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The Rules of Engagement

How to make the most of your online comments

For those who are active online, the comment boards available on websites such as those available on the SLOG, The Seattle Times, The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Yahoo, Facebook, Twitter, The Huffington Post, on the web pages of most local newspapers (click here to look up newpapers in your area by zip code) , as well as on the websites of many non-profit organizations are a great place to share stories, and debate about the merits of approving the freedom to marry, or advocating for full LGBTQ equality.

Tips for Effective Online Engagement

  1. Don’t be a troll.  A “troll” is a term for an individual who engages in inflammatory, belligerent and negative discourse, often at the expense of other people who have posted.  They are known for lurking and posting repeatedly.  They show a strong tendency to never change their fundamental viewpoint.
  2. Don’t engage with trolls.  If the temptation to respond is too strong, use the “block” function available on many social websites to filter their comments out of your conversation.
  3. Do keep your comments short and to the point.
  4. Avoid sarcasm.  Without the benefit of tone, words posted sarcastically can be taken literally.  Or, the sarcasm can be noted, and resented.
  5. “Like” or “Thumbs Up” positive comments you come across that support marriage equality.
  6. Tell the truth as you see it.  Put it in personal terms.
  7. Check out these talking points for marriage equality, and use your personal story to help explain them to your reader.

Remember, in the online environment, the sane, clear and kind message wins out.