Play Nice, Chuckleheads

To keep the comments as fresh and outstanding as they've been up to this point, we've commissioned Commenting Guru Rob Iracane to write a bi-weekly Comment Ombudsman column. It runs every other week. This is that week.

Mr. Iracane is the guy who approves and deletes comments around here, and the fellow to whom you should address any comment account requests, and he will explore issues involved in commenting, what makes a great comment thread, what's working, what isn't, answer your questions, so on. We want the place to continue to be as much fun as it is every day, and it's not an execution thread like our friends at Gawker do. We like to be inclusive here, because if we're not, we'd be forced to rely on our own wit and knowledge, and that's a scary thought indeed.

So here's this week's column, about what it takes to be banned ... after the jump. Of course, don't be afraid to let him have it in the comments.

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There has been a great deal of wringing of hands and gnashing of teeth lately about getting oneself banned from Deadspin. We don't have regular executions redundancies at Deadspin but yes, I am forced to ban commenters every now and then. Please allow your friendly neighborhood Combudsman to allay your fears, however, because I only pull the trigger when completely necessary.

First, not everyone who has the words "banned since" in their profiles has been banned for being naughty. When a non-member auditions to become a commenter on Deadspin, their pending comments go into a hopper. If I give it the thumbs-up, this person becomes a full-fledged commenter. If I give it the thumbs-down, this person's account is de-activated and "banned since" will appear in their profile. (Has this happened to you? Don't bitch to me — just create a new account and be more funny.)

What won't get you executed? I'm not going to ban you if you violate any of the minor rules I have set down over the past few months. I'm not going to ban you if you dislike my favorite team. I'm not going to ban you if you make typos. I'm not going to ban you if you double post. I'm not going to ban you if say ridiculous things like "Oh, don't ban me Combudsman!" We're quite accommodating at Deadspin for existing commenters. Once you get through the front door, it's very difficult to have your ass kicked out the back door.

Which leads me to the single reason that so few of our comrades have fallen off the ox-cart: Being a dick to other commenters. That's right, when you stop playing nice with us, you're gone. Just ask Concrete Brad, killed off after his comments on the Skip Prosser post

Shoulda been you, Coach K.
Oooooh, sorry, girls. Let me know next time you're gonna have a vigil and I'll bring the candles. Seriously, get over yourselves.

It wasn't the morbidly funny Coach K comment that got him banned, but rather his asshole response to criticism.

Basically, you can be as much of a horse's ass as you want to public figures, or to generalized groups such as "Red Sox fans" or "furries," but once you attack an individual Red Sox fan commenter, you're gone. It's the number one rule, and it even extends to Deadspin Up! All Night: don't be a dick.

The six commenters below, however, are absolute shining beacons of kindness. They made the Comments of the Fortnight:

Re: Rats at Angel Stadium
Ickenham: I thought they got rid of David Eckstein.

Re: Shark fin soup at Yao's wedding
Weed Against Speed: What they didn't tell you is they both clubbed baby seals to death as a testament of their love for one another.

Re: eBay's grab for Barry Bonds' record-breaking souvenir
Burnsy: The doctor didn't fetch anything for John Kruk's ball.

Re: Scoop Jackson and NOIS meet
Jen P: "AS A WRITER" this makes my brain hurt.

Re: The Jaguars' season preview
Wilf: And the only news I want to hear out of the Jags organization is that they cut Ernest Willford so that Greg Easterbrook's kid will erupt in tears and shrieking.

Re: Dan Patrick's intraoffice profile
GorgeForeman: Orestes Destrade loves the espn mole.