My Objective for the “Our Beloved Ducks Forum”: I want everyone to share their thoughts on a topic and to present their facts researched, or their opinions and/or rationale laid out. I want all opinions safely expressed regardless of where you are on the wide spectrum of ideas as everyone is protected at this site from the Trolls and the nastiness that prevails on web.
The more views shared along with the facts and reasoning, then the more subsequent discussions that ensue with that more learning for all readers. The end result is that we all become more informed, reasoned and better Oregon fans. Decorum that is required and enforced encourages more posting by more people, and thus we all benefit!
If you are the kind of person that likes to “shake things up” by attacking and denigrating people, then this is not the site for you. If you are a reasoned individual who wants to learn from others while discussing topics concerning Oregon Sports in a respectful, friendly and protected environment from the Trolls, then this is the perfect website for you. Our mission is making FishDuck a premium website for the discerning, devoted Duck fan.
Want to know more about the site and our history? Go to the About page and learn more about the people that make FishDuck unique!
Mr. FishDuck, WHY do you have all these rules?
A: The web has become a horrible place in some quarters, and I know it well as I have been the recipient of noxious bile hurled by people on all three of the major subscription Oregon sites. I hope nobody will have to deal with a couple-dozen insults in a thread (multiple times over the years!) as I have, hence my sensitivity on behalf of others is fine-tuned. We are the refuge from the real-world … where we can drift into a fun world of discussing Our Beloved Ducks, and leave the nastiness of the web behind. It is our Safe Green Sanctuary…
B: THIS IS NOT AN EXPERIMENT: While other sites are removing comments below their articles, (ESPN, CNN, OregonLive, etc.) we are encouraging avid discussion at FishDuck and have been since the summer of 2017 when the firm rules of this site began. Over 99% of the thousands of posts written on this site have been polite and respectful while having great debates and disagreements, thus we know it can be done. The problem is not with all of our rules; the problem is your behaviors if your post was deleted.
All these rules do not bother the massive majority in the least as they write thousands of comments that don’t offend anyone! It is not hard to be nice, polite and respectful and the good people in the FishDuck community want the rules and want the Trolls kept out. Hence why I serve them, the FishDuck community, and why these rules have been thought out over several years and through hundreds of hours of experience.
Again … with all the time and money spent moderating posts and keeping it safe for reasonable Oregon football followers … our mission is about making FishDuck a premium website for the discerning, devoted Duck fan!
C: It has become routine at FishDuck where we have had over 3,000 posts over a stretch of time and I did not have to delete a single one, and that never happens on the web. We had over 150 comments/posts to an article a while back, and everyone was courteous and respectful of one another, yet we had vigorous debate on a controversial subject. It was fun, it was great reading and it was an example of this unique community of Oregon fans at FishDuck.
D: C’mon Charles…are you turning this into “Snowflake Central?” I would rather think of it as becoming “Civilized Central” for Oregon fans. I have been on Oregon Football message boards for 23 years, and while all these other sites mean well and say they will clean things up–it never holds up. Since summer of 2017 there is an established a track record on this site of removing Trolls, and deleting the comments that violate our rules. I have blacklisted/banned more Oregon fans than fans of our rivals!
As all views are allowed to be written and discussed, and you consider the ones you vehemently disagree with–you may gradually have your views changed, or at minimum … you may become more measured and reasonable with your conclusions. I know I have had my views changed by pondering the thoughts of others on this site.
No. 1: “If you violate any of our rules that diminish current discussion on a topic and/or inhibit others from posting in the future, then you will find your post deleted. Do it too many times and you will be blacklisted from ever posting on a FishDuck article or in the forum again. We are the only Oregon site that insists upon civilized discussion and has a three-year track record keeping it safe and clean; state your case as we welcome all opinions and discussions and want to learn from each other in our disagreement, but we must be polite to fellow Oregon fans.”
How can I possibly follow all these rules? It is simple; all our rules can be summarized to this: 1) be polite and respectful, 2) keep it clean for the grandchildren reading, and 3) no reference to politics and you won’t have to worry about the rules at all as over 99% of those posting have learned, and do just fine.
