positive or critical - please get in touch with us here
Q: I posted a comment. Why can't I see it on the site?
A: There are two scenarios under which your comment may not appear:
1. It may be pending approval. Comments on the blog are moderated BEFORE they appear on the site, and this takes time. Since the volume of comments on the site has grown rapidly, there is often a delay between a comment being posted and it being approved, especially during peak hours. We appreciate your patience and ask that you refrain from posting the same comment repeatedly.
2. Your comment violated the policy above. We pride ourselves in providing a medium for engaging and thought-provoking stories and encourage our users to speak their minds freely, provided comments fall within our commenting policy. We must respect our writers and protect them from vicious and inflammatory comments. They too are entitled to free speech- the right to share their opinions without being subject to scathing and mean-spirited remarks.
Q: Why am I blocked from commenting on HuffPost?A:
There are a few scenarios under a comment might be blocked:
1. A comment is extremely abusive, off-topic, uses excessive foul language, or includes an ad hominem attack.
2. If a commenter has previously posted comments that are abusive, off-topic, used excessive foul language, or include ad hominem
attacks, a Huff Post moderator may decide to ban the commenter's IP address. This means the abusive commenter is banned from commenting on the site in the future, even if the later comments are not abusive.
Q: Can I include HTML in my comments?
A: We remove all html from comments to preserve formatting consistency.
Q: If you don't allow any HTML, how can I include a link in my comment?
A: If you include a URL in your comment, it will be converted to a link. Please note, comments containing links to personal blogs and other inappropriate sites will be deleted. Only links to relevant news stories or sites are acceptable.
Q: There is a comment that I find insulting and in violation of your policy. What can I do?
A: You can flag the comment as abusive by pressing the Flag As Abusive link below the comment. This alerts our moderators and delete the comments that don't comply with our policy.
Q: What is the "Follow" link?
A: When you find a commenter you like, you can press the Follow link next to the commenter's name. Your vote will appear on your profile page and on the profile page of that commenter. This way you can keep track of the commenters you like and those who like you. We are working on a way to alert you when your favorite commenters post new comments on the site.
Q: What does the "Favorite" link mean?
A: If you think a comment is particularly great, you can select it as a favorite. This will help us track the best commenters on the site.
Q: Can I follow a blogger?
A: Absolutely. Each blogger has their own profile page that includes their bios and a Follow link. You can find this page by clicking on a blogger's name.
Q: Can I print comments?
A: Unfortunately, there is no way to print comments right now. We are building a feature that will let you print comments but for the time being, you can copy and paste them into another program and print them from there.
Q:Do I have to log in to HuffPost Social News every time I go to the Huffington Post?
A: No. Once you initially log in to HuffPost Social News using Facebook Connect, you will automatically remain logged in to Social News every time you come back to the Huffington Post, as long as you are using the same computer and web browser. To log out of HuffPost Social News, simply click "Log Out" on the top of any Huffington Post page.
Q: How Does HuffPost Social News Work?
A: Using Facebook Connect, HuffPost users can log in to the Huffington Post using their Facebook username and password and instantly connect with all their Facebook friends who are also on HuffPost Social News. You can see what stories your friends are reading, what they like and dislike, all the comments they're leaving, and even the polls they're voting on. Conversely, all of your activity on HuffPost will be visible to your network on HuffPost Social News.
Once you sign up for HuffPost Social News with your Facebook login, you will automatically become connected with all of your Facebook friends who have also signed up for Social News. As more of your Facebook friends sign up for Social News, you will automatically notified of new friends on the Social News network.
Q:How Do I Sign Up for HuffPost Social News?
A: Signing up for HuffPost Social News is easy and quick. On the top of the Huffington Post front page you will notice a Facebook Connect button that looks like this:
Click the Facebook Connect button and you will be taken to the Join Now page. Click "Join Now" and a small Facebook window will open. If you have a Facebook account, simply enter the email address and password you use for Facebook, and you will automatically be logged in to HuffPost Social News. If you don't have a Facebook account, on the bottom left corner of the window, click on "Sign up for Facebook" and you can create a new Facebook account to use with HuffPost Social.
A: Have you ever wondered which of your Facebook friends are part of the Huffington Post community? What are they commenting on? What stories do your friends, family and coworkers like? Now you can, with HuffPost Social News.
HuffPost Social News is a new collaboration between the Huffington Post and Facebook that connects HuffPost users to their Facebook friends, the news they are reading and the stories they are commenting on. While thousands of sites make use of the Facebook Connect technology, HuffPost Social News takes Facebook integration to a new level -- seamlessly weaving the news and opinion of HuffPost with the social networking capabilities of Facebook.
Q:Where Will I Find HuffPost Social News?
