FAQ

 

Subscriptions & User Accounts

Why should I subscribe to Civil Beat?

Since our inception, Civil Beat has been a paid-for site. Our goal has always been to have impact and build a community of engaged citizens around the most important issues facing our community. Subscription revenue goes toward funding a professional staff of reporters and editors who follow civic issues and topics day in and day out, helping to make sense of and provide context for complex issues. To subscribe, click here.

I’m new to Civil Beat, how do I subscribe?

You can subscribe to Civil Beat by clicking the “Subscribe” button at the top of our homepage or you can click here. When you subscribe, you will get 15 days free and will not be billed until your 15 day free trial period is complete.

What are your subscription prices?

Our subscription price is $9.99 per month plus Hawaii GET. Your account will be billed on a recurring monthly cycle. We also have discounted rates for group subscriptions. To find out more, email us at becivil@civilbeat.com with the estimated size of your group and we’ll be happy to assist you!

I want to subscribe without using PayPal, how can I do that?

You can subscribe by selecting Visa, MasterCard, Discover or American Express to complete your subscription. The payment will still be handled by PayPal, but you do not need a PayPal account.

I currently have a long-term prepaid subscription, how do I switch to the $9.99 monthly recurring payment?

You will need to sign up again once your subscription runs out. Our system is set up to send our reminder notices ten and three days in advance of a prepaid subscription running out. However, sometimes we find that these emails are directed to a spam folder, so you can always email us at payments@civilbeat.com to find out when your subscription expires.

You can check the status of your account at any time by clicking the “My Account” button on our homepage.

My prepaid subscription ran out and I forgot to renew, how can I do that?

It’s easy to get your subscription going again. Simply log into Civil Beat and sign up for a monthly subscription here: https://www.civilbeat.com/account/subscribe/

Do you offer group subscription rates?

Yes, we do!

We offer Group Memberships with discounted rates based on the size of your group. To find out our group rates simply email us at payments@civilbeat.com with an idea of the size of your group and we’ll get the process started.

Why is the text on my screen fading out?

Fading text means you’ve hit our paywall. Click the sign in or subscribe link to continue reading.

paywall banner

I’m a Civil Beat subscriber, why am I being asked to pay when I try to view content on your site?

There could be a bunch of reasons why this is happening. Normally one of the following makes things better:

  • Make sure that you’re signed in to Civil Beat. If you see a red button on the top of the homepage that says “My Account” and “Sign Out” next to it, that means you’re signed in. If you’re not signed in, we don’t know who you are and don’t know what to show you.
  • If you are signed in, go to your account page and make sure that you still have an active subscription. Sometimes a member’s plan will get canceled (e.g., we were not able to bill you using the payment information you provided). If there was a payment problem, please check to see if the funding source linked to your PayPal account has expired or changed. You can do this by logging into your PayPal account on the PayPal website.
  • Try doing a “hard refresh” of your browser. A hard refresh is Command + Shift + R on a Mac and Ctrl + F5 on a PC. Sometimes your computer just gets out of sync with our computers and this helps reset things.
  • Check that your computer’s software and browser are up to date.
  • Delete your cookies. You can do an internet search for instructions on how to do this with your specific browser.
  • Clear your browser’s cache and/or reset your browser (if you’re unsure of how to do this, try searching for instructions for your specific browser). Note that doing so will clear all saved passwords in your internet browser!
  • Check your computer’s firewall settings. If you’re trying to access Civil Beat from a work computer, it could have to do with your workplace’s security settings and you may want to contact your company’s IT team.
  • Check your anti-virus software settings.
  • If you have tried the things above and things still don’t seem to look right, email us at becivil@civilbeat.com with your username (email address) and the page you’re trying to access and we’ll do our best to work with you to figure things out!
What is a cookie?

A “cookie” is a small piece of information that an online site can store in a designated file on your computer. It can be used, among other things, to identify you when you log in to a Web site. When you visit a site, that site can access only the information which it stored in your cookie – not information put in your cookie by other sites. CivilBeat.com is one of many sites that use cookies. The cookie helps us determine, for example, whether you are a paying subscriber or a registered user.

I forgot my password, how do I reset it?

Click here: https://www.civilbeat.com/wp-login.php?action=lostpassword.
Enter your email address and click on “Get New Password.”

How can I view my account and subscription information?

To view your account information and to see when your subscription expires, simply click on “My Account” — the red button on the top of the homepage. This will take you to your account page, where you can view your information and manage your account.

I canceled my Civil Beat subscription and would like to re-subscribe, how do I do that?
  • Sign in to your Civil Beat account
  • Go to “My Account” and click “Subscribe”.
  • Fill in your credit card information and click “Submit.”
I want to receive the Morning Beat email at a different email address, how do I change that?

If you’re a subscriber, go to your account page and submit your new email under the Morning Beat section. You can also email us at becivil@civilbeat.com with your old and new email addresses and we’ll be happy to change your account information for the Morning Beat!

I pay with PayPal and I want to change my PayPal billing information, how do I do that?

We do not keep records of customers’ PayPal accounts in-house, but it is easy enough to change your account information with PayPal directly. Simply sign into www.PayPal.com to manage your account information and edit a credit card. If you’re on a monthly membership plan, your new credit card will be billed for the following billing cycle.

I’m on a monthly cycle and my subscription stopped automatically renewing.

Usually when we see this it is due to the customers’ credit card information that PayPal has on file expiring. Here’s what to do to get back up and running:

  • Sign in to your Civil Beat account.
  • Go to “My Account” and click the “Update” or “Subscribe” link next to “Subscription Info” to sign up for monthly billing again. If you are paying via PayPal, make sure your PayPal credit card information is up to date beforehand.
I’m having trouble with the Civil Beat app on my iPad or iPhone, what should I do?