If your post was deleted…ask yourself if …you are being judgmental of, or in an overt or even an oblique manner seeking to disparage those who have a different view than you? Or does your post seek to inhibit others from posting in the future who disagree with you? If so—this site may not be a good fit for you.
No. 2: What do you mean by my post “inhibiting” the posting of views by others? There are overt techniques for discouraging others from posting on a topic, such as belittling, insulting or taunting. There are also very subtle or oblique ways to also inhibit others from posting their views on a topic now and in the future such as shaming, sarcasm and the “straw-man” strategy. These methods are trying to prevent others from posting a view different than yours, and we will delete the posts that fall into these categories, as we want all opinions freely expressed.
No. 3: If you have a problem with your post being deleted, email me privately (email@example.com). We can discuss it, as we do not allow public debates on the website about deleted posts. Do not attempt to argue publicly about a deleted post, because your complaint post will be deleted and you risk being banned from the website. Communicate privately if you have additional thoughts, and Mr. FishDuck will respond. FishDuck is a special community; we will not tolerate any deviation from the rules that have served so many thousands of readers so incredibly well for such a long period of time with less than 1% of all posts ever deleted. Thanks for understanding!
No. 4: Do not assert a position of authority when disagreeing with someone or denigrate someone because they do not hold a position of authority such as, “you cannot comment on this because you don’t know as much football as I do, or as much as Coach Smith does who agrees with me.” Baloney, as everyone can offer their opinion on every topic on this site! I have learned so much from “non-experts” as their perspectives (that I had previously had not thought of) have often modified my position taken or even changed it in the past.
No 5: No insults or epithets, no threatening, intimidating, libeling or defaming of any individual are allowed. We do not allow anyone to call articles or posts “silly, nonsense, dumb, worthless” or any insulting term or label. If you disagree with an article or post, find the content that you disagree with and discuss those specifics with the person and ask them to interact with your information. (Think “Golden Rule.”)
No. 6: No denigration, disparagement or even minor belittling of another poster or writer on the site; 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 denigrate a fellow Duck fan for a difference of opinion is not allowed.
No. 7: No Ad Hominem or personal attacks against Duck fans. Engage with the content of a post or article.
No. 8: Also forbidden is name-calling of anyone posting or those who are subjects of the articles. Calling anyone an “idiot” or “stupid,” or “dumb” or any pejorative label will result in the comment being removed.
No. 9: Posts with back-handed compliments are deleted. It is a form of belittling and is unnecessary on this site.
No. 10: No mocking, where you laugh at, ridicule or tease in a scornful or contemptuous manner.
No. 11: No shaming of others for disagreeing with your views no matter how broad the topic or no matter how subtle the shaming appears.
No. 12: No Politics and Religion: I do not allow even a hint of politics or subtopics pertaining to politics; no names, no terms, no links, not even a word or any references pertaining to anything political. Any of the aforementioned could initiate a political discussion, and veering in that direction at all will cause a site meltdown in today’s acrimonious climate. We do not allow anything negative directed at any religion, toward anyone in the LGBT community, or toward any race, gender or ethnic group.
Part of the challenge I have is not only deleting any comment that pertains at all to politics, but to also remove the comments that could also instigate political discussions that could hurt our community. I have to ask myself, “will that comment initiate political discussion, even though the comment is fairly benign?”
That is why I delete posts/comments not blatantly political, as I have prevent the responses and fall-out that would ensue from the comment. People here want that protection, and not just from being attacked politically, but from even having to read it.
The majority of our rules can be summarized to this: 1) be polite and respectful, 2) keep it clean for grandchildren reading, and 3) no reference to politics.
No. 13: Trying to Sidestep the Rules with Sarcasm? Sarcasm is a form of belittling, of making fun of an individual or a group for their view on a topic. It inhibits people from posting their opinion in the future, and thus is forbidden on FishDuck; we do not want any form of belittling or put-downs on FishDuck because of differences of opinion.
