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An update to our Community Guidelines (revised, 8/27)

And now to ban a certain form of off-topic conversation.

8/27/2019 Update:

The “No Politics” ban has been revised.

Effective immediately, limited off-topic political discussion is permitted in the BP threads. The champagne room FanPosts are still disallowed/banned, per SB Nation’s instruction, but the community may engage in some current event discussion over the course of a day and in the event of a national tragedy. I changed my mind on this after learning that political ads have started appearing across the network.

As you know, editorial has no control over sales; but, rather than be a captive audience, it makes more sense to ease the restrictions that had recently been put in place. However, the scope of permissible discussion for off-topic political chatter in BP threads will be limited. As mentioned in the original “No Politics” ban post:

Even in these instances, however, there’s going to be a very narrow line for the comments to walk. It won’t be a time to twist the topic into a platform to express the breadth of one’s political viewpoint, for example.

Yes, you may now discuss holidays and the politics behind them. You may now mention “political parties or political figures” if they’re related to the off-topic topic at hand. Ideally, these off-topic topics will be current events. Political discussion on the internet tends to lead to chaos. So, moderation will be significant. You’re on solid ground if you can, along with adhering to the above guideline, 1) avoid personal attacks and 2) stay as close to the off-topic topic as possible without spinning it into a discussion of a full platform of ideas. What does that mean, exactly?

For example, the Amazon rainforest is on fire right now. That is a current event; therefore, okay for off-topic mention in a BP thread. The circumstances behind that fire would appear to be motivated by politics. The political environment and specifics that led to the Amazon being lit ablaze, including possible culpability by the United States (or other G7 countries), is on-topic to the off-topic discussion. But the degree of American involvement in all countries across the globe for anything and everything else would be off-topic. If this theoretical discussion tangented into climate change, that’s fine, but discussing recent comments about the purchase of Greenland would suddenly not be. Directing a tangent towards “the breadth of one’s political viewpoint” just won’t work.

And on the topic of “buying Greenland”, this is where I reiterate that “some” part of the “the community may engage in some current event discussion over the course of a day” statement.There are certain topics that can lead to intense discussions almost immediately.

A guiding principle is to treat others with respect, even if you disagree with their viewpoint and way with words. The community has shown themselves capable of doing this before. Be mindful of newcomers who might be logging into a BP thread for a first time or solely to engage with the political discussion at hand. Political conversations, by their very nature, can get heated. Comments breaking SBN Community Guidelines will be removed, and community members will be warned.

When in doubt, disengage.


Original Post, 8/13/2019:

If you’re a longtime member of the site, then you’re pretty well-versed in our community standards that have evolved over time: all comments on posts must be about anything other than the topic of the post; there must be at least one Warriors comment in every post otherwise that post dies in real life; all political conversation is referred to as “the champagne room” and should be taken to a FanPost.

As of this moment, that last bit is no longer an acceptable part of our unofficial/official Community Guidelines. Effective immediately, all political speech is banned. All champagne room threads will be deleted, and stray comments reacting to the political news of the day will result in a warning, with multiple warnings resulting in a ban unless the first offense is a flagrant violation of No Politics.

Politics are an inherently divisive issue, and the internet that birthed McCovey Chronicles no longer exists. More importantly, this is a baseball site. If people are coming here to get away from the tensions and et cetera of the whatever, then this should be a place where they can just focus on baseball and not worry about having to confront all other facets of their daily life, too.

Exceptions? Well, it’d be difficult to separate the topic of unions and/or labor relations from Major League Baseball, especially with Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations already under way. Occasionally, a player or managing general partner or team shareholder might commit a crime or otherwise make some sort of national news, and in those cases we’ll do what we’ve always done: try to report on what happened and then give people the space to get mad about people getting mad about it.

Even in these instances, however, there’s going to be a very narrow line for the comments to walk. It won’t be a time to twist the topic into a platform to express the breadth of one’s political viewpoint, for example. A good rule of thumb for these rare moments will be to refrain from directly mentioning or even alluding to political parties or political figures, even if those political figures were not previously political figures nor have been since. This ban extends to any and all gun-related tragedies past or present — unless they occur at a baseball game — and politically-tinged events from history (including holidays commemorating them).

Politics are an uncomfortable topic. For that reason, the only uncomfortable topic permitted on this site going forward will be the San Francisco Giants.