I haven’t done much research in to the makeup of the audience that reads Pirates Prospects, but I can safely assume one thing: the vast majority of readers are adults. Over the last week I’ve been working on a commenting policy to establish some guidelines for what is unacceptable in the comments section of the site. The commenting policy has been launched today, and while there are several guidelines to follow, there’s really only one important guideline: act like an adult. Since I’m assuming most of my readers are adults, that shouldn’t be a problem. But that’s never the case.
There’s never any reason to be disrespectful to someone because their opinion about a sport is different than your opinion. I know that on pretty much every Pittsburgh Pirates forum you see a line drawn in the sand between fans, with various nicknames given to each group, based on how they feel about the team. That’s not something I want to see on the site. I think it’s possible to disagree without being disagreeable, and giving labels to groups reminds me of teenagers.
I think everyone reading the site is capable of a mature discussion. I’ve enforced the comments loosely in the past, but will be doing much more moderating with the new comment policy. This isn’t an open message board where anyone can post anything they want. This is a media outlet which happens to be my job. Therefore, I’m going to moderate the comments with the interests of the business in mind. The comments are there to provide people with the opportunity to further discuss each article’s topic. In my opinion, it’s better for business to have a mature and rational discussion in the comments, rather than immature, childlike behavior. Thus the need for a comment policy, to establish what won’t be tolerated.
If you have a problem with an individual comment, feel free to click the report button, which will bring it to my attention for further moderation. But keep in mind that I’m only going to remove a comment if it violates the rules, and not if someone disagrees with you, or even disagrees with me.