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How we can make the BSB community thrive

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Blueshirt Banter is a community of hockey fans as much as it is a hockey blog. As all of you know, our community is big and active. It’s also funny, knowledgeable, and passionate. However, it can also be exclusionary and intimidating, especially for newcomers. That is something that we, as a group, need to work on.

For the past few months we’ve made a point of monitoring how much moderating we do at the Banter at least once a week. No blog in the entire network requires as much moderating activity as our community. Something needs to change.

First and foremost, we all need to embrace SB Nation’s Community Guidelines. Every member of the community needs to abide by these ground rules, regardless of how many years they’ve been posting, how many thousands of comments they’ve contributed, or how many recs they have earned.

You can read those guidelines here.

All of the guidelines are important, but there are three in particular that we want to highlight:

Personal attacks: This includes name-calling, insults, threats, hurtful comments about someone’s appearance, voice, or style, and all other forms of attacks. We want our communities to be welcoming and fun. Personal attacks are the opposite of that.

Discriminatory or derogatory language: This includes racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, or other forms of discrimination.

NSFW images and comments: Keep it PG-13, or you will be removed. This includes language and images that are sexual, violent, or generally offensive in nature.

As many of you know, we also discourage political references because they have proven to be problematic in the past. Moving forward, we are going to get more serious about enforcing these guidelines, because we believe it is the best way to make our community more inclusive.

If you follow those guidelines and treat people with respect, you will always be welcome here. It doesn’t matter if you know what Corsi is, if you cheer for the Rangers, or if you join the “Potvin Sucks” chant at the Garden. We want everyone to feel welcome at Blueshirt Banter. We don’t want people who express different opinions to feel like they are getting ganged up on.

Our moderators are asked to do the impossible. Nearly every day, they do what they can to manage our bustling comments section that is filled with conflicting personalities, endless memes and inside jokes, cliques, agent provocateurs, occasional trolls, and friendships and feuds that have endured for years. They need your help. Blueshirt Banter needs your help.

Here are three small things you can do to give back to the site and to the community:

  • Flag comments that you consider to be problematic, even if you aren’t entirely sure. Our moderators will always protect your anonymity.
  • Respect statements regarding the community that are made by moderators, editors, and contributors. That means dropping any topic that proved to be problematic enough to warrant moderation.
  • If you are unclear or happen to disagree with a decision made by a moderator, we encourage you to reach out to one of the site’s leaders to discuss the matter. The same is true if you have other questions or concerns about the community or the blog itself.

We don’t want you to consider this an end to the daily shenanigans in our threads, because that should never, and will never, go away. However, we do want you to take this seriously. We want new people to feel welcome in the comments section and the best way to make that happen is for all of us to follow the guidelines.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to ask them privately by sending an email to a site leader, or by asking in the comments below.

Let’s go Banter.