It is time. After years of operation–I realized recently that only half our readers understood how we operate on FishDuck.com, but a ton of new readers do not comprehend the mission of the site. My editorial about our spoiled fans reminded me of how so many new readers wish to operate as they have on other message boards and sites, and have yet to learn that we are different, and we will enforce the dictates specified here. We have obliquely mentioned it in the past, but not actually put it into print; but with some articles in the future that could attract a national audience–I expect that some will return to play their nasty game. I’ve needed a reference article to link to, hence its publication on a Saturday. So let’s learn what it is to be a reader who comments on FishDuck.com. (You veteran long-term readers who I love–bear with me please!)
Commenting Policies for FishDuck.com (FAQ)
Q: I had a comment deleted and when I went to post again—I could not. What is going on?
A: The first time you post an objectionable comment, we delete it. The second time we Blacklist your IP address so that you cannot post comments again from that computer. If your first comment is especially objectionable to the staff—we will Blacklist you immediately.
Q: What is to prevent me from going to tons of computers and posting and over-running you?
A: We enjoy playing “Bop-a-Mole” and can delete and blacklist within 30 seconds of a comment being posted. If you want to play those games—no sweat, as it takes us a lot less effort than it will you. If you are a classy and nice person—you won’t have any problems on this site.
Q: Why was my comment deleted?
A: Here’s more detail on the most frequent reasons comments are removed:
- Profanity: Particularly obscene or pornographic language (including attempts at disguising profanity with dashes or other symbols) and four letter “s” word is profanity.
- A comment where it appears the commenter is masquerading as another person.
- Personal attacks and insults: Threatening, intimidating, libeling or defaming of any individual.
- Also forbidden is name-calling of other people commenting or people who are subjects of the articles. Even calling someone an “idiot” or “stupid,” or “dumb” will have the comment removed.
- We remove even minor belittling of another; there is no need for it. State your case and let the information or the strength of your argument win the day—but trying to put someone down for a difference of opinion is childish and we will remove it.
- Comments with back-handed compliments are deleted. It is a form of belittling and is unnecessary on this site.
- Hate speech: Language that degrades others — including public figures — on the basis of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, physical characteristics or disability.
- Off-topic comments: Comments that have nothing to do with the subject of the article.
- Private information: Material that can be considered an invasion of privacy. This includes phone numbers, e-mail addresses, URLs or other specific personal information.
- Solicitations of any kind.
- Advertising or spam, including a comment that is posted repeatedly within one thread or across a number of different threads.
- Copyright violations: No content from FishDuck.com or any other source can be reproduced in its entirety. Instead, use a small and relevant excerpt and then provide a link to the full version.
Due to the volume of comments received and reviewed, we cannot respond to individual questions about why a comment was allowed or removed.
Q: Who reviews the reported comments?
A: The FishDuck.com Staff
Q: Why are you censoring peoples’ opinions?
A: FishDuck.com reserves the right to allow or disallow any kind of content that doesn’t meet its standards as outlined in this FAQ. The site is under no obligation to publish every comment it receives.
Q: What about my right to free speech?
A: The right to free speech described in the First Amendment concerns the relationship between the U.S. government and its citizens. Any private business can require certain standards of conduct. Generally, a comment is removed not because of the idea it expresses, but because of the behavior associated with it by adding a personal attack, insult, hate speech or profanity.
Q: What does it take to get Blacklisted?
A: See the section on “why was my comment removed?” above. We no longer have the staff resources to consider a commenter’s past conduct when making a decision to ban them. If you break the rules twice, you’re out. If you commit an egregious violation the first time—you’re out.
Q: Will you tell me when I’ve been Blacklisted, or tell me why? And can I be reinstated?
A: Due to staff time limitations, we cannot respond to individual questions about why a particular person has been Blacklisted. These bans are permanent. We reserve the right not to tell the banned user that this is happening, because to create and maintain such communication is a strain on our staff time.
Q: Why don’t you make people use real names?
A: Because we don’t have the resources to verify that names are real. People could too easily impersonate someone else.
Q: Why don’t you pre-screen all of the comments?
