Brewer Fanatic Comment Policy
We believe Black Lives Matter and that all people deserve to participate in our conversations. We will be inclusive in our language, our tone, and our actions.
Inclusiveness is language that is free from words, phrases or tones that reflect prejudiced, stereotyped or discriminatory views of particular people or groups. It is also language that does not deliberately or inadvertently exclude people from being seen as part of a group. Inclusive language is sometimes called non-discriminatory language.
We do NOT want to stifle conversations around sensitive topics. We DO want to remove comments and language that would make anyone feel uncomfortable participating in any conversation on Brewer Fanatic. False assumptions and stereotypes can be difficult to detect and while it's not a perfect science, try put yourself in the shoes of another gender/race/background that might be getting discussed, and try to gauge how a particular statement would make you feel. Unfairly grouped? Needlessly generalized? Objectified for the sake of someone's argument? Those are the kinds of comments we will remove.
Brewer Fanatic prides itself on the community of fans it serves, and understands that the forums, comment sections and blogs are central to many members’ enjoyment of the site. We strive for civil, insightful, intelligent, inclusive discourse that welcomes and challenges our passionate readers. Please understand and follow these rules when posting, and consult the more detailed explanations in the comments section below if you require further guidance:
- Respect for others is expected in everything we write, and personal attacks are not allowed.
- Do not be disruptive through trolling, flame-baiting, and thread-jacking.
- A minimal level of grammar and spell-checking is required.
- Avoid inappropriate language.
- Do not copy entire stories from elsewhere on the internet.
- Commercial spam will be deleted on sight and the poster will be banned.
- The site moderators have the capability and authority to edit or delete offending posts, and/or issue warnings which are sent via the site’s Notifications system; warning points may be recorded at that time when necessary. Additional infractions (including attempts to circumvent a ban, such as alternate accounts and IP proxies) may subject you to further moderator action. We always prefer to work with members to avoid bans, but will act when the best interests of the site are at stake.
- If you see a posting that violates these guidelines, do not attempt to police the thread yourself with a complaint there in the thread, and most definitely do not respond with a post of your own in a similar offensive style; either approach may draw moderator actions toward yourself instead of your intended target. If it is a minor violation, it is usually better to just ignore it. However, if you believe it is a serious violation, flag the offending post to the attention of the moderators by clicking the "Report" link found at the bottom of each post (to the left of "Quote"). Appropriate action by the moderators in response to a flagged post may take some time; meanwhile just ignore the post in question, as well as anyone else’s ill-considered responses to it. And remember that an unchecked violation of our policies does not mean it is suddenly open season.
- Multiple user accounts are not allowed. If you are having difficulties accessing your original account (forgotten/lost password, some other issue), please contact the administrator, using the Contact Us link at the bottom of the site's main page, to have it fixed.
- If you have a question or a concern about these policies or about moderator actions, please don't derail a baseball discussion. Instead, feel free to PM a moderator, or post in the "Questions About MinnCentric" forum, and we'll do our best to respond quickly.
Thank you for your understanding and commitment to Brewer Fanatic.
1. Respect for others is expected in everything we write, and personal attacks are not allowed.
This means respect for fellow members. It means also showing respect for players, team staff and ownership, journalists, the other teams and their players, player agents, players’ wives… everybody!
It means giving others the benefit of the doubt; it means not being combative, nor looking to take offense at someone else's supposed "tone"; it means not labeling and classifying other posters or groups of people, or applying disdainful nicknames; it means turning the other cheek even when we feel we’re not being treated with respect ourselves. If your purpose in posting is to belittle someone, think twice. If you're trying to express your utter exasperation with another poster, think twice again.
We talk about what has occurred with our favorite team and players, we debate past moves and speculate on future actions, we dissect ideas, we sometimes make jokes and kid each other. But it crosses a line when it becomes overly personal - questioning manhood, courage, honesty or intelligence, or pretending to know how another person’s mind works, or telling somebody to learn baseball. Characterizing others as, for instance, "Negative Nancys" or conversely as "Front Office Apologists", does little but invite bickering. We don't get into arguments about who is a "real fan" or a "true student of the game". We don't use dehumanizing terms like "garbage", "animal", or "thing" in regard to a human being. The line is crossed whether it is about a fellow member, or about someone in the public eye.
It's much easier to be accidentally disrespectful to other members (or unnamed groups of members) when you make it be *about* them. That doesn't mean it's always improper to address someone else personally; part of the fun of the site is the sense of community, and we can also joke with each other if it's not likely to be misinterpreted. But when in doubt or when it's contentious - especially if you somehow think you can correct someone else's behavior or change their opinion - just stick to the topic under discussion. It's usually more effective to find a way to say "this is wrong" instead of "you are wrong." Again: the single biggest way posters run afoul of posting respectfully is when they start worrying as much about to whom they are responding as about the topic being discussed.
