As Windy City Gridiron contiues to grow in size, traffic and readership, I decided it was time to put out some guidelines for proper behavior when posting or commenting on the site. Below are the guidelines that are now in effect and apply to any existing users. Every new user will need to agree with these before completion of the login process.
I don't believe you will find anything below that is shocking or any different than the guidelines on any other site. The majority of the below text is pulled from one of the SBN founders sites, Athletics Nation. The guidelines are basic and common sense.
Please take a quick look at them. If you think that I may have missed a topic that needs tp be addressed, please email me and I will take a look at it.
Thanks again for your involvment on the site and aid in keeping this site a great place for Bear's fans.
There are very few "rules" on Windy City Gridiron. WCG (blog) is intended to feel primarily democratic, and most of the "unwritten rules" come by way of self-government by the community through Recommended Fanposts, positive and negative feedback, peer influence, etc. The few official Community Guidelines exist for a singular purpose: they exist to help make WCG (blog) a place that is safe and enjoyable for the entire community.
Free Speech on Windy City Gridiron
WCG (blog) believes strongly in free speech and in celebrating a diversity of people, and of ideas, on the site. Users are, in general, free to express their opinions without fear of retribution. The diversity of personalities, beliefs, and styles is appreciated as being part of what makes WCG (blog) strong. WCG (blogger), and WCG's (blog) contributors all operate within this belief system.
However, WCG (blog) is a community, and free speech does not mean "the right to say what you want, when you want, how you want," without being sensitive to, and respectful towards, the community as a whole. In a community, speech is not "free"--it comes with responsibility.
The following are simply not acceptable on WCG (blog) (excepting, in some cases, for obvious humor between people with an existing rapport); they violate WCG's (blog) Community Guidelines, and are subject to sanction as outlined below:
1. Personal attacks on community members, directly or through sarcasm/belittling
2. Comments that are intolerant or prejudiced (sexist, racist, homophobic, etc.) in nature
3. Harassing/Baiting of users, e.g., "The Bears's will never win this game" posted 10 times in 30 minutes, etc.
4. Relentless negativity will not be tolerated. What constitutes "relentless negativity"? It's simple: simply posting the Bears's suck 100 percent of the time without reasoning or proposing solutions. There is nothing helpful about someone who constantly says that their team "sucks" and complains. We're all fans and we all get frustrated when the team doesn't perform or has bad luck, but regurgitating the same venom over and over again doesn't help anything or anyone. WCG (blog) is aiming to be better than that. If you continue to do nothing but post negativity, you may lose posting privileges without warning. There's a difference between someone who aims to point out flaws and be constructive and someone who is destructive. 10 Fanposts, or 10 comments, in a row about how the Bear's stink with no reasoning or proposals is basically trolling and that's how it will be treated. The goal is to make this community fun for everyone.
5. Comments that bring politics into WCG (blog) (which is a non-political blog), e.g., "Bush/Clinton ruined this country by...", "Check out this link about the war in Iraq," etc.
Consequences for Violating WCG's (blog) Community Guidelines
WCG (blog) works on a version of "3 strikes and you're out." Complaints about possible violations of the Community Guidelines should be directed to WCG (blogger) for review and consideration.
WCG (blogger) aims to balance a high tolerance for the importance of free speech and low tolerance for minor or petty complaints, with enforcement of the stated guidelines on behalf of the entire WCG (blog) community.
Strike 1: If WCG (blogger) agrees that a violation has occurred, the offending user will be contacted privately and issued a formal "strike 1". No other action is taken.
Strike 2: A second violation through this process triggers a "strike 2 warning" from WCG (blogger) and gives notice that any additional strikes may result in a ban
Strike 3: A third violation through this process results in administrative action at WCG's (blogger) discretion including a ban.
Procedure For Lodging An Official Complaint
If you believe a user has violated the Community Guidelines and you wish to bring it to WCG (blogger) for review, flag the offending comment.
Complaints are evaluated, and any appropriate follow-up action taken, internally. The user who made the complaint should not expect any reply unless the moderators have specific questions.
General Disclaimer: What is written above are guidelines that help to explain the policies, procedures, and processes WCG (blog) generally uses. It is entirely at WCG's (blogger) discretion how to interpret and implement these guidelines, which are subject to change at any time.
Keep in mind that a community is best policed by it's members. If a user has violated the above code, simply flag the comment or send WCG (blogger) an email and move on with your day. Any "replies" or attempts at correcting the behavior likely only encourage that user.
Also be aware of the tone of a comment/Fan Post/Fan Shot. Most remarks are harmless by subject and often may be correct, but by adding offensive language or nasty/snarky tone it becomes something we don't need on WCG (blog).
WCG (blog) believes in "trash talk" and in general encourages it; however, it must remain in a light hearted and fun manner and all parties involved must be open to it.
WCG (blogger) hopes to never have to ban a user based on these guidelines and will in most cases lean towards lieniency, but for the WCG (blog) community to move forward and continue to grow these guidelines need to be followed and enforced.
Each and every blog (SBN or otherwise) has their own set of guidelines enacted by that blog's owner. Any WCG (blog) user that leaves comments/Fan Posts/Fan Shots or enters into conversation or debate with a user on that site are subject to any guidelines that apply to that site including a ban. If a WCG (blog) user continues to receive warnings or bans from other SB nation sites, they may be subject to a WCG (blog) ban or a SB Nation network wide ban.
In the end WCG's (blogger) intent if for WCG (blog) to be what you want it to be, a place for good, friendly and informative discussion and debate. The one thing it cannot become is a grab bag, free for all of foul language, baseless argument and an unsafe environment for all who visit the site.