This FanPost is meant to refresh your memory on the major rules at the site. This is first meant to inform, but I'm also open to discussion on these rules. If you're not sure why we have a certain rule in place or you strongly disagree with a certain rule, feel free to ask/say so in the comments. You are also welcome to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please Rec this if you get a moment so it stays up top heading into Friday's game.
SITE DECORUM SUMMARY (DETAIL TO FOLLOW)
1. No swearing outside of: 1) game threads, 2) live NFL Draft threads, 3) other threads as specifically allowed
2. No personal attacks on fellow site members. This goes beyond just calling people stupid. If you disagree with somebody, you're welcome to critique the opinion they've expressed, but act with some sort of class in the way you treat others. Flag a comment and move on.
3. For non-NN personalities (players, media, other site editors, etc), you can critique them as much as you want for on and off the field performance and conduct, but let's limit the unnecessary personal attacks.
5. FanPosts: Meant to provide further analysis than a a few lines of commentary on a topic.
4. Picture policy - being further formulated this preseason
SITE DECORUM DETAILS
The lifting of the lockout and the mad rush that has been 49ers free agency over the last week has led to a lot of new folks joining the site. Additionally, emotions have been running high at times as we have all tried to figure out what the 49ers strategy was throughout this free agency process.
Given those two factors, along with the fact that the new NFL season is just around the corner, now seemed as good a time as any to revisit the site's code of conduct. We have some general policies in place, but I'd like to post them here in some detail so people are all on the same page and we can thus have productive discussions here.
As with any interaction there are bound to be some heated moments, but that is no excuse for treating people with disrespect or act as if you are better than them. The general idea behind this policy is to have a community of people who can either get along with each other, or act like adults and learn to deal with people they may not get along with so well. Some folks may think this should be a free-for-all in which just about anything goes and people simply police themselves. That's now how I choose to operate this site.
First and foremost, the most well-known policy relates to site decorum. This relates to swearing on the site. Swearing is allowed in game threads, open threads during the NFL Draft, and from time to time when deemed appropriate. The philosophy behind this rule is that in posts where there is live action and responses are instantaneous, people react in the moment and that's when swearing is bound to happen.
When the 49ers score a touchdown, turn the ball over, or draft Player X, people react instantly and sometimes that reaction involves an f-bomb. On the other hand, in a mid week post discussing the 49ers red zone defense where you're responding to something somebody posted 20 minutes ago, you can stop and think about what you're trying to say. In that case, you can think about what you want to say and really come up with the optimal comment. Maybe people aren't generally looking to write the "optimal" comment, but this will at least get them thinking in that direction and maybe raise the level of discourse on the site.
There is NEVER a time when personal attacks are warranted. I know when you feel you've been attacked you feel bound to respond. It's an ego thing and I get that. However, outside of someone calling someone else an idiot or something pretty specific, a lot of the attacks we see on the site are as much about misinterpretations of a comment. Often it comes from an attempt at sarcasm or humor.
Sarcasm generally does not translate well on the Internet given the lack of context that can come from inflection and tone. I'm not saying sarcasm is not allowed on the site. Rather, know your audience and simply be cautious of unintended responses.
If you do feel you are being attacked, that is not an invitation to lob back verbal grenades. People do have a right to defend their comments when it comes to the factual or logical background behind them. However, if somebody calls you an idiot, don't simply turn around and call them a name back. I (or one of the moderators) will try and step in immediately if we're in the thread. However, the easiest procedure is to Flag the comment. You can do that by click "actions" next to the reply button and then Flag. It's as simple as that.
Simply put, there is absolutely NOTHING to be gained from getting into a name-calling battle. It takes away from the fantastic discussions we have here, and it focuses in on the individuals instead of the community as a whole.
More than anything, this site is about the community. Nobody, including myself, is bigger than the community. When people start insulting each other and going back and forth, they are making the site about themselves and simply put, that is selfish and will not be tolerated on the site.
FanPosts are a valuable aspect of the community discussion, but there are times when a FanPost is not a necessary post. This Niners Nation 101 post gives you an idea of when something is best used as a comment, a FanShot or a FanPost.
Simply put, a FanPost is meant to open up greater dialogue and generally will involve a bit more detail than a simply three or four sentences. That's not to say a FanPost can't be short and simple. However, ideally you'll go into some solid depth in your FanPost mixing in some of your own analysis or commentary on a subject.
If the moderating staff feels a FanPost is not meeting this standard, they will use the moderating system to issue a warning to you. It's not a disciplinary warning. Rather, it allows them to paste the material of your FanPost in and let you know how it would be better utilized (generally as a comment in an existing thread). The idea is to maintain some level of organization in topic-by-topic discussion.
One issue that has developed is the use of images in posts. Two of the issues with posting images are 1) they tend to slow down threads that have a lot of comments and 2) people forget to use the subject line, which makes it difficult for mobile users.
I'd prefer people limit their use of images in game threads and other huge threads to stuff related to the game. "Rally images" can work but just posting some random picture does not make it a rally picture. I think the more significant problem is people posting a whole bunch of images in a row.
I'm not quite sure how to handle it at this point, although cat pictures remain banished to the Official Community Thread mcwagner creates. Other than that, for now I ask that you limit the number of pictures you post in some of the busier threads (primarily game threads) and if you post images, try and crop them down to smaller sizes, or make sure it's already a smaller image.
We'll use the preseason to see what works best