OpinionMaker Membership Guidelines


Tearsheet values the ideas of our loyal readership and feels your voice is important. We’ve created the exclusive Outlier OpinionMaker to give our loyal readership and supporters the ability to let their voices be heard and add to and influence the conversation.

The OpinionMaker Program is open to any Outlier member in good standing that fits the profile of an industry opinion-maker as defined by Tearsheet’s vetting team and who is willing to take an active part in the conversation and share their opinions regularly in an open, inclusive and respectful way.

Following are the eligibility rules for becoming and staying an Outlier OpinionMaker:

  • Be an Outlier member in good standing
  • Acceptance by Tearsheet’s Outlier OpinionMaker vetting team
  • Being an active OpinionMaker by commenting on at least 2 articles per month
  • Following the Outlier OpinionMaker Comment Guidelines as outlined below

Outlier OpinionMaker Comment Guidelines

The Tearsheet Golden Rule

While we value unfettered opinion, we urge you to show respect and courtesy in your comments for people and companies you reference. Keep in mind that this is a public, professional business forum.

Tearsheet (TS) reserves the right to review and approve all comments before posting them for the public. We reserve the right to edit or refuse the publication of remarks that we deem unsuitable. We may also correct unintended spelling and grammatical errors. More detailed explanations of our policies follow.

How we moderate the discussions

We moderate all comments on Tearsheet discussions submitted by our OpinionMaker panel members of industry experts. Editorial and approval decisions are made only by our in-house team. We strive to make these decisions consistently and fairly.

We require high ethical, intellectual and professional standards from our commenters. Passionate discussions are welcome on TS, but we require that user comments be genuine (i.e., written by and/or directly reviewed and approved by the bylined author) and respectful of other commenters and other schools of thought.

We will delete posts that we believe are irrelevant to the topic at hand or detract from professional, courteous discussion. Repeat offenders may have their posting privileges revoked.

Unacceptable content and behavior include, but is not limited to:

  • Obscenities or abusive language
  • Personal attacks on another contributor
  • Commentary disrespectful of particular groups of people or schools of thought
  • Allegations of bad faith against another contributor
  • Content that is not directly related to the discussion questions
  • Political comments that diverge from the topic and/or are not directly concerned with the retail industry
  • Promotion of one’s own business or affiliated enterprise
  • Unclear or distracting formatting
  • Thread hijacking (i.e., adding numerous comments that overwhelm a discussion)

To report problematic content to the moderation team or ask for an explanation of the team’s decisions, contact us at [email protected].

Direct messages

TS provides direct email messaging for users to contact our OpinionMakers panelists. Users who send unsolicited promotional messages or threatening, insulting or abusive content risk being excluded from the Tearsheet community. Problematic messages should be reported to the moderation team by emailing us at [email protected].

Voluntary removal of content

We strive to maintain Tearsheet articles and discussions as a useful resource and an accurate archive of user perspectives. We see the comments you contribute as integral to the flow of the discussions. If you wish us to remove your comment(s), however, we will do so at your request. Please contact us with your request at [email protected].

Corrections and disputes

Commenters sometimes wish to alter their comments, correct typos, or address complaints or disputes about their comments. Users in most cases should be able to edit their own comments within 15 minutes of submission. Thereafter, they can request corrections at [email protected]. Our moderation team handles such request as soon as possible.


If you receive money for writing your comments or have a business or personal relationship with a party being discussed, you must disclose this by adding a declaration to your comment.

Contact us

If you wish to contact the moderation team for any reason, please email us at  [email protected]. If you can, please include your Outlier username and the URL of relevant comments, article, etc. We do our best to respond to all relevant communications.