As I mentioned the other day, I’ve had to take another look at the comments policy here on the site and revise it in light of events over the weekend. I’ve now done so and the revised and expanded policy is here. For ease of reference, I’ve flagged the new rules that have been added (there are seven of them in all) and have also indicated where parts of the existing policy has been amended. It’d be no harm, though, to re-familiarise yourself with the policy in full.
There are three points about the updated policy that are worth bringing to your attention. The first is that I’ve created a 48-hour post-match window and have stipulated that during this period, those commenting need to be particularly careful about what they say, especially about how individual players have performed in a match that has just occurred. This doesn’t mean that critiques of individual players aren’t allowed, it just means that any such critique has to be an intelligent one, which relates directly to incidents that occurred in the game. So, for example, saying that Mickey Joe was shite, just like he was shite last year isn’t allowed, whereas saying that Mickey Joe performed poorly, having made a number of specified errors over the course of the seventy minutes which had a bearing on the outcome, is fine.
The creation of the 48-hour post-match window doesn’t, of course, mean that the rules about how to critique players don’t apply once it expires (rule 11 remains there unaltered), it’s just that particular attention needs to be given to it during this period and criticisms made must be backed up with specific examples in the game.
The second point is that I’ve stuck in a new rule (15) and also added this point in the one about the post-match window (16) to discourage Chicken Licken, oh-woe-is-us kind of comments. The last thing the rest of us need to be reading after a game, especially a match we’ve lost or haven’t played well in, is the kind of pusillanimous hand-wringing stuff which I fear is becoming all too common of late. That’s not to say that criticisms can’t be voiced about the performance (see above) but weak-willed blubbering is something I think we can all do without.
Lastly, I have now updated the disciplinary process, which will take the form of three-strikes-and-you’re-out. A first offence will result in the comment being deleted and a public warning issued, a second offence will lead to a two-week ban on posting further comments while a third offence will lead to an indefinite ban (which may be lifted after a suitable period has elapsed). Hopefully, this isn’t a road that’ll need to be travelled often if at all.
For well over 90% of those posting comments, these rules will have no impact whatsoever, as everything you post always has been within the rules. An odd few of you inadvertently stray outside the rules now and again, which isn’t a big deal, whereas a smaller minority either can’t or refuse to abide by the rules on a regular basis. It’s this troublesome cohort that this augmented comments policy is designed to deal effectively with, and assuming it does, then the vibrant community that has developed here should continue to flourish into the future. After all, we’re all on the same side here.