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Thread: Proposed Twins Daily Comment Policy - Feedback Desired

  1. #1
    Owner All-Star John Bonnes's Avatar
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    Proposed Twins Daily Comment Policy - Feedback Desired

    Up to this point, Twins Daily hasn't had an official policy regarding comments; it's mostly been "be civil." Sometimes this has worked. Sometimes it hasn't. We've talked a lot amongst ourselves about being a little clearer and decided that whatever we adopt will have a link on the footer of the site and be re-posted occasionally to make sure everyone knows the rules. I'd like to propose this as the new policy, which we based on the policy for MLBTradeRumors.com. But before we charge ahead, I think it's important to get the community's feedback.

    Comments of this nature are not allowed:

    1. Personal attacks or insults towards other commenters, the post author, journalists, teams, players, or agents.
    2. Inappropriate language, including swearing and related censor bypass attempts, lewdness, and crude terms for body parts, bodily functions, and physical acts. Overall, we don’t want any language that a parent would not want their kid to see.
    3. Juvenile comments or extensive use of text message-type spelling.
    4. Copying entire stories from elsewhere on the internet.
    5. Comments about how you're sick of this topic or it's not newsworthy.
    6. No inappropriate avatars or images are allowed.
    7. Anything else we deem bad for business.

    Breaking the rules will result in deleted posts and bans. Attempts to circumvent bans will results in all accounts being permanently banned (along with their IP address).

    I suspect the rules that will be most concerning are #2 and #1 (though I encourage feedback on all of them), so let me quickly address those two. I'm a big free speech guy, and I wrestled with both, but I've come to embrace them. Here is why:

    #2 - I have recently received emails from parents of minors who love these boards for Twins news. I'm not naive enough to think they don't know vulgarity (I think I was at the height of my vulgarity as a teen) but I don't see any compelling reason to have this language on the board and I can think of plenty of reasons to not have it, such as increased credibility for threads that offer terrific debate and can even be newsworthy.

    #1. It's one thing to say "Gardenhire is stupid to always bat a middle infielder second." It's another to say "Gardenhire is stupid." I wrote about five paragraphs in the forum last week criticizing Phil Mackey's latest salary story, so I'm not saying we can't be critical. But I cringe when five comments later I read "Mackey is an idiot." That's just a personal attack.

    I'm not suggesting this to protect players feelings or get the Twins or media to like us. I'm suggesting this because
    1. It adds nothing to the discussion. These comments will not be missed.
    2. It makes us - and I mean the whole community - look bad.

    Twins Daily was not started to be a playground. It was started to raise the overall quality of baseball coverage. If we want to do that - if we want to gain credibility, if we want to continue to draw in independent voices and readers, if we want our content to be cited and used by others - then we cannot look like rube chat.

    OK, that's the proposal. Please provide your feedback below.

  2. #2
    Senior Member All-Star Ultima Ratio's Avatar
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    What's really sad is the need (or perceived need) for all these rules. Sigh. I get it though.
    Man is born free, but everywhere he is in chains.

  3. #3
    Senior Member All-Star Jim Crikket's Avatar
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    I'm good with it, for all of the reasons you cited, John.

    More to the point, I don't need more people telling me I'm a %$#&%$@ idiot. That's what I've got family for.
    I opine about the Twins and Kernels regularly at Knuckleballsblog.com while my alter ego, SD Buhr covers the Kernels for MetroSportsReport.com.

    ~You can get anything you want at Alice's Restaurant~

  4. #4
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    I am all for it. There are plenty of other places on the internet to engage in the sort of discourse you are looking to keep away from Twins Daily.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Triple-A TwinsGuy55422's Avatar
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    Sounds good to me. I don't think these rules are too restrictive. There are always going to be people who need spelled out for them what should be common sense.
    TwinsGuy55422
    "And we'll see ya tomorrow night!!!!"

  6. #6
    Reasonable rules. OK by me.

    I presume with rule #4 the standing exception is the bloggers who post a copy here of content they post originally elsewhere.

  7. #7
    Senior Member All-Star Badsmerf's Avatar
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    I have a few questions about those topics. First, how strict are they? For example, #2. There are already language filters and I swear because I know the filters will pick it up. Are you talking about changing texts to avoid these filters? On #4, sometimes posters copy and paste insider articles or BP articles that you need subscriptions to view. Is this no longer acceptable? If so, I'm against that number. #7 is also vague and doesn't stress what you're looking for. Instead of saying "anything else," just say you reserve the right to modify/deleted any comment that is deemed out of the character for this site. That is a kind of blanket statement that covers everything and you can add more specific things as needed.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Triple-A Don't Feed the Greed Guy's Avatar
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    John,

    I love the fact that going to a baseball game is different than a football game, or a hockey or basketball game. I've been to several parks to see the Twins play as the away team--Comerica this year, US Cellular, Kauffmann, and Jacob's Field to name just a few over previous years. Fans have (almost) always been respectful. "Hey, what do you think of our ballpark?" Lot's of pride, and also some good recommendations on local places to eat.

