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Off Tackle Empire Community Standards and Moderation Primer 2017

Apparently this is once again necessary.

Greetings, blessed subjects of the Empire. With football season fast approaching, we know that commenting will get much more active. If you think the offseason has involved a lot of comment threads full of debating the over-or-underratedness of Jim Harbaugh or just how many national titles P.J. Fleck will win at Minnesota, just wait until the season gets here.

Saturday they'll be dressed to kill

Down at Sherman's bar and grill

Hamm’s will flow and Grain Belt will spill

And if the boys wanna argue about whether or not Trace McSorley can repeat his success over the last two games of last year you better let 'em

With apologies to Thin Lizzy, this post will attempt to make clear what the commenting standards are here at Off Tackle Empire.

Listen up!

  • The most important thing to remember is that the collective will of the moderators is absolute. Do not discuss moderation in the comments. Warnings and temporary bans are tools the moderators use to ensure that people fall in line with an acceptable standard of social conduct; if you receive these, you'll also receive a message with a clear explanation as to what you did to step out of bounds. Learn from this and don't do it again. Moderation at OTE is forgiving and reasonable but will not suffer incidents repeating themselves many times.
  • Seriously, read that first point again, because it seems to need some spelling out. If you take to the comments to argue about why you think someone shouldn’t have been banned several months ago, expect that conversation to come to a screeching halt. Hey, if someone couldn’t keep themselves in check, the moderators, arbiters of what constitutes acceptable behavior, had to remove them and if you were that close to them, you surely have some other way to contact them to keep in touch. If you think the moderation has destroyed the community, nobody is forcing you to continue posting here.
  • If you’ve received a warning or temporary ban for doing a specific thing, stop doing that thing in order to avoid further escalation.
  • We're pretty lax about coarse fuckin' language and other such shit. Some language and attitudes, however, shouldn't be used. No "list of banned words" will be provided; we expect you to be smart enough to figure out if your language falls under the following unacceptable categories: racial slurs, derogatory terms related to sexual orientation and gender identity, casual/pejorative words for mental/physical handicaps, misogynistic/sexist terms. If you think you're funny enough to pull this stuff off, try it out at your local open mic night and see how that goes, and then don't bring it here.
  • Football topics posted on the main page are for football discussion. You're not likely to get disciplined for going off-topic, but as a courtesy, don't. The Fanshots/Lounge are subject to the same rules of moderation as the main page articles, but as they are for general discussion, there's no topic to stay on. Politics are fair game so long as you discuss them respectfully within the rules. Keep the damn political flame wars off the main page.
  • Debate, sniping, witty banter and verbal sparring are permitted so long as it doesn't get into the realm of personal attacks.
  • Don't post spam, porn, nudity, etc. This isn't 4chan. You should know better.
  • Being drunk is not an excuse for violating standards.
  • Don't post a bunch of gigantic images. It makes it difficult to read the comments, especially on mobile devices. Please refer to our guide to acceptable image sizing.
  • Seniority does not exist. Have you been doing things that are unacceptable for a long time? Count your blessings, and then cut it out.


Here are some exchanges and explanations

Example 1:

mod ex 1

This is a bad reply. Why is Thumpasaurus wrong? Don't be like me here.

Example 2:

mod ex 2

This is acceptable. I called Thumpasaurus out but it was entirely related to things said here about the team in question. My response, while damning, was topical and stayed with the argument instead of random flaming.

Example 3:

mod ex 3

Holy shit, did I write that? This is way out of bounds. This is going to earn you at least a timeout. This is a highly personal and vicious attack and has no place here.

Example 4:

mod ex 4

This is a very bad response. Please don't denigrate women, and please don't harass them. That's creepy and makes everyone uncomfortable. Treating people like this in real life is a great way to lose friends and get your ass kicked by strangers.

Example 5:

mod ex 5

This response, though unusual and slightly gross, is acceptable. It's a rebuttal and is also pretty funny.

In conclusion, try not to be too much of an asshole. Emotions run high when we're drunk and high-strung during game threads, but even if impulse gets the best of you, the commenting platform gives you 90 seconds to edit your comments. Please take that time to consider whether or not you should have said what you said.