Losing sucks, folks. We get it. The Wizards are heading to their third straight season of more than 56 losses, and possibly their second 60-loss season in three years. These things are hard to watch, and they try our souls. The mistakes our players make over and over again are annoying to see and make us mad. I have faith that better days are ahead and I trust and appreciate Ted Leonsis' plan and his transparency, but the path to get there is rough. I get it.
But just like the team needs to fight through to prevent a losing culture from permeating, so to do we as fans need to ensure that we have the kind of environment that is welcoming, friendly and not relentlessly negative. Over the past couple months, I've noticed a lot of us reverting into negativity and such in our threads, and it's been troubling to me. Then, I realized that the old community guidelines got lost in the changeover to SB Nation 2.0, and nobody really knows what constitutes a violation of community standards.
That's no longer the case. Consider this a best practices/community guide to posting here on Bullets Forever.
THINGS THAT ARE NEVER ALLOWED, EVER
- Racism/Sexism/Homophobia: These are self-explanatory. If you ever use this kind of language, you better be sure it is EXPLICITLY clear it's satire or in jest. If not, you're banned.
- Spam: Again, self-explanatory.
- Personal attacks: These have different degrees of severity, ranging from saying something like "do you even watch basketball?" to specifically saying that you are bothered by a specific poster. In general, everyone needs to be respectful of each other. If you disagree with a person, disagree respectfully. Do not call them names, question their intelligence or wonder about their fandom. The phrase "I disagree" is your best friend; the phrase "you're wrong" is your worst enemy.
- Calling the players names: We all get frustrated by the players, but excessive name-calling is not permitted. This encompasses the following phrases: all four-letter words, sucks, pathetic, idiot, bum, hack, loser and many more. Use the golden rule: if you called one of your friends those words, or even just some random person, would he start a fight with you or get mad at you? If the answer is yes, don't use it.
- Relentless negativity: This is defined as: posting the same exact negative thought (i.e. "PLAYER X is horrible," "our team is embarrassing") over and over again. I get it, you need to vent. You get one comment to do it. That's it. After that, we know how you stand, and we don't need to hear it again. (As a sidenote, if all your comments are to simply say that a certain player is awful with no elaboration, that falls under this guideline even if you do it in different threads).
- Recommending comments/posts: If someone said something that you liked, click the recommend button below the comment. More than two recommends causes a comment to become green, which means you can cycle through the stuff that's good and skip the stuff you don't necessarily want to read. On that note ...
- If you think a post or poster is hostile or stupid, IGNORE THEM: The best way to deal with something that really makes you mad enough to potentially violate the rules above is to ignore it. If there is a specific poster that is starting to really get on your nerves, email me or Sean about him/her. We're easy to contact, and we'll address the situation. Do not blast that poster in the comments.
- Not repeating yourself: This goes for negativity, but in general, it's okay to agree to disagree. If you really like a player, you don't need to say you really like the player and that anyone who doesn't like the player is wrong every time that player is critiqued.
- Admitting you're wrong sometimes: You will gain so much respect if you are able to accept that something has changed your mind or that you saw things incorrectly in the first place. This comment is a very good example of that, from someone who has been critical of the player in the past. Nobody should ever jump on anyone for changing their mind and then changing it back.
- On the flip side, not pushing that you were right too often: We get it - you feel good about yourself when your opinion is validated, but don't shove that onto everyone. We're not keeping score to determine who is right more often than not; we're fans of a basketball team. Few things are more obnoxious that seeing some happen (ESPECIALLY if it's a bad thing) and then to see a comment that says "See, guys! I told you so!"
- Acknowledging the rationality of someone's opinion when you disagree: Saying things like "I see your point, but I disagree" or "I understand where you are coming from" are very respectful ways to start a comment that disagrees.
- If you wouldn't say it to a fellow poster in person, don't say it on here.
- We're all Wizards fans. No matter how much we may disagree, we have that fact as common ground.