Welcome to our community

The Defender welcomes frank, civil debate on the articles we publish and the issues we cover. We are committed to maintaining a space where writers of every viewpoint may safely air contrary science-based views. One of the hallmarks of The Defender is our commitment to discussions of evidence-based science and medicine.

We are not a forum for partisan political debate. Our goal is to create a community, and a movement, committed to defending the health and future well-being of children by shining a light on the truth, untainted by corporate propaganda or partisan political agendas. More here on The Defender’s mission and goals.

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How to be a valuable contributor

The writers, comment moderators, fact-checkers and all who contribute to the content on this website care deeply about the issues discussed here.

Please discuss and criticize ideas — not people.

We want this to be a shared community resource. Please strive for accuracy by sharing peer-reviewed science from trustworthy sources and only verified facts directly related to the article you are commenting on.

Please avoid repetitive comments by limiting your comment to information that will improve or move the discussion forward in a meaningful way.

Please limit links to other resources to only those that are germane to the topic. We love resources as they can be really helpful sometimes, but in order to prevent spam and assure quality, we must limit links in the comments. Do not add more than two links in your comment. If you do so, your comment will be flagged for further review.

We read the comments

Our moderators are humans who work to keep the conversation here respectful, engaging, truthful and productive. We will not post comments that don’t meet these standards.

When you see bad behavior, don’t reply. Acknowledging bad behavior encourages it. Instead, flag the comment for our moderators.

What we don’t tolerate

In short, we reserve the right to reject any comments we deem inappropriate. Here is a list of things we don’t tolerate.

  • Bad behavior: We have a zero-tolerance policy for name-calling, harassment, threats or personal attacks of any kind on writers or other commenters, including attacks based on one’s religion, race, gender, disability, or sexual orientation. Comments must be appropriate for all ages. Any vulgar language, profanity or cursing is prohibited, as is wishing harm on someone. This includes attempts to conceal curse words with special characters and symbols (!@#_*) or spacing.
  • Advertising: Promoting, selling or advertising in a comment will result in a suspension or ban.
  • Copyright infringement: We don’t allow posts that infringe upon or violate the copyrights, trademarks or other intellectual property rights of any person. Please do not post long excerpts of material from other sources. You can post 2-3 paragraphs with a link for attribution. Please do not post descriptions of, links to, or methods for stealing someone’s intellectual property (software, video, audio, images), or for breaking any other law.
  • Duplicate comments: Please don’t cross-post the same comment or content on multiple articles.
  • Shouting: Please don’t type in ALL CAPS.
  • Keyword stuffing, backlinks: We do not allow keywords stuffed in the name field. Comments using keywords such as “Web Design Company” or similar will be flagged as spam and deleted. Please don’t sign your comments with a backlink to your site.
  • Illegal activities: Please don’t post links to illegal downloads, ways to steal service and other nefarious activities.
  • Spam: Whether it comes from a human or a bot, spam will be deleted. This includes self-promotion, such as promoting your own products, projects or services.
  • Multiple accounts and throwaway emails: We don’t allow multiple accounts per user. Using a disposable email address signals to us that you might not be here for the right reasons. You also may not create accounts designed to impersonate another person.

The above is not a comprehensive list. We reserve the right to remove comments that violate these standards or are disruptive in any way to the community and its mission.

The fine print

The Defender editorial staff reserves the right to edit, delete, move or mark as spam any and all comments. We also have the right to block access to any individual or group from commenting or from the entire site.

All comments made on this site are the responsibility of the commenter, not the editorial staff of The Defender. By submitting a comment, you agree that its content is your own, and you agree to hold The Defender, all subsidiaries of The Defender and all representatives of The Defender harmless from any and all repercussions, damages or liability.

The Defender has the right to reproduce and publish your comment in whole or in part. The Defender does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments.

We reserve the right to close comments at any time.