Updated July 19, 2013
BCB is intended to feel primarily democratic, and most of the unwritten rules come by way of self-government by the community. These few official guidelines have been created and exist for a singular purpose: to help make BCB a place that is safe and enjoyable for everyone who participates. However, I would also like to remind you that BCB is my home on the Internet. Just as you wouldn’t go as a guest to someone else’s physical home and throw dirt all over the walls, please be respectful as a guest in my online home, both to me and to the other guests here.
Free Speech on BCB
At BCB, I believe strongly in free speech and in having a diversity of people participating, and sharing ideas that are relevant to the community. As a BCB member you are, in general, free to express your opinion without fear of retribution. The diversity of personalities, beliefs, and styles is exactly what makes BCB the strong and vibrant community that it has become. As proprietor of this site, I want to keep BCB free and open to everyone. However, I will remind you of what you all agree to when you first sign up for the site:
When posting at this blog, please follow this one simple rule: Before hitting "post" to post your remarks, ask yourself: "Would I be embarrassed to say this in front of strangers who were physically present in the room with me and could respond to my face?" If the answer is "yes," then don't post. BCB encourages and welcomes all opinions, no matter how strong; however, personal attacks, vulgarity, and other uncivilized forms of expression are not welcome. Also, to avoid trolling and spam posts, and due to past abuses by certain individuals, there is a 24-hour waiting period before you can make your first post after signing up. Thanks for understanding.
Under normal circumstances I will not delete posts or comments unless they are a blatant violation of these guidelines. However, in such cases, I reserve the right to delete posts without notice.
Since BCB IS a community, you should know that 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, individuals and the community as a whole. In a community, speech is not completely free; it comes with responsibility.
Claims of "censorship!" are not relevant. Only the government can censor you. This is a community with rules; when you sign up, you agree to follow these rules. If you can't, you will be asked to leave.
The following are not acceptable nor permitted on BCB (excepting, in some cases, for obvious humor between people with an existing rapport) and are subject to sanction as outlined below:
- Individual ticket posts are not permitted. If you have tickets to sell or are looking for tickets, post your request in the appropriate post in the Ticket Exchange section.
- Posts created for the purpose of advertising or other commercial purposes will be deleted without notice.
- Further to the above, posts created by users who have joined the community, not participated in discussions, and made their first (or among their first) posts self-promoting for their own book, website or other personal publication of any kind, will be deleted without notice. BCB does not exist to provide free advertising. If you want your book, website or other publication reviewed, contact the managing editor via the email address on the left sidebar. Further, in general your first post on BCB should not be a FanPost. Join in the conversation in the community before you make a FanPost.
- In addition, posts that are thinly veiled press releases will be deleted without notice. If you want attention for your project, email a press release to the managing editor; all will be considered.
- Gratuitous profanity is not permitted. I realize that in the heat of a game thread, occasional blue language may slip through. Please try to keep it to an absolute minimum. Further, language like this is not permitted in user signatures; if you put it there, it will be deleted without notice.
- Creating multiple user names for the purpose of trolling, posting spam, impersonating a public figure (or well-known member of this community), returning after you have been banned, or disrupting the community is not permitted. Any such user names will be banned and/or deleted without notice. Further, user names created that contain profanity or drug references are not permitted; those will also be banned. Finally, posts made for such purposes will also be deleted without notice.
- Personal attacks on community members, directly or through sarcasm/belittling, e.g., "You're an idiot", "You don't know what you’re talking about, moron", "Apparently, you've never seen a baseball game, or you'd know?", "My Chihuahua knows more about baseball than you do", or posts designed for the sole purpose of mocking any member of the community, are forbidden. Such posts will be deleted without notice and anyone making such posts will be banned.
- Comments that are intolerant or prejudiced (sexist, racist, homophobic, discriminating on the basis of religion) in nature. This is a SB Nation-wide policy; any such posts or comments will result in an immediate ban.
- Harassing/baiting of users, e.g., "How about that Marmol; isn't he great?" posted five consecutive times after another Marmol homer allowed, "The Cubs will never win this game" posted 10 times in 3 minutes, etc. is not permitted.