One reason to be wary of making it personal is that you can not control how someone else will interpret what you say. No matter how clearly you try to write, shades of meaning can creep in. When someone misunderstands your statement of fact, they will usually say something that makes clear where the problem is. By contrast, when they misunderstand what you perhaps meant as a gentle joke at their expense, it becomes much harder to recognize and bickering may result without meaning to.
The other side of the coin is to avoid making it be about yourself. If you laud your own credentials, or tout some past record of predictions, or even just use yourself as an example of something, you make it very difficult for other posters to resist responding in a way that is also personal. If you choose to make it be about yourself, grow some thick skin, while at the same time not assuming that the others around you have that same hide; and please don't come running to the moderators over minor affronts, nor turn it into bickering. (Back to the first side of the coin, though: if other people do make it about themselves, you don't get a free pass to be disrespectful in response. Resist that temptation.)
Sometimes it is difficult to separate the person from the subject being discussed. Maybe someone's opinion is truly stupid or laughable; it's still better to say "I disagree because..." rather than "that's stupid/laughable because...". Trying to maintain that "I said the idea was idiotic, not that you are idiotic" is too fine a distinction to make in a thread with multiple posters and hundreds of readers. Words like "silly" and "ridiculous" are going to catch a moderator's eye, likewise a response consisting only of "lol". Explain why an idea is mistaken, don't just lazily attach an adjective, epithet or emoticon to the idea. And don't imply that the other person isn't being honest, or is not arguing in good faith. The appropriate response to a "stupid" post is either to rebut it respectfully, or to ignore it and move on - attacking the "stupid" poster will draw moderator attention and action.
Affecting an air of superiority when you are certain that the other party is incorrect is not only contrary to our policy, it rarely has the desired persuasive effect anyway. Even seemingly innocent phrases like "let's all just..." and "I think we all agree...", or repeating someone's turn of phrase mockingly, can have the effect of talking down to your audience. Keep the discussion to the facts as you see them, and avoid being dismissive or condescending, when you feel the urge to assert your superior analytical powers.
The opposite of respect might be "contempt". Here is an illuminating 3+ minute audio essay by a relationship counselor on that topic. While it is aimed toward helping couples, the overlap to posting in a public forum should be evident:
Here is another audio by this counselor, on "emotional intimidation". It too is aimed toward couples, and is aimed even more toward the physical cues in interactions, but the part about bullying contains several nuggets that also apply surprisingly well to a written forum, such as getting caught up in the intensity:
The hard part is recognizing yourself in these descriptions; as this counselor states at one point, "who ever calms down when they're told to calm down?"
2. Do not be disruptive through trolling, flame-baiting, and thread-jacking.
Or, stated even more briefly, don't become a pest to fellow members.
A good forum thread often contains digressions - indeed they may be the most interesting or illuminating parts of a given discussion. And a negative opinion is not necessarily more disruptive than a positive one.
- inserting a pet idea into thread after thread, or
- casting in a negative light everything someone says and does, or
- laughing derisively at a post but providing no counter-argument, or
- starting "See I Told You So" threads, or
- making “I was wrong, you were right” your goal in an exchange, or
- accusing another poster of rooting against the team or a player, or
- bantering that looks more like trash talking, or
- making comments destined to revisit standard arguments, or
- contributing one-line comments that add nothing but question everything, or
- "whataboutism," responding to a question by raising a side issue, or
- creating a "sockpuppet" account for deceptive purposes or simply to make annoying posts, or
- inserting politics, religion, etc., where it's not relevant, or with no better purpose than just to stir the pot (including political avatars), or
- making excessive use of sarcasm to slam anyone or to overstate their position, or
- posting that the subject of the thread itself is not worth discussing, or
- making an extreme case for your side and/or putting up a straw man for the other side and/or putting words in someone else's mouth, or
- dwelling on one small point, or
- turning a small-scale discussion into an overly broad one, or
- aggressively defending against a perceived slight, or
- harping on a past trade and posting a daily performance update, or
- getting in someone's face about anything, or
- making it your mission in life to educate your inferiors, or
- reminding readers that you correctly predicted some outcome, months ago, when others happened to disagree, or
- bringing up someone’s words from another thread as though a judge and jury were weighing your evidence about the topic or this other poster,
...these do not contribute to a lively discussion and instead cause participants to at best tune out or in many cases bicker pointlessly, often talking past one another.
Bickering in particular is something the moderators will take action against. If you feel the need to angrily post "you completely mis-stated my position, if indeed you even bothered to read it", consider that if the other person isn't reading what you wrote, another post won't change matters. Instead, *IF* you think you can clarify what was misunderstood, try re-stating your position one more time, and after that let it go. Other readers will draw their own conclusions about who is making sense, if you've stated your position well. Don't keep arguing until others concede - all it takes is two such posters, and the argument will go on forever. Just, at a certain point... Let... It... Go.
