Most of our rules are like guidelines -- not much different than the Pirate Code. I know some are always eagerly waiting to write that site moderators and managers are harbingers of free speech. Sadly, you're going to be disappointed. Some of the obvious rules that comes with immediate enforcement are common sense, which we've been mostly enforcing all along. The truth is people with decency shouldn't have a problem with the rules and the Guidelines to FanPosts should make things more streamlined and easier for everyone.
The general rule of thumb at Cincy Jungle has always been about treating each other respect, allowing the open debate without the repercussion of someone feeling belittled because of their point of view. While the community has mostly treated each other with respect, allowing us to have fun in our own right, we have to take on a more proactive role making sure that the community provides the type of atmosphere that everyone, women, children as young as 5-6 years old (some of which are your very own children), feel welcome enough here to join the community, bringing their own brand of input and at the very least, reading your very fine opinions. That's not entirely unreasonable, is it?
Yet recently we've had an issue with comments on the site, generally speaking that's broken cohesion of what we had hoped would be an atomsphere of friendship, discussing their favorite teams. Unfortunately things have somewhat become too antagonistic and some readers just won't comment because of a few that belittle people.
So here's a reminder on our code of conduct/rules. A team of moderators will carry out the rules with added enforcement, and make sure that the community follows them, knowing the spirit of the rules is to make Cincy Jungle a much better place for EVERYONE.
First: Rules that will bring immediate reaction, enforcement, if not a permanent ban. These are the rules you HAVE to abide by.
No Personal Attacks. Personal attacks will invite immediate warnings toward all parties, which could also lead to an entire FanPost being deleted. This is our way of saying, "naughty, children." If one person attacks another, and that person retaliates, both will be warned without consideration of who started what. If someone personally attacks you, ignore it or contact a moderator or myself. We'll deal with it. We're not going to be put in the position of defending someone because they are our friend, or because they've been here longer when they are in the wrong. We have no patience for internet tough guys. Failure to heed warnings on personal attacks could lead to a permanent ban. However, there will be some level of tolerance (alright, a lot) for readers defending the site or other users from trolls.
Any comment(s) that could be considered offensive related to race, religion and/or gender will lead to an immediate ban without warning. This is just common sense and if you lack the common sense to apply this rule, then you really don't belong here.
If you're a troll (and that's anyone purposely disrupting the community even IF you're a Bengals fan), then you're gone. In fact no matter what team you hold allegiance to, if you're disruptive, you'll be warned and then banned if you're unable to follow simple rules that's meant to bring community cohesiveness.
See, that wasn't so bad. Now, onto guidelines for FanPosts. Remember that these are guidelines and, save for a few, are not rules that will result with immediate disciplinary action. And in truth, a lot of these guidelines are two fold. Help make Cincy Jungle's FanPosts more streamlined and to help you get maximum reaction, comments and debate with your own FanPosts.
Clear Titles. Make the title of FanPosts constructive and clear. Things like "Player supporters can suck it" are not constructive, if not reason for reactionary attitudes that makes your overall point trivial in appearance with many simply looking past it because of the juvenile nature in the title. Also, titles like "Bengals" or "Cincinnati Bengals" are not clear. This is sort of the overall theme of the site. Oh, and for the love of god, don't use all Caps for titles. It just looks tacky and people might view the author as being off-kilter, not taking the discussion seriously.
Make Sure Another FanPost Isn't Similar To What You Plan To Write. If you create a FanPost to vent, make sure it's not the same as another poster venting the exact same things. Multiple FanPosts about the same thing will likely see one of the two deleted depending on the reaction from other readers, the number of recommendations and/or which was posted first. The best example of this is Bob Bratkowski. Rather than having 10 different FanPosts that say the same thing, keep it in one FanPost. That way when others have a different FanPost, then that FanPost isn't buried under a mountain of anger about a single issue.
Keep Comments On Track. Try to keep comments close to the topic of the post or of the FanPost. If there’s news on a subject that we haven’t posted about yet, or if you have a generalized question outside of the post's topic, then don’t tell us in the comments of the latest posting. Create a FanPost; that’s a big reason of why they're there. There will be instances if a comment is off-topic that we'll simply delete it. If you want to generate a topic for discussion that we're not providing, create a FanPost.
No Self Promotion. If you're promoting your own website, expect the link/URL to be removed. Contact us directly and we'll work something out with you. You can go a long way working with us to promote your work rather than spamming our site. However, if you create a username only to promote your website, expect to have the FanPost, your comments removed, as well as a possible ban. Contrary to popular belief from other Bengal "fan" sites, we're not a repository for promoting other sites. We have no problem promoting your site if you contact us directly.
Spelling and Grammar. This is mostly to help you generate discussion inside your own FanPosts. I'm by no means a grammar master and I depend far too much with spell check programs. However, bad spelling and grammer can make people focus on your mistakes rather than your content. Try to avoid easy mistakes and use a spell checker when you can. You want to debate the content, not what words you misspelled.
Keep Great FanPosts On-Going . If there's a great FanPost that you want to keep inside the Recommended FanPosts so its easily reachable and always on-going, Recommend ("REC") that FanPost. Once a FanPost gets a certain amount of Recommendations, it will be categorized as a Recommended FanPost and listed above all FanPosts on the right.
Be Respectful In Ask A Question Posts. Sometimes opposing blogs will throw up a FanPost to answer our questions about this week's opposing team. Ask your question, but do not instigate a petty diatribe of the opposing team that will turn into a trivial and petty response from all parties. These people are NOT trolls. They are using their own free time to inform you on the team we're facing. The least you can do is be respectful to those people and talk about the game.
Etiquette For Promoting Other Articles. If you find an article online you'd like to share with the community, there's etiquette attached to this that's both respectful for the author's original work, as well as not making Cincy Jungle liable for copyrighting issues. Always use Blockquotes (the quotations button in the editor board) and never copy and paste the entire article. A paragraph is about the maximum that we're allowed and always leave a link back to the original article. If you do not properly source the article and we can't find the article to fix your FanPost, the entire FanPost could be deleted.
One Last Favor: Reasonable reduction of profanity. This is more of a favor to and from the community who spend our waking hours on the site -- hence the use of "reasonable". Considering the usage and infraction is largely subjective to the reader, we typically allow moderate use of cursing in open threads. However, as a favor, use less of the one-worded curses in reaction to a bad play in the open threads. Because so many read through the comments, while not actually commenting themselves, we'd prefer the reduction of curses across the board; though if it becomes distracting or disruptive, action will be taken.
It makes you, the commenter look better arguing your points, and it may invite others to join in. This is one of those things that we'd prefer not to use our free time with, forcing us to be police rather than making this site better with the constant stream of content and items to debate.
My goal is to make Cincy Jungle a great stop for everyone, including people that have yet to join us. There's no rules here that will impede your voice, or give you any reason that we're suddenly a police-state. You have to remember that we're not full time bloggers or writers. All of us have day jobs, go to school, are awesomely doing theatre and we do this site, literally, in our only free time throughout the day or night. We'd prefer to use that time giving you guys more content to read, topics to debate and generally create a great community to spend your time while at work (hopefully my own boss tired of this post by now and didn't read that). I've always been liberal with my rules and enforcement compared to other sites, and I've always allowed everyone to have an open forum. Follow these guidelines and rules the best you can, and in reality, you'll be fine.