A: If you are logged into the Huffington Post with your Facebook account, you will find HuffPost Social News in two places on the Huffington Post:
1. Your HuffPost Social News Profile Page
While logged in, go to www.huffingtonpost.com/social to see your personalized HuffPost Social News page. Here you'll find everything for your HuffPost Social News account. This page is separated into two columns:
A) Main Column
On the main column, on the left side of your HuffPost Social News profile page, you'll find three tabs with the following labels:
* My Friends' Activity
This will be the default tab loaded when you go to your profile page. Here you'll see all the activity of your HuffPost Social News friends -- what they've read, what they've commented on and what they've voted on... and when.
* My Activity
Here you will see you each HuffPost story you've read and which of your friends have also read that story.
* My Friends
Here you'll find a listing of all of your friends on HuffPost Social News. You will see everyone who has followed you and everyone you follow. Here you can remove anyone who you no longer wish to follow.
B) Side Column
On the side column you'll find your Stats Board and your list of Friends:
* Stats Board
A quick look at how many comments you've left on the Huffington Post, divided between News and Blogs, and how many friends and followers you have.
An easy way to view your friends with they're profile pics -- click on the name or pic, and you will be taken to that friend's profile page.
2. The HuffPost Social News Module on Your Huffington Post Front Page
When logged in, you will notice a new HuffPost Social News module in the right column of your Huffington Post front page. This new HuffPost Social News module shows you five things:
A) Your Friends
A real-time feed of your friends' activity on HuffPost Social News. This section shows you what your friends are doing on the Huffington Post -- their "reads", their comments on their votes.
B) Most Popular In Your Network
The HuffPost story that has been read by the most people in your Social News network, how many people read the story, and which of your friends has read the story.
C) Most Popular on the Huffington Post
A list of the most popular news stories and blog post on the Huffington Post.
D) Don't-Miss HuffPost Bloggers
An updated menu of those blog posts on HuffPost that, well, you shouldn't miss.
E) Your Recent Activity
A log of all of your activity on HuffPost that is being shared with your friends on HuffPost Social News. In this area, you can manually delete items you wish to erase from your history and/or turn Stealth Mode on or off (see "Stealth Mode")
Note: Items C and D are visible always on the HuffPost front page, even if you're not logged into HuffPost Social News.
Q:How do I cancel my HuffPost Social News account?
A: To cancel your social news account, click on "Edit Social News Preferences" from your profile page. Click "Preferences" at the top of the main column, and scroll down to the area of the page labeled "Cancel Account". Click on "Remove My Account", and your Social News account will be removed.
Q:How Do I Unlink My Facebook Account from HuffPost Social News?
A: Unlinking your Facebook account from your HuffPost Social News account will not delete your Social News account. To unlink your Facebook account from your Social News account, click on "Edit Social News Preferences" from your profile page. Click "Preferences" at the top of the main column, and scroll down to the area of the page labeled "Unlink Account from Facebook". Click on "Unlink Account from Facebook", and your Social News account will be unlinked from Facebook.
Q:Can I change my profile picture for HuffPost Social News?
A: Yes, you can always make changes to your profile picture. From the Social Preferences page, click "Preferences" and you see an area labeled "Upload or change your photo." In this area you can upload a photo from your computer. The image should be in .gif, .jpg, or .png format.
Q:Can I change my username?
A: Unfortunately, you cannot change your username after your account has been created.
How do I select my profile picture for HuffPost Social News?
A: You don't need to. When you sign up for HuffPost Social News using your Facebook account, your Facebook profile picture will become your Social News profile picture.
Q:Can I block or "de-friend" someone who I no longer want to be connected with on HuffPost Social News?
A: Yes. You can always go to your profile page and manually "de-friend" someone in your network. Just click on the "My Friends" tab on your profile page and you'll see that each of your friends will have a red 'X' next to his/her name. Click on the red 'X' to block that friend. Keep in mind, if you remove a friend from HuffPost Socian News, that friend will not be removed from Facebook. Likewise, if you remove a friend from Facebook, this friend will not automatically be removed as your HuffPost Social News friend.
Q:How can I erase items from my HuffPost Social News history?
A: You can erase anything from your activity. In the HuffPost Social News module on the front page, under "My Recent Activity", you'll notice a red circle with an 'x' in it next to every item. This is the delete button. Simply press the delete button next to the item you want deleted, and it is instantly erased from your history.
Q:How will HuffPost use the information I provide when I sign up?
A: The personal information you provide when signing up for HuffPost Social News will remain strictly confidential and will only be used for Social News. The Huffington Post will never make public any information you provide us such as your email address or Facebook password.
A: While logged in to HuffPost Social News, you'll see at the very bottom of the HuffPost Social News module an option that allows you to turn on "Stealth Mode". With Stealth Mode turned on, your activity will not be published on Social News, however you remain logged in and can view your friends' activity.
Q:Will what I read on HuffPost appear on my Facebook wall?
