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Community Guidelines

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With the start of free agency, we have seen a pretty big spike in the number of new posters to the website.  With the draft right around the corner, I fully expect that number to grow.

I thought that this would be a good time to re-post the Community Guidelines that have been laid out here at DBN. 

I don't want this to sound like I am trying to come down on certain posters or newbies.  Here at DBN, we are always happy to have new, intelligent posters that bring new angles to discussions.  This is just a friendly reminder to everyone here on the website that we need to follow the rules and guidelines that makes this the best Browns website on the face of the planet (it's true, Joe Thomas told me that).

Again I will only highlight a few hot button issues, but I urge you to check out the entire list here.  If you ever need this link in the future it is in the top right box under the search bar.  There are some reminders and notes on there that even I forget at times.

A) Intelligent Discussions: If you visit the Cleveland.com discussion boards, how many posts do you find that are actually worth reading about the Browns? Not many. And, a significant amount of people who do talk about the Browns do so without much thought, posting comments such as "mangini sucks...can't we just ship rogers and take crabtree omg that would be amazing".

The thought itself is not stupid - the way that people go about conveying the thought is what can sound ignorant. A more appropriate way to post a take on the sentence above would be something like the following:

"Honestly, I think this offseason has been a train wreck so far. I know it's still early, but I'm very weary of some of the unusual decisions Mangini has made thus far, like his "issues" with Shaun Rogers and the releasing of a beloved player like Joe Jurevicius

Hopefully everything comes together around draft time - getting a player like Crabtree might be enough to offset the voids left by Jurevicius and Winslow."

I hope you see the difference. If not, it doesn't mean you need to leave DBN. Just enjoy reading the discussions and hold back posting yourself until you feel you're more comfortable conveying your thoughts better. Granted, you might feel hatred towards a coach or player, but it really annoys a lot of other people when statements are made without proper justification. In the end, everyone else might disagree with you, but that's fine as long as you backed up your argument in the first place.

B)  Using the Reply Button: This, above all else, can be one of the most frustrating things. Every time you respond with a general comment in a DBN post, FanPost, or FanShot, you can use the general reply box at the bottom of a page. This positions your comment to the far left of the page. However, if you want to address someone specifically, you must use the "reply" link underneath that person's post. This allows the discussion to flow smoothly. Consider the following situations:


Situation 1 (Incorrect Way):
-ChrisP: I think Braylon Edwards should just be dealt away.
-------rufio: Why would you think that? We wouldn't have any weapons on offense then.
---------------Brad: Right, unless you believe Paul Hubbard emerges out of no where.
-------Nick: I'm all for dealing Edwards - if we get a first round pick and future picks only, of course.
-ChrisP: Rufio, we could get Crabtree and just as easily replace him.

Whoa, where did that last post come from? Consider the following situation now:

Situation 1 (Correct Way):
-ChrisP: I think Braylon Edwards should just be dealt away.
-------rufio: Why would you think that? We wouldn't have any weapons on offense then.
---------------Brad: Right, unless you believe Paul Hubbard emerges out of no where.
---------------ChrisP: Rufio, we could get Crabtree and just as easily replace him.
-------Nick: I'm all for dealing Edwards - if we get a first round pick and future picks only, of course.

Now, as a reader, it's easy to understand exactly who and what I am responding to. Granted, it could have been comprehendible either way in short threads such as this one, but imagine the confusion that can be caused when 20 people respond with long opinions in each one. You would be breaking the discussion up in situation one, which only causes frustration.

C)  Posting Ethics: The following should go without saying. However, we do not condone racism, excessive foul language, or verbally attacking another user. If your post falls under these categories or something similar to them, if you really feel the need to have at it with somebody, contact them personally via email. Do not do it on DBN. This specifically includes political discussion as well!

D)  Attacking New Users: This one goes out to many of our veteran members, who have been doing this lately. If a new user posts something they shouldn't, or if they post something that seems unjustified (like they pulled it out of their...err..."hat"), that does not mean you need to respond with something overly sarcastic.

I would much rather you click the "actions > flag" button underneath a user's comment if you find it inappropriate. This will draw my attention to a specific post quicker than usual, and then I can handle it from there. Our goal is to mold new users into quality users, but that doesn't always happen over night. If you think a poster said something without explaining why they said it, don't say "go to Cleveland.com with that crap". Instead, I'd rather see "Can you explain why you said that? I can't take your statement seriously unless I hear a logical reason backing it up." Eventually, it should click in their mind that explaining their opinions or sources is necessary.

I like giving people the benefit of the doubt; new users typically are new to giving their thoughts on a public forum - patience is key. Sometimes, someone truly is out of line, and they will be warned and or banned at my discretion.

E)  Having Fun: Don't get the wrong idea - the most important thing, above all else, is to have fun at DBN. Don't hold back your opinions. Don't be afraid to challenge someone else's opinion. Free speech is not being violated or censored. Just make sure you're ready to justify your statements, and everything will be fine. Before you know it, you'll be a "respected" member trying to guide new members down the proper path as well.