Greetings, Earthlings. A few words on standards:
This space has distinguished itself as a place where anyone can come and feel welcome. Its insightful commentary, fun, wit and intelligence constantly impress me.
As we’ve grown, there have been some tendencies that many of us have noticed creeping in. These things happen as we become “familiar” with each other, in that way that becomes possible between people who have never — and probably will never — met in real life.
And some things can become irritants. Heretofore we’ve not really had any behavior policy, but it seems like we should.
There have been serious discussions in the wake of a comment by a Team member, and the associated replies. In addtion, there have also been a number of incidents of hostility toward visitors.
Isaiah and I created this space as one in which everyone is welcome. If someone from EE, Sevilla or wherever wants to register, pop in and say “My team is the best, you guys suck,” that’s fine. We can rebut them with statistics, pictures of a pile of trophies, or a simple “You lost to us, neener, neener.” Yes, even trolls. 😀
What we can’t and shouldn’t do is respond with hostility. We’re all better than that. If someone is creating a problem, the Team will deal with it. If a comment is reprehensible (we’ve had a few of those), just ignore it. This keeps us from having to delete more than one comment. Or we’ll just replace the offending bit with a picture of a puppy or something.
As everyone here knows, I flat-out lost it a while back during an exchange with Greece Barca. It’s something that I constantly remind myself of. I apologized then to the space, and find my action even more reprehensibly stupid now than I did then, which is saying something. So I know what it’s like to snap, even as you know that in the aftermath you will feel like a spectacular idiot. It’s one reason that I don’t fight or have arguments in real life, preferring to just walk away, so that things can calm down.
I, as everyone here, hates rules, but here they are, all two of ’em:
–Commenters who attack another commenter via name calling or any other antisocial behavior, will be placed on a timeout (the word “ban” is so ugly). Duration will depend upon severity of the offense.
–Team members who attack someone are out.
I volunteered to step down after I lost it with Greece Barca. The other team members called me silly, and accepted my heartfelt apology, as did you folks. It was greatly appreciated, and still is. But it was also a reaction for which I would have been fired from my day job (editor at the Chicago Tribune), and the BFB Team sees no valid reason to have a different standard for this space.
The writers here should be above such things. It isn’t a standard that is too high because when it comes to behavior in this space, we don’t just set the standard — we are the standard. Because with responsibility comes …. well …. responsibility. (What eloquence, right? Sheesh ….) We can debate and argue a point or position with passion and vigor, but at no point should that passion degenerate into hostility. Yes, we’re all human. I know. And yes, those rules for commenters will be flexible and adaptable. Not so with writers, however.
We all come here for companionship, entertainment and nattering about any and all things Barca. It’s a big, happy family, and I’m pretty sure that we all like it that way. Sometimes, rules (even simple ones) are necessary to maintain some degree of order, such as we have here (which ain’t much, and that’s how we all like it).
My general posting rule is not to type anything that I wouldn’t say to a ‘roid raging NFL defensive end who has just lost the keys to his luxury car. That usually keeps me on the straight and narrow. 😀
I don’t see that anything has to change in our comportment here. Everyone has been really awesome in making this an amazing place in which everyone can feel welcome, or at least feel as if they will be treated with respect and courtesy. And 99.9% of the time, that is what happens. I wouldn’t even need to take off my shoes to count the number of incidents in which such respect and courtesy haven’t been paramount in our interactions. But the Team just felt like there were things that needed to be addressed in the wake of our convo, before that 99.9% average faced the possibility of going down.
Thanks to all for everything, and we’ll move forward from here.
P.S. No, I won’t sit around a camp fire and sing “Kumbaya” with anyone. So forget it. Because a) I can’t sing and b) the brothas don’t camp. (Or at least this brotha doesn’t.)