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Blog comment and moderation guidelines

All comments are welcome, and we aim to publish all of them, whether positive or negative. But remember they are subject to the Civil Service Code and the Cabinet Office social media guidance. We won’t publish comments which are in breach of these.

Note that the contents of this blog, including the comments section, may be subject to release under the Freedom of Information Act. In the event of disclosure however, personal data of staff under SCS level will be redacted and comments anonymised. So do please comment freely.

When posting comments, please observe our site participation guidelines:

  • be respectful of others who use this site
  • stay on topic
  • keep comments concise
  • do not use language that is offensive, inflammatory or provocative (this includes, but is not limited to, swearing and obscene or vulgar comments)
  • do not break the law (this includes libel, condoning illegal activity and contempt of court)
  • do not use this site for party political purposes (this site is paid for with public money so it's inappropriate to engage in party-political activity)
  • please do not post personal information in comments such as addresses, phone numbers, e-mail addresses or other online contact details, which may relate to you or other individuals
  • do not impersonate or falsely claim to represent a person or an organisation
  • do not attempt to log on using another user’s account
  • do not make any commercial endorsement or promotion of any product, service or publication not relevant to the discussion
  • do not post the same comment to more than one conversation or more than once
  • do not advertise as we can only accept posts that are your own opinion and will remove posts where we suspect a vested interest
  • do not post personal or offensive comments about individual members of the public or people who work for the ONS.

We welcome feedback, both positive and negative, about our work but please make sure your comments are in line with the above guidelines.

If you are aged 16 or under, please get the permission of your parent or guardian before participating. Users without this consent are not allowed to participate.

Moderation policy

Blog comments are pre-moderated to check they comply with our blog participation guidelines above. If comments do not comply they will not be published.

Here is a brief outline of how we evaluate comments.

  • Is this comment on topic, does it add value to the discussion and can ONS answer publicly? If so, post a timely response.
  • Is this person asking for information or detail relating to another ONS channel, for example is it a ONS.GOV.UK content query? If so, we'll pass the query on and ensure it is dealt with as quickly as possible. We will update the user on progress.
  • Does this comment raise an issue with a survey? Or is it reporting a bug or performance problem? If so, alert the team responsible for fixing the tool, survey or issue and tell the user this has been done.
  • Is this comment a rant at ONS venting frustration or anger? If so, STOP, monitor and discuss with the digital engagement team first, referring to the participation guidelines.