Our little red-and-white corner of these here internets is growing a bit, and with that growth comes an acknowledgement that things might need a little structure, in order to grow the site in a way that works for the vast majority of people. So, we thought it would be time to lay out the heretofore-unwritten rules of participation and commenting on The Short Fuse.
I promise they won't be onerous, and in most cases they won't be any different from the way the site currently operates and self-polices. It seemed like it would be useful to have them all in one place, so when someone new comes along, we can point them rules-ward if they have questions.
So, with that said, let's dive in, shall we?
These are rules that are not up for discussion or debate, and if violated willingly more than a couple times will result in all manner of bad things happening.
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 really doesn't add anything substantive to a conversation.
The Cultural Stuff
These aren't so much "rules" as they are requests and guidelines.
1. Please use correct spelling, punctuation and grammar. Tying in to the no-chatspeak thing, 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; it's also possible to express that disagreement without needing to be an asshat about it. Don't be an asshat. 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. 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.
5. 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.
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.
So, them's the rules. Like I said, I don't think they're all that different from the way TSF works now, but getting them out in the world seemed like a good thing to do. Did we miss anything? Do these seem too draconian? Too lenient? As I mentioned above, TSF seems really good at self-policing, so I don't want these rules to sound like we're trying to force a different type of behavior - as long as y'all keep doing what you currently do, you'll probably never notice them.