Litter Box Cats is intended to feel primarily democratic, and most of the unwritten rules come by way of self-government by the community. These few official guidelines have been created and exist for a singular purpose: to help make LBC a place that is safe and enjoyable for everyone who participates. However, we'd also like to remind you that LBC is our home on the internet as well. Respect toward fellow members is the key to an enjoyable experience here and around the SB Nation family of sports communities.
Free Speech at Litter Box Cats
At Litter Box Cats, we believe strongly in free speech and in having a diversity of people participating, and sharing ideas that are relevant to the community. As an LBC member you are, in general, free to express your opinion without fear of retribution. The diversity of personalities, beliefs, and styles is exactly what will make LBC the strong and vibrant community it is. LBC is free and open to everyone.
Under normal circumstances posts and/or comments will not be deleted or censored in any way, shape or form unless it is a blatant violation of these guidelines. However, in such cases, Litter Box Cats reserves the right to delete posts without notice.
Since LBC is a community, you should know that free speech does not mean the right to say what you want, when you want, and how you want without being sensitive to, and respectful toward, individuals and the community as a whole. In a community, speech is not completely free as it comes with personal responsibility. Yes that really does still exist, and it expected of our members.
The following are not acceptable on LBC (excepting, in some cases, for obvious humor between people with an existing rapport) and are subject to sanction as outlined below:
- Excessive profanity is not permitted. As most of us are adults, and in sports profanity can be common, it is allowed in small doses. Just don't go over the top with a F-bomb-laden tirade. Use your head, and keep within the bounds of civility. You never know who may be reading.
- Creating multiple user names for the purpose of trolling or disrupting the community is absolutely not permitted. Persons creating such user names will have those names banned and/or deleted without notice. Similarly, posts made for such purposes will also be subject to deletion without notice.
- Posts created for the sole purpose of advertising or other commercial purposes will be deleted without notice.
- Personal attacks on community members, directly or through sarcasm/belittling, e.g., "You're an idiot", "You don't know what you’re talking about, moron", "Apparently, you've never seen a hockey game, or you'd know?", "My Chihuahua knows more about hockey than you do", etc. fall into this category and will not be tolerated.
- Comments that are intolerant or prejudiced (sexist, racist, homophobic, etc.) in nature, e.g., "Why don't you go play with your dolls?", "The Panthers shouldn’t sign black players", "Doesn't Weiss look like a fag?", "What do you think about Rocco Grimaldi being a Bible-thumper?", etc. Zero tolerance.
- Harassing/Baiting of users, e.g., "The Panthers will never win this game" posted 10 times in 3 minutes, etc.
- Comments that bring politics into LBC (which is a non-political blog), e.g., "Obama/Bush/Clinton ruined this country by", "Check out this link about the war in Iraq," etc. That said, you may occasionally see a political advertisement on LBC. Running such ads does not imply an endorsement of the candidate or views expressed in the ad, just as any such ad on a television station or network or in a newspaper does not imply endorsement by such an entity. Editorial and advertising at LBC are separate, and I do not have control over advertising.
- Inappropriate pictures. This is a safe-for-work site and any pictures posted should adhere to this policy. Also, please realize that large pictures significantly slow down loading of game threads, particularly for those browsing on mobile devices, so please scale them down when necessary.
- Linking to illegal content (including unauthorized game streams).
Consequences for Violating LItter Box Cats' Community Guidelines
Complaints about possible violations of the Community Guidelines should be directed to Donny Rivette, Managing Editor (email at bottom of every page), for review and consideration. Feel free to contact him at any time for any reason.
Litter Box Cats will aim to balance a high tolerance for the importance of free speech and low tolerance for minor or petty complaints, with enforcement of the stated guidelines on behalf of the entire LBC community. Here is the general procedure; there may be exceptions to this, at the discretion of the editorial staff:
- If you believe a violation has occurred you should flag the post, respectfully mention it in the thread, or email Donny, who will then contact the offending user privately, either by email or by issuing a formal (private) warning on the site. No other action will be taken.
