There are very few rules on Big12Hoops. Our site is intended to feel primarily democratic, and most of the "unwritten rules" come by way of self-government by the community through recommended "fanposts," positive and negative feedback, peer influence, etc. The few official Community Guidelines exist for a singular purpose: they exist to help make Big12Hoops a place that is safe and enjoyable for the entire community.
(Please note that the rules, and examples, found below are guidelines, not black and white "you can say this, but you cannot say this" series of technicalities.)
FREE SPEECH ON BIG12HOOPS
Big12Hoops believes strongly in free speech and in celebrating a diversity of people, and of ideas, on the site. Users are, in general, free to express their opinions without fear of retribution. The diversity of personalities, beliefs, and styles is appreciated as being part of what makes Big12Hoops strong.
However, we’re a community, and free speech does not mean "the right to say what you want, when you want, how you want," without being sensitive to, and respectful towards, the community as a whole. In a community, speech is not "free"--it comes with responsibility.
The following are simply not acceptable on Big12Hoops (excepting, in some cases, for obvious humor between people with an existing rapport); they violate the Big12Hoops.com Community Guidelines, and are subject to sanction as outlined below:
- Personal attacks on community members, directly or through sarcasm/belittling
- Comments that are intolerant or prejudiced (sexist, racist, homophobic, etc.) in nature
- Harassing/Baiting of users
- Relentless negativity will not be tolerated.
- Comments that bring politics, or other highly inflammatory non-basketball related topics, onto Big12Hoops (which is a non-political blog). And just so all members are clear, Big12Hoops does accept political advertising as long as it is not offensive in any way, shape or form, but we subscribe to the belief that advertising and editorial are separate. So there will occasionally be political ads that run. Just like any other media outlet, just because a political ad runs, it doesn't mean we endorse or support whatever cause it happens to be.
CONSEQUENCES FOR VIOLATING BIG12HOOPS' COMMUNITY GUIDELINES
Consistent with its basketball roots, when it comes to violations of the Community Guidelines, Big12Hoops works on a version of "fouling out." Complaints about possible violations of the Community Guidelines should be flagged for review and consideration by our moderators.
The moderators aim to balance a high tolerance for the importance of free speech and low tolerance for minor or petty complaints, with enforcement of the stated guidelines, on behalf of the entire community.
First Foul: If the moderators agree that a violation has occurred, the offending user will be contacted privately and issued a formal "first foul". No other action is taken. Users wishing to appeal a "foul" may contact the editor to explain why they feel the "foul" is not a correct decision, and the appeal will be considered.
Second Foul: A second violation through this process triggers a "second foul" from the moderators, with the same processes in place for an appeal.
Third Foul: A third "foul" through this process is forwarded directly by the moderators for administrative action at the discretion of the moderator. However, a third "foul" will not be issued without weigh-in from all the moderators to ensure it is a decision the moderators, as a group, believe to be appropriate. Also the number of moderators who have to vote "yes" to issue a third "foul" is higher than it is for "fouls" one and two.
ROLL-OFF SYSTEM FOR FOULS
* If a user has one foul, 4 consecutive "foul-free" months will cause that foul to roll off.
* If a user has two fouls, 6 consecutive "foul-free" months will cause that foul to roll off.
* A "third foul" never rolls off: it is incumbent upon any banned user to apply for reinstatement (whenever they feel it is appropriate) by contacting the moderators with whatever correspondence they wish to make.
If a user repeatedly flags complaints that fail to meet the committee's standard for a violation, the user may be contacted by an editor and asked to "chill out".
When evaluating a complaint, each of the moderators weighing in makes a "Yes" or "No" judgment, and it takes a majority "Yes" votes for action to be taken on a complaint. However, in voting "Yes" a moderator can vote "Yes--but just a warning" or "Yes--full foul". As for which prevails, among those voting "yes," if a simple majority of the moderators vote "full foul" it defaults to a full foul. Also, a user cannot get two "warning fouls" in a row, so if his/her last foul was only a warning, then a "yes" verdict from the moderators is automatically a full foul.
Note that as the site's chief moderator, EVAN PFAFF may, at any time, choose to bypass the 3-foul process and ban a user if he judges that a user has the primary motive of disrupting and/or upsetting the community or if an offense is judged by EVAN PFAFF to be exceptionally grievous in nature.
PROCEDURE FOR LODGING AN OFFICIAL COMPLAINT
If you believe a user has violated the Community Guidelines and you wish to bring it to Big12Hoops’ moderators for review, flag the offending comment, choosing "inappropriate" from the drop-down menu selections, and include a note about why you feel the comment is a Community Guidelines Violation (CGV).
Complaints are evaluated, and any appropriate follow-up action taken, internally. The user who made the complaint should not expect any reply unless the moderators have specific questions.
The only Community Guidelines for Fanposts are:
- In most cases, a Fanpost must be a minimum of 300 characters or it is considered to be unsubstantial and is deleted as a violation of the Community Guidelines (and could be ruled to be a CGV).
- A Fanpost must in some way add to the Big12Hoops community--in other words, it must relate to the Big 12, or to college basketball, or to the Big12Hoops community, or to an existing thread or Fanpost, etc.
- Unless approved by a moderator, a user may not post more than 2 Fanposts in a given day.
TIPS ON WRITING GOOD FANPOSTS:
Some of the qualities that the most popular Fanposts often have in common are:
- They expand upon the main idea with supporting examples, or statistical data, or a link to a relevant article, or a "thinking question" for others to consider, etc.--something beyond just the main idea itself.
- They explore a topic, idea, or question that has not been explored recently, or at all, on Big12Hoops.
Keep in mind that if your Fanpost contains only one point or idea that is not developed, expanded on, or supported with arguments or data, it is really not a Fanpost--it is a comment that should be posted in an existing thread or Fanpost.
General Disclaimer: What is written above are guidelines that help to explain the policies, procedures, and processes Big12Hoops generally uses. This is a private blog and it is entirely at the administrators' discretion how to interpret and implement these guidelines.