No. 14: No SNARKY posts or responses, as this can be a variation of sarcasm, but also can be flippantly insulting and/or a derivative of one of the violations above. It is not polite and respectful as we require on this site, thus it will be deleted.
No. 15: Straw-Man arguments are NOT allowed on FishDuck… An example was when readers were posting their thoughts about improving the offense, and a different reader posted that, “you must not like winning 12 games.” He set up the “straw-man” of the season win-total to knock over, because he did not want to engage in the offensive production discussion. Another example was when a poster was being critical of the offense and was then being accused by another reader/poster as being a “disloyal” Duck fan or a “hater” of the head coach.
The topic was the under-performing offense, but the offenders were trying to make others defend themselves on other completely different topics, or in other words, the “straw-man.” This tactic inhibits others from posting later out of fear of being mocked, accused of being disloyal etc. We will not allow “straw-man” arguments on this site as we want all opinions expressed freely.
No. 16: Taunting Discourages Future Posting of Comments…Taunting other readers or writers inhibits them from posting their opinion in the future because they think they’re going to be denigrated later if they’re wrong on a topic. We all are wrong at one time or another, so why would any of us post our thoughts on something if we’re going to get beat up for it later by an online bully? Thus taunting is not allowed, because the key is that we want everyone to post comments without having any downside to it, as that can create great educational discussions.
No. 17: No Needling of Writers, Readers or Management of the Site, and this one is a judgment call on the part of Mr. FishDuck. Like the “Snarky” violation above, it is hard to describe but easy to detect due to the history of the offender. It is often quite obvious that a post is written simply to offend, annoy or needle someone due to a difference of opinion and we delete these as they do not fit our “polite and respectful” profile of posts required.
No. 18: Writing denigrating statements about the site or Mr. FishDuck? You will be deleted in a heartbeat because after all the thousands of hours and dollars put into creating the site over the last eight years … who needs it?
No. 19: No Profanity: Particularly obscene or pornographic language (including attempts at disguising profanity with dashes or other symbols) and the four letter “s” word is profanity. This site will be “family-clean,” with the defining question … “can young grandchildren safely come to the site to read what what Grandpa wrote in the comments or as a writer?”
No. 20: A comment where it appears the poster is masquerading as another person is disallowed.
No. 21: Posting under several handles is not permitted.
No. 22: No 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.
No. 23: No distributing Private information: This is material that can be considered an invasion of privacy. This includes phone numbers, e-mail addresses, URLs or other specific personal information.
No. 24: No Advertising, solicitations or spam, including a comment that is posted repeatedly within one thread or across a number of different threads.
No. 25: Copyright violations: No content from FishDuck 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.
No. 26: Do not get personal in judgments of the Players or Coaches: We allow commenting about players and coaches as that is what message boards and forums are all about. Second-guessing coaches and judging player performance is what everyone does, but we must not get personal or nasty toward them. Questioning a play-call or whether a tackle should have been made (Performance-related) or not is fine, and give your thoughts as to why in one direction or the other.
Whether a coach should be retained or a player replaced is also fair-game because they know they are in the public sphere and that goes with the territory. Let’s discuss, but Ad Hominem attacks on them are forbidden.
No. 27: We do NOT post insults or denigrate other Oregon sports sites on FishDuck; if you disagree with what their official policy is or what someone has posted on one of the other sites–disagree in the same polite and respectful way we do with writers and fellow readers of this site. We do not respond to anything negative written on their site about FishDuck, the writers, or readers that post here as those other sites may not understand or agree with our policy on this site of required decorum. We do not respond to their maliciousness with like-for-like.
No. 28: No posting of information on FishDuck from other Oregon sites that have a subscription! If they provide a link to an article from outside their site or is a topic that is not proprietary to that site—then it is fine to post that. (Such as a topic discussed on other free sites or on Twitter and out in the public sphere) But an article that has their interviews or information gathered from their own extensive efforts? Do not post it. I will delete posts in a heartbeat that violate this policy.
