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A brief word on the commenting rules

Time to get a little housekeeping out of the way

Friends, I got some good news today. Twinkie Town has become one of the most visited sites in the SBNation baseball network. While I would love to take credit for this, I have to believe it is primarily because the Twins are good this season. With this increase in traffic, we also have had some growing pains.

I want to take a moment here to reiterate our community guidelines. Remember, when you sign up to comment you are agreeing to abide by these guidelines. They are reprinted in full below.

SB Nation is a network of communities where sports fans from all backgrounds gather to share their passion for the teams they love. We strive to create a fun and welcoming place for everyone to come fan with us. These guidelines help ensure that happens across SB Nation’s communities. Here’s the short version:

Be respectful in your interactions with contributors and fellow fans.

Don’t be a jerk, and don’t call other people jerks. We’ll remove anything we see that jeopardizes our communities.

You can help with that. If you see something that doesn’t align with our guidelines, let us know. Flag any comments, FanPosts, or usernames that violate our guidelines so our community managers can review them.

The rules below extend to our SB Nation communities everywhere: in our comments, on social media, and in real life.

We do not allow any of the following:

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.

Illegal activity: Don’t promote, encourage, or make light of any kind of illegal activity, including DUIs, domestic violence, or sexual assault.

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.

Excessive profanity: Fans get worked up on game days, and we’re fans, too. We understand that. As a general rule, keep profanity to a minimum. Some communities prohibit profanity, so be sure to review guidelines for the individual communities you participate in.

Multiple accounts and throwaway emails: These are a signal that you’re not interested in being a productive member of our communities, and we do not allow it.

Trolling: We know it when we see it, and we’ll remove it. Don’t go to a rival team’s community for the sole purpose of riling up their fans, either. Moreover, you should never publish any private or personally identifiable information. Doxxing is strictly prohibited.

The “first post” rule: If you break any of these guidelines with your very first post or interaction, it signals to our community managers you’re just here to be disruptive. Violators may be banned, blocked, or removed.

Spam: We have a zero-tolerance policy on spam, which includes sharing links to illegal game streams or downloads. Spam will be deleted and spammers may be banned, blocked, or removed.

Anyone who doesn’t follow these rules when engaging in our communities will at best be removed from the conversation, and at worst will end up banned from that community. These decisions will be made at the discretion of our community managers and other SB Nation personnel.

If you see any of these things happening in our communities, please flag it and it will be reviewed. If you see it happening on social media or elsewhere, flag it to the community manager or team brand managers, who should be listed on our masthead.

The rules really aren’t that hard. They can be summed up as simply as “be respectful.” They are not up for debate though, and our moderators are the arbiters of what crosses the line.

These rules come down from above, but our editorial staff fully endorses, and intends for our site to abide by them. In addition to that, our community here at Twinkie Town has long maintained a certain tone of fun and civility. That doesn’t mean you can’t be critical or negative, but it does mean that we ask you to do so in a manner that constructively advances the conversation.

In other words: “Miguel Sano sucks!” is not a constructive comment. “Miguel Sano has committed too many errors lately, and the team should ask him to do extra work on his defense.” is constructive. Hopefully you can see the difference.

We’ve had a fairly light hand on the tiller of this ship for too long this season, trusting in the strength of our community. In order to protect the community, that has to change a little bit. We will be more actively moderating the comments, and especially the game threads. I apologize that we let it get to this point, and I promise to do better. I’m a rookie manager this season too.

Each and every one of our moderators is fully empowered to hide or delete comments, and warn, temporarily, or permanently ban users for breaking the rules. The mods decide what breaks the rules, not the person who wrote the comment. If you have a problem with, or a question about any of their decisions, you are welcome to email me at tjgorsegnersbn@gmail.com. We understand what is like to be a passionate fan—first and foremost that is what we are, too. None of us are professional journalists. You won’t be banned for being frustrated with a bad play, or for using an occasionally swear word. If a mod does take action on one of your comments, take it in stride, and you’ll be fine. We don’t want to ban people or shut down conversation, we just want to keep the conversation productive.

You can help us all out in this effort as well. Please flag any comments you believe violate the rules. If possible, include a brief description of why you believe it violates the rules. We may decide to let that particular comment stand, but it does create a pattern for us. The flags leave us a trail of breadcrumbs to follow in giving any issues a fair resolution.

Lastly, some more good news. Hayden and Cooper have both agreed to add moderation duties to their writing duties, and Coach Farmer has agreed to help us moderate as well. Please give them a warm welcome, and the same support you have given myself, Tawny, Brandon, SooFoo, imakesandwichesforaliving, and the rest the staff.

Thank you again for your patience and your understanding, and most importantly, GO TWINS GO!!!