- Comments that bring politics or religion into BCB are also not permitted (which is a non-political, non-sectarian, non-religious blog), e.g., "Obama/Bush/Clinton ruined this country by", "Check out this link about the war in Iraq," etc. That said, you may occasionally see a political advertisement on BCB. Running such ads does not imply an endorsement of the candidate or views expressed in the ad, just as any such ad on a television station or network or in a newspaper does not imply endorsement by such an entity. Editorial and advertising at BCB are separate, and I do not have control over advertising.
- Posting personal information about anyone -- BCB member or not -- without his or her permission is not permitted.
- Threats of physical violence to others are not permitted here. No, it's not a joke. Don't do it.
- There will be no arguing with the site managers about site rules in the comments. If you have a problem with something a site manager or editor has done, you can email them privately. Email addresses are publicly available on the site by clicking on "About>Masthead".
- Finally, in very rare circumstances, if an individual is upsetting the majority of the members of the community, for various reasons, it may become necessary to ban an individual from the site for the sake of the greater good. The community almost always can police itself, but in unusual circumstances it may be necessary to step in. This would only be done on very rare occasions.
Consequences for Violating BCB's Community Guidelines
Complaints about possible violations of the Community Guidelines should be directed to Al for review and consideration. My email address is prominently posted on the left sidebar. Feel free to contact me at any time.
I will aim 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 BCB community. Here is the general procedure; there may be exceptions to this, at my sole discretion:
If you think a violation has occurred, either contact me, flag the post, or mention it in the thread. I will then contact the offending user privately, either by email or by issuing a formal warning on the site. No other action will be taken.
If a second violation is made by the same user, I reserve the right to take more serious action, up to and including a temporary ban (i.e., asking you to stay away for a few days).
A third violation through this process means some sort of action will definitely be taken. That might be as simple as another temporary ban -- or, it might result in you being permanently banned from BCB.
In the event it seems clear to me that you have as your primary motive disrupting and/or upsetting specific individuals or the community as a whole, as noted above, I reserve the right to ban you before going through this process.
Procedure For Lodging An Official Complaint
If you believe a user has violated these guidelines and you want me to have a look at the situation, send an email to the address on the left sidebar, and also flag the post using the tools available on the site itself. Please include the following information:
- Your BCB user name
- The BCB user name of the user about whom you are complaining
- The URL(s) of the post(s) in question
The last part is really important – this is a busy site, and if you can direct me directly by URL to the specific post you are making a complaint about, that makes dealing with it much easier. I’ll try to get back to you and at least let you know I received your complaint.
Finally, please don't take any of these guidelines to mean that I am "clamping the hammer down" or any such thing. As noted above, BCB is intended to be a place for freewheeling exchange of ideas about the Cubs and baseball. Almost anything goes, if you are respectful of others.
FanPosts and FanShots
The guidelines for posting a FanPost are:
- A FanPost must be at least 75 words long or it is considered to be unsubstantial and will not be accepted by the site.
- A FanPost must in some way belong on BCB -- in other words, it must relate to the Cubs, or to baseball, or to BCB, or to an existing thread, etc.
- You can’t post more than 2 FanPosts or FanShots (you could have two of each, though) in any given day.
- It is not permitted to use FanPosts, FanShots, comments or signatures for advertising. Anything posted in a FanPost, FanShot, comment or signature that contains commercial advertising is subject to deletion without notice.
- Individual FanPosts or FanShots for the purpose of selling tickets or looking to buy tickets are not allowed. If you have extra tickets to sell (including season tickets) or are looking to buy tickets, posts will be provided for that purpose in the Ticket Exchange section. All posts for ticket sales at BCB must be for face value only.
Tips on writing good posts:
Some of the qualities that the most popular FanPosts often have in common are:
- They expand upon the main idea with supporting examples, or statistical data, or a link to a relevant article, or a "thinking question" for others to consider, etc. -- something beyond just the main idea itself. Don’t just post a large quote from an article and say "What do you think?" Post your own opinion, too.
- They explore a topic, idea, or question that has not been explored recently, or at all, at BCB. Please check both the FanPost and FanShot recent post lists to see if your topic is already being discussed.
Keep in mind that if your post contains only one point or idea that is not developed, expanded on, or supported with arguments or data, it is really not a FanPost -- it is a comment that should be posted in an existing thread, or posted as a FanShot. For more information on how to construct your posts, please see this post containing some suggestions and ideas on FanPosts and FanShots.