When in doubt about introducing a tangent, consider instead starting a new blog entry or thread topic, and invite readers of the current thread to come discuss your tangent over there. Or, if the topic of the discussion doesn't appeal to you, or you think it is irrelevant until all other larger issues have been resolved - well, life is short! Just move on to a thread you consider more constructive. And injecting the same opinions with marginal relevance into thread after thread, whether it be about the manager, a coach, a highly paid player, a poorly performing player, the general manager, the owner, etc., is not acceptable posting behavior.
Posts by fans of other teams, done for the purpose of making derogatory remarks about the Brewers or their fans, or excessively touting their own team, obviously will not be tolerated. Less obvious, perhaps, is that when a fan of another team takes part here in good faith, trolling of that person will not be tolerated either. Let's be good hosts to our visitors. And visitors, please remember that at the end of the day this is a Brewers site and not a neutral baseball forum. Behave as you would if visiting another team's ballpark, and you'll be fine. Probably.
Referring to site moderation is not condoned, because it invites side discussions that steer away from the topic of the thread. If you have specific concerns about moderator actions, send a personal message to one of the moderators civilly instead, as we are more than willing to discuss this with you. Or if you wish to publicly discuss moderation and help us improve the site, feel free to create a thread in the relevant site forum and open a discussion. This policy is not an attempt to stifle conversation about moderation; its purpose is to improve baseball-related discussion and prevent thread-jacking.
We remind you to try to ignore what you find distasteful or, if you can't, report it. Please do not try to police offenders yourselves or respond to them publicly. Actions the moderators take in response to reports are sometimes not apparent to the readership at large, but we do take all reports seriously and do our best to take action in an appropriate manner considering all the variables of content, intent and poster history, and not just a single word here and there. In the end you may not agree with or like our actions, or think them 'fair.' At such a point, please, just move on.
Again, feel free to contact any of the moderators should you wish to have a private conversation.
3. A minimal level of grammar and spell-checking is required.
No, we ain't no Grammar Nazis here. And nobody's going to hassle you about a tpyo (unless it's inadvertently fanny). But if it's not worth your time to do at least a proof-reading pass of what you're about to submit, maybe it's not worth your readers' time either. If it looks like it was typed on your phone keypad upside-down after one too many adult beverages, orwithoutspacingandparagraphbreaksresultinginawalloftext, or with SHOUTING IN ALL CAPS, or with too many abbreviations and overly obscure "text-speak", it stands a chance of being deleted by the moderators, lol;#omg;rofl@u.
4. Avoid inappropriate language.
This includes swearing, ethnic slurs, lewdness, and crude terms for body parts, bodily functions, and physical acts. This also includes visuals such as avatars and linked images. Certain terms (you can probably guess which) are automatically removed by the posting software - censor-bypass attempts are grounds for moderator action. Please be mindful that comments relating to racial, cultural, religious, national, gender and sexual identity can be offensive, ditto locker room talk, even when there is no disrespectful intent. we encourage humor, but please consider how someone who doesn’t know you might interpret your post. Overall, we don’t want content that the FCC wouldn’t approve for broadcast - keep it family-friendly.
5. Do not copy entire stories from elsewhere on the internet.
Copyright law gives broad protection to content, and we want to respect that. Be particularly wary of posting more than very short excerpts from pay sites. Our site software allows you to easily insert, into your post, a link to an article’s URL. If you're pulling a quote or an example to give people a taste of a story, or relaying a short Brewers-specific note found in a long article about a broader topic, then it is likely “Fair Use” and it's fine to insert the words directly; indeed the author or organization may appreciate the publicity via the URL link. But if you're copying everything because you're too lazy to summarize yourself, then that's not fine.
In a similar spirit of protecting others' content, discussion of illegal streaming options or how to circumvent paywalls, etc. are not allowed.
6. Commercial spam will be deleted on sight and the poster will be banned.
We all know what spam is when we see it. The Bad Guys don't care one bit about the purpose of the site. Use the Report button to alert the moderators if you happen to see spam before they do.
Sometimes posts from legitimate members enter into a gray area. To be clear, cross-promotion of baseball blogs and so forth always has been strongly encouraged here. Just make sure your post contains content of interest to Brewers followers, isn't purely commercial ("buy my book") unless authorized, and doesn't consist merely of "click this link to see my site". Here is a post from one of the site owners explaining more to a fellow blogger:
We believe the daily game threads during the season should be a little more relaxed than the normal thread. Think of sitting in the left-field bleachers with a few friends and acquaintances - people have a tendency to just chat and crack jokes during boring games or down times, and that's okay - we want you to stick around, even if you really have nothing to say. Deep discussions and extended back-and-forths may get made fun of here. Civility is still the rule, but a little more is tolerated. Okay: short posts, off-topic conversation, PG-rated joking with one another. Not Okay: hurtful posts, locker-room talk, blatant rule violations, or being a grouch.
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