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Personal attacks, as it turns out, are not unlike pornography from an administrative point of view. Like the former Supreme Court Justice said, "I know it when I see it." HornFans reserves the right to interpret what constitutes a personal attack as we see fit, but here are some rules of thumb that should help guide you in this regard.
The Individual vs. Their Opinion
Anytime you attack an individual as opposed to disagreeing with their opinion, you are risking a personal attack. Some definite no-nos in this area:
There is a difference between "That is a stupid post" and "You are stupid". However, if you are properly debunking an argument, the former is implied and need not be stated explicitly. If you have to resort to attacking the individual, it is likely because you are unable to discredit their opinion otherwise.
- Addressing an individual by a profane name
- Addressing an individual by making a play on words on their username (especially profane)
- Using excessive profanity when responding directly
- Insulting a user directly
- Questioning the credibility of a poster (see You Are Not A Coach below)
- If the phrase ends with "you" or "off", it is probably bad
Here's a trick. Next time you are riled up and author a response, take two minutes to go back and edit out any word or phrase directed at another individual, and for grins, remove the profanity (even if it isn't specifically directed at them). Its likely that once you edit out these things, your post is much clearer and not against the guidelines. For example:
- Post A: How in the world can you talk shit when you have been beaten 3 straight times and the closest loss is by 2 Fuckin Touchdowns at YOUR field. You have been ass raped in Austin since 1994 and that streak will only continue. How about a 70-34-5 series record, captain dipshits. How about 6 of the last 8 since 95'. How about the only NC's you have is a 1939 NC in football and a girl's softball title. Look at that shit. Aggy you're a fuckin joke. Look at what you want to talk shit about. Texas has over 45 NC's. Shit, we have more in football then you do in your school HISTORY. Get the fuck off our board until you do something
- Post B: How in the world can you talk when you have been beaten 3 straight times and the closest loss is by 2 touchdowns at YOUR field? You have been killed in Austin since 1994 and that streak will only continue. How about a 70-34-5 series record? How about 6 of the last 8 since '95? How about the only NCs you have is a 1939 NC in football and a girl's softball title? Texas has over 45 NCs. We have more in football than you do in your school HISTORY.
Rather than coming across as a raving lunatic and likely breaking the guidelines, you assume the air of Longhorn arrogance for which we are known and loved.
Personal Attacks vs. Taking Something Personally
A user can express a negative opinion on a generalized group (e.g., Sooners, Democrats, West Side fans) without it being a personal attack. Just because you are a member of such a group, does not make it a personal attack unless you are addressed specifically. You can defend your group to a certain extent, but when it gets down to individual name-calling, it has devolved into personal attacks.
But He Started It
That is an argument indicating the maturity level of a five-year-old and the response is the same as what your kindergarten teacher said to you many years ago. I don't care. "He started it" is no excuse.
But He Deserved It
See But He Started It.
But It Was All In Good Fun
I don't care if you were just yanking your friend's chain. I don't know or care who is friends and who isn't. Just because you don't mind the personal attacks doesn't mean that other people aren't offended by them. Just because you can "take it" does not mean that it is appropriate for you to take it or give it. If it looks like a personal attack, it is a personal attack.
But Somebody Else Got Away With Worse
See But He Deserved It. If you see something against the guidelines, call it to our attention with the Notify Moderator button .
But They Broke The Guidelines
The appropriate action to take when you see a violation of the posting guidelines is to call it to the moderators' attention by clicking the Notify Moderator button at the bottom of the post. Do not assume that a moderator has seen it and do not take it upon yourself to say what is and is not appropriate.
Let The Moderators Do Their Job
It may take the moderators a little time to respond once you have used the Notify Moderator button. If no action is taken within an hour or so, you can call it to my attention via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You Are Not A Coach
You are not a coach, player, journalist, guru, etc. Neither are 99.99% of all posters on HornFans. That does not make their opinion any less valid. If a person's opinion/observation is flawed, address the flaw and state why it is flawed. Don't tear down the person because you can't tear down the argument.
I Am A Coach/Former Player/Journalist/Guru
Congratulations. Your insight will be appreciated. However, that does not grant you any greater license to violate these guidelines nor does it lend your opinions any greater credibility than is warranted.
I'm not trying to create a kinder, gentler HornFans where one must mind their manners at all times. This is supposed to be fun, however. So if it stops being fun, take a breath, calm down and regroup. Avoid posting while drunk and/or angry. This is almost always the root cause of personal attacks.
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