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BBB Commenting and Posting Guidelines

MLB: AUG 24 Cardinals at Cubs Photo by Brandon Sloter/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

It has been far too long since I’ve posted the rules for this little corner of the internet. Things have been going well, but perhaps it is time to remind everyone that we have rules.

Welcome to Bluebird Banter! This is our little space on the web where we chat, argue, complain, and praise what is happening with our Toronto Blue Jays. Mostly these days, we are just grateful baseball is on. We have rules to make it a civil community and an enjoyable place.

Most of the rules fall under one idea: this blog is like our living room. Act like you’d like to be invited back. We enjoy having you, so please come in, wash your hands for at least 20 seconds, and stay awhile. But remember, the last beer is mine.

  • Our first rule is an important one. No suggestions of violence, self-harm, or ill will towards any player, person, or group of people are allowed, ever. I’m bolding this one because there are occasional jokes about hurting a player, blowing up a stadium, or suggesting that all fans of a team or certain journalists should come to some rather cruel end. There is zero tolerance for this here.
  • Do not argue with the moderators about rules. If asked to stop something, stop it. Moderating isn’t fun, so please don’t make it worse. Starting a debate about the rules adds nothing to a thread. I hate this in GameThreads. I love the threads, but I mostly love watching the game. We won’t be friends if you want to distract me from the game with an argument about rules. Email me if you have a complaint, and I can deal with it at my chosen time.
  • No derogatory references to race, nationality, sexual orientation, or ethnicity at all, ever. Any version of the word retard is also unacceptable.
  • Don’t be sexist. Sports blogs tend to be men’s clubs, but we have female members. My wife may also look in, and If you get on her wrong side, I may have to ban you.
  • Profanity isn’t allowed here, so please try to keep George Carlin’s “Seven Dirty Words” off the site (I’m showing my age with this reference). Profanity brings a negative tone to comments, and members have come to appreciate the atmosphere here. Some people are averse to profanity, and they shouldn’t have to miss out on talking about baseball with us.
  • I’ve noticed people using one of the seven words but putting a * or unique character in one (or more) of the letters. The implication has the same effect, and it’s still not allowed.
  • However, using “Clemensing” or “Farrelling” as a substitution is still fair game.
  • Insulting Blue Jays players is allowed within limits, but please remember this is our team. If you say something juvenile, you might get called out on it. If you are only here to complain about one player, this isn’t your place.
  • Telling us our player is about to strike out doesn’t go over well. We like our team, Barry.
  • Don’t try to annoy people or start fights.
  • Don’t attack other posters. You can debate and disagree with their ideas, but please avoid calling anyone stupid, crazy, etc. It doesn’t make for a rational debate.
  • Also, as a request, it would be nice to be friendlier to new folks. We were all new at one time. With that said, expect that people are going to challenge your opinions. Roll with it. Defend your position. Intelligent people can disagree.
  • On the flip of that, some of us have been friends for a while, and some ribbing occurs. Please take it in stride. Generally, it means we like you.
  • No religion or politics, please. There is enough of that in the world already, and we prefer to stick to baseball here. The casual mentioning of a politician isn’t a big deal, but starting a Liberals vs. Conservatives argument is bigger. Also, please try to refrain from using His name (in vain or otherwise). It’s ok to go off-topic, but please avoid controversial topics.
  • We aren’t grammar police, so don’t worry about perfecting things. However, if you want your items read, make them readable. Use periods and commas, and start sentences with capitals if posting something long. If you have a lot to say, write a FanPost!
  • Don’t copy and paste an article from another site. If you see something worth sharing, post a link. That drives traffic to the other site.
  • Discussion of illegal streams is not permitted.
  • Don’t use this site to promote yourself or your work. SB Nation doesn’t exist to give free promotion to other sites.
  • Remember, we are all fans here and are all equal. You may think you are more intelligent than all of us. You might even be (it isn’t all that hard). If you are that smart, show us, don’t tell us.
  • Any debates over the legitimacy or seriousness of COVID-19 are also prohibited. The same goes for debates over vaccines. If you are a doctor or have specialized knowledge of infectious diseases, many epidemiologists and researchers will benefit more from hearing from you than we would.

What should you do if you feel someone has broken the rules? Under every comment, there is a “report” button. If you hit that, a menu will come up. The menu will ask you why you are flagging it. The ‘flag’ will mark it for the mods. We can’t see everything that happens here, so if you flag it, we can take appropriate action. We love when our members stand up for each other, but we also have mods. If you want to be a mod, send me an email.

And we have something new at SB; there is automated moderation. If you hit upon a word or phrase that is against the rules, it might get deleted without the mods knowing about it. It isn’t perfect. Occasionally it misreads something, but it works well most of the time.

What happens if you break a rule?

1) One of the moderators might ask you to stop. If we ask you to stop something, please do, and don’t argue. A comment or FanPost will likely be deleted if it crosses the line.

2) We may issue a formal warning. If that happens, the next time you log into the site, the warning will come up. Consider it the equivalent of a yellow card in soccer. We rarely send warnings (I prefer to say something in the thread, like ”STOP IT.” It is much easier than a formal warning). A warning isn’t personal, so don’t take it personally. Ignoring a moderator does not end well.

3) We can also ban you. If we continue with our soccer analogy, banning would be the red card. If you are banned, you can still read the site but can no longer post or comment. We generally don’t ban someone until they become intolerable. I have to come to the site every day. If a poster makes me not want to come, then sorry, it is you or me, and I’ve got the ban hammer. Running the site is a hobby, and we aren’t willing to tolerate too much aggravation. That said, other than spammers, we’ve only banned a handful of people. I looked last week and hadn’t banned anyone in over a year. Our members are great.

Email me if you feel you’ve been unfairly banned (we all have bad days), and we will consider reinstating you. Half the time, I get an email telling me how terrible the site is, and then, an hour or two later, they sign up under a new screen name, thinking I’m not going to notice.

After warnings, I often get emails complaining that “someone else did it too, and you didn’t warn them.” Please note I don’t discuss warnings with anyone other than the person being warned. I won’t talk about your warning with someone else, and I won’t talk about someone else’s warning with you. Honestly, warnings are not personal. Generally, I’ve forgotten about it a day or two after a warning.

With all this said, we hope you come by often and join in the discussions. This is a wonderful place to be.

Lastly, Go, Jays, Go!