Posting and Commenting Guidelines

Rule number one: No writing on your eye black. I'll miss you Yunel. - Tom Szczerbowski

Time to take at look at our posting rules.

With all the news coming from the Blue Jays in the past week we've picked up a bunch of new members and we've had threads with tonnes of comments, so I figured it was time to post the rules again.

One thing I'd like to underline, this time, is to remind everyone that if you see a comment that you feel is pushing the edges of the rules (or trampling way beyond the edge of the rules), the thing to do is to flag the comment. Once a comment is flagged any of us moderators can see that there is a concern and take a look, if we haven't seen it yet. Generally, that is a much better solution than to call the person out in the thread, most of the time that just escalates the situation. A lot of the time it is better if we handle things in private.

Everyone has the odd bad day, sometimes it comes out in a comment, that's understandable. But if you feel that you are getting overly worked up about an argument, it's best to step back from the keyboard for a few minutes.

We do try to read all the comments but sometimes we miss something. Flagging draws our attention to something we might have missed.

One of the great things about the site is that we all feel we have an ownership of it. And, of course, we see every comment we don't agree with as something that threatens the site. Fortunately the site can survived stupid arguments, or I'd have killed it long ago.

The site is changing, we've been adding more voices and we continue to add more voices to it. More different opinions is a good thing. That means there will be opinions that you won't agree with and opinions that I don't agree with. That's a tough thing, for me, I've have to get used to the idea that people will post things that I don't agree with. That isn't easy for me, but if I can deal with it, we all can.

The site grows and changes and people don't deal with change well. If I had a dollar for every email I've received telling me the site isn't as good as it used to be, I'd, well, have a stack of dollars. I know people would like it to stay the way they liked it best, but SB likes us to keep growing. We keep growing, they let us run the site.

I'm all for people disagreeing, I like reading people's opinions, but remember to keep personalities our of the argument. I prefer to read "I disagree with you on this...." than "You are a stupid fool who has never watched baseball if you think...". Intelligent people can disagree, and the most intelligent ones can disagree without making it personal.

I'll admit, the quickest way to get on my bad side is to accuse us of 'group think' if someone disagrees. If you think you are

Anyway....the rules...

The fun of the site is that with the comment areas, FanPosts, FanShots and Game Threads everyone gets to share their opinions. The idea is to build a community.

How do you become part of our community? Just get a membership here. Membership is free. All you need to do is pick a screen name, put in an email address so SB has somewhere to send the activation email. We have a one day wait wait period from when you apply for the membership until when it is activated. I know that's a pain, but we get hit with spammers almost all the time. The one day waiting period seems to cause them to lose interest.

Most of the guidelines are after the jump. There are a couple of things that I wanted to mention up top:

As has been mentioned a few times, discussion of illegal streams is not allowed at all. SB Nation expects others to honor their copyrights, we have to honor others.

Also, not so much a rule, as a request, we get new folks here all the time, it would be nice if we were a little friendlier to new folks. We want to site to continue to grow and to grow we need to be friendly to newcomers. Remember we were new at one time we were all new.

Most of the guidelines fall under the umbrella of one idea: this blog is our living room. Make yourself comfortable, we like having you.

