Free Speech on Bruins Nation
Bruins Nation believes strongly in free speech and in celebrating a diversity of opinions and ideas on the site. Users are, in general, free to express their opinions without fear of retribution. The diversity of personalities, beliefs, and styles is appreciated as being part of what makes Bruins Nation strong. Bruins Nation's team of editors, writers and moderators all operate within this belief system.
However, Bruins Nation is a community and free speech does not mean "the right to say what you want, when you want, how you want," without being sensitive to, and respectful towards, the community as a whole. In a community, speech is not "free" -- it comes with responsibility.
The following are simply not acceptable on Bruins Nation (excepting, in some cases, for obvious humor between people with an existing rapport); they violate Bruins Nation's Community Guidelines, because they violate the all-important principle of "mutual respect for all," and are subject to sanction as outlined below:
Respect For All Community Members
- Personal attacks on community members, directly or through sarcasm/belittling, e.g., "You're an idiot," "You don't know what you're talking about, dumbass," "Apparently, you've never seen a baseball game, or you'd know...", "My Chihuahua knows more about baseball than you do," etc.
- Comments that are intolerant or prejudiced (sexist, racist, homophobic, etc.) in nature, e.g., "The Bruins shouldn't recruit [ethnic group] players," "Doesn't [Player Name] look like a [derogatory name]?", etc.
- Harassing/Baiting of users, e.g., "How about that Brett Hundley; isn't he great?" posted five consecutive times that Hundley throws an incompletion. "The Bruins will never win this game" posted 10 times in 30 minutes, etc.
- Relentless negativity will not be tolerated. What constitutes "relentless negativity"? It's simple: simply posting the Bruins suck 100 percent of the time without reasoning or proposing solutions. There is nothing helpful about someone who constantly says that their team "sucks" and complains. We're all fans and we all get frustrated when the team doesn't perform or has bad luck, but regurgitating the same venom over and over again doesn't help anything or anyone. Bruins Nation is aiming to be better than that. If you continue to do nothing but post negativity, you may lose posting privileges without warning. There's a difference between someone who aims to point out flaws and be constructive and someone who is destructive. 10 Fanposts, or 10 comments, in a row about how the Bruins stink with no reasoning or proposals is basically trolling and that's how it will be treated. The goal is to make this community fun for everyone.
- Comments that bring politics, or other highly inflammatory non-UCLA related topics, onto Bruins Nation (which is a non-political blog), e.g., "Bush/Clinton ruined this country by...", "Check out this link about the war in Iraq," etc. And just so that all BN members are clear, SB Nation does accept political advertising as long as it is not offensive in any way, shape or form, but, as a network, we subscribe to the belief that advertising and editorial are separate. So there will occasionally be political ads that run. Just like any other media outlet, just because a political ad runs, it doesn't mean we endorse or support whatever cause it happens to be.
No Inflammatory Discussion About Bruins Nation’s Policies
While it is our goal to be a welcoming community, any insult or comment that would be perceived as an insult, attack or a lecture to the moderators are not allowed. The moderators reserve the right to delete any post or comment that is deemed not appropriate for Bruins Nation.
Inflammatory comments, discussions, or complaints about Bruins Nation's process, e.g., how a something is/was fair or unfair, why BN sucks, whether there is free speech or oppressive censorship on BN, what "desperately needs to change around here," what user or administrator did what horrible thing, what really happened with (insert past internal drama here) - are not allowed on BN.
Any insult or any comment that would be perceived as an insult, attack or a lecture to the moderators could be subject to deletion, warning or subsequent banning. The moderators reserve the right to delete any post or comment that is deemed not appropriate for Bruins Nation. Also, we will not tolerate any lectures to moderators on how they should run this community.
While we believe strongly in free speech and allowing different viewpoints to be heard, you are not free to discuss the past, present or future moderation of this site on any thread because it is not the topic of the thread. You also may not create a separate post about the moderation of this site as the moderation of this site and how it is run is not germane to the broader topics of UCLA and UCLA athletics. Any and all concerns about how the site is moderated should be directed privately to the moderators. To do so, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photos and images need to follow the guidelines that "body parts normally covered by a bathing suit" are covered and that sexual acts, or excessive nudity/objectification, are not being displayed. This still allows for a lot of freedom in posting photos and images, while respecting that many of the readers viewing an image may be young, or may prefer modesty in posted images, or may be reading at work.
Finally, as a courtesy to readers all photos, images, and animated gifs need to have a subject line (because this allows them to be "collapsed"), even if the subject line is just a single character.
BN does not seek to eradicate all profanity from the site. Rather it seeks to find a reasonable happy medium between "pushing the limits" and "crossing the line."
