Polygon was founded in 2012 with the goal of covering video games and the gaming community with the respect and appreciation they deserve as an essential art form and cultural force. A decade later, gaming is at the center of pop culture, and we’ve broadened our horizons accordingly.
Our mission is to inform and educate you about the vast sea of entertainment that’s available at your fingertips these days, and to guide you through it. We also hope to inspire fervent discussions about the books, comics, games, movies, television shows, and memes that are on everyone’s minds at the moment (and, sometimes, the ones that aren’t).
If you’re here at Polygon, you’re probably passionate about pop culture, and we love seeing that passion in the comments sections of our articles. Our goal is to foster conversations that are insightful, thought-provoking, and fun. But above all else, we want the Polygon community to be a welcoming, inclusive place where each and every one of our readers feels respected as a person. We need your help to make that a reality, so here are some guidelines to get you started!
The short version
- Don’t be a jerk. We like to have fun at Polygon, but we’re serious about maintaining this community as a friendly place for everybody.
- Don’t respond to trolls. We’ll remove any bad stuff when we see it, which will unfortunately include any nicer comments made in response. Respect and help our moderators not by replying to bad comments, but by flagging bad comments. The mods are a small team of dedicated, caring humans working hard to make Polygon the most welcoming community on the internet.
- Give us your feedback directly. Got a correction or suggestion for an article? We’d love to hear it. Just use the contact page to let us know. It’s quicker and better than derailing a thread, and we’ll heart you for it.
Our way or the (internet super) highway
Here’s a list of things that will get your comment removed, and might get your account banned. Note that this is not a comprehensive list; our moderators reserve the right to remove anything they deem inappropriate. See any of the stuff listed? You can help us out by reporting it (more on that in the Comments section below).
- Spam: Zero tolerance, of course! Whether it comes from a human or a robot, spam will be deleted. This includes self-promotion. Generally speaking, promoting your game, project, YouTube channel, or website, or copying and pasting entire articles/scans from other publications, will be treated like any other spam on Polygon: It goes in the bin. (This also applies to posting the same comment over and over again.)
- Personal attacks: Don’t attack or insult another commenter. It’s not helpful, and it doesn’t make Polygon a friendly place. This includes referring to other people as “trolls,” “fanboys,” “sheep,” “white knights,” etc. If you’re thinking of using a specific term such as a racial or derogatory insult, think again about why that’s a bad idea, and don’t do it.
- Illegal activities: You don’t have to look too hard to find the seedy underbelly of the internet — where there’s plenty of information on carrying out hacks and unauthorized exploits, links to illegal downloads, and other nefarious activity — but you won’t find it here.
- NSFW material: Nope, not allowed. Even images or links that could be considered borderline are not acceptable. A good rule of thumb is that anything beyond PG-13 will get you in trouble, but we reserve the right to remove any post we deem offensive. This goes for pornographic material, slurs and hateful language, gore, and generally gross stuff.
- Racism, sexism, and other discrimination: Attacking entire classes of people is just like attacking a single person — we’ll be having words with you about it.
- Trolling: If you’re making off-topic comments or posting flamebait, you’re likely to find that your post has suddenly disappeared. An example of that would be spelling company names sarcastically using dollar signs (“$ony,” “M$,” etc.), or using wordplay like “Crapple.” This also extends to so-called concern trolling — or accusing other commenters of it.
- Offensive usernames: If your username contains language or terms that could be construed as offensive, we’ll put a hold on your account and start a dialogue with you to change your username to something more appropriate. If you provide unsuitable replacements, we reserve the right to choose a new username at random in order to get you up and running on a temporary basis until you provide a more permanent option.
- Multiple accounts and throwaway emails: We don’t allow multiple accounts per user. In addition, using a disposable email address signals to us that you’re not here for the right reasons; we’ll go ahead and block those accounts, and offer to open a dialogue with you when you get in touch using a legitimate email account. You also may not create accounts designed to impersonate another person.