The Civil Beat app is out of date and not compatible with our new website. Please view our website through a browser like Chrome, Firefox or Safari.

Events

Why does Civil Beat hold events?

Part of Civil Beat’s mission is to foster civic conversations about important issues in Hawaii. Most of our events are monthly Civil Cafes where we bring together people on all sides of an issue to help our readers gain a better understanding of the problems at hand. In the past, our Civil Cafes have addressed the gay marriage debate, Kaka’ako development, Honolulu’s bicycling renaissance, the risks and rewards of hiking in Hawaii, and gubernatorial candidate David Ige joined us to take questions from the audience. Civil Cafes are free and you can check our events page for updates on future discussions.

Civil Beat and HuffPost Hawaii also hold occasional special events to address broader topics of concern to the community.

Submission Guidelines

How do I submit a Community Voice?

Community Voices aims to encourage broad discussion on many topics of community interest. It’s kind of a cross between Letters to the Editor and op-eds. This is your space to talk about important issues or interesting people who are making a difference in our world. Columns generally run about 800 words (yes, they can be shorter or longer) and we need a photo of the author and a bio. You do not need to be a subscriber to submit a Community Voice. We welcome video commentary and other multimedia formats. Send to news@civilbeat.com.

Please note that publication on our website is at the discretion of our editors.

Commenting Guidelines

Be you. Be cool. Be civil.

Civil Beat was launched in 2010 as an online forum where our community can engage in challenging, thoughtful discussions that don’t devolve into a series of insults, where transparency and accountability are vital. Since then, many other sites (The Huffington Post for example) have adopted similar rules in hopes of cultivating a civil discussion.

We want to maintain Civil Beat as Hawaii’s civic square, a place where diverse and quality discussion thrives. But we need a few rules and guidelines. We welcome your feedback and input in crafting these, so drop us a line at becivil@civilbeat.com.

What are your guidelines on commenting?

We do not tolerate personal attacks against other readers, our staff and even the people we cover. Insults lead nowhere in a civil discussion. If you feel someone is wrong — whether it be another commenter, our reporter or a public official we cover — feel free to say why you think so. We encourage diverse — and often opposing — views on the many issues facing Hawaii.

Critiques of others don’t need to be direct insults. As an example, feel free to say, “I disagree with John on his views on the Honolulu mayor’s proposal, and here’s why.” But do not say, “John is an idiot.”

We will immediately remove comments that are racist, sexist, derogatory to anyone’s culture, faith, ethnicity or sexual orientation. We won’t tolerate bigoted or offensive language. We discourage profanity, and Facebook will automatically flag your comment anyway.

Comments MUST be pertinent to the topic at hand. We may remove comments that are spam, potentially libelous or violate a person’s right to reasonable privacy.

Should you find comments on our site that violate these guidelines, let us know at becivil@civilbeat.com.

Do I need to be a subscriber to comment?

No. You only need a Facebook account. However, Civil Beat is a subscription-based website, so you may not be able to read the story in question. For the best possible experience, we encourage you to subscribe for full access to our site and our journalism.

How do I comment through Facebook?

You only need to be signed into Facebook on the same browser you’re using to read Civil Beat. Keep in mind, each comment may appear on your Facebook profile and be visible to your Facebook friends. If you don’t want that to happen, make sure you uncheck “Also post on Facebook” for that comment. If you uncheck the box (as shown below), your comment will not appear on your Facebook feed. That setting should save for all future comments.

You can review Facebook’s privacy policy here.

What if I don’t want to post comments through Facebook?

We understand that not everyone is on Facebook and some have privacy concerns. We still encourage you to comment. Email us your comment at becivil@civilbeat.com with your name and the story you’d like to comment on, and we’ll post on on your behalf.

Why does Civil Beat use Facebook for comments?

We use Facebook because of its functionality and accountability for comments. We want our civic square to have names to go with the people who are commenting.

We believe by integrating Facebook comments we can expand the reach and diversity of voices on Civil Beat, maintain integrity by prohibiting anonymous commenting, and offer functionality like customized privacy settings, commenting threads and notifications of discussions you’re in and want to follow.

What is your policy on anonymous comments?

We do not allow anonymous comments. We believe people should stand behind what they’re willing to say on a public forum, just as our journalists do with their reporting. Facebook has a similar policy on using real names. You can read its names policy here.

We understand that fake names can slip past Facebook or us. We do not have the resources nor the desire to check on every name, but we know Facebook will filter most of the fake names out.

Do users need to disclose their backgrounds?

No. But if you’re commenting on an issue you’re involved in, or if you represent a group or organization that has a position on an issue, please let the community know that.

Commenters should be people, not organizations. We don’t allow comments by groups in which the individual who is posting the comment is not named. So for example, we would not allow the Facebook Page of “Hawaiian Electric Companies” comment. But a named HEI representative with a personal profile is OK. Same goes with any “branded” Facebook account or page. Real names, real people only.

Are the comments prescreened for moderation?

As part of our Civil Beat ohana, we trust you to do the right thing. On most occasions, when you post a comment, it will be published immediately. They will be read and moderated by Civil Beat staff and its community manager.

People who violate the guidelines will receive a warning. We may delete or ban accounts of users who engage in uncivil discourse, extreme misconduct or spam.

What if my comment doesn’t appear?

Facebook sometimes flags certain profiles for spam, and this could be for a number of reasons. In particular, Facebook may flag as spam a profile with fewer than 10 friends. In those cases, the community manager will approve the comments for publication.

Can I post links to other relevant websites?

As long as they’re not spam, or offensive or lewd in nature, we encourage sharing of other news sources, links and documents under our stories. The more information, the better the conversation.