Testudo Times Rules of Engagement

Our history is somewhat of a hands-off site as far as moderation goes, and we won't become hard-asses about posting content overnight. But we do have some guidelines we ask all posters to follow, in an effort to keep the site as usable, pleasant, and useful as possible to as many people as possible.

- No politics, race, religion, and so on. It's a sports blog. This should go without saying, but reiteration is always good.
- Similarly, no personal attacks. This is open to interpretation and some degree of leeway, depending on the situation, tone, and relationship between the commenters. But as a general rule, going toward name-calling, belittling, mean-spirited sarcasm, and the like is a no-no. Please keep things as respectful as possible.
- No baiting or trolling. We reserve the right to ultimately determine what falls under this category, but it would certainly include constant and consistent criticism of a team/player/coach with no constructive element (think: firegary) as well as consistently picking fights with other commenters. It would also include posting the same (or similar) thing over and over again in the same thread; there's no need to gratuitously shout your opinion.
- A note on grammar and layout: we aren't grammar Nazis and won't delete posts (or even FanPosts) based on it. But it's much easier for other commenters to read and understand your posts if they're formatted correctly and use generally accepted and understandable grammar. It's not very hard to do and is a nice gesture to others. Oh, and please: no all caps. Please.
- If you post a picture, please include something in the subject field of the comment, so the comment can be minimized if need be. If not, it'll be fair game for moderation.
- Keep each thread as on-topic as possible. Again, pretty basic stuff. We won't delete every post that strays a hair from the topic, but something with absolutely no bearing to the post whatsoever is fair game.
- Excessive criticism/namecalling of players is off-limits. Remember: these are college kids, and their friends and family often read the site (and sometimes the players themselves). If they were pros we'd be more lenient, but they're not so we won't. Saying a player isn't good enough (or saying they're not good at all, full stop) is fine. Criticizing a player is fine. Saying a player is a talentless s***head ... isn't. Or anything that we deem comes too close to that line. Seriously, just use some discretion here. If you couldn't say it to another poster, don't say it about the player.
- The same applies to your humble bloggers and moderators. Disagreement with us is fine - encouraged, actually - but when you disagree, do it respectfully and craft an argument in response. Again, if you couldn't say it to another poster, don't say it to us.

Open/General Interest/Breaking News Threads

Think of these as a hangout of sorts. They're a place to go to discuss almost anything, whether you have a quick question about recruiting, saw an interesting article you think people may want to know about, or even want to go off-topic and discuss the EPL, music, or the strangely-underrated Funyuns. They can also be used as a place to instantly discuss breaking news, without needing to create a FanPost specifically for the topic. The moderation rules still apply, but in line with the spirit of the thread, can be a bit relaxed with some discretion. Certain massive events - like Maryland Madness, a recruit announcing his decision (ala Stefonukah), or a coaching search - may have their own open threads, with varying lifespans, and comments specific to that should go in that specific open thread, and not the general one.

FanPosts

FanPosts have been the lifeblood of the site's community, and we're looking to keep them just as important. The goal with FanPosts is to provide interesting, high-quality posts, hopefully that either kickstart compelling discussion or provide an interesting insight. With that come a few guidelines:

- No filler. That is, no "Terps Terps Terps" to fill out a post at the end to hit the word count. If you can't squeeze enough out of it to make a FanPost, then maybe it should be placed elsewhere.
- Posts should include either an interesting discussion point raised (not merely breaking news) or some thoughtful and/or relatively unique analysis. If a post doesn't, it would probably be better served as a FanShot or in the open thread.
- Recent/breaking news FanPosts are fine, but make sure they qualify based on the two rules above. If you have some interesting, insightful, or different thoughts on some news that you haven't seen and want to share it, that's certainly FanPost material (assuming it meets the word count). But "link + filler" posts would be better elsewhere.
- Another word on layout and grammar: again, we won't delete anything on grammar, and a few typos don't reflect poorly on a FanPost either. But remember that FanPosts are meant to be a high-quality section of the site, and in a perfect world the layout and grammar would be as attractive as the content. Don't fret over it by any means, but if a borderline FanPost is in all caps and has no paragraph breaks, we might be more inclined to pull the trigger.

So, things that probably aren't FanPost material would include quick, fact-answerable questions (ie, how many available scholarships are there?) and a breaking news post that only serves as a place to discuss the news itself. That's what the open thread is for, after all.

FanShots

And here come FanShots to finish out the triumvirate. FanShots are a great way to share a video, a picture, a quote, an article, or any other piece of media you think people may want to see. Things posted in the FanShots may be similar to things posted in the open threads. The difference is small, but which you post in is up more to you and the content than anything else. Open threads will facilitate more discussion on the topic; FanShots may be seen by more people. If your'e looking to talk about something, open threads are probably the way to go; if you want something to be seen by the most people possible, FanShots are probably preferable.

GameThreads

Probably the most fun part of the site, GameThreads are awesome and we're looking to keep them that way. Normal moderation rules are relaxed (not suspended), though unfortunately links to illegal streams are verboten. Other than that, enjoy.

And with that, you know all the rules. Have fun, be safe, and go Terps.

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