We have made a few minor changes to our community guidelines. This is the agreement all new members are presented with when joining Eyes on the Prize, and the one that all members adhere to when they begin participating in the comment sections of our articles, or creating FanPosts that can be seen by all members of the community.
The revised version follows:
We understand that talking about sports can get heated, especially with rival fans popping in from time to time, so don't worry if you drop a swear word, we won't mind (though excessive profanity will see your comment deleted).
That said, there are several things that are obviously unacceptable. Personally attacking the authors or readers of this site will not be tolerated, and anyone who crosses this line will be subject to the banhammer. Do not post vitriol for the sake of being hateful. Please try to reply the same way you would want people to reply to your comments. Just be nice. Try to generate conversation instead of generating snark or being purely argumentative.
In addition to personal attacks, no racism, sexism, homophobia, or discrimination based on religion will be tolerated. This is an all-inclusive website, and we simply will not tolerate hate speech.
Links to illegal content are not permitted, including any unofficial streams for games.
If you see a comment that you believe violates these rules, please don't hesitate to add a flag to it to help us find it and deal with it in the appropriate manner.
For most serious offences, a warning will be sent stating what line you crossed, giving you a second chance to be a voice within our community. However, we reserve the right to make an outright ban for persistent or particularly egregious violations of our moderation rules.
If there's an issue with how we've handled a moderation issue, you can email us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will not have debates about our moderation decisions in the comments.
The biggest change is the addition of the right to ban members for their first offence if it merits such an extreme response. Removing a member from our community is a last resort, as we will usually send a warning first if you’ve crossed the line, or simply delete a comment for a minor offence. However, there have been a few cases where an infraction was severe enough to call for the immediate removal of a commenter, and the new rule allows us to do that without any further worries about the conduct being repeated.
Levels of moderation (from least to most severe)
- comment deletion
- message (will show up on the site the next time a member visits)
- warning (only one will be given)
- ban (removal from the community, and something not undertaken lightly)
For context, since the first of November, two accounts have been banned from participating on EOTP, with a few warnings doled out, a handful of messages sent, and many comments simply deleted. Bans are quite a rare form of moderation.
We have become too lax in our enforcement of the rules on personal attacks. There have been times when comments that berate a member are left up because the conversation has been pulled back on the rails to more constructive discourse further down the thread. Deleting the offensive comment removes all comments nested under that post, and there were times when the decision was made to keep the conversation intact. We will be changing our approach and cutting out the comments that are aimed directly at members regardless of the content of the conversation that follows below.
There are a few things that you can do to prevent the loss of engaging content from being removed in that fashion. The easiest of which is to simply not reply to the offending comment, instead replying to an earlier post within the thread or continuing the constructive conversation in a new thread.
We would also like you to be less hesitant about adding a flag to a comment. We have access to a list of all comments that have been flagged by at least one member, and your efforts can allow us to better address anything that violates our community guidelines and reduces your enjoyment of participating on the site. Given the amount of articles we typically publish in a day, it may take some time to get to a particular comment, but rest assured we will see your concerns and assess the situation as soon as we can.
Many of you reading this article have probably been apprehensive about posting a comment, and we would like to have our site as welcoming as possible to anyone interested in participating.
Having said all that, challenging the viewpoints of the writers and other members is a hallmark of our community, and such activity is not only permitted, but encouraged. Our best conversations come from members with different perspectives on a particular topic, and the back-and-forth debate can add to the content of the article or open minds on a particular issue. Any rebuttals should be targeted at the content of the post you’re in disagreement with and not the person who shared their thoughts.
If you have any comments, questions, concerns, or suggestions regarding our commenting and moderation procedures, please add them in the comments section below.