- Complaining about coverage: We cover a wide array of topics, not all of which are easy, comfortable, or reflective of your personal views. While we’re not opposed to discussions of our coverage, comments containing things like complaints about the frequency of articles on a particular topic or questions about whether something is newsworthy are usually an indication that you’re not trying to be a productive member of the community. The same goes for comments that accuse our team of taking money in exchange for “biased” coverage. As outlined in our ethics statement, any ads, sponsored content, or articles containing affiliate links will be clearly marked as such, and they have no influence on our editorial judgment.
- Complaining about moderation: See the Moderation section below.
- Trashing publications: Whether it’s Polygon or another publication, don’t bash them or their staff. It’s not cool, and it’s disrespectful to a lot of people. Be the better person here.
- Posting unmarked spoilers: We have a spoiler tag in the text editor for when you make your comment. Use it! Posting unmarked spoilers will usually get your comment removed. We don’t mandate that you wait for a specific window of time, but... use your best judgment. (Or we’ll do it for you.)
- Abuse of the reporting system: If we catch you flagging comments that have no business being flagged just because you disagree on semantics, we will have words with you.
- “First post” rule: All of the behavior listed above? You could say we’re not fond of it. We’re even less likely to tolerate it if you made an account on Polygon specifically to engage in it, since it tells us that you aren’t here to contribute in any meaningful manner. If your first post breaks the rules above, we’ll usually go ahead with a ban and open a dialogue with you.
How to post and comment
There are two ways to interact on Polygon. Here are the basics, but there’s much more information listed below.
- Post a comment: We love comments! Simply by registering for an account, you can comment on any story here on Polygon. The comments are threaded, allowing you to reply directly to the person you’re talking to. There are also some really great keyboard shortcuts — all of which are listed just above the comments area — so you can quickly and easily get to the newest comments. Oh, and you’ll have five minutes to edit your comment should you make an error.
- Get in touch: Have a news tip? Want to contact the moderators? Want to tell us about a site bug or an article that needs correction? You can do all of that right here.
- About our moderators: They don’t speak for the site, but they are here to help you make the Polygon community a better place. They’re denoted by a badge, so they’re easy to spot in our comments.
- Questions about moderation: We’re happy to have a discussion with you about comment moderation — in private. We’ve learned from experience that public complaints about moderation just lead to people trying to game the system. If you have a question, hit us up through our contact form, and we’ll have a chat. If there’s a big policy change or something we’d like to say publicly about moderation, we’ll announce it on the site and update this document. Do note that any complaints about moderation or about comment removal will also be removed from the comment section, in order to keep things on topic.
- Isn’t this censorship? Well, no and yes. We’re trying to foster great conversations, and we will remove any and all comments that threaten that endeavor. Even though your comment may seem benign to you, we’ve played this game long enough to spot the sorts of posts that can spiral the conversation out of control. You may be free to say whatever you like at other places, but not here. At Polygon, we maintain a different standard, working very hard to keep the conversation informative and fun. The bottom line is that moderators have the final say on whether a comment falls within our community guidelines. And if you’re going to cite your First Amendment right to freedom of speech in response to being moderated, well, you might want to do some U.S. history homework first.
Comments are a lovely way to talk about the articles published on Polygon. They can also be a lot to keep up with, so we have some tools to make it easier.
Polygon’s comments system now features a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editor, with basic formatting shortcuts like bold and italics built in. If you’ve made a typo or other error, don’t worry — you’ll have five minutes to edit your comment after submitting it.
In addition, every comment has a few links associated with it:
- Like: We love great comments, and we know you do too. Click “Like” to give a comment a thumbs-up and see it get more love and affection from the site. Once a comment gets five likes, it’ll be highlighted in yellow, as a beacon advertising its valuable contribution to the discourse.
- Reply: Use this to respond to a particular comment. Your comment will show up as a nested reply to it.
- Share: Want to link directly to a comment? Click the “Share” button to copy its URL to your clipboard.
- Report: Click “Report” to flag a comment to the moderators. Use this feature to report violations of our community guidelines, such as spam, personal attacks, or racist language. Do not use it to hassle users. If the top comment in a thread is a problem, we may remove it, and that will also remove all the replies to it. So if there’s an inappropriate comment and you reply to it with something eloquent and heartfelt, there’s a very good chance that your highly intelligent and meaningful comment will nonetheless be lost, and you’ll have only yourself to blame for that.
Last updated May 2022