    I enjoy this site, as a newcommer. You've built a good thing here. I appreciate being included. I want to help keep it clean as an invited guest/early member. So, I appreciate the rules. You are on the right track.

    thanks

  9. #9
    Owner MVP Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Badsmerf View Post
    For example, #2. There are already language filters and I swear because I know the filters will pick it up. Are you talking about changing texts to avoid these filters?
    Typing a swear word is no big deal. The filter will pick it up. We're talking more about using clever lettering to avoid the word censor, like an "@" instead of an "a". The easiest way to tell if we deem something to be a swear word is to use it (within reason, of course). If we don't think it's board appropriate, it will appear ****ed out. If it appears, we're cool with it.

    But please, don't post anything that looks like "you **** stupid ***** ****face".

    Quote Originally Posted by Badsmerf View Post
    On #4, sometimes posters copy and paste insider articles or BP articles that you need subscriptions to view. Is this no longer acceptable? If so, I'm against that number.
    Good question. That is something we will discuss.

    Quote Originally Posted by Badsmerf View Post
    #7 is also vague and doesn't stress what you're looking for. Instead of saying "anything else," just say you reserve the right to modify/deleted any comment that is deemed out of the character for this site. That is a kind of blanket statement that covers everything and you can add more specific things as needed.
    Fair enough. It's the same thing, just worded more politely.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by John Bonnes View Post
    Up to this point, Twins Daily hasn't had an official policy regarding comments; it's mostly been "be civil." Sometimes this has worked. Sometimes it hasn't. We've talked a lot amongst ourselves about being a little clearer and decided that whatever we adopt will have a link on the footer of the site and be re-posted occasionally to make sure everyone knows the rules. I'd like to propose this as the new policy, which we based on the policy for MLBTradeRumors.com. But before we charge ahead, I think it's important to get the community's feedback.
    Comments of this nature are not allowed:

    1. Personal attacks or insults towards other commenters, the post author, journalists, teams, players, or agents This should be a given, but yes I agree.
    2. Inappropriate language, including swearing and related censor bypass attempts, lewdness, and crude terms for body parts, bodily functions, and physical acts. Overall, we don’t want any language that a parent would not want their kid to see. Again, this should be a given. And I like this rule especially because it forces people with no logical arguments to cut out the use of foul language to drive a point.
    3. Juvenile comments or extensive use of text message-type spelling. People should always use proper spelling and grammar, but using things such as smart phones and tablets makes it easier to use shortened versions of words. I'd say the juvenile comments should for sure be ruled out, but short form typing is used too often to do away with. IMO as long as the person can illustrate a point with facts or a good solid opinion, they can say it however they'd like.
    4. Copying entire stories from elsewhere on the internet. What about links or quotes to make a point?
    5. Comments about how you're sick of this topic or it's not newsworthy. This one confuses me... Can't we state if we are tired of people calling for Gardy's head every time the littlest thing happens? This rule seems too vague, and I'd argue that the other rules would eliminate people excessively infringing upon this.
    6. No inappropriate avatars or images are allowed. ​Will somebody clearly define inappropriate? Who monitors this?
    7. Anything else we deem bad for business. Again, who is doing the "deeming"? How will they remain objective in their censorship?

    Breaking the rules will result in deleted posts and bans. Attempts to circumvent bans will results in all accounts being permanently banned (along with their IP address).

    I suspect the rules that will be most concerning are #2 and #1 (though I encourage feedback on all of them), so let me quickly address those two. I'm a big free speech guy, and I wrestled with both, but I've come to embrace them. Here is why:

    #2 - I have recently received emails from parents of minors who love these boards for Twins news. I'm not naive enough to think they don't know vulgarity (I think I was at the height of my vulgarity as a teen) but I don't see any compelling reason to have this language on the board and I can think of plenty of reasons to not have it, such as increased credibility for threads that offer terrific debate and can even be newsworthy.

    #1. It's one thing to say "Gardenhire is stupid to always bat a middle infielder second." It's another to say "Gardenhire is stupid." I wrote about five paragraphs in the forum last week criticizing Phil Mackey's latest salary story, so I'm not saying we can't be critical. But I cringe when five comments later I read "Mackey is an idiot." That's just a personal attack.

    I'm not suggesting this to protect players feelings or get the Twins or media to like us. I'm suggesting this because
    1. It adds nothing to the discussion. These comments will not be missed.
    2. It makes us - and I mean the whole community - look bad.

    Twins Daily was not started to be a playground. It was started to raise the overall quality of baseball coverage. If we want to do that - if we want to gain credibility, if we want to continue to draw in independent voices and readers, if we want our content to be cited and used by others - then we cannot look like rube chat.