A: No. Nothing you do on HuffPost Social automatically appears on your wall. Your reads, along with your comments and votes, appear only on your HuffPost Social News activity and do not appear anywhere on your Facebook page.
Q: What are HuffPost Badges?
A: The BETA version of HuffPost Badges is our newest way to recognize and empower HuffPost readers and users. So far, we're focusing on three key areas of user activity on the site: connecting with others, engaging with our content, and moderating our comments. We're highlighting these three areas and recognizing the top users in them.
Q: What does "BETA" mean?A.
The term "BETA" comes from software development. It means we're still working on this system and plan to keep improving it. Have ideas, suggestions, or concerns? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Q: HuffPost Badges are awesome! How do I attain more? And how do I earn a higher Level on my Badges?
A: Users attain higher Badges based on their activity on the site. If you want to attain a certain Level, your activity on the site should meet our descriptions below.
Q: I hate HuffPost Badges! How do I get rid of these things?A:
If you don't want to participate in HuffPost Badges, just email us at email@example.com
to opt out. Please make sure you send your email from the email address that you used to register your HuffPost account and include your username.
Q: What's a "Networker"? How can I become one?
A: If you're well above average when it comes to being connected with friends and followers, we'll award you with a Level 1 Networker Badge. If you're among the most-connected users in terms of friends and followers, and if you've connected your HuffPost account to your Facebook or Twitter account, we make you a Level 2 Networker, upgrade your Badge, and feature your comments in red. If you're like many users, you'll want to collect more fans and friends, so you can level up! And don't forget to connect your Facebook or Twitter account to your HuffPost account.
Q: What's a "Superuser"? How can I become one?
A: If you've been busy commenting on HuffPost and sharing stories to Facebook and Twitter, we'll award you with a Level 1 Superuser Badge. If you're among the busiest, most engaged users when it comes to commenting and sharing, and if you've connected your HuffPost account to your Facebook or Twitter account, then we make you a Level 2 Networker, upgrade your Badge, and feature your comments in purple. If you're like many users, you'll want to comment and share even more, so you can level up! And don't forget to connect your Facebook or Twitter account to your HuffPost account.
Q: What's a "Moderator"? How can I become one?
A: If you've flagged at least 20 comments that we ended up deleting and have a high ratio of good flags to mistaken flags, we'll award you with a Level 1 Moderator Badge and enhance your flags so that they have five times more influence. If you've flagged at least 100 comments that we deleted and have a very high ratio of good flags to mistaken flags, we make you a Level 2 Moderator, upgrade your Badge, and trust you to delete inappropriate comments on the site. We will continue to trust you to delete inappropriate comments from the site as long as you handle the task responsibly. If you're like many users, you'll want to step up your flagging game and become one of our most trusted users.
Q: Why is this opt-out? Isn't letting users opt-in better for privacy?A:
We take user privacy very seriously at the Huffington Post. The activities of collecting friends and followers, commenting, and sharing are inherently public activities at the Huffington Post, so the shift in privacy is very minimal. We believe that an opt-out model is best for flagging comments as well, because we've seen that users take pride in protecting the conversations that happen on HuffPost. If you have ideas, suggestions, or concerns, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Q: I don't understand why linking a Facebook account or a Twitter account to my HuffPost account has anything to do with Badges? Why is it a requirement?
A: Connecting your Facebook account or your Twitter account is required to advance to a Level 2 Networker and Level 2 Superuser. It is not required for any other Levels. So far, the users who have connected their Facebook or Twitter accounts have helped make HuffPost a more dynamic and interesting place. We expect this trend to continue, and want to reward users who link other social networking profiles to their HuffPost profile.
Q: Once I earn a Badge, can I lose it?
A: Yes, you can lose a Badge. If you lose too many friends or followers, you may lose your Networker Badge or be demoted a Badge Level. If you disconnect your Facebook or Twitter account from your HuffPost account, your Networker or Superuser Badge might be demoted a Badge Level. If your number of published comments fall because too many were deleted for being inappropriate, you may lose your Superuser Badge. If you don't maintain a sufficiently high ratio of successful flags to mistaken flags, you may lose your Moderator Badge. We also reserve the right to revoke your Moderator Badge because you fail to use the enhanced authority responsibly. In general, we reserve the right to demote the Badge Level or revoke any Badge entirely from any user who abuses HuffPost Levels or any of the activities that compose it.
Q: Oh no! I lost a Badge and I don't know why! What happened?A:
If you're unsure why you lost your Badge, check out the FAQ above. If you're still unsure, send us an email at email@example.com
Q: Wait! I just shared an article to my Facebook or Twitter account, but I don't think it counted toward my total Superuser tally. What happened?
A: You must be logged into your HuffPost account in order for us to count your Facebook or Twitter share.
Q: Where did you come up with the design for your Badges?
A: We designed them in house. Do you like them?
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