Content Standards: Community content
This is the eighth of a 10-part series explaining Bleacher Report’s Content Standards policies in depth.
B/R has places for its writers to talk about Bleacher Report publicly (the Community Forum) or privately (via email@example.com) while abiding by a certain set of rules (the Community Guidelines).
Talking about B/R in an article submission shifts the discourse away from where it belongs. Some categories of community-based content are below.
Even though we’re flattered by any compliments B/R gets from its writers, we need to keep policies consistent and refrain from using B/R submissions as a platform for meta-discussion.
Before I get into my article, I just want to say thank you to all the readers who got me to 100,000 reads. It’s truly been an honor to write about the New York Knicks over the past year and I can’t wait to submit more articles on Bleacher Report in the future as a Featured Columnist.
Complaints about an assignment or Bleacher Report policy don’t belong in B/R submissions.
1. I don’t really think the White Sox are going to miss the playoffs, but I was assigned the article and have to make the case anyway. Here it goes.
2. Of course, every single article on the Jets page is about Tim Tebow and whether he’ll be the starting quarterback next season. Let me offer some diversity with this article.
3. I can’t believe Joe Smith was suspended from Bleacher Report. What an absolute joke.
These are inappropriate. Bleacher Report has staff members dedicated to addressing such concerns, so there’s no need to air them in your submissions. For the first example, reach out to your assigning editor. For the second and third, try firstname.lastname@example.org or the Community Forum.
Defending or Downplaying One’s Own Work
Writers sometimes get defensive about how their work is received. At other times, writers preemptively try to downplay their own work. Avoid any of that talk, as it lessens your credibility.
1. Last week I wrote that Eli Manning was the best clutch quarterback in the NFL. Judging by the comments, some of the least intelligent sports fans in America all combined to read my article that day.
2. I came down with the flu yesterday on top of working a 10-hour day at my job. I decided to write my Mets game recap anyway, though the team’s loss against the Yankees just made me feel worse. So, this article is pretty terrible by my own standards. Anyway …
Defending Bleacher Report
Writers may be tempted to try to defend Bleacher Report from an Internet critic, or to shoot the breeze about B/R in general.
John Doe’s article on ESPN.com yesterday questioning Bleacher Report was uncalled-for and unfounded. Here is why.
Much like the compliments section, while we appreciate the sentiment here, B/R is a place for strict sports discussion, not meta-discussion.
Suggestions for Bleacher Report
B/R is always looking for ways to innovate and grow, and welcomes your suggestions when made through the right channels. Post suggestions in the Community Forum or send an email to email@example.com.
Writing about your suggestion in a B/R submission, even if tangentially related to your topic, is not permitted.
Given the success of the B/R NFL 1000, Bleacher Report needs to have rankings for every sport. I just emailed Bleacher Report and am waiting to hear back, but until then, here is a list of the top 10 defensive forwards in the NHL.
Exception: Responding to an Article
You may be asking yourself whether it’s permissible to publish an article written in response to another B/R submission. The answer is yes, but you must stick to the facts and not go overboard regarding your personal feelings about the submission.
This Is OK:
Joe Smith came up with four interesting reasons yesterday why he thinks the Cubs will win the NL Central, but that just isn’t going to happen. Here are four (better) reasons you can expect to see the Cardinals atop the division on the final day of the season.
The writer names the subject of the article, says he disagrees and goes into his point.
This Is Not:
Joe Smith wrote the most asinine, putrid, piece-of-garbage article I have ever laid eyes on. Who in their right mind thinks the Cubs will win the division until the end of time? Here’s why his argument is moronic.
Responding to another B/R article in such a negative light is disrespectful toward the article’s author and makes you look unprofessional.
If you want to talk about anything related to B/R, direct your opinions to the forum or B/R staff emails.
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Paul Kasabian is Bleacher Report’s Content Moderation Coordinator. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.