No. 29: Do NOT try to win an argument at FishDuck: (But you don’t understand, Mr. FishDuck…I AM RIGHT!) Yep, we all have (in the past) sought to show that our view is superior and then lord it over others later when events prove our theory or strategy correct. But we don’t taunt others later on this site, (see No. 16 above) as the objective on this site is not to be right. What? Many come here to argue, and there is a difference between an energy of arguing, versus a polite and spirited debate to see all the ideas, theories and opinions freely offered by everyone.
Some people put their pride on the line with what they see as what the definition of a debate is in their mind, and if they don’t think they are “winning” the written exchange, they will attempt to deflect the discussion to numerous minor tangents until they find a point they can “win” on. Taking fellow Duck friends in this community down so many rabbit holes to assuage your ego does not fit our objective of being “polite and respectful” to others. State your points, and make your case as best you can as this is how we learn from each other. Then give respect to fellow fans…
Insisting on “winning the argument” is futile, as we are all going to be wrong half the time, and some of us have been humbled so many times that we are bit more open to listening to others. Again the objective at FishDuck is to see all viewpoints, debate them fiercely, yet in a respectful way and ultimately become wiser fans as a result.
No. 30: Anything else not covered that we feel is an attempt to harm someone or suppress opposing viewpoints now or in the future will be deleted on FishDuck!
No. 31: Why are you censoring opinions of others? FishDuck 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 or post it receives. We are not aligned with the university, and thus can set our own editorial and monitoring policy.
No. 32: Mr. FishDuck … you simply can’t handle my opinions: Baloney. I want all opinions here as it enables us see the full spectrum of ideas and helps us modify our own views as a result. In fact, this is the only Duck website where you can safely share your full-spectrum views on Oregon Sports. If there is a problem … it is with your behaviors, and not your opinion, even if unpopular. Be polite and courteous to others and you will be reciprocated, and consequently you’ll have a tremendous experience on FishDuck.
No. 33: You have a minority view? Good, and you are quite welcome here as we need and want those views posted for everyone, because I strongly believe in the importance of a balance of views being presented. I do not want this site to become what other websites have often descended to, where “GroupThink” prevails and you are ostracized if you do not partake in the majority view. (The GroupThink link has a fascinating article about the phenomenon, along with lively and informative discussion in the comments.)
I want vigorous and civil debate, and only through such intense, but reasoned discourse do we see if an idea, or concept holds up. I have witnessed on those other sites where the majority will intimidate and bully those who disagree with them. Not here. I want all opinions, especially those that disagree with mine as I have had my mind changed by the sage participants here!
No. 34: Disagreement is ENCOURAGED, so Post Your Thoughts! I love a good argument; a great debate flushes out the good ideas and by default calls attention to the poor ones. We don’t learn from GroupThink where everyone agrees, thus we want disagreement on FishDuck! 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 (finally) to discuss the ideas, but don’t make it personal.
Disagreement that comes from the great minds in this community presenting viewpoints and perspectives I had not considered have changed my mind, and I am grateful for the friends and fellow Duck fans who presented their point of view in such a graceful way. So jump in and discuss it as the Duck Water is fine!
No. 35: We all mess-up once in a while and get carried away, and when that happens with one of the “regulars,” I warn the offender and explain why we do not do that on this site. These good people usually quickly acknowledge their mistake, pledge to not do it again (and they don’t) and life goes on. Everyone sees the interaction and knows how I will not jeopardize the majority for anyone who rejects being civil with fellow Duck fans, but good people always get a second chance.
Nobody can skirt the rules, and not even my closest of friends, as the community and culture built is more important than any one person posting, no matter who they are.
No. 36: Mr. FishDuck, you NEED ME, as I post every day and add enormously to the conversation. You need to cut me some slack, because this site will decline if I leave.
Yes, the site would miss your comments, but no, I will not cut you or anyone slack. Follow the rules or you’re out. I would rather have fewer comments/posts of quality than watch the site degenerate into what other sites have become. The reason why ESPN, USA Today, CNN and even the Oregonian do not have comments anymore is due to the deterioration of web decorum.
