It has been an unbearably long wait to get back to regular season football. Now that it is that time of year, we wanted to remind the community (and provide an easy article to link to) for some clarity on the MHR community guidelines.
Welcome to MHR if you are new. If you are rejoining us after a nice vacation, welcome back! If you've been chillin' with us all summer, /fistbump. :)
Let's talk rules. Let's love rules. Let's embrace the rules that keep MHR a bastion of light among the murky oceans of troll that is the Internet. Every month this summer we had to ban someone or something for some reason. Don't be that guy / gal.
(H/T to the field gulls. Your article was inspiring to many of us on staff to say the least.)
The Community Guidelines
What we dig:
- Talking football. Especially the Denver Broncos
- Being respectful of every member of MHR, even members who are fans of other teams
- Keeping comments apropos (this is a fancy word that means "concerning or in reference to"...take that, Laurie) to the topic of the post
- Discussing whatever you like when appropriate (Horse Tracks, Calikula's Imperial Weekly Thread, or any general open thread)
Specifics on open threads
- Horse Tracks is our daily link aggregation thread. We try to consistently title it that way. Conversations off topic are allowed and encouraged there, but all other community guidelines apply.
- CIWT - Calikula's Imperial Weekly Thread is more of an open bar sorta post. It has its own rules that are more lax than our guidelines, which has the blessing of MHR's staff to work that way.
- Open Threads - On game days we post threads called "Open Threads" for people to hang out in and discuss the game as it is going on. Much like Horse Tracks, talk is allowed to go a little off topic from the game (think of it like hanging out at a sports bar while watching the game), but all other guidelines apply.
What can pound sand and die in a cold, dark hole:
What is the process?
And how does the moderation get handled?
- If your activities are kinda light, sometimes the staff will just send you a message (it will be obvious and require you to click a button to get past it and open articles the next time you visit). Please read it and pay attention. Please email us for clarification. Please do not ignore the direction given.
- If you have crossed a line, a warning will be sent to you. Again, please don't ignore it. Please do email us if you want clarifications. The email you can always use for moderation is firstname.lastname@example.org. If you want to email one of us in particular, see our masthead for email links or ask us for it in the comments.
- Pay particular mind that if you do get a warning, an infraction of any type whatsoever will result in your account being banned. At that point, the only way back on is by emailing us and working it out. We do believe in 2nd chances. We rarely believe in 3rd chances. We will not allow trolls, punks, and punkettes to jack with the fantastic community of Broncos Country we enjoy here at MHR.
- If you do get banned and don't want to change, fret not. You can still read the site. You just can't talk. It is kinda like being stuck at the kids table at Thanksgiving. When you are 25 years old. Without kids or anyone to play with. :(
Avoid fights. Don't troll. Stay on topic. Expect good natured trash talk and appreciate it for what it is. Emphasis on "Good Natured". Don't come over here spewing epithets against our team and expect to stay long. Discuss and debate. Realize that people don't always share your opinion. When that happens, feel free to argue about the point, the player, the scheme, etc. Just don't make it personal.
Use the "flag" button.
This is your voice for how MHR is moderated. We pay attention to every flag that happens. Please add notes on why you flagged it - share your thoughts with us so we can clearly understand why you think the comment is out of line. This is how we take out the garbage. If you don't ever flag comments, then you absolutely have zero room to complain or whine about moderation here.
Use the "rec" button.
This is your way to share some love with your Mile High brethren here. If someone said something you really liked or you thought was very clever, hit the rec button.
An even shorter way to do it:
no politics (allowed in good form at CIWT)
no religion (allowed in good form at CIWT)
no personal attacks
The 11 Commandments Of Mile High Report:
Eleven don'ts, each paired with their own do that if followed will keep you rock steady as a community member of MHR.
Protip: These are based around our guidelines but are not their own set of rules. For specific rules on what is not allowed, see the section above on things that pound sand in a cold dark hole.
|Keeping your cool||Don't escalate;||Do take the high road.||...snark is accepted, even encouraged, as long as it isn't mean.|
|Trolling by others||Don't feed the trolls;||Do flag trollish posts.||...seriously people. Flag all the trolls!|
|Trolling by you||Don't troll here, or any SBN site, and keep your spam to yourself;||Do troll your heart out anywhere outside the SBN network.||...the Internet is a huge place. Take it to ESPN or facebook. This isn't the blog you are looking for for trolling.|
|When a comment sucks||Don't attack the commenter;||Do call out an element of the comment as lame.||...reasoning helps us all stay on the same page. Always about the opinion, never about the person stating the opinion.|
|Opinion||Don't state your opinion as the only true path;||Do leave room for the opposing view.||...everyone at MHR is entitled to their opinion. If someone has a dumb opinion, let reality play out and make it obvious for everyone instead of going ballistic.|
|Knowledge||Don't pretend to know everything;||Do try and learn something here every day.||...while we are at it, please share your insights with us. One of the best aspects of MHR has always been our group discussions and sharing our different takes and wisdom.|
|Presence||Do join the conversation!||...seriously don't just lurk. We enjoy talking to all levels of fans in Broncos Country.||One of the best thing about our community and Broncos Country in general is the breadth and depth of the types of people who love the Denver Broncos. We dig you all and want to hear from you and about you!|
|Spelling||Don't make your reader wade through multiple errors per post if you can help it;||Do use your spell-checker and bookmark the active roster.||...punctuation and capitalization are not specifically in the rules but they are implied. You have to at least acknowledge the existence of the shift key and the . key. Do it for your reader.|
|Isms||Don't bring up divisive topics or make bigoted remarks;||Do look for ways to be clever without bringing up religion and politics.||...especially in the coming 2016 maelstrom, people. MHR is here for talk about NFL football and the Broncos.|
|Functionality||Don't wreck threads with huge images, excessive gifs, or walls of text||Do use the subject line, reply button, rec button to cut down on clutter.||...the whole site gets more more user-friendly that way. Think of mobile users. And line breaks are your friend, Pete.|
|Negativity||Don't be an Eeyore;||Do retain, and exercise, your right to rant responsibly.||...hyper-negativity will eventually get you banned. It might take a while, but it'll happen. This is a fan site, after all, designed more for entertainment than for complaining.|
FAQ (yes there is a FAQ section, and we may even expand it with stuff from the comments)
"Can we swear?"
