Hey y’all, it’s Max.
As a lot of you know, I (along with Ben) was tasked with taking over this site a few months ago following the departure of the old crew to newer pastures. Since Ben and I took over and brought a bunch of new writers on board, we’ve seen a lot of great interaction in this community - we’ve been reached out to by people letting us know that the comment sections are in a better place than they once were, while I’m sure that some of you prefer how things were under the old regime, and I’m not going to blame you for that.
However, this post isn’t about the positive interactions in our comments threads. I’m here to address a thread from this weekend where Ben and I failed to take timely action on a dialogue that quickly got out of hand, only creating a bigger problem.
After the Hawks defeated Purdue on Saturday, I wrote a quick recap of the game. For the remainder of that day, it was pretty calm as far as BHGP comment threads go. Then sometime over night, things took a turn for the worst. Unfortunately, Ben was in the middle of road trip and didn’t have access to his phone and I was in the middle of a long work day, so we were unable to stop things from getting out of hand. But to give you an idea of how bad things got, here are a few partial responses to the madness that was.
More importantly to the moderators, this should not be tolerated. Like I said, if we want to completely turn this community into what the rest of the internet has to deal with then by all means allow it to continue. If you want to maintain our little corner of sanity here then please deal with this.
Agree. Drop the ban hammer or tell Homie to chill on personal attacks. I’ll boycott this site as well as many others if posters like this around to have free reign. Enough is enough! Fix this problem or lose your community(the majority can be civil and agree to disagree) to the ones like Arms: ✌ ️ Or I assume many will leave because. Protect BHGP from this type of ‘conversation’ about a game played by kids that we all share common love and pride.
To all the loyal readers and members of the BHGP commentariat who have been active here long before us (and of course, to those who have come along for the ride even more recently), Ben and I would like to extend our sincerest apologies. We strive to be better than to allow things like this to happen, and for the majority of our first few months here at The Pants, we believe we’ve done a pretty good job at quelling those who wish to start fights in our comments sections. We’ve let some things go, such as minor attacks towards us, because we can handle that sort of thing and we expected to receive some pushback when we took over a blog that had been run by a beloved regime for nine years. But what we’ve always tried to do is make sure that the threads can be a place where you, the audience, can come and exchange opinions and ideas freely amongst other Hawkeye fans. On this particular day, we failed at preserving that aspect of the comment sections. We are truly apologetic.
In order to rectify the situation, we deleted all of the problematic comments and issued warnings to all those that partook in the unflattering behavior during that thread. Those involved in this behavior received messages along with their warnings, explaining the reasoning behind the warning and how many legs they have left to stand on. Some are not in danger of being banned right now, but were told to be more careful in the future. A couple are on their last legs, and will not be welcome back if they slip up again.
Moving forward... Community Guidelines
I, personally, feel like this is a great time for us to revisit the community guidelines at SB Nation and to remind you all that there are rules in place in order to provide the best experience possible for all of you. Please, if you haven’t done so in a while (or if you haven’t ever done so), take a few minutes as a refresher for is what is expected of those who wish to take part in community discussions. It’s not long (there are only a handful of rules laid out), so it really won’t take you more than three or four minutes.
Remember that commenting is a PRIVILEGE, not a right. You are allowed to participate in thread discussions as long as you follow these guidelines. If you break these rules? You’re less likely to be allowed to keep that right in the future. We love your feedback and your comments, as we’re all Hawkeye fans and love discussing Iowa sports, but please keep things cordial.
As I stated above, Ben and I are normally pretty good at moderating your comments, and you’ve probably noticed that we like to stay fairly active in the threads as a way to get to know you all as a community, as well as moderate. When people see that we’re active, they seem to generally stand down when they become disagreeable.
Sunday was a rare circumstance that neither of us were able to hold down the fort. A lot of you flagged comments and told off those that were breaking community guidelines. That’s awesome. Keep trying to uphold the high community standards of this blog.
That all being said, Ben and I are open to bringing on one of you wonderful commenters in a moderator position. This would give you more power in helping maintain our threads if you are one of those who truly values the community we have here at Black Heart Gold Pants. If you think you’d be interested in such a position, always feel free to contact us. You can find us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can always just comment. We’re not hard to find.
Thank you all for your understanding, and we’re going to always strive to be better managers of this blog that we all love so much. Any criticism or feedback is always welcome, as long as it’s constructive.
Thanks, and go Hawks,
-Max & Ben.