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Feb 10 / King Kaufman

Important changes to Content Standards on profanity, gambling, attribution

We regularly review our Content Standards and related policies at Bleacher Report, making updates when appropriate. When we do make material changes, we believe it’s important to communicate those updates to all contributors.

The following notes from the Content Standards team reflect three noteworthy changes to previous policies. Please review them carefully.


Profanity is only permitted on Bleacher Report when it: (a) comes in the form of quoted material from an outside source, (b) is germane to the story, and (c) is censored by replacing all but the first and last letters of the offending word with hyphens.

ExampleSpeaking to the media after the fight, Dana White referred to Bjorn Rebney as “a typical boxing piece of s–t.”

Writers may not use profanity in their own original writing, whether it is censored or not.

Please refer to our full policy on Offensive Content, outlined here.

Gambling Content

References to betting information (such as odds and over/under lines) should be accompanied by links and citations to betting information sites that do not actively accept bets. Writers may not link to or cite sportsbooks that actively accept bets.

ExampleAccording to Odds Shark, Denver opened as a nine-point favorite over San Diego.

Acceptable sources (betting information sites) include Odds Shark, Vegas Insider, Oddschecker, SBR Forum, Covers, etc.

Unacceptable sources (sportsbooks) include Bovada, bet365, 5Dimes,, Ladbrokes, William Hill, etc.

References to specific sportsbooks are only permitted when comparing odds from multiple sources, and must be accompanied by a link and citation to the betting information site where the odds were obtained.

ExampleAccording to Oddschecker, both bet365 and StanJames give Arsenal 21-20 odds for their match against Manchester United.

Attribution for Non-Proprietary Quotations

All quotations that are not proprietary to one first-hand media source—such as quotes from press conferences where multiple media sources are present and have access to the same quotes—must be: (a) cited using the context in which the quotes were made (“in a press conference,” “told reporters,” etc.), and (b) hyperlinked to a media source that was present when the quote was obtained.  If you obtained the quote directly (either in person or with televised/radio access to live quotes), you should indicate the means by which you obtained it (no link is required in these cases).

Example (Indirect, Non-Proprietary Quotes)

Incorrect: After the game, Richard Sherman said, “I know some ‘thugs,’ and they know I’m the furthest thing from a thug.”

Correct (Garnering indirect, non-proprietary quotes from the Internet): In a press conference, Richard Sherman said, “I know some ‘thugs,’ and they know I’m the furthest thing from a thug.”

Correct (Garnering direct, non-proprietary quotes from live TV/radio/etc.): In a postgame press conference televised on ESPN, Richard Sherman said, “I know some ‘thugs,’ and they know I’m the furthest thing from a thug.”

Primary vs. Secondary Sources

Always cite the primary source where information was originally published. While you might have obtained the same information somewhere else—from a secondary, tertiary or even further removed source—those sources should not receive credit for having originally reported the news.

Instead, it’s good practice to give a “hat tip” to those secondary-plus sources while making it clear to the reader who reported it first. That way you give credit to the person(s) who helped you to find the story, while also giving credit to the person who got it first-hand.

Correct secondary source attribution: ”According to Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times (h/t Jeff Todd of MLB Trade Rumors), Carlos Pena signed a minor league deal with the Angels.”

Incorrect secondary source attribution: ”According to Jeff Todd of MLB Trade Rumors, Carlos Pena signed a minor league deal with the Angels.”