Our Comment Policy & Code of Civility

Comment Policy

The Public Square welcomes its readers to comment–consider it the virtual version of our real-life receptions. If you want to get that reception feeling, we recommend getting a glass of wine and firing away. But before you do, keep in mind these guidelines.

At our lectures, we strive to have an open and civil environment of mutual respect between guests of all stripes. (See our Code of Civility below.) We’d like to do the same online, and we reserve the right to delete comments, particularly if they are obscene, abusive or contrary to the spirit of our series and our site. Below, some more rules and tips on commenting:

Be nice:

Zócalo wants all its readers to feel welcome to participate. While relevant criticism is welcome, we will delete insults, attacks, threats, or other offensive material at our discretion. Please be truthful and considerate in your comments.

Talk like you would in real life:

Comments are part of a conversation about the post. We reserve the right to delete or edit comments that are excessively long or negative, or that don’t respond directly to the content of the post or to fellow commenters in a way that furthers the discussion. Please e-mail Zócalo directly with any questions or concerns that are unrelated to the specific post.

If you’re selling, we aren’t buying:

Comments with irrelevant links or commercial advertisements won’t make it online. Please use a proper name for your posts–we delete posts that look spammish or suspicious.

We aren’t selling, either:

E-mail addresses are required to post, but we promise not to sell or rent them. We might use your address to contact you. We don’t recommend disclosing private information in the content of your post.

You say it, you own it:

All comments are the responsibility of the commenter–by commenting, you agree that the content is your own, and to hold this site harmless from any repercussions, damages or liability. We will delete comments that could get us into legal trouble.

If you have any questions about this policy or your comment, feel free to contact us directly. We’ll try to answer you as promptly as we can.

Code of Civility

At its lecture series events (“Events”) Zócalo seeks to create an open and civil environment of mutual respect, where all participants can feel welcome. Zócalo has adopted this Code of Civility (“Code”) to endeavor to help participants have a pleasant, enjoyable, and safe experience. Remember that “participants” are a large, varied group, including the patrons in attendance at the Event, patrons of rebroadcasts of it (on television, radio, and the Internet), members of the staff of Zócalo and of its venue and media partners, Zócalo volunteers, the presenter(s) for the Event’s lecture (“Presenters”), and the Event’s security personnel (including those who are monitoring the patrons’ compliance with this Code).


Attempting to attend without Zócalo’s express permission.

Engaging in any activity prohibited by law or by the rules of the venue (“Venue”) hosting the Event.

Disruptive or unsafe behavior, including any conduct that interferes with the use and enjoyment of the Event by other patrons, or with the functioning of staff, volunteers, Presenters, or security.

Loud, abusive, threatening or insulting language.

Activities or behavior that result in injury or harm to any participant, or that unreasonably risk such harm.

Patrons with hygiene or health related conditions (including, but not limited to, body odor) that interfere with the use and enjoyment of the Event by other patrons or with the functioning of staff, volunteers, Presenters, or security.

Activities or behavior that results in damage during an Event to any property of a participant, facility, Venue, or Zócalo.

Eating or drinking, except in specific areas and times designated for those purposes by Zócalo.

Sleeping or smoking.

Without the express, written permission of Zócalo, petitioning for any cause, or soliciting or causing the sale of any merchandise or service.


Zócalo does not permit patrons to enter into any Venue carrying oversized (as determined by Zócalo) bags, luggage, sacks, etc. All oversized belongings must be checked with Zócalo staff. Patrons must pick up their checked belongings from Zócalo staff immediately following the Event.

No patron at any Event retains any privacy or intellectual property right in anything of the patron’s appearance, speech, or other behavior at the Event that Zócalo causes to be recorded for rebroadcast.

To avoid disturbing other patrons, mute the volume of electronic devices, and use cell phones only outside of the Event space.

Zócalo is not responsible for patrons’ personal items that are lost, stolen or damaged in or on the grounds of the Venue.

Zócalo reserves the right to deny Event access to any person who Zócalo reasonably believes is violating the letter or spirit of this Code, or presents too great a risk of so violating this Code in the future. Staff, volunteers, or security may ask patrons who are exhibiting inappropriate behavior to modify their behavior or else to voluntarily leave the Event premises immediately. Noncompliance with such a request or with this Code may result in the patron being required to leave the Event premises involuntarily, in their arrest and prosecution, and/or in their being denied access to future Events.

By a person’s requesting permission to attend an Event as a patron, or by so attending it, the person accepts this Code and agrees to abide by it during the Event, even if ultimately Zócalo refuses the person permission to attend all or any part of the Event.