A Reminder of Commenting Guidelines

I should have known the New England game would bring out one of the patented know-it-alls. There’s always that one person in class or at work or whatever that tries to ruin things for everyone. I just had to ban one for making two combative, condescending (and mostly incorrect) comments so I thought I would re-post the guidelines for commenting on catcrave.com.

Remember, it’s one thing to disagree but remember also that authors cannot possibly write about every single relevant detail on everything in every article. For instance, if someone has been on injured reserve for 6 weeks or off the field for some reason for an extended period of time already – guess what – they may not be a part of the conversation! You want to mention it? That’s fine. You want to beat someone up over NOT talking about someone whose season ended long ago? That crosses the line.

If you think you’re “da bomb” or some know-it-all then prove it by getting a job on the NFL Network or with one of the 32 franchises. Remember – this is a CAROLINA PANTHERS FAN SITE and if you don’t like some of the bias that comes along with that, you’re more than welcome not to return.

I don’t go to anyone else’s website, trash their work, call them names, and expect no repercussions and neither should you.

We here at catcrave.com, and the larger Fansided family, do what we do because we love it.

Most of us DO NOT GET PAID for our writing. Please keep that in mind before you put a comment on a page.

Most of you do, and most of you leave insightful, thoughtful comments that are constructive to the subject at hand, and we all appreciate you.

As always, there are a select few of you out there who have to find something – ANYTHING – that isn’t 100% accurate so you can be snarky and make a public statement in that comment section where you attempt to scream “I KNOW MORE THAN YOU DO!”

Well, while that may or may not be true, it comes across as someone who has to bring others down in order to feel better about themselves, and therefore possess a huge, fragile ego.

NOT attractive, NOT wanted, NOT appropriate….and VERY narcissistic.

Remember in school there was that one kid who would ALWAYS remind the teacher to give the homework?

Well, for you 100 GOOD commenters for every one BAD commenter, we had to make rules for everyone.

Negative, detracting comments will be deleted from here on forward, so don’t even bother with posting them. If you are respectfully pointing out factual errors in a constructive manner, that’s one thing. A good dialogue doesn’t necessarily mean everyone is in agreement and when we make glaring errors, we don’t expect to be held unaccountable, but please remember – we’re human, we’re fallible, and we have feelings – just like you do.

Cursing of any kind, or picking out an incorrect word or two from a 3,000-word post and being condescending or snarky about a misspelled word or a detail insignificant to the point at hand will get your comment deleted AND get you blacklisted from commenting on the site ever again.

PERIOD. No exemptions, no exceptions, no ifs ands or buts. And NO “second chances.”

GOT it?

In short, I’m tired of seeing a few people with small minds abuse my staff. We don’t abuse you, we write for free, you pay nothing to read what we write, and all we ask in return is the respect and dignity that, in my opinion, isn’t so “common” these days as it used to be.

I realize most of these negative commenters are probably young people who want to think they know everything. That’s part of growing up…heck, I was like that once, myself. But I grew out of (most of) it.

For the VAST MAJORITY of you fans out there, we love you guys and we ALL admit we make errors, as I said. There just isn’t the structure in place nor the time available to monitor everyone’s posts in a timely manner around the clock. It just doesn’t happen that way.

We proofread our own posts before publishing them and yes, we’ll miss some things there too. But is it really a good thing to point out in the comments section that someone typed “teh” instead of “the?”

When someone types that someone is 6’6″ instead of 6’3″ – please stop and think a moment. After a lot of writing and research, we get tired – just like you – amazing! Also, take a look at your phone keypad while texting. Then look at a computer’s numeric keypad. They’re reversed from each other and the “6″ and the “3″ are right above and below one another.

COME ON, FOLKS!

I’ve noticed such “commenters” are almost always people that are new to the site – trolls is the more generic term – and usually don’t return anyway, so this policy won’t be a problem for most people.

We here at catcrave.com are NOT “professional writers” as some seem to believe. We’re bloggers who simply have a platform to share our opinions with the public. While we do pride ourselves on giving informed opinions, we will often still make mistakes…some larger than others.

