In the wake of (1) a flood of spam (which is being dealt with swiftly and (hopefully) cleanly, thanks to the recent upgrade), and (2) a recent rash of personal attacks, I’m forced to implement a new policy regarding comments.
This policy will not affect 99.9% of you; you may have noticed that we let most comments go, including (perhaps especially) ones that disagree with our viewpoint, whatever that may be. These posting rules are intended to benefit everyone, by promoting civility even in disagreement. I encourage disagreement here, but I want to have a forum where we can discuss the issues of the day, as they relate to baseball or the Cincinnati Reds, in a civilized manner.
Here are the rules:
–No personal attacks.
–No harassment or demonization of a particular individual.
–No disruptive behavior or off-topic remarks for their own sake.
Regarding profanity: the rules are simple. If you have any doubt about whether to use a word or phrase, don’t. If you still don’t know what that means, don’t post. Profanity is not necessary to make a point, add emphasis, or convey a message. There are plenty of other places on the ‘net to be vulgar and base, but Redleg Nation will not be one of them.
The proprietor of this site is the sole and final judge and enforcer of this policy.
One final note regarding advertising in my comments section, courtesy of Erick Erickson:
This site reserves the right to approve or delete any and all comments for any reason or no reason. Any advertisements posted in the comments section of this site are subject to a charge of $100.00 per advertising comment. By placing any comment on this site advertising any website or service, you are acknowledging, admitting, and accepting the jurisdiction and venue of the Virginia court system including, but not limited to the General District and Circuit courts. Further, you are waiving all rights of access to the United States District Court of the Western District of Virginia and fully consent to the jurisdiction of the court system of the Commonwealth of Virginia. For purposes of this provision, advertising shall be considered any link to any site advertising, promoting, or supporting pharmaceuticals, travel, pornography, video, poker, or gambling. This provision may be modified at any time. Advertising payments are to be made by contacting us at redlegnation AT verizon DOT net. Please be sure to note that you are making payment and for which ad or ads you are making payment.
UPDATE: Here are some further guidelines, adapted from (read: “stolen shamelessly from”) our friends at U.S.S. Mariner:
We encourage lively debate, and even arguing various points among ourselves. However, this is not a public street corner. While we are rabid free speech supporters here at RN, your natural right to self expression does not require us to publish your opinion and spend bandwith and resources doing so.
We will ban for any reason and for no reason. In order to ban people who are lame, we will inevitably end up banning people who have done nothing wrong. There’s no appeal process. Bans may be permanent, and they may be adjusted to better target specific people, or repealed entirely.
Seriously: no reason will be given. No explanations will be given on who’s banned, why, or when. (Although, if you feel you’ve been banned unfairly, email us; sometimes the spam software catches good commenters by mistake.)
The “no reason” section done, here’s my guess at the kind of things that will get people banned.
Abusive behavior towards others. When you post in reply to people, pretend that you are arguing with an umpire.
“You blew that call, he was safe by a mile.” = Okay
“You blow.” = Ejected
Or, if we had a Redleg Nation get-together, we were all eating pizza and drinking beer, having a good time, would yelling your comment get you punched, then or later?
As with anything relating to tone, this is obviously a subjective and lame standard. It will be applied inconsistently: you may see someone get away with something one day and the next week someone’s gone for the same thing. It’s going to happen.
Possible reasons for deletion or banning
What else… posting illegal copyrighted material, spamming links in the comments, whether it’s your site or whatever (pointing to other sites is fine, and even pointing to related articles on your own site’s been tolerated sometimes, but “come eat at Joe’s” isn’t). Speculation on any player’s use of steroids, that’s going to be gone as soon as we come across it in almost every case. Speculation about another person’s motives for taking a particular position, particularly in a negative and derogatory sense. I hate first/last/nth-comment posts, so just don’t do that. It’s really annoying.
Oh, and contribute. If you make pointlessly repetitive comments that add nothing to the discussion just to be contrary, you’re getting the hook. That stuff just makes people grouchy and we don’t want to be grouchy.
Again, though, that’s a non-inclusive list and is intended for you to get a general sense of what kind of comments get sent to the great message board in the sky. There will be posts that seem to violate these guidelines that are up, and posts that are deleted that seem innocous. If you can’t live with that, then this is not a place you’re going to be happy posting at.
With all that said, this is not freep: I do not intend to ban anyone from commenting because they disagree with anyone else, everyone else, or specifically the viewpoints of any (or all) of the authors. You’re not even required to like me, or Bill, or Chris, or any of the editors, though you should like all of them because they’re great guys and I highly recommend them. All you’re required to do is be civil.
On and off-topic comments
If you want to see a link posted, email us.
Please, please, don’t just post it in the first thread you come across. This is rude and annoying. It will, almost always, get deleted and make someone mad.
If you’re considering starting a comment with “I know this is off-topic, but–” please, just email the link or topic to us. Don’t hijack a thread.
Except! There are threads where random thoughts, new topics, and events are perfectly allowable. These are the semi-daily game threads during the season. Also, if there’s a thread on, say “news of the day” or “random trade rumors continue” it’s perfectly normal to throw new news or new trade rumors of the day in there. Use your best judgement.
Editing or deleting posts
Comments will be deleted for the same reasons etc. as we’d ban someone. Posts may be deleted but the poster not banned, and a poster might get banned while the comment that provoked it remains up.
Comments will not be altered by editors unless there’s no other way to fix something, and I don’t see how that would be possible.
In some cases, we may edit a post that contains one particularly egregious violation within a larger post that is good enough that we don’t to delete it entirely. This is a judgment call, and we’re going to be inconsistent about it.
Fake names are fine. Offensive names and assuming the names of public figures is not, and will get your posts and account deleted. If you’re famous and want to use your real name, email us, and we can work something out.
In particular, pretending you’re a current Red player/coach/front office member is not cool.
Having said all of that stuff about random acts of deletion/banning, I would bet that in almost all circumstances where we have a valid email for your account (which does not show up on the site, please note) and I can drop you a quick note that says “please watch tone” or something, you’re much more likely to get off the hook.
Seriously, if you’re using a fake address in the email field, one of us spends the time to send you a warning note on (say) your tone, and it bounces, it’s very likely that we’re going to be aggressive about deleting/whatever the comments we intended to warn nicely about. I know that’s going to result in inconsistent enforcement, but without a means to contact people, that’s how it will have to be.
“Why don’t my posts show up?”
There are a couple of reasons. If it’s your first-ever comment, it has to be moderated before you can post freely. Most likely — especially if you’re a member of a large ISP like AOL or AT&T Worldnet — your comment is sitting in a moderation queue because of a recent spam attack. Or it may be something to do particularly with you: given a couple of deleted posts, for instance, you may be tossed into the moderation queue. There may also be particular one-time characteristics about your post that made the system suspicious.
Either way, a Redleg Nation author has to come by, see that you have a comment in the queue, and wave it on into production. Obviously, this is unlikely to happen quickly.
Well, maybe I shouldn’t go that far.