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Diary Guidelines

  1. All users are limited by the system to one diary per calendar day.

  2. New users cannot post diaries for one week after an account has been created.

  3. "Intro" box for new diaries has a three paragraph limit. If you exceed that limit, use the "Extended Body" box for the remainder of your diary.

  4. Diaries should be substantive. A good guideline is that if you don't have at least three solid paragraphs to write about your subject, you should probably post a comment in an open thread, or in a recent diary or front-page post that covers a topic relevant to what you wish to write about.

  5. Copying and pasting complete copyrighted articles without permission from the copyright holder is absolutely prohibited by both this site's policies and copyright laws. Copyright infringement can expose both you and the site's owners to financial liability. Just don't do it. And if you see someone else doing it, please politely ask them to edit their diary accordingly. This is a bannable offense.

  6. Limited copying within the bounds of the doctrine of "fair use" is permitted. A reasonable rule-of-thumb is that copying three paragraphs from a normal-length news article or editorial is acceptable. (This, however, is not a safe-harbor. If even three paragraphs seems like "too much," then copy less or nothing at all.) For more on fair use, please visit this site.

  7. When you quote material that is not your own, please provide a link whenever possible. Also, use the blockquote tags to set off the copied material so that your writing is distinct from the material you are copying. For more on HTML tags, click here.

  8. Hotlinking images without permission is prohibited. Hotlinking means using the [img src] tag to display an image on a diary which is hosted on someone else's server. Hotlinking, especially on a site as popular as this one, can cost people real money in bandwidth costs. It's essentially stealing. If we get complaints from sites about images being hotlisted, we will consider that as possible grounds for banning.

  9. Duplicative diaries are prohibited. Please scan the recent diaries and front-page posts before starting to compose your own diary. This rule operates on a sliding scale. A repeat diary with minimal analysis or originality (particularly on "breaking news" items) is prohibited. Such diaries are subject to deletion without notice. But if you write on a recently-covered subject and provide original analysis or research, that is acceptable and in fact welcome.

  10. If you receive a reasonable request from a fellow Kossack to delete your diary (i.e., your diary is duplicative as per above), please do so.

  11. Cross-posting from your own blog is welcome. Remember, though, that you can only write one diary a day at Daily Kos.

  12. Diarists are strongly encouraged to back up all assertions with facts (and preferably links to supporting materials) whenever possible. Use reputable sources whenever possible. If you can't find a reputable source that supports your position, then perhaps reconsider writing your diary.

  13. As a corollary, diarists should always make it clear when they are expressing an opinion - please do not assert opinions as facts, as this tends to be needlessly inflammatory.

  14. Diaries which engage in wild speculation without any proof are strongly discouraged. Repeatedly posting diaries consisting largely or entirely of wild speculation is an abuse of site policy. Bear in mind that that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

  15. Diaries which contain hateful or defamatory writing are prohibited.

  16. Diaries which are deliberately designed to inflame are prohibited.

  17. Deliberately inflammatory titles, or titles which contain attacks, are prohibited.

  18. Profanity is prohibited in titles. The use of asterisks is acceptable.

  19. "Calling out" other site users by name in diary titles is prohibited. Diaries which "call out" another by name tend to needlessly inflame. If you feel compelled to address another user's comments or diaries in a diary of your own, please do so cautiously. Avoid ad hominems and stick with substantive, constructive criticism only.

  20. Some topics which tend to make for poor diaries: Breaking news. Something you just saw on a TV show. Something currently on the front page of a major news site (eg, New York Times). Something currently on the front page of a major blog (eg, Atrios).

  21. What makes for a good diary: Anything which showcases original research or original analysis. Political calls to action with substantive information on how to get involved. News (plus analysis) on interesting/relevant topics that are not widely discussed.

  22. Diaries on contested Democratic primaries: Be positive. Make an affirmative case for your favored candidate. If you do criticize a Democratic candidate, don't make ad hominem attacks - stick to substantive criticisms, and back them up with hard evidence. Be very cautious if you go after a fellow Democrat. Odds are, that candidate will have supporters on this site. Reasonable people will accept reasonable criticism - unfair criticism will only needlessly inflame. And remember, deliberately inflammatory diaries are prohibited.

  23. "Open Thread" diaries: Diaries designed to serve as "open threads" for discussion on major, breaking events (such as a speech or hearing) are permissible. Please provide links to information about the events (such as news articles or webcasts) in such diaries. Do not post duplicate diary open threads unless an earlier open thread exceeds 150 comments.

  24. When writing a diary on a political race, prefixing the title is always helpful. For example: FL-Gov (Florida governor's race), NY-Sen (New York senate race), CA-25 (California's 25th congressional district race).

  25. Do not use ALL CAPS or exclamation marks !!! in diary titles.

  26. Do not put "Please Recommend" or similar language in diary titles.

  27. Please read an entire diary before hitting "Recommend." Recommending based on just the first few paragraphs or the author's name is strongly discouraged.

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