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New Banter Community Policy

Joe’s Note: Mike has, as usual, taken the lead and run with things, but I wanted to add my two cents on the matter in more blunt TL;DR terms. The past few years have become far more of a moderation burden than we’re used to seeing. Moderators are quitting and getting burned out. The comments section has become a cesspool.

We’re done handing out warnings, we’re done handing out messages. We’re banning people now. I am leaving the comments to this story open so it will be easier to start this banning process for people who don’t want to play nice with others on the internet. I have let this get out of hand, and now we need a massive course correct to make things better.

I will let Mike explain this more eloquently below, but if anyone has a problem with the enforcement of the rules that have existed on this site since 2009 and wants to discuss, feel free to reach out to me directly.


Here we are again.

Just over 600 days ago I wrote the following about Blueshirt Banter’s community:

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.

Nothing has changed. If anything, things have gotten worse.

In the past, rules have been bent and exceptions have been made for people who have been commenting on the site and a part of the community for years. That ends today. Why? Because there are aspects of this community that have become toxic and exclusionary. Our moderators face an impossible task and the site’s staff needs to do more to support them. This is how we are doing it. More bans and fewer soft warnings and messages.

We’re beyond the point of three strikes for everyone regardless of how long they’ve been around. If you have beef with someone you’ve been squabbling with, get over it or don’t interact with them. Don’t pick internet fights. Don’t harass people. Don’t bully or belittle people because they have a different opinion. Don’t be a troll. Don’t be an asshole.

When a moderator says stop, it means stop. Don’t continue. Don’t argue. They have the final say. Let them handle when there’s a problem and help them by flagging comments that are problematic. Off-topic discussions are fine, but off-topic arguments are not. Use common sense and be decent to each other. Don’t question or complain about moderation issues publicly on the blog. Any further discussions should be done privately via email, which are available on the Masthead page.

Consider the following guidelines to be highlighted and underlined:

  • 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.
  • Harassment: This includes, but is not limited to, intimidation; stalking; unwanted photography; inappropriate physical contact; use of sexual or discriminatory imagery, comments, or jokes; and unwelcome sexual attention.
  • Misinformation and disinformation: Sharing demonstrably false information about news or world events, beyond the scope of reasonable sports opinion or analysis, can be harmful to our communities. These comments will be removed and may result in a suspension or a ban.

That’s it. That’s our new site and community policy. If you don’t like it then maybe this place isn’t for you.