Towards a better moderation policy

Remember a week or so ago when I announced that we'd be getting back to enforcing our mod policies, including those around off-topic discussion? Well, as you can obviously tell, that never happened. We've been engaging in some serious modding discussions behind-the-scenes here, and the end result is that we have a more comprehensive, nuanced modding system that we'd like to roll out now.

Our modding policy will technically remain similar to our previous guidelines, with the following tweaks:

Off-topic discussions will be allowed in the Tanks. Off-topic discussion will no longer be verboten, although comments on actual analysis or feature pieces should still remain on-topic. Also, we'll be phasing in a "No politics" rule after the upcoming election, but that will be the only subject that we'll ask people to refrain from talking about.

We'll be more tightly moderating for tone, personal attacks, and any sort of slur (even when used in a joke). In short, don't be nasty toward one another. And we won't be tolerating any slurs or comments that could be construed as racist, misogynistic, homophobic, etc, even if they are meant to be taken in jest.

If you post a comment that we feel crosses the line or goes against one of our policies, our general response will be to hide the comment and issue a warning to the user, explaining the infraction. If you have a problem with the ruling, take it up with the relevant mod off-site through email or other channels. We don't all need to see your dirty laundry -- and have it get in the way of our other discussions -- so if you bring it up on the site, we will hide the discussion and encourage you to get in touch off-site.

If you feel a particular comment is across the line or inappropriate, please use the "Flag" feature to notify the mod team of your concerns. With so much said on the site on a daily basis, we can't always catch everything and we want to make sure that we're addressing any concerns users may have. The mod team will review all flagged posts, and decide on the proper course of action in each case.

If a user accumulates a number of infractions, or displays a general disregard for site policies, we may decide to conduct a "user review". The mod team will discuss their behavior together, form a consensus, and get in touch with the user off-site to provide them with specific feedback. The mod team may also decide to issue consequences if a user does not adhere to this feedback, up to and including the threat of a permaban.

These changes are not meant to be scary or intimidating, and my hope is that we'll never have to permaban anyone. We simply want to make sure we're spelling out every step of our modding process, and being as transparent about our process as possible. These rules were set in place through the joint effort of myself and the current mod squad -- TGN1, Ryan Gilliss, SRQMan, and Hatfield -- to help reach one main goal: the fostering and long-term stability of an inclusive, productive baseball community. We're all in this together, and we want to get a system in place that works for us all.

Thanks for your patience around these changes, and please feel free to get in touch with me with any feedback you may have concerning the new system.

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