On New Community Standards and Airs of Disappointment

Chris Brunskill

Once upon a time, the Liverpool Offside's community guidelines read "Don't be an asshole." And people were, by and large, not assholes. Then, since the people by and large found they were able to not be assholes, it was changed to read "Treat each other well." And the people did, by and large, treat each other well. For a time, at least.

However, of late there has been an unfortunate trend in the community that has seen some begin to argue for the sake of it; of those who ignore entreatment to reign themselves in; of some who look to point score and find loopholes such that they can be argumentative assholes whilst pretending they have the moral high ground.

This has led to the community on the Liverpool Offside taking on an at times unfortunately nasty streak, one that discourages new participants and makes those of us on the staff worry that the community we have worked hard to nurture over the years is, as it grows, morphing into something we do not wish it to be.

This is not acceptable to us, and after a number of cases of late that have seen the staff flat out ignored by arguing members—or worse, when requests for people to reign themselves in are taken as invitations to argue with the staff over juvenile points of order—we find ourselves in the position of feeling we have no choice but to begin cracking down far more forcefully than we previously have.

We have always prided the Liverpool Offside on being a place with a fun, engaging, and above all else intelligent community of like-minded fans in what at times seems a wasteland of bickering, name calling, and petty argument. Behaviour that goes against this ideal will henceforward be punished where in the past we have perhaps been too willing to let the community self-regulate.

Pointless aggression and argument; mindless insults; racist, homophoic, sexist, or otherwise insulting behaviour. All of these things go against our guiding principles, be it the principle of "Treat each other well" or "Don't be an asshole." And this behaviour will not be tolerated, no matter the tenure of the offender.

Further, though we welcome and encourage varying opinions and outlooks, the final arbiters are and will always be the staff. This is not an open forum, and this is not a democracy. This is our house. Every member had to sign a digital document to come through the front door, and though we never want to have to do it, we will remove those whose behaviour is counter to what we deem acceptable in our house.

So please, treat each other well. And don't be assholes.

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