After much discussion among the mod team about how to improve the quality of discussion on NeutralNews, we have decided to add a requirement that all top level comments on NeutralNews will require a link to a source outside of the article. The new rule is as follows:
Rule 5: All top level comments must contain a relevant link. The purpose of discussion on NeutralNews is to expand upon news stories with informed analysis, not merely to give opinions. As such, any top level comment should expand on the story by including links to relevant information or other relevant articles on the subject. A comment which merely analyzes the story or provides opinion without linking to sources outside of the original article will be removed.
This rule will be enforced by both human mods and automoderator. Attempts to evade enforcement of this rule with dummy links may result in a ban.
Our goal with this is to automatically filter out lower effort top level comments especially, because they often sprout unproductive chains.
In respect to some expected objections, I would like to address them directly:
What if I just want to ask a question about the article?
A question can and should include links to outside sources. If for example you want to ask about the accuracy of the article as compared to other facts, link those other facts. You may also want to consider posting your question to /r/NeutralPolitics, where it can elicit a more in-depth discussion, and where you can use the NeutralNews article as one of your sources to get you started.
What if I just want to quote from and comment on the article?
Pure opinion based on the article is not the purpose of NeutralNews comments. The purpose is to expand other users' knowledge of the subject. If your opinion does not integrate any new facts outside of the article linked, then it does not expand other users' knowledge.
Edit I changed references to NN to say NeutralNews instead. NN (and NP) are shorthands we use as mods for the sub, but shouldn't have been in the live version of this.