The Messenger actively encourages readers to engage in healthy, robust debate about stories via the comments section on our website and also in the comments section under the articles we post to our Facebook page.

However, you may notice there are times when you are unable to comment directly underneath a story on the website itself or in the comments section on Facebook as usual.

There are two main reasons for comments being turned off on either platform.

Firstly, we sometimes take the decision to prevent comments from being left - or turn them off after initially allowing them - when it becomes an absolute free-for-all of abuse or misinformation. 

The last thing we want to do is stifle debate and people are generally free to comment on the stories we share. However, we won’t stand for racist, abusive or bigoted comments.

Nor will we allow people to spread hate or misinformation. Users of the website commenting system caught doing this - or those caught doing the same on our Facebook page - will be banned, and where necessary, reported to police.

We really appreciate it when readers get in touch to report inappropriate comments to us - and we need you to keep doing this as it helps us take action quickly. 

Secondly, it is necessary that we turn off comments on the website for certain stories pertaining to court or crime coverage. Examples include court proceedings being active, there is a serious risk a comment could be in contempt of court and jeopardise fair court proceedings or someone involved in the case is subject to a reporting restriction.

To the vast majority who read and who make thoughtful comments on our stories, thank you. We appreciate your support and do our best every day to provide you with a trusted source of local news.

Trafford is a wonderful place to report on and we are determined not to let a vocal minority ruin that.