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OTF Community Guidelines: A Refresher

As summer draws to a close, we thought this would be a great time to revisit our community guidelines. The comments and discussions we have here are what makes this site great, but occasionally problems arise, and we want to make the rules clear for everybody so hopefully we can prevent things before they get out of hand.

Frederick Breedon

Behaviors to avoid while commenting:

"Commentary" based on race, gender, nationality, etc.- An example would be "All (insert nationality here) are lazy, etc." If you're about to make some blanket statement about any group (except Blackhawks fans), maybe step away from the keyboard for a while. This isn't about "political correctness". It's about being civil to each other.

Foul language - We keep things pretty tame here. This gets relaxed a bit during game threads, when we're following the action of a game in real time, but in general, keep it to "prime time TV" language. Pretend your mom or your little brother or your boss are in the thread, and act accordingly.

Replying to everyone in a thread that disagrees with you. - This can be tough. You're right and you know it! If only you answered every single rebuttal with one of your own for hours on end, the dullards on the other side could be convinced! Actually, probably not. What ends up happening is a never-ending cycle that eventually descends into name calling and personal attacks. I'd suggest keeping it to a response or two, then move on.

Personal attacks - A corollary to the point above. Keep the debates on the issue at hand, not the other users of the site. If you find yourself writing things like "you need to watch the games" or "you don't know what you're talking about", back up and take another angle.

Going wildly off-topic- Occasionally, the conversation will spin out on music, movies, or other sports. While technically off-topic, these discussions are often really fun, and part of what makes the community so unique. Totally cool with these. WILDLY OFF-TOPIC includes politics, advertising your own site, etc. What do you think the odds are that you can change someone's position on abortion, gun control, etc. in the game threads? Basically zero. So not only is it annoying, it's totally pointless. Unless Hillary Clinton or George Bush are named the next commissioner of the NHL, their names shouldn't be making any appearances here. Pro or con. Trust me, we'll all be happier this way.

Trolling - It's a waste of everybody's time, and won't be tolerated. What constitutes trolling? If you have to ask, chances are you're probably already at least toeing the line, but head over here for an explanation. What to do when someone from another site inevitably rolls in and tries to bait you? Try letting it go. They want to get a rise out of you. If you don't give it to them, they'll go away. If they cross the line and break any of these guidelines, they'll be FORCED to go away. Let us know immediately if someone is blatantly trolling.

Posting links or otherwise directing readers to illicit online video feeds for games - When this happens, it's almost always someone from outside the community who joins specifically to post these links. This is blatantly illegal and puts our site at risk of shutdown. If you see anything like this, flag it and send an email to otfeditor@gmail.com. Such comments will be deleted, and users warned. Repeated offenders will be banned.

In general, everybody here gets it and follows the rules. But every once in a while, things get out of hand and we have to step in. A couple of people have been banned, and I can honestly tell you we agonized over the decision every time, even though the ban was totally deserved. This is your site too, and we hate, hate, hate the idea of kicking someone out. We think these guidelines are the best way to keep this an open, informative, and fun community, and we appreciate your support and contributions. As these guidelines are not up for debate, comments are closed. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to email us at otfeditor@gmail.com and we'll be happy to talk to you. Thanks again, and we look forward to another great season with all of you!