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Pinstripe Alley guidelines and commenting policy

We've had an influx of new members recently, likely due to the fact that the Yankees actually have a pulse this offseason. That seems to inevitably come with some ruffled feathers in the comments section between new members and old regulars. The moderation staff, even as it predates those of us here now, has always had a relatively lax policy. We don't ban people who don't love the Yankees upon entrance, swearing doesn't get you put in time out if it's within a normal boundary, and debate is encouraged even when it gets to be a little tense. Continuing that policy is everyone's preference but that doesn't come without work.

Back in June when I took over as site manager, I revamped our guidelines a bit. My thinking was that fewer rules meant less letter of the law and more spirit of the law type stuff. That has seemingly worked at least decently up until now. The last few weeks have been a little rough in the comments section and that means that people are either unclear on the guidelines we have or unaware that they exist at all. Here is a refresher course in the very few things we expect of you here.

This place is meant to be a fun place for everyone to hang out and discuss baseball and the Yankees. Debate and disagree to your heart's content, but don't do it at the expense of others' fun. It is possible to do those things and still have a place where members who have been here a day and members who have been here four years can coexist with one another. Most all of us have been guilty of letting things get too heated in the past, so everyone can work a little harder to keep it from deteriorating into that.

Here is a reminder of our old guidelines, as well as some new updates and changes. The guidelines can always be accessed on the right sidebar of the site, or by clicking here. The truth is that moderating is not fun and takes away from time we could spend doing other things. Please don't make it more necessary than it needs to be.

By joining our community, you are agreeing to live by the Community Guidelines for as long as you choose to hang out with us. Be civil and respectful to one another and we'll all get along just fine.

General guidelines:

1. No comments that are sexist, racist, homophobic, or discriminating on the basis of religion are allowed. This is a SB Nation-wide policy; any such posts or comments will result in an immediate ban. Religion and politics generally only cause problems. This is a site to talk about baseball, which is the one subject where most of us can agree.

2. Use the reply button, don't use chat speak - There are no character limits in the comment section, so make sure your commentary is taken seriously by taking the time to write out complete sentences and by taking advantage of SB Nation's nested commenting system with the reply button. It makes everything much easer to follow, particularly in threads with a lot of comments..

3. If you're here to troll, you won't be here long. If you're here and you leave to troll other sites, you'll meet the same fate. We are a site about the Yankees. If you want to talk about how great the Red Sox are, Over the Monster is right this way. If you want to sing the praises of the Tigers, Bless You Boys is over there.

5. FanPosts are at least 200 words of well-thought-out original content. Anything shorter than that should be a comment or FanShot. If you wouldn't see it on the front page of Pinstripe Alley, it probably doesn't belong as a FanPost. FanPosts that do not meet these guidelines are subject to deletion at the discretion of the moderators. FanPosts created for the sole purpose of advertising your blog or any other form of self-promotion will be deleted.

6. We are all on the same side. Disagree without getting personal, debate without name calling, enlighten without being demeaning. We all love the Yankees. Treat this place like your favorite bar or your friend's living room. If you wouldn't say something there, don't say it here. If you would say it there but shouldn't say it here, don't.

On the subject of debate:

Don't say anything you wouldn't say in our living room. Disagree? Sure, but keep things civil. Try to get along. Don't attack other posters. Disagree with their ideas, but name calling isn't allowed. Have fun with each other, but calling someone stupid, crazy, a bad fan, etc, doesn't make for rational debate. Don't get upset if someone disagrees with you. Intelligent people can disagree.

Expect that people are going to challenge your opinions. Roll with it. Expect folks aren't going to just take your word. Be prepared to defend your position. Remember we are all fans here and all equal. You may think you are smarter than all of us, but there is no need to be condescending to others. Know when to walk away. Name calling will result in your comment being deleted and a warning being issued.

On the subject of broken rules:

What should you do if you feel someone has broken the rules? Under every comment there is a flag button, pressing that will cause a window to pop up asking you to tell why you are flagging it and to classify the reason as 'spam', 'trolling' or 'inappropriate'. A moderator will take a look at it to decide what further action, if any, needs to be taken.

On moderation, warnings, and bannings:

Don't argue with the moderators about rules. If you are asked to stop something, stop it. Moderators have the final say on behavior that crosses the line. Ignoring that will result in a formal warning, and ignoring that will result in a ban. Don't let it get that far.

Should you receive a warning, do not take to the comments to argue about it. That is not a discussion that needs to be public. If you want more information about why you were warned, email Tanya, Jason, or Andrew.

If a simple warning is not enough, the next step is banning. If you are banned you will no longer be allowed to post on here. Running the site is a hobby for us and we aren't willing to put up with too much aggravation. The staff has to come to the site every day. If there is a poster that is making staff or other readers not want to be here, then, sorry, it is you or us and we've got the button. If you have a bad day that results in a banning or the full moon made you intolerable for a brief period, email Tanya to discuss why you should be reinstated.