- If a second violation is made by the same user, editors reserve the right to take more serious action, up to and including a temporary ban from the site.
- A third violation through this process means disciplinary action will definitely be taken, up to and including being permanently banned from LBC. Editors of all sites in the SB Nation network will be made aware of the action.
If it seems clear that your primary motive is disrupting and/or upsetting specific individuals or the community as a whole, then, as noted above, LBC reserves the right to ban you before going through this process. Again, site editors and management have easy access to a prior "record" elsewhere in the network.
Finally, please don't take any of these guidelines to mean that we are "clamping the hammer down" or any such notion. As stated above, LBC is intended to be a place for freewheeling exchange of ideas about the Panthers and hockey. Almost anything goes, if you are respectful of others.
Some notes regarding other fanbases
Everyone is welcome at Litter Box Cats. Even Habs fans. If you want to criticize Dale Tallon's front-office performance, Jose Theodore's goaltending or the team's latest ridiculous marketing scheme, please do. However, as mentioned above, we will not tolerate trolling of the Panthers fanbase with derogatory comments about the team's fans, the team's location or whether or not there should be hockey south of whatever arbitrary border you have personally chosen. Trust us, we've heard it all before and we're not impressed. We do, in fact, know what ice is for. We use it to keep our drinks cold while we're hanging out at the beach in December.
That said, we would be remiss in not expecting the same of Panthers fans. Respect is a two-way street. If you wouldn't want it said about you, don't say it about anyone else. As far as LBC is concerned, we're all fans of the greatest game on the planet and there's no reason we can't all get along. South Florida is largely a transient and immigrant community and many of us are not originally from the region. Truth is, like our friends in other parts of the world who are Panthers fans, that many Panthers fans were fans of another team first and adopted the Panthers after they moved to South Florida or for some other reason. You don't know unless you've been told where the guy next to you is from and you may have unwittingly insulted the person next to you in red when you said all Flyers fans are jerks or that everyone from Detroit is an idiot.
FanPosts and FanShots
The guidelines for posting a FanPost are:
- A FanPost must be at least 75 words long or it is considered to be unsubstantial and will not be accepted by the site.
- A FanPost must in some way belong on LBC -- in other words, it must relate to the Panthers or to hockey or to LBC or to an existing thread, etc.
- If you feel you must post something off topic, prelude your post title with "OT".
- It is not permitted to use FanPosts, FanShots, or comments for advertising. Anything posted in a FanPost, FanShot, or comments that contains commercial advertising is subject to deletion without notice.
- That said, advertising your own personal site in your signature is okay, in moderation. In fact, if you have a related site, it is encouraged, but please do not overwhelm a comment thread with half a dozen links to articles on your site unless absolutely relevant to the current discussion. It's just bad manners.
Tips on writing good posts:
Some of the qualities that the most popular FanPosts often have in common are:
- They expand upon the main idea with supporting examples, or statistical data, or a link to a relevant article, or a "thinking question" for others to consider, etc. -- something beyond just the main idea itself. Don’t just post a large quote from an article and say "What do you think?" Post your own opinion, too.
- They explore a topic, idea, or question that has not been explored recently, or at all, at LBC. Please check both the FanPost and FanShot recent post lists to see if your topic is already being discussed.
Keep in mind that if your post contains only one point or idea that is not developed, expanded on, or supported with arguments or data, it is really not a FanPost -- it is a comment that should be posted in an existing thread, or posted as a FanShot. For more information on how to construct your posts, please see this post containing some suggestions and ideas on FanPosts and FanShots.
Please note that while well-written opinion and analysis pieces can, have been and may be published on the front page, that front-page breaking news is handled by staff writers. By all means feel free to post breaking news, with links to sources, if it has not already been posted, but please understand that it won't make the front page.