Updated Sunday, June 17, 2018 to reflect that Gravatars are now disabled by default, never shown to logged-out users, and that users may opt-in to Gravatars by editing their profile.
Initially published Sunday, April 8, 2018
- Logged In vs Logged Out Users: Logged in users are users who have registered (created) an account on the site and have provided their username and password to log in to the site. Some sites require users to be registered and logged in to do things like comment on an article. Logged out users are users who have not logged in, or who do not have an account on the site at all (e.g. visitors).
- Gravatar: An optional public profile, including a photo or image, related to your email address.
- IP Address: The address of your device on the Internet. This address is assigned by the Internet Service Provider providing the connection to the Internet which your device is using and may be shared with other devices at that same location.
- Role: A logged in user also has a role, e.g. Contributor, Author, Editor, etc. Each role has a prescribed set of capabilities – e.g. some roles can delete comments but others cannot.
- User Agent: A browser’s user agent is a line of text that usually includes which browser you are using, its version, and your operating system and its version.
Comments Left By All Users
- If you elect to leave a comment on an article, in addition to the comment text you provide we also collect your IP Address and your User Agent.
- Your comment text, your name, email address, website URL, IP Address and User Agent are accessible by administrators on our site.
- By default, we do not send your email address to the Gravatar service, nor enable Gravatar powered profile pictures for any user. Registered users may enable their Gravatar by editing their profile.
- Following approval of your comment, your comment text, your name, and website URL (if provided) are visible to the public.
- Comments containing links or certain words or phrases may require manual approval by an administrator.
- Your comment, including comment text, your name, email address, website URL, IP address and User Agent, is:
- stored in the website’s database, access to which is restricted to site administrators. Site administrator authentication is by username and password.
- retained indefinitely until explicitly deleted by an administrator.
Comments Left by Logged in Users
- You may edit the display name used for new comments in your profile.
- If your role on the site has sufficient permission (e.g. Editor), you may edit or delete comments.
Comments Left by Logged Out Users (Visitors)
- If you are not logged in to the site and elect to leave a comment on an article, we require your name and your email address and we request your website URL. You may also elect to provide a partial name, initials or even a pseudonym in lieu of your full name. You are not required to provide a website URL.
- When you leave a comment, we store three cookies on your browser to make it easier for you to comment again in the future. The cookies contain your name, your email address and your website URL. They are set to expire after one year.