  • Don't say anything you wouldn't say in our living room. Disagree? Sure, but keep things civil.
  • Don't drink the last beer, it's mine.
  • Remember we are trying to build a community, try to get along.
  • Don't attack other posters. Disagree with their ideas, but try to stay away from calling them names. I consider that people here are my friends (I let them in my living room) and I prefer not to see my friends insulted. We do have fun with each other, but calling someone stupid, crazy, etc. doesn't make for rational debate. This line gets smudged when we get fans from other teams in.
  • Some of us have been friends for awhile and some ribbing takes place. Try to take it in stride. Generally it means we like you.
  • Don't get upset if we or someone disagrees with you. Intelligent people can disagree.
  • Expect that people are going to challenge your opinions. Roll with it. Expect folks aren't going to just take your word. Be prepared to defend your position.
  • Remember we are all fans here and all equal. You may think you are smarter than all of us. You might even be (isn't all that hard), but try not to be too condescending to others.
  • Profanity isn't allowed. We use the line about Hugo's mom. Try to keep George Carlin's 7 words out of it. You may be warned, your post maybe deleted or we might just watch to see if it continues to happen. Part of being an adult is being able to express yourself real words. Don't ever direct profanity at the players. A play may have been %#$%# but calling the player #$#@$# is not allowed.
  • Unless it is Roger Clemens.
  • No derogatory references to race, nationality, sexual orientation or ethnicity at all, ever. Or sexism for that matter. We may be mostly guys but we do have female members. On top of that my wife or Hugo's mom will look in. A word that seems to have popped up a bit lately is retard. This word, or any version of it, is totally unacceptable around here.
  • Occasionally we hear 'The Jays know more than you do, you must be wrong.' Guess what, GM's, managers, player development people get things wrong occasionally. We are allowed to disagree with them. If we agreed with everything the Jays do, it would be pretty boring around here.
  • In Fanposts, don't copy an article from another site in whole. If you see something you think our members should notice, it is better to post a link. That way you drive people to the other site, which gains them views and makes them happy.
  • Insulting Jays players is allowed, within limits, but remember this is our team. If you say something juvenile, you might get called out on it. Telling us that our player X is about to strikeout doesn't go over big. We cheer for our team
  • Don't try to annoy people or start fights. If you do things with the purpose to piss people off, odds are you'll be banned quick. If asked to stop doing something, stop.
  • We aren't grammar police, don't worry about getting things perfect. On the flip side, if you want things read, make them readable. All capitals makes it look like you are shouting, no one wants to read that. If you are posting something long, use periods and start sentences with capitals. Remember you aren't txting your friend on your phone. Here it is 'you', not 'u' and 'your' not 'ur' It just makes your stuff easier to read and if it is easier to read, more people will read it. Having people read what you post should be your goal. For me, if I find someone's comments hard to read, I skip them.
  • Don't argue with the moderators about rules. If you are asked to stop something, stop it. Moderating isn't all that much fun, don't try to make it worse. And it doesn't add much to a thread to have it turn into a debate on the rules. If you have a problem with the rules or how they are enforced, write me.
  • Most of all, this is a Blue Jay fan site. We may rag on the team and the management, but we are fans. We aren't bandwagon jumpers. If you want to talk about other teams and how great they are, SB Nation has pages for all MLB teams, take it there. You want to say how great Red Sox Nation is, go to Over the Monster. Want to extol the virtues of the Yankees, go to Pinstripe Alley, please.
  • No religion or politics please.
  • Don't use Fan Shots as just a way to promote your site. If you come here, without contributing to the site, and promote your site, odd are the post will be removed. Best way to get some promotion is to email me or one of the people that do link posts here and say 'hey, I've got something that your readers might be interested in'. More flexibility will be shown to people that contribute to our site.

So what happens if you cross the line? Well, one of the moderators might ask you to stop. If you are asked to stop something, please do, don't argue.

If a fanpost or a comment crosses the line, it might be deleted. Don't get too upset if we delete something posted. It doesn't happen often and it doesn't mean we don't love you.

We may give a formal warning. If that happens the next time you log into the site the warning will come up. Consider it the equivalent to a yellow card in soccer. But, don't argue it. We don't want to send a lot of time debating rules. We have very rarely sent warnings but it does happen.

And we can ban. Banning would be the red card. If you are banned you will no longer be allowed to post on here. You would be able to come back and read but not comment. We haven't used the ban button very often. Sometimes if it gets to the point that someone is more trouble than they are worth, they are gone. Running the site is a hobby for us and we aren't willing to put up with too too much aggravation. There have been the odd person that figures their role in the world is just to aggravate others. That said, in the three and a half years that I've been here, other than spammers, we've only banned a handful of people. Our members are great.

When someone is banned, what tends to happen is that we get a email from the banned one telling us how stupid we are and how they hate coming here anyway, and then they try to join again under a different screen name. You gotta love it. Generally we don't ban someone until they become intolerable. We have to come to the site everyday, if there is a poster that is making us not want to come, then, sorry, it is you or me and I've got the button. If you want to send a note telling me you didn't deserve to be banned, we do all have bad days, maybe try being reasonable, and we will consider it. Or if you are writing to tell me I'm a moron, use "you're a moron" not "your a moron". And, if you are going to take the time to write me and say I'm not worth your time to read, be creative about it. Don't just call me a $%^&head (my wife can do that), come up with something worth my time. Something that I can use and that will make me want to read to the end of your note.

What should you do if you feel someone has broken the rules? Under every comment there is a button that says 'actions', if you hit that, two other buttons come up. One is 'rec', which you can hit if you like that comment. If you hit flag a window pops up asking you to tell why you are flagging it and to classify the reason as 'spam', 'trolling' or 'inappropriate'. Sometimes we can't see everything that happens on here, so if you flag it, we can take a look and take appropriate action or just monitor the offending poster to see if more happens.

All that said, please if you have something you want to say, comment, write up a Fanpost or Fanshot. The fun of being here is reading people's opinions. I love reading good arguments, but argue intelligently, not like you are in grade school.

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