A: We do actively moderate and pre-screen the comments for threads on some stories that we think will be particularly controversial. But we don’t have the staff to read and approve every comment on our site before it is posted
Q: Can I remove a comment after I’ve posted it?
A: No, so please be absolutely sure you want to make such a comment publicly. Comments could remain on our site for many years and are indexed by search engines. You have the option to edit a comment for up to 5 minutes after you post it.
1. Disagreement is not the Problem
I love a good argument; a great debate flushes out the good ideas and by default calls attention to the poor ones. I never learned anything from everyone agreeing, thus we want disagreement on FishDuck.com! I’ve been on Oregon football message boards since 1997 and I’ve watched a ton of disagreements; heck I’ve been the cause of some disagreements and learned my lesson a long time ago. Disagreement is when great thoughts emerge from other minds presenting viewpoints and perspectives I had not considered. I have had my mind changed by some of the thoughtful exchanges, and am grateful for the friends and fellow Duck fans who presented their point of view in a graceful way.
You can present your thoughts without being insulting, belittling, or snarky, and on FishDuck.com YOU MUST. Charles, what about your article with all the sideswipes at you that you did nothing about (referred to above)? I came on strong with my assertions in that article and being a fair and reasonable man had to allow the reciprocating energy of others in their response. That however is not the norm on this site. People come here to learn, to ponder, and to share thoughts. I want this to be a safe place to advocate your opinion without having personal attacks blasted at you. I guarantee to protect readers writing comments from that kind of environment. If you insult or belittle a fellow Duck on this site–your post will be deleted, and the second time it will be deleted and your IP address will be blacklisted….unable to ever comment again.
(Correction: I DID delete one comment from the article about spoiled fans as it had an ‘F-Bomb’ in it, which will always generate a deletion.)
If you insult or belittle me? If it is tongue in cheek or innovative/humorous enough…I’ll leave it, but 98% don’t make that cut. Conduct yourself as a gentleman (or lady) and you won’t have any problems.
2. Geez….use a Paragraph!
Want to know a secret about web behavior? Readers don’t like long stretches of sentences with no breaks, and they don’t even like long paragraphs. Break it up! Create paragraphs and make it easier to read and thus you may change some minds. Run on sentences for a mile? They won’t read it and we KNOW it, hence I tell our writers to keep their paragraphs relatively short. You may think it’s cool to not capitalize or punctuate, but readers just ignore you. I know that to be true by looking at the average time on the page; if they are on your post for 7.8 seconds? They read one sentence and cut out.
3. Be Unique…
If you’re coming back to bluster your banal utterances about the defensive effort AGAIN…people check out quickly. If you are saying the same thing they’ve read a hundred times–they aren’t going to spend ten seconds reading yours. Add something new to the discussion! Some of these guys who bring in stats to prove their point…and do it in an intelligent way go a long way toward changing minds. Do some research and give us more than just an opinion.
4. Negativity does not work…
You can be negative and yet teach others; you can be negative to talk about the potential–I know as I’ve done it and made a great learning experience for me and those who read it. (Pass protection CAN be a boring subject, and was a negative one after a game with seven sacks against us.) Don’t dwell or obviously enjoy the negative quite so much, or I will delete you. If you present it that way–you aren’t trying very hard. This is a different audience here, as nearly half are women and the majority ARE young, hence this group of Oregon fans likes to enjoy what they are reading, and likes to ponder regardless of gender or age. If you deal with the negative in a reasonable fashion–fine. If you try to use this site as a platform to spew your toxic bile….you will be deleted. Quickly.
5. Be an Adult…
I put my name out there and anyone can reach me. (And they do!) Are you Mr. Macho hiding behind a phony handle who wouldn’t ever write your nonsense if people knew who you were? Grow up, and do the childish stuff on all the other alternative sites out there. I would much rather have fewer readers (who comment) who are high-brow and thoughtful of all ages and gender, than have tons of LSU-esque type fans frequenting this site. (They were the worst EVER.)
The readers of this site are special, and I insist you behave that way toward them. Articles on this site are read between a quarter to a half million times a month, and our instructional videos have passed the MILLION VIEW mark. These are coaches, players, and fans who want to learn a little and have a fun read in the process. Let’s make it better with great comments as well!
Charles Fischer (FishDuck)
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