Comments: What is a Preferred Commenter?

February 27

You’ll notice a new option by our comment boxes: “People included in Post stories are eligible for Preferred Commenter status.”

We have introduced the Preferred Commenter option to provide a space for members of the public and public figures to comment when they are directly involved in a particular story.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is a preferred commenter?

Users with direct involvement in a particular story on washingtonpost.com qualify for Preferred Commenter status. Preferred Commenters are approved on a story-by-story basis and are verified to comment on a particular story. They do not have Preferred Commenter privilege across washingtonpost.com.

Am I eligible for preferred commenter status?

An easy way to tell if you qualify: If a reporter has reached out to you or your organization for participation in writing a story, you are eligible for Preferred Commenter status.

What is the “Preferred Commenter” section at the top of the comment thread?

Because of their direct involvement in a story, Preferred Commenters’ comments will appear at the top of its comment section.

Application

How do I apply to be a Preferred Commenter?

All commenters on The Washington Post must be registered with the site, must sign in and must have a display name for our comments section. To create a new account and display name, click here. To sign in, click here.

For stories in which Preferred Commenter access is enabled, signed-in users will see a notification beside the comment box: “People in Post stories qualify for Preferred Commenter status. Click here.”

Click to access a form where you provide important information necessary for your verification as a Preferred Commenter. The community manager uses this information to verify your identity to confirm your direct involvement with the given story and its events. This form is private and for internal Post use only. Your full name provided will be on display beside your comment. The remaining information you include is private and will not be disclosed.

Please fill out the form completely and accurately to ensure the most efficient approval of your status. We ask for your social media profile information as an added level of verification.

Do I have to provide my full name?

Yes. When commenting as a Preferred Commenter, your full name will appear beside your comment. Your washingtonpost.com display name will appear in parentheses.

Why do I have to provide my phone number and e-mail address?

A Washington Post community manager will need your phone number and e-mail address to contact you and confirm your involvement with the story.

What is the discussion policy? Is the policy different for Preferred Commenters?

Commenters accept the terms and conditions of our discussion policy and guidelines on Preferred Commenter placement. Comments by preferred commenters are held to the same policy as every other comment on our site. (Review the guidelines here)

What happens when I submit my request for Preferred Commenter status?

Your request for Preferred Commenter status is in progress until a Post community manager can verify the information you provided. We do our best to process requests in a timely manner. Approvals should be fastest between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday.

The community manager will contact you to confirm that the phone number, e-mail address and social media information you provided is correct. The community manager will confirm your involvement in the story with editors and reporters responsible for the story in question.

Will I be able to comment as usual while my Preferred Commenter request is in progress?

Yes, if you have a Washington Post digital account. (You can sign in or create an account here.) Until a community manager approves your request, your comment will not appear as that of a Preferred Commenter.

I submitted my form and have been contacted by a Post community manager. How long until I can comment as a Preferred Commenter?

After the community manager confirms your information and approves you for Preferred Commenter status, please wait until you see the following notification: “Your ‘Preferred Commenter’ request has been approved.” Thank you for your patience, and please refrain from posting repeat comments. Any comments made before approval will be automatically displayed in “Preferred Comments” after approval.

Approval

What happens when my application is approved for a particular story?

Your comment will appear at the top of the comment stream, under a Preferred Commenters heading. Your display name will appear in parentheses beside your full name, and you’ll receive a “Verified” marker (it looks like a checkmark) beside your name.

After I am approved for Preferred Commenter status on one story, can I comment as a Preferred Commenter on any story on washingtonpost.com?

No. Preferred commenter status is approved on a story-by-story basis. If you qualify for preferred commenter status on one story and wish to comment as a preferred commenter on another story, you must again submit the form and provide the requested information so that a Post community manager can again confirm your identity and your involvement with that particular story.

Denial

What happens if I am denied preferred commenter status?

You will receive an e-mail notifying you that you have been denied preferred commenter status for the story in question.

Can I still comment on a story if I have been denied preferred commenter status?

Yes, but your comment will not carry the “Verified” marker.

Questions? Please e-mail us at comments@washpost.com.

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