Yes but there are limits to good taste. Don't be the 13-year-old who just discovered a place to drop four-letter words without any consequences. Don't type the C-Bomb or the F-Bomb. Don't think you can sneak an ethnic slur in, even if you're of the ethnicity being slurred. No one here knows your heritage. And if you're cussing in half your comments, you are doing it very very wrong.
"Can you teach me the sarcasm font?"
"Why did I get a mod message when other people are doing worse things all the time?"
Welcome to the really real world, where YOU are responsible for your actions. When the staff message, warn, or ban you it is about your actions. It isn't a comparison or a contest with anyone else in the community. Worry about yourself.
Maybe we did message others. Maybe we didn't. It is our job to handle. If you want input on what others are doing or saying, use the "flag" button and make sure to enter notes. Emailing us about something someone else said after you've been warned or banned does not help your situation in any way, shape, or form. Whining at this point only hurts your case and seriously damages our calm. What you come across as saying in this situation is, "Why do you suck at your job?" Think about how you'd feel if someone said that to you while you were at work / school. Ruminate on that a bit...yeah we don't like it either.
"Will I get really banned for calling a jerk a jerk?"
No. You'll get a mod message or a warning, then maybe a short ban, then possibly a permanent ban for breaking any of the rules. Of course, depending on severity, a mod will skip past one or more of those steps -- or repeat some of the steps.
We don't want to exile people. We like you! But we're also not going to let someone piss in our Post toasties and steal our cigarettes every morning. So you're not "in trouble" if you drop a light curse word or two. You're still even not "in trouble" when you get your first mod message. What does happen is that users are sent away because they can't handle being told how to post.
"But I didn't know the rules!"
Now you do.
"You removed my comment?!"
Yep. There are four mods here -- Tim, Scotty, Monty, and yours truly. In addition to those four horsemen, who are volunteers, certain other writers and editors also have the ability to remove comments. If your comment disappeared, it's because one of those people decided it should go.
After you shed a tear for your vanished sliver of brilliance, realize:
A) You'll live; B) The mod probably had a good reason; C) If the reason was bogus, one mod can overrule another, and we can unhide the comment.
Seriously, just live with it. Be an adult. Even if you're secretly 14 years old. And while you're at it, accept that we're doing our best. We will screw up, that's for sure, but we also know what we're doing the vast majority of the time.
"I got cited for sexism but I didn't do anything wrong. What the hell?"
Sexism is tricky. And pervasive. If I took the time to dig through every MHR comment in depth, I'd find several instances of "soft" sexism here daily, in addition to the obvious misogynistic missteps. So maybe refrain from any borderline comments when it comes to women and girls.
I'd estimate that 20-30 percent of our readers are female. And so one of the strong emphases here behind the scenes at Mile High Report recently has been to make the place as welcoming as possible for female users. We're not there yet, but we're working on it. Sexism specifically is a type of bigotry in case you were wondering why this is even against the rules.
"But my comment was misinterpreted."
Yes, that's possible. Likely, even. If I read every MHR comment in a given week during the regular season, the final tally will be between 5,000 and 10,000. Chances are I'd misinterpret one, or ten, or 50, each week. So will the other fine gentlemen and ladies on staff. We're sorry in advance. We also suggest moving on.
"If you don't mind me asking, why even have these rules?"
Go to another football site, read the comments for a week, then come back and ask me again. Seroiusly...check out the four letter leader's web site comments or the local paper site's stuff. Unchecked banter can absolutely ruin the comment sections of a site. I've seen it and it absolutely sucks.
"Why can't we discuss moderation in the comments? Are you guys from North Korea or something?"
We have that rule in place for a couple of very good reasons:
- Less drama - discussing moderation in public ALWAYS leads to bad blood somewhere. When we handle it in private that still happens, at times, but at least it doesn't suck others into it in the comments.
- Direct contact - in the comments it is easy to feel like you are the little guy talking to some nebulous over-reaching big brother. With direct email contact, it becomes apparent that you are talking to real people who will listen and work it out. We then find a place where people will listen and comprehend much better than the comment section.
"Aren't strict rules just another form of censorship? Internet! America!"
Nope. Private blog. Our place, our rules. Your choices are to abide by them or just don't comment. If you can't make that choice, we will be more than pleased to make the choice for you.
Appeal To Authority, Which Is You!
You guys are the lifeblood of Mile High Report. Writers might generate the content, but readers do the heavy clicking. If your concern didn't get addressed above, let's hear it in the comments below. Do you want even more rules? Can I get you another beer? Is there an important void in the rules? An apparent inconsistency, or an overreach, or an obsolete directive? Speak now or for a year hold your peace, because we're not doing this again until next year.