Guidelines

We encourage a collegial, non-insulting tone and that we will remove posts & comments, to the best of our knowledge and ability, that include any of the following:

  • Potentially libelous statements.
  • Obscene, explicit, or racist language.
  • Personal attacks, insults, or threats.
  • Commercial product promotions.
  • Information taken from another source without permission.
  • Private personal information published without consent.
  • Comments unrelated to the topic of the forum.
  • Hyperlinks to material that is not directly related to the discussion.

Please consider that:

  • If your comment or article does not appear immediately, there is no need to submit it again.
  • Please treat others with respect. Flaming and trolling will not be accepted on Vikalpa. Attack the issue, not the person.
  • Comments containing hate speech, obscenity, and personal attacks will not be approved.
  • Comments that seek to inflame tensions on the ground, or are of a defamatory nature, will not be approved, or will be taken off the website as soon as possible.
  • Vikalpa is a place for original and creative writing, not repetition or regurgitation.

When you are writing a post, please write with the following recommendations in mind:

  • Use the first person format
  • Be reflective, frame issues as best you can
  • Propose ideas and alternatives
  • Tell the truth – be factual. Do not knowingly lie.
  • Protect your identity and those who you write about. Think before you post!

Vikalpa is open to reflective and thought provoking content that is:

  1. pithy & provocative
  2. bears witness to the denial of justice, human rights & gross ceasefire violations
  3. essentially humanizes and critiques conflict & peace through alternative cultural, social, economic and political perspectives.

Our idea of citizen journalism, and content herein, adheres to the following:

  1. Integrity – Diligence and Legitimacy
  2. Courage – Independent and Critical, content that is insightful and fleshes out that which mainstream media does not
  3. Accountability – Responsibility and Credibility, as far as can be ensured, so that voices and opinions herein are regarded seriously and as those which contribute to debates on peace and reconciliation in Sri Lanka
  4. Knowledge – Consistent search for the Truth, cognisant that the truth has many facets, and any one of them alone is a lie
  5. Justice – Respect and Honesty for all communities and all peoples in Sri Lanka
  6. Equality – Cultural diversity and Gender sensitive content, recognising that both are central pillars of any peace process

Bear in mind that Vikalpa is an experiment in progress in Citizen Journalism in Sri Lanka. The tone we seek in our online discussions is closer to the kind of collegial exchange you’d share with someone from your workplace, group of friends or home.

That means focusing on the substance of arguments as opposed to their presenters. It also means avoiding insults and other forms of ad-hominem comments. We encourage you to make your case as vigorously as possible without being rude.

If you find a particular article – or a comment by a fellow poster – to be silly or stupid or ignorant, please do the extra work required to make your assessment without using such labels. The idea is to foster discussion among colleagues with different points of view – not to win debating points with clever put-downs. Sarcasm usually appears far more clever to its author than it does to its audience. Kindly note that we aggressively pursue those who vilify, threaten, abuse or otherwise act is discordance with the guidelines outlined herein. We take all complaints against abuse seriously and automatically log, in a manner not beyond that which is made possible by WordPress, the details of those who post and comment in this forum, which may include public IP addresses. This information may be used to inform ISPs of repeat offenders who attempt to hijack this site by trolling, hate speech and comment spam.

We are reluctant to impose specific limits on the number of posts by any one contributor, but we ask you to exercise restraint. Discussions dominated by the frequency or verbosity of individual contributors become less interesting and useful for the rest of us. At times, it may be more appropriate for you to exchange e-mail directly with a fellow poster rather than carrying on a conversation in the feedback area.

Also note that it may be useful for authors, if they are writing on an issue that’s been widely commented on in the past, to link to these comments and begin a new post.

We appreciate your help and active participation to make Vikalpa a success.