No. 37: Mr. FishDuck, I love the rules … until they apply to me! We have lost some great readers and commenters on this site who have told me on the phone or by email that they love the rules and how they protect them. Then when I must apply the same rules to them and delete their comment? They pick their toys and leave! One fellow actually wrote, “I know I’m not supposed to write about politics in the comments, but…” And he then proceeds to write a political comment! Of course I had to delete the comment and he was torqued; it is funny how some people feel they deserve a pass due to all their great comments or posts written in the past.
I have no choice; if I yield and allow their comment, then before long the vision for the site is altered and the delicate culture is changed. Like the football team–you cannot have one set of rules for one privileged group and another set of rules for everyone else. Please don’t test me, as I must remain consistent with the application of the rules. When you do have a comment deleted? Email me and let’s discuss, and please be a good sport about it!
No. 38: Mr. FishDuck has learned the hard way that if he does not act on an improper post immediately, then it will embolden others to engage in the same violation of rules. So if it appears that Mr. FishDuck is overzealous or appearing to stomp on a post immediately-it is because we don’t have any choice. If we let even one slide, then it snowballs in a negative way against all of us. What the community wants preserved is a peaceful, civil, friendly and learning atmosphere with entertaining discourse about Our Beloved Ducks!
This means reading every comment and making a judgment about the behaviors behind the comment. Since I’ve been through the wars online–I have developed a good sense for it. It can be a time-consuming, labor-intensive hassle, but it is my promise to everyone to keep this site safe on every discussion.
No. 39: Mr. FishDuck … this is really hard! Yes, it is as I have sat down a number of times and was about to tell someone how dumb their opinion was on a topic, and had to pull away from the keyboard. It can be extremely hard to follow our rules at times and some cannot, but the rewards to everyone are massive when we do. Do not temper your passion, as we want spirited discussion because only through debate can we see which ideas stand up best to logic and rational thinking. We simply have to do it in a civil way where we attack someone’s ideas, but not him or her on a personal level.
No. 40: There are more critical articles on this site than other places-why? We are going to be critical of the coaches, and we will praise the coaches when deserved, but do so from a balanced perspective. Sometimes to get good interviews and “inside information,” the other Oregon sites will often give the current coaches a bit of a pass, as these other sites have to be nice to their sources. The result is that you rarely will get any kind of critical analysis in both directions of what is going on with the football program and other sports at Oregon, other than at FishDuck. We have true diversity of opinion and independent thinkers here.
No. 41: Mr. FishDuck…you should not be allowed to spout those views! Yes, on occasion I get that response if I am critical of something I see in the coaching. Some people take any criticism of the coach or the team as a personal affront and feel the need to defend the status quo no matter what. All are welcome to present their views at FishDuck in a polite and respectful way, but many people these days have adopted a “Cancel Culture,” where they want voices that disagree with theirs to be eliminated or canceled.
Not here, as I want all voices and opinions provided you follow our rules. It used to be that journalists and the media at large would hold leaders accountable, but some parties these days wish to silence all that oppose their views and I will not let this site fall into that trendy line of thinking. In 2016, I withheld from writing any negative as I watched the season deteriorate from obvious coaching issues; after that season–I vowed to never do that again. This is an independent site and we will not always be drinking the Kool-Aid; again, we want all opinions shared across the spectrum to discuss, debate and learn from.
We are all Oregon fans, and we will call it the way we believe and that is not always pleasant. There are many definitions to what being an Oregon fan and loyalty is, and we ponder it all here, and wish to have this site open to all definitions to participate.
No. 42: This is bunk, Mr. FishDuck, as you don’t even have the NEWS! That is true, as I decided a long time ago what we are and are not; we are not a Sports News site, as we let all the other sites report the Oregon sports events of the day, and we bring in all those links (via the Oregon Sports Daily Article Links) and provide the only safe place to discuss all these events.