    OK, that's the proposal. Please provide your feedback below.
    I provided some feedback behind each rule above in red... Overall I understand what you are trying to do, and if you have received enough complaints from parents of younger users as well as adult users themselves, then you must do something. I myself was involved in a heated debate over inappropriate posts about Nishi a few weeks ago, and hope these types of rules can eliminate that. I will also say that I am guilty of going a little too far myself (i.e. yesterday with the Pavano being shut down thread). But after reading back on a lot of the comments from myself included, I think things got a little out of hand. This is all going to spark some pretty heated debates over "free speech", censorship rights, blah blah blah. But if it brings up the level of baseball related discussion to where it should be, then I'm all for it. Good luck John, I commend you for making this effort.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Triple-A
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    Anyplace with comments needs a policy. The only one here I question is #1, as it relates to people other than commenters/post authors. Obviously, there shouldn't be tolerance in those cases. But, a rival team? How does that work- we wouldn't be able to say "The White Sox are garbage"? I mean, I get that it's not intelligent conversation, but this is sports. So long as it isn't vulgar, I don't see the problem.

    What if there's a true hack journalist out there- would it be allowed to point that out?

    People directly connected to the Twins are a gray area, where I see the need for some rules but still think it is a different situation when compared to actual posters on the site.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Big-Leaguer minn55441's Avatar
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    John, I think we all can live with the rules, the key will be how stringently they will be enforced. Will every post be reviewed? Will you rely on posts being flagged by members to ultimately be reviewed and then deleted?

    I have quickly posted thoughts or opinions without taking the time to look up my facts only to learn after the fact that I was wrong. When this has happened, other posters have pointed out my errors or corrected my points by actually looking up the information. They have always done so in a professional manner, at times with humor, but never by being called a name or in a condescending manner. I have witnessed other posters receive very harsh treatment for similar mistakes to the ones I have made and I'm all for limiting the individual attacks, however I'm not sure how this will be put into practice. If the post sits out there for 4 to 6 hours before it is removed, it still has the same effect.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by minn55441 View Post
    John, I think we all can live with the rules, the key will be how stringently they will be enforced. Will every post be reviewed? Will you rely on posts being flagged by members to ultimately be reviewed and then deleted?

    I have quickly posted thoughts or opinions without taking the time to look up my facts only to learn after the fact that I was wrong. When this has happened, other posters have pointed out my errors or corrected my points by actually looking up the information. They have always done so in a professional manner, at times with humor, but never by being called a name or in a condescending manner. I have witnessed other posters receive very harsh treatment for similar mistakes to the ones I have made and I'm all for limiting the individual attacks, however I'm not sure how this will be put into practice. If the post sits out there for 4 to 6 hours before it is removed, it still has the same effect.
    That's my main point too. Who will be monitoring every individual post on here to make sure these rules are being enforced appropriately while remaining completely objective to the situation? This seems like an extremely difficult task and I don't envy the person that wants to take it on.

  14. #14
    Owner MVP Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by drivlikejehu View Post
    Anyplace with comments needs a policy. The only one here I question is #1, as it relates to people other than commenters/post authors. Obviously, there shouldn't be tolerance in those cases. But, a rival team? How does that work- we wouldn't be able to say "The White Sox are garbage"? I mean, I get that it's not intelligent conversation, but this is sports. So long as it isn't vulgar, I don't see the problem.
    I don't foresee a world where we get too upset about something getting frustrated in a game thread and posting "Jeff Gray is garbage". Technically, it is against the rules. It's also a heat of the moment game thread written by a frustrated poster after Gray just gave himself whiplash watching a pitch go over the wall.

    As with most things, keep it in reason. Everybody gets mad and posts stupid crap. It happens. But most posters filter those posts in between dozens of worthwhile posts that are much calmer and rational. We're all fans here. We understand the pain of watching Jeff Gray take the mound.

  15. #15
    Owner MVP Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by minn55441 View Post
    John, I think we all can live with the rules, the key will be how stringently they will be enforced. Will every post be reviewed? Will you rely on posts being flagged by members to ultimately be reviewed and then deleted?

    I have quickly posted thoughts or opinions without taking the time to look up my facts only to learn after the fact that I was wrong. When this has happened, other posters have pointed out my errors or corrected my points by actually looking up the information. They have always done so in a professional manner, at times with humor, but never by being called a name or in a condescending manner. I have witnessed other posters receive very harsh treatment for similar mistakes to the ones I have made and I'm all for limiting the individual attacks, however I'm not sure how this will be put into practice. If the post sits out there for 4 to 6 hours before it is removed, it still has the same effect.
    We try to do our best to catch things immediately but it doesn't always happen that way. We encourage people to use the report post function if they see something worth reporting. It helps us find things faster. On a forum that keeps growing and gets hundreds of posts every day, it's impossible to keep track of them all.

