This is not the article planned for today, as the original writer is displeased with me because I canned his article. Unfortunately, after writing for nearly three years, he has quit and will not be writing articles any longer. I can say that he has generated some superb and thought-provoking articles and is a personal friend of mine, which makes it even more painful to me. Why, you ask, is this happening, and why have so many other contributors in the comments left the site recently?
Because I will not let them state their political views on this site, and if they cannot, then they tell me that they’re outta here!
You all know the routine on my rules, and the percentage of comments I delete is always under 1% of the total, hence why I focus on protecting the 99% from even having to read the offending material. Unlike other sites where they say they are going to clamp down (and give up after a month or so), this site is nearly three years into these rules being in effect.
This is not an experiment, as it has proven to work. Although I have had to clarify and specify many rules due to the antics of a few people … the majority of our rules can be summarized by the following: 1) be polite and respectful, 2) keep it clean for the grandchildren reading, and 3) no reference to politics. That third component is one that is difficult for many people these days, as staying away from politics has become almost impossible in the current climate.
Can we as fans even discuss the COVID-19 crisis and its effect upon Oregon sports without delving into politics?
It seems to be pretty hard to avoid politics since everyone is questioning what is or is not being done regarding testing, treatments and strategies going forward. I’ve been able to keep the political comments snipped, but it has become a major challenge to maintain a civilized site. I have no choice but to prohibit any political discussion in articles or comments because of the massive on-line fight that would break out between people on both sides whom I care about.
But how do you avoid politics when commenting on a virus that is going to be part of our lives and impacting Oregon sports for years?
It is BAD-or-BAD …
The fact is, 95% of those who come to the site do not post a comment. I wish they would, as I want all opinions shared, and I protect everyone from the Trolls, but it is the reality. These four contributors we recently lost were frequently (even daily and sometimes many times each day) commenting and adding to the community of knowledge on the site, and we enjoyed their fellowship. Losing them impacts us all, yet if I yielded to their insistence on posting thoughts that skirted the edges of the political … then the resulting firestorm of comments would drive even more people away from the site.
We all lose either way, but lose a ton less by saying goodbye to the four who have recently departed the site.
These four are just one example, as this happens all the time, and I’ve accepted it as part of the price of maintaining decorum on FishDuck.com, yet with COVID-19 … I sense this will happen much more often and I do not have a solution as it is bad-or-bad. I could ask everyone to refrain from discussing the disease completely, but that is crazy considering how it influences our lives. Asking people to keep politics out of the COVID-19 discussion seems sensible, but it is not working very well. There are some who contribute a ton and want it their way to overtly or obliquely bring politics into the discussion.
Other Sites Have Done it … Why Not HERE?
Yep, back in the day, we had The Woodshed message board on the old eDuck site, and an Oregon site has recently opened up political discussion with thousands of comments. No thanks, as too many people cannot exercise impulse control and I am weary of being the “bad-cop” enough as it is. Besides, I do not want to know the political leanings of my Duck-Buddies on this site. I just want to discuss and ponder about Our Beloved Ducks and remain a Green Refuge from the rest of it.
Is it possible? Is there a way of doing it that doesn’t take too much of the day haggling with people as to why their post/comment/article went too far? I am open to all suggestions (please comment below!) and you can certainly email me email@example.com with your thoughts now or over the next week.
“Oh how I want to ponder Our Beloved Ducks without politics!”
Charles Fischer (FishDuck)
Top Photo by Amazing Moments Photography
Andrew Mueller, the FishDuck.com Volunteer Editor for this article, works in digital marketing in Chicago, Illinois.
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.