Our own daily articles focus on Analysis and Opinion-Editorial pieces (Op-Eds) which create more pondering and great discussion among this community. We are focused upon bringing the topics and news to you while providing the only Guaranteed Troll-Free Forum, the Our Beloved Ducks Forum.
No. 43: “No Trolls-Allowed?” Mr. FishDuck cannot guarantee that there won’t be ANY offending comments posted from Trolls, but we can promise that we will act immediately as soon as we are aware of the violation to remove the post that breaks our rules and to Blacklist/ban the Troll if it is done too many times.
No. 44: What about my right to free speech? 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. You will find that a post is removed not because of the idea it expresses, but because of the behavior associated with it. On this site you not only have the right to express your opinion, we want all opinions and encourage disagreement as long as you follow our rules.
No. 45: Why don’t you pre-screen all of the posts? Our policy is to allow posts and comments to be published, as we don’t want to delay responses to superb conversations taking place on the site, but we will act quickly to delete offending posts.
No. 46: I had a post deleted and when I went to post again, I could not. What is going on? The first time you write an objectionable post, we delete it. If you continue multiple times, then we Blacklist your IP address so that you cannot post again from that computer. If your first post is especially objectionable to the staff—we will Blacklist or ban you immediately. To appeal or explain, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
No. 47: What is to prevent me from going to tons of computers and posting and over-running you? 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 as 99% of the readers who do not, as they want the rules and the enforcement to protect them from the Trolls.
No. 48: Negative “only” does not work… You can be negative and yet teach others as football, like life, is negative at times. We can’t ignore it, but we can learn from it and use those events to shape our goals and dreams for the Men of Oregon. We want the all your Duck-thoughts, but not negative exclusively. Don’t dwell or obviously enjoy the negative quite so much. If you are presenting the negative joyfully–you aren’t trying very hard.
No. 49: Be Unique… People check out quickly if you are writing the same thing they’ve read a hundred times, thus they aren’t going to spend ten seconds reading yours again. Add something new to the discussion! Some of the readers/posters bring in stats to prove their point, and do it in an intelligent way which goes a long way toward changing minds. We want all opinions, but if you do some online research–you may make your point that much more compelling.
No. 50: For Some of Us … the EYES Have it! (Use a Paragraph!) Want to know a secret about web behavior? Readers don’t like long stretches of sentences in comments or posts without any breaks, and most readers don’t even like long paragraphs. Break it up! After every third sentence in your post … hit “enter” or “return” twice on your keyboard. This creates natural breaks between scads of sentences, and so many of us thank you for making it easier on some of us! Create paragraphs and make it easier for some of us older fans to read, and thus you may change some minds.
You may think it’s cool to not capitalize or punctuate, but readers will just ignore you.
No. 51: Honor the Community of Devoted Oregon fans! The readers of this site are special, so let’s operate on the Golden Rule with everyone and relish the time spent together. Articles on this site are read so frequently that this site last year was again the Top 1% in the World for pages read per month, and our instructional videos have passed the 1.9 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 posts as well!
As one friend told me as he watches me managing posts on the site … “Charles, you’re like that entertaining juggler who starts with the balls, then goes to juggling knives, and then he turns the knives on fire, and, well, it is all fun for me to watch, but that’s not a position I would want to be in!”
It is a unique site that requires a unique commitment, so let’s welcome all opinions and invite everyone to join the fun. Let’s learn from each other!
Charles Fischer (Mr. FishDuck)
Top Photo by Kevin Cline
Visit our Sister Site, the new Our Beloved Ducks Forum!
This new forum that is unlike anything you have ever seen between our civilized discussion, (NO TROLLS ALLOWED) complete directions available for easy usage and the delivery of all Oregon Sports News. (That last part is a gradual transition up to Spring Football)
Go to the forum where we delve into today’s article and so many more topics and the nuances within them over there.
We have a topic post begun over at the forum for today’s article; it is a free site and offers more opportunity for the exchange of opinions on all the Oregon Sports subjects of the day. (And there are some very cool features!)
An introduction article about the new forum is right here.