  16. #16
    Owner MVP Seth Stohs's Avatar
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    Regarding #4, we encourage linking to other sites with articles regarding the Twins. If you copy one sentence out of there to help illustrate your point, that's OK. There are copyright issues that could come in to play. And, secondly, we are a blogger/writer community. IF someone writes something really good and you feel it should be noticed, we have no problem with people going to that site, reading the article and then coming back to discuss. It's just not right, especially if the information is behind a pay wall.

  17. #17
    Owner MVP Seth Stohs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by drivlikejehu View Post
    Anyplace with comments needs a policy. The only one here I question is #1, as it relates to people other than commenters/post authors. Obviously, there shouldn't be tolerance in those cases. But, a rival team? How does that work- we wouldn't be able to say "The White Sox are garbage"? I mean, I get that it's not intelligent conversation, but this is sports. So long as it isn't vulgar, I don't see the problem.
    I don't foresee a world where we get too upset about something getting frustrated in a game thread and posting "Jeff Gray is garbage". Technically, it is against the rules. It's also a heat of the moment game thread written by a frustrated poster after Gray just gave himself whiplash watching a pitch go over the wall.

    As with most things, keep it in reason. Everybody gets mad and posts stupid crap. It happens. But most posters filter those posts in between dozens of worthwhile posts that are much calmer and rational. We're all fans here. We understand the pain of watching Jeff Gray take the mound.
    Although I would say that we could say that "Jeff Gray is pitching like crap... again!!" and that would be just fine... By all accounts, Gray is a tremendous person, a great teammate, and obviously a pretty good pitcher - in context - so to call him 'garbage' is just unnecessary.

  18. #18
    Owner MVP Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
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    Mauerzy, I'll just respond this way without quotes. It's easier.

    3. We're not going to clamp down on misspellings or limited use of abbreviations. This rule will probably be used very rarely and only for spam-like posters whose entries generally consist of "lolz", "ur bad @ beisbol" and nonsense of that sort. It hasn't been a problem at all but we're throwing it in there for good measure.

    4. Feel free to use as many links and quotes as your lil old heart desires.

    5. If you're tired of a poster's ranting, feel free to PM a moderator/admin about it or attack the point he/she is trying to make. You can even mention that you're tired of hearing his/her tripe, just be sure to add significant content to your post beyond that short sentence. We're trying to cut down on comments such as "dumb post" or "read this already, lame". They have no place on the board.

    6. We're sticking to something close to a prime time television rule. If it can't be said on network television, reconsider saying it. The same applies to photos and imagery.

    7. Moderators and admins will be deciding what is appropriate or not. Generally, we're forgiving folk. Very few people will receive a ban of any kind without ample warning and if you feel the warning is unjust, all of us will deliberate over the "offense".

  19. #19
    Senior Member All-Star Ultima Ratio's Avatar
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    Yeah, I'm not necessarily against any of these rules (are they rules or guidelines?), I'm just disillusioned and disappointed that it's necessary (I guess?). Also, what is a juvenile comment? Please define with the connotation, not with a denotation (fark-monkey-robot i.e). I very much agree with (but as a guideline) not using text/shorthand. Students are already putting this into papers... it's bad (for society too).
    Man is born free, but everywhere he is in chains.

  20. #20
    Owner MVP Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by drivlikejehu View Post
    Anyplace with comments needs a policy. The only one here I question is #1, as it relates to people other than commenters/post authors. Obviously, there shouldn't be tolerance in those cases. But, a rival team? How does that work- we wouldn't be able to say "The White Sox are garbage"? I mean, I get that it's not intelligent conversation, but this is sports. So long as it isn't vulgar, I don't see the problem.
    I don't foresee a world where we get too upset about something getting frustrated in a game thread and posting "Jeff Gray is garbage". Technically, it is against the rules. It's also a heat of the moment game thread written by a frustrated poster after Gray just gave himself whiplash watching a pitch go over the wall.

    As with most things, keep it in reason. Everybody gets mad and posts stupid crap. It happens. But most posters filter those posts in between dozens of worthwhile posts that are much calmer and rational. We're all fans here. We understand the pain of watching Jeff Gray take the mound.
    Although I would say that we could say that "Jeff Gray is pitching like crap... again!!" and that would be just fine... By all accounts, Gray is a tremendous person, a great teammate, and obviously a pretty good pitcher - in context - so to call him 'garbage' is just unnecessary.
    Agreed, all attempts should be made to word it without insulting the player. I'm only mentioning that situation because people get riled up and post dumb crap all the time. I do it. Most others do it as well. As with everything else, we're going to approach this with a level head. I don't want posters to be concerned that they'll Get The Ban if they step out of line in the slightest bit. In most cases, a polite warning will be PMed to them before any banning action is taken.

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