We've updated the Guidelines a bit from the Mk I version of earlier this year in order to respond to some new wrinkles the world is throwing at everyone. Please read these, and if there are any questions, don't hesitate to ask. We're all going to pull together and work on making this the best community possible. Thank you!
These are rules that are not up for discussion or debate. Should you violate them willingly, you will be warned or banned.
1. No political discussion. There are many, many places to discuss politics on the internet - if that is what you want to do, please go find one. Passing references are OK, but axe-grinding and intentional bringing up of politics for the sake of it is not.
2. No religious discussion. Same explanation as #1.
3. No racism, sexism, homophobia, etc. This doesn't/shouldn't really need to be said, but if you feel the need to be a racist sexist homophobe, please do not do it here.
These rules are less iron-clad, and more "if you do it you will be asked nicely not to do it again".
1. No linking to illegal streams in match threads or elsewhere. Whether you agree with the law or not, it is illegal to stream and to consume streamed media, and SBN rules forbid linking to streams. So don't do it.
2. Please limit the use of chatspeak. The occasional use is fine, but please do not use chatspeak as a conversational style on TSF - it's jarring to read and an endless stream of "LOL" and "+1" in response to a good/funny comment, and they don't add much of anything substantive to a conversation. (There is also the "rec" button on comments, which is like a +1 that also makes things pretty colors! Use that!)
3. ** NEW ** No relentless negativity. Relentless negativity is a form of trolling, even if it's not intentional. Posting about how Arsenal sucks or Wenger sucks or the board sucks or Stan Kroenke sucks or how everything's going wrong contintually, particularly without proposing solutions, is just as bad as outright trolling. There's a difference between someone who aims to point out flaws and be constructive and someone who is destructive; it's often one of tone. [EDIT: Match threads will often get testy, which is understandable, but if you're relentless, or still being endlessly negative a day later, that's not going to work.]
This site is supposed to be fun. Being relentlessly negative is the exact opposite. Please, please do not do this. If you do, congratulations
The Cultural Stuff
These aren't so much "rules" as they are guidelines.
1. Please use correct spelling, punctuation and grammar. Tying in to the rule above, comments are much easier to read when they are properly spelled, punctuated, capitalized, and, uh, grammared. We will not be hyper-pedantic about this - you won't be corrected every time you misspell a word or split an infinitive, but please put in the effort.
2. Please be civil. Also known as the 'don't be a douche' rule, this is probably my most favorite rule ever. It is entirely possible to disagree with someone's position without resorting to name-calling or ad hominem attacks. The corollary to this is....
3. Don't take things personally. Tone is extremely hard to discern in a text-based medium. If someone says something that rubs you the wrong way, try to understand the context and the tone of the comment before launching into a counterattack on a person that said something you perceive as an attack. Chances are it's not, most of the time, and if it is the mod(s) will deal with the attacker as they see fit.
4. **NEW** If you make a claim, be ready to back it up with evidence. Arsenal, being perpetually in crisis, are a club that provoke a lot of emotion. That being said, if you make a wild claim, particularly one that simply parrots media talking points, members may challenge your assertion and ask about the basis of your claim. Do not be alarmed or get angry if this happens; just go find the best evidence you can to keep the conversation going. Both sides SHALL keep the exchange civil. This ties in with "no relentless negativity" above.
5. Please use a subject line in all comments. This serves three purposes: it makes comments easier to read, it allows for images to be collapsed (helpful for those of us reading at work), and it makes for easier administration of comments by the admin.
Please limit the size of images in comments.
Not sure how to do this? Here you go!
Just to the right of the of the link button is the image button, which automatically wraps the HTML around your image URL. I think we all have a pretty good grasp of how to post images, but there are a couple things we would like you to be aware of. Please keep images to a height of 300 pixels at the absolute maximum. If you really need to post a bigger one ("need" being the operative term there), post the shrunk down version and have it link to the full-sized one. Here's how you shrink a picture down. When you first click okay on the picture button, you'll see it enter this: Change it to this: 300 pixels should be plenty big enough to get your point across. You can also restrict the width instead by replacing "height" with "width", or you can use both to resize the dimensions of the picture to your discretion. After resizing it to an appropriate level comes the second important part to posting images.
[EDIT: Turns out SBN 3.0 seems to automatically resize images in the comments. That being said, please remember to use a subject line on them, and do NOT forget to]:
2. PREVIEW YOUR POST. Whenever you use an image, preview it. Doing this makes sure you didn't muck up the HTML, it makes sure your image can be hotlinked (if you are hotlinking) and it forces you to take an extra two seconds to make sure you have everything as you want it to be.
Those are the rules. Again, if something is not clear, please do not hesitate to ask either here in the comments or at the emails available on the masthead.