Important New Policy Regarding Humor and Breaking News articles
Humor articles are some of the finest pieces Bleacher Report has to offer. Since Dave Metrick’s famous stadium re-naming satire from the site’s earliest days, readers have been able to reliably visit the humor section of the site for high quality, laugh-out-loud original concepts that will have any legitimate sports fan in stitches.
That said, we’ve started to have some major problems recently with articles that purport to be breaking news but are actually satire. Or in some cases…purport to be satire but are in actuality mere unsubstantiated rumors.
This all came to a boiling point yesterday when this article, which claimed that a trade agreement between the Redskins and Broncos that would send Jay Cutler to Washington was near completion, was reported on by several media outlets and then addressed by Washington Redskins management.
The article was tagged on Bleacher Report with “Humor,” but for those who stumbled upon the piece via on outside source, it appeared to be the cold-hard truth.
We of course want nothing more than for Bleacher Report to attact mainstream media attention, but we strongly believe that this kind of attention is not in the best interest of our Community. As the web’s first Open Source Sports Network it is crucial that we are seen as a legitimate editorial publication and not as a site which starts rumors via unconfirmed sources.
We are taking the following measures to remedy this problem going forward:
1) All articles that are tagged with “humor” will be more prominently labeled as such in news feeds. This is the most effective way to alert readers to the fact that a piece of content they have opened up does not contain actual news.
2) When a writer tags their article with “breaking news,” they may be asked to confirm their sources with our editorial staff. Authors that cannot provide legitimate sources will have their articles deleted. Please note that Bleacher Report will not publicly disclose your sources.
3) Any article tagged with “humor” that contains no satire whatsoever shall be deleted. We simply don’t feel these pieces add anything to the Community given that they are both not funny and untrue. It has never been a part of Bleacher Report’s mission to confuse sports readers.
4) We will create a “rumors” section where writers can speculate on upcoming events. To clarify, rumor pieces that mask themselves as breaking news will still be deleted.
We are confident that these new policies will put our Community in a much better position to continuing establishing itself as one of the premiere sources for sports knowlegde and insight, while also allowing our many talented humor writers to continue working their magic.
If you have any questions about these new policies, please email me directly (zander at bleacherreport.com). Thanks as always for understanding guys.