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We need to talk about commenting / Saturday Open Thread

Shaun Botterill

Dear Commenter(s):

Alright, so there's no need to pussyfoot around this, I don't think, but it goes a little something like this:

The comment sections in the Super Cup game threads and the initial reaction were crap. The amount of overreaction and just plain ol' stupidity has simply gotten to be too much. To be fair, it's been creeping that way for a while now (especially on match days), but it finally spilled over yesterday. This is not good. Not good at all.

When things get out of hand like that, WAGNH becomes a place people don't want to visit, hang out, and interact with the community. We should do better; we must do better. This is the WAGNH comment section, not ESPN or the Daily Mail. And you know what, we will do better.

Here's the deal. I would say proposal, but you have very little say in this in all honesty. So here's the deal: shape up or ship out. If you're making this place not fun, if you're actively contributing in a manner that takes away from the value of this website - whether that's through histrionics, ignorance, stupidity, or vitriol - you and your comments will be removed without much hesitation.

When Graham started WAGNH, his idea was to go with as little moderation as possible. While an interesting social experiment, it's clearly not working out as well now as it had when we were a bit less popular. The sample size has become too large, we get too many outliers: we need more moderation. So we're going to try that on for size and see how it goes.

Just like right now, most of the moderating will be done by me or Stephen. If you have an issue or if you feel like you deserve a second chance, please contact us via email - try not to bother the SB Nation support staff, they'll just forward the emails to us anyway.

The moderating process itself will be unchanged. Most first time offending comments will be removed. If you notice that your comment has been removed, have a think as to what you can do better. Whines about getting moderated will be removed as well. If you get a warning - which means that you've moved beyond the petty offensive comment level - it's time to take things seriously. Do heed the warning; you will likely not get a second one.

Now you might notice that I've failed to mention any hard rules. Well, that's because it's all a bit subjective and you're just going to have to deal with that. You might think it unfair. It might even be unfair - as if fair had a universal definition. But WAGNH must be a fun place for us to be, first and foremost. And that's the bottom line.

That being said, there are (still) some hard rules. Ad hominems and pejoratives of most kinds are not welcome. Racial abuse is an instaban. Words like "haters" are trigger words for flamewars, so please avoid them. Discuss the topic, not the person making the comment. Most importantly, do not take the bait. If you feel like something's beyond stupid, flag the comment. If you think somebody's trolling, flag the comment. We try to be on top of these things, but if the comment doesn't disappear for a while, do continue to resist the urge to respond to it. Ignore the stupid and the bad, respond to the smart and the good.

Of course, this doesn't mean that we don't want different opinions. But we want to welcome informed, civilized discussion. Silly exchanges like "Shampoo is better" - "No, conditioner is better" - "No, your face" - "NO, YOUR FACE" are best avoided as well. And do try to use something at least resembling proper English (chat-speak died with the flip-phone, by the way), spelling, and punctuation. I realize we come from all sorts of backgrounds and languages, but if I can learn it, so can you.

I said earlier that you have "very little say" in this. But whatever little say you do have, you get to make it right here, right now, in this open thread. So as we watch today's football action, let's talk about all of the above as well for a bit. Heavier moderation will happen whether you like it or not, but if you'd like to propose additional hard/soft rules, feel free to drop them in the comments.

Thank you and have an A1 day,

Here's today's Premier League schedule:
12:45 BST / 7:45am EDT - Manchester City vs. Hull City - BT Sport 1, BBC One (UK) / NBCSN (USA)
15:00 BST / 10:00am EDT - Cardiff City vs. Everton - BBC One (UK) / NBCSN (USA)
15:00 BST / 10:00am EDT - Newcastle vs. Fulham - NBC Extra Time (USA)
15:00 BST / 10:00am EDT - Norwich City vs. Southampton - NBC Extra Time (USA)
15:00 BST / 10:00am EDT - West Ham United vs. Stoke City - NBC Extra Time (USA)
17:30 BST / 12:30pm EDT - Crystal Palace vs. Sunderland - Sky Sports 1 (UK) / NBC (USA)

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