CSR's Terms of Service: A refresher course

Now that it's officially draft season we feel it's time to give a quick refresher course of the rules of discourse here at Cat Scratch Reader since we're all going to engage in more debates over the next two months than we will during any other point in the off-season. Because people tend to get defensive about "their guy", it's a good idea to look at how we (the Editorial Staff) expect everyone to treat their fellow Panthers fans when debating the pros and cons of drafting players (or anything else for that matter).

Below you will find the CSR Terms of Service in its entirety:

Cat Scratch Reader is a blog focused on the Carolina Panthers of the NFL, and aims to provide a constructive, civilized and mature environment in which fans can discuss and debate the state of the team. By posting on the blog, you are agreeing to refrain from excessive profanity, and hate speech against all members. Persons who post derogatory comments solely to incite anger will be considered ‘trolls’ and will be banned, with or without prior warning. Attempts to circumvent this code of conduct with language or tone intent on creating discord i.e. excessive sarcasm, mocking other members etc. will be considered akin to ‘trolling’ and will result in a warning giving the poster an opportunity to address their tone prior to any permanent moderation.

This code of conduct will be enforced wholly at the discretion of the editorial staff. Any behavior that falls outside the scope of this code of conduct, but is deemed by the editorial staff to be against the spirit and mission of this blog will result in moderation.

There are a few things that need to be pointed out here. We will do that after the jump...

First, notice the following:

Cat Scratch Reader is a blog focused on the Carolina Panthers of the NFL, and aims to provide a constructive, civilized and mature environment in which fans can discuss and debate the state of the team.

Please take note of the words constructive, civilized, and mature. Those are important words. Those are the three things we expect everyone to be when interacting with others. Be constructive. Be civilized. Be mature. It's that simple.

Persons who post derogatory comments solely to incite anger will be considered ‘trolls’ and will be banned, with or without prior warning. Attempts to circumvent this code of conduct with language or tone intent on creating discord i.e. excessive sarcasm, mocking other members etc. will be considered akin to ‘trolling’ and will result in a warning giving the poster an opportunity to address their tone prior to any permanent moderation.

Notice the phrase "with or without prior warning". It doesn't have to be three strikes and you're out. Usually it is, but it doesn't have to be if your offense is great enough to warrant a ban. Please remember that.

And finally, the most important part of the TOS:

This code of conduct will be enforced wholly at the discretion of the editorial staff. Any behavior that falls outside the scope of this code of conduct, but is deemed by the editorial staff to be against the spirit and mission of this blog will result in moderation.

Essentially, we can do whatever we want in regard to moderating comments, warning/banning members, etc. With that being said, we don't abuse this power, but we do reserve our right to moderate this blog as we see fit.

One thing we do here at our discretion is if you are banned from the blog, you can't create an alter-ego to circumvent the ban. We will ban all alter-egos as well. We have the capability to track usernames to see if they're coming from the same person, and whenever we find out that a banned user has created an alter-ego, we ban the alter-ego without warning.

Commenting at CSR is a privilege, not a right, and you must agree to these terms before you're allowed to become a member of the community. Continued failure to follow the terms of service will result in a ban, unfortunately, but we do have to enforce the rules in order to keep this community among the best that SB Nation has to offer.

In closing, The basic rule to remember when commenting here at CSR is this: If you were standing face to face with the person you're debating/arguing with, would you say "Yeah, well you're a moron and your mother is a woman of ill repute!"? No, you probably wouldn't. Since you wouldn't say it face to face, then don't say it in a comment.* No one likes an internet bully. It only makes you seem sad and alone.

* - Note: This doesn't include cases where the two people have an established rapport with one another and the comment is clearly intended for comedic relief or is an obvious example of friendly ribbing.

Please know that this refresher isn't directed at any single individual, and it's not a response to any previous events that may or may not have happened on the boards. There have been times in the past where the TOS have been posted as a refresher course, and it is just time to do that again for everyone's benefit.

If we can all remember to follow this code of conduct, and treat each other with the respect we all deserve, then this place can be a great place to discuss ideas and draft prospects. And that, my friends, has been the goal of this place from the very beginning.

Let's all do our part in helping us reach that goal.

Author's note: I said this in a comment, but I feel that I need to say it in the body of this post in case it's missed:

After reading this, please know that I'm not trying to sound like an A-Hole.

But it’s the only way I can communicate the TOS effectively without it being a big joke.

I'm not trying to come across as a dictator with this stuff, but being direct about the TOS is the only way I can do it and still take it seriously, and I do feel that it does need to be taken seriously. So, please know that I'm not trying to sound domineering, I'm just trying to provide the information in a serious manner.

Anyway, as Wayne and Garth would say: Party on!

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