A Few More Words about Discipline

Bruce Maddox - Orlando Pinstriped Post

Far too much time has passed since I last addressed the discipline situation on this site, which is something I'd like to handle now.

The problem sort of came to a head yesterday in the comments section in a post I wrote about Brandon Bass. Now, I should have known better than to write anything about the Orlando Magic's incumbent backup power forward, because whenever I mention him, things tend to get hairy. And I'd like to offer a mea culpa now for taking the wrong angle with that particular Bass story: it needlessly focused on the negative--that his two-point jump-shooting might not sustain--when instead I should have based the story on Bass' remarkable efficiency without the benefit of a three-point shot.

But the most recent Bass post only highlighted a larger problem with the way I've moderated this community for the past several months. I've let far too much unpleasant, argumentative behavior slide so long as none of the comment combatants, so to speak, use profanity. As a result, the comments sections here lately often devolved into a sort of angry back-and-forth.

That's going to stop now.

Frankly, I've worked too long and too hard on this site to see valuable members of the community just quit, which the recent tone in the comments section prompted some notable, longtime contributors to do. And, as one helpful colleague pointed out to me, this is the Internet. No one really has a right to post here, and I, as the administrator, have the responsibility to get rid of people who are making this place less fun for everyone else. There are other forums for discussing Magic basketball around, after all, and if I boot someone here, they can latch on elsewhere. I've already dropped the banhammer on one prominent, outspoken member of this community whose absence, I'm sorry to say, will help this site in the long run.

Essentially, what I'm saying is I intend to be more assertive and proactive in the way I moderate this community. My hope is that the improved level of discourse here will foster a self-policing environment, wherein community members feel comfortable calling out anyone who's ruffling feathers.

Life's too short to waste fighting about backup power forwards, or anything having to do with basketball, really. Most of the commenters here, save for the occasional drive-by, bleed Magic black and blue. It's OK to have a difference of opinion, and I don't intend to turn this site into a police state where I just ban everyone who disagrees with me. But please, everyone, let's get some perspective here. We're all on the same side.

If you've participated in this community before, but have quit due to some no-goodniks harshing your buzz in the comments sections, I hope you'll reconsider joining us again.

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