Some swearing, especially in game threads and most notably in heated response to the events of a game, is fine. Occasional sexual references are acceptable, too, especially when written only in suggestive, rather than explicit, language. However, repeated gratuitous profanity and explicitly obscene descriptions, can constitute Community Guidelines Violations if flagged and deemed by the mods to be excessive or over-the-top. In particular, BN discourages the use of derogatory language that is gender-based and of images that are sexualized.
Again, the purpose is to give the community a lot of leeway, but, at the same time, to make BN a comfortable and welcoming place for a wide range of people.
Consequences For Violating Bruins Nation’s Community Guidelines
Consistent with its sports theme, when it comes to violations of the Community Guidelines, BN works on a version of "3 strikes and you're out." Complaints about possible violations of the Community Guidelines should be flagged for review and consideration by BN's moderators.
The moderators aim to balance a high tolerance for the importance of free speech and low tolerance for minor or petty complaints, with enforcement of the stated guidelines, on behalf of the entire BN community.
Strike 1: If at least three moderators agree that a violation has occurred, the offending user will be contacted privately and issued a formal "strike 1". No other action is taken. Users wishing to appeal a "strike" may email the moderators to explain why they feel the "strike" is not a correct decision and the appeal will be considered.
Strike 2: A second violation through this process triggers "strike 2" from the moderators with the same processes in place for an appeal.
Strike 3: A third "strike" through this process is forwarded directly by the moderators to JoeBruin15 and gbruin for administrative action at their discretion. However, a third "strike" will not be issued without weigh-in from all the moderators to ensure it is a decision the moderators, as a group, believe to be appropriate. A third strike will result in a minimum ban of 15 days.
For any user with 3 strikes, any subsequent violation will result in, first, a minimum ban of 30 days and, then, a permanent ban.
Roll-Off System For Strikes
- If a user has one strike, 4 consecutive "strike-free" months will cause that strike to roll off.
- If a user has two strikes, 6 consecutive "strike-free" months will cause that one of the two strikes to roll off. It will then take 4 additional consecutive months for the remaining strike to roll off.
- A "strike three" never rolls off. It is incumbent upon any banned user to apply for reinstatement (whenever they feel it is appropriate) by emailing the moderators at bruinsnation-at-gmail-dot-com.
The site's moderators may, at any time, choose to bypass the three-strikes process and ban a user if the circumstances warrant it. If a user's offense is judged to be exceptionally grievous in nature, that user may be banned immediately and unilaterally.
An examples of an exceptionally grievous offense includes but are not limited to attempting to circumvent a ban and posting inflammatory content about Bruins Nation's policies.
Procedure For Lodging An Official Complaint
If you believe a user has violated the Community Guidelines and you wish to bring it to Bruins Nation's moderators for review, flag the offending comment, choosing "inappropriate" from the drop-down menu selections, and include a note about why you feel the comment is a CGV.
Complaints are evaluated, and any appropriate follow-up action taken, internally. The user who made the complaint should not expect any reply unless the moderators have specific questions.
If a user repeatedly flags complaints that fail to meet the committee's standard for a violation, the user may be contacted by the moderators and asked to "chill out".
The Community Guidelines for Fan Posts are:
- A Fanpost should be a minimum of 150 characters. This is a requirement of the SB Nation user interface.
- A Fanpost must in some way belong on BN--in other words, it generally must relate to UCLA or to the BN community or to an existing thread or Fanpost, etc.
- A Fanpost must comply with these guidelines.
- A Fanpost may only advertise goods or services for profit if the member authoring the fanpost has already demonstrated himself or herself to be a contributing member of this community. Advertorial fanposts will be removed if the author is not already a contributing member of this community. The moderators will determine whether a member is a "contributing member" on a case-by-case basis. This is not intended to prevent anyone from offering tickets for face value or below face value.
Tips On Writing Good Fan Posts
Some of the qualities that the most popular Fanposts often have in common are:
- They expand upon the main idea with supporting examples, or statistical data, or a link to a relevant article, or a "thinking question" for others to consider, etc.--something beyond just the main idea itself.
- They explore a topic, idea, or question that has not been explored recently, or at all, on BN.
Keep in mind that if your Fanpost contains only one point or idea that is not developed, expanded on, or supported with arguments or data, it is really not a Fan Post--it is a comment that should be posted in an existing thread or Fan Post.
Thanks to Athletics Nation for providing a starting point for our new CG's.
General Disclaimer: What is written above are guidelines that help to explain the policies, procedures, and processes BN generally uses. This is a private blog and it is entirely at the administrators' discretion how to interpret and implement these guidelines. BN is ultimately a "benevolent dictatorship," not a democracy.