I usually put up the rules on opening day, we get a bunch of new members at the start of each season, so I think it is a good idea to go over the ground rules. It didn't happen this year, so here they are now.
The fun of the site is that with the comment areas, FanPosts, FanShots and Game Threads, everyone gets to share their opinions. We want 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 and put in an email address so SB has somewhere to send the activation email. We have a one day 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 fall under the umbrella of one idea: this blog is our living room. Make yourself comfortable, we like having you.
- No derogatory references to race, nationality, sexual orientation or ethnicity at all, ever. A word that pops up a bit occasionally is retard. This word, or any version of it, is totally unacceptable around here.
- In the same vein let's try not to be too sexist. I know sports blogs tend to be a men's club, but let's not act too stupid. We may be mostly guys but we do have female members. On top of that my wife or Hugo's mom will look in. Course, that doesn't mean I'm going to stop putting up the Rain Delay picture.
- 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 all new at one time.
- Discussion of illegal streams is not allowed at all. SB Nation expects others to honor their copyrights, we have to honor others'.
- Don't say anything you wouldn't say in our living room. Disagree? Sure, but keep things civil.
- Do not lick your fingers and then reach into the cheese doodle bowl. In fact, just stay away from my cheese doodles.
- 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 joining 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. On the flip side, I've mentioned this before, but not everything needs to be argued.
- 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 the player is Roger Clemens.
- I've noticed people using one of the 7 words but putting a * in one (or more) of the letters. This doesn't make it better, just don't use the words.
- 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. Basically try not to be intolerable. I'd also suggest that not every point has to be argued. Let the odd fastball go by.
- 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.
- 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. It doesn't add much to a thread to have it turn into a debate on the rules. I especially hate this in GameThreads. I love the threads, but I mostly love watching the game. If I get distracted from the game with a argument about rules, I likely won't be happy. If you have a problem with the rules or how they are enforced, write me.
- 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 Bible, please.
- No religion or politics please.
- Don't use this place as just a way to promote your site. If you come here without contributing to our 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 very rarely send 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 it gets to the point that someone is more trouble than they are worth. Running the site is a hobby for us and we aren't willing to put up with too much aggravation. There has been the odd person that figures their role in the world is just to aggravate others. That said, other than spammers, we've only banned a handful of people. Our members are great.
Generally, we don't ban someone until they become intolerable. I have to come to the site every day, if there is a poster that is making me 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"..
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'. 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.