All I ask is that when you publish a comment to OUR site, you follow OUR rules:

- It isn’t a sin to disagree. When you do, be respectful and use a conversational tone and not an attacking, negative one.

- Cursing is the quickest way to catcrave commenting limbo. While an occasional (and I mean maybe ONCE at MOST in a comment) “D”-word or “H”-word for added emphasis MIGHT be acceptable, use them very, very sparingly and I suggest using the PG-13 versions of those words in their place anyway.

- Personal attacks of ANY kind – aimed at catcrave staff, other commenters, or even NFL players is the other “quickest” way to catcrave commenting limbo. You can go on a rant against the PLAY of a player, or even about one caught in a big scandal….hey, that’s part of being a fan….but try not to get too personal when doing so. Football is a game and we’re all here for fun.

Finally, this is not “just” on catcrave. Pretty much the same rules apply to any of Fansided’s satellite websites. Inappropriate comments is a subject that comes up behind the scenes from time to time…unfortunately, because a few people continuously leave them, forcing us to take action.

Remember…you’re a GUEST here. You don’t own the place. So, some friendly tips you should keep in mind before commenting:

- The Internet gives you a sense of safety, and as such, sometimes people (yes, I’ve been guilty, myself) will say things in a more aggressive tone than you otherwise would in person. Please don’t. It just makes you look mean, unappreciative, and ultimately reflects worse upon the person leaving the comment than anything else.

- Is it a comment you wouldn’t want your 8-yr-old child, sister, or cousin seeing? If that’s the case, you shouldn’t leave it.

- NEVER leave a comment when you’re angry – whether the article you read had anything to do with it or not. Take a few minutes, calm down, and remember that once it’s posted, it’s out there for the world to see.

- Nobody cares that you know how to properly spell any given word. So do we, we just misspelled it because it’s 1 a.m., we’ve been researching and writing for several hours, and we’re TIRED! You catch PROFESSIONAL interviewers seeing and hearing these same things on TV, and if they or the person they interview makes a minor error, they LET THE THING GO, do they not? Unless it’s an error that might cause confusion, yeah, they ignore it. When they do correct it, they’ll explain why they’re doing it and do so in an almost apologetic manner.

No point in showing up someone, and *I* think if they DID, it would make the person doing the correcting look condescending and shallow. Same thing here – it makes the commenter look bad and doesn’t serve any constructive purpose.

- Always remember that you can disagree without being disagreeable. We as writers aren’t looking for “you’re the best” comments scrolling on page after page, although once in a great while it’s nice to get a compliment of course – we’re like anyone else, we appreciate a pat on the back when we do well, but we don’t necessarily expect it.

- By the same token, we don’t expect to get people climbing down our throats over nothing. If someone here writes, say, about the Orange Bowl, don’t be a smarty-pants and point out it was actually in Key Biscayne, not Miami proper okay?

Once again, loyal readers, this post isn’t going to affect the “99%”-ers. Most of you do post great comments, and keep those coming, by all means! I’ve personally learned some things I didn’t know and wasn’t even aware of through some good, informative comments. We realize while we generally know more than the “average” fan, there are ALWAYS people out there who know more than we do.

If you do and want to share that in a comment, go right ahead…just please do so in a courteous, constructive manner.

Also, please remember this is NOT to “censor” anyone – other than the obvious bad language or personal attacks that aren’t welcome at all here – but rather a reminder that there are human beings with real feelings bringing you information on a common interest – the Carolina Panthers.

Please don’t abuse us and everything will be fine. We promise to treat you in a likewise manner for our part. I have actually made a friend or two from commenters here, so good things CAN happen if we treat each other the way we’d WANT to be treated. Use the Golden Rule and nobody will bother you.

In closing, I do apologize to readers for having to post this, but a tiny, tiny few still haven’t gotten the memo on how to properly act in public yet, apparently. If you REALLY want to get into a “flame war” somewhere, I suggest you go visit some political site…you’re sure to find one going on there in no time.

Now that the air has been cleared, you’re free to go about whatever, and thank you for reading this post.

Everyone please take it to heart.

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