My April 6th poll regarding the MLBTR comment section received over 5,800 responses, and the post had over 650 comments. The MLBTR readership is passionate about how we handle commenting on sensitive topics like domestic violence, COVID-19, and politics. The poll results:
- 67.1% would like comments to remain closed on posts related to domestic violence
- 63.8% would like comments to remain closed on posts related to COVID-19
- 56.6% would like comments to remain closed on posts related to politics, such as MLB’s decision to move the All-Star Game out of Georgia
- 74.4% would like MLBTR to continue attempting to remove comments that are unrelated to the topic of the post
- 73.0% would use a button that allows you to mute specific commenters
I gave this data a lot of thought, and I also gave consideration to the individual comments left on the post. I’ve gotten emails from people saying that they’re done with MLBTR because we have been closing comments on sensitive topics. I’ve also gotten emails from people saying they will stop visiting MLBTR if we open comments on sensitive topics. I hope people don’t leave. We’re doing the best we can. It’s clear there’s not a solution that will make everyone happy.
After much deliberation, here is what I’ve decided to do. These new policies are subject to change.
- We are going to create a mute button. You will be able to easily mute all comments from a specific user, which will include the entirety of a thread started by that person.
- We are going to continue closing comments on domestic violence posts. I’m glad two-thirds of respondents agree with that choice. There isn’t really a baseball discussion I want to host on those posts.
- We are going to open comments on COVID-19 posts. We started closing these over a year ago, when there was a lot unknown about COVID. At this point, I hope it’s possible to discuss the implications of baseball COVID cases on rosters without debating the disease itself. I don’t see why a baseball website should host political opinions or arguments on COVID. This will be a test to see whether those comment sections can be apolitical.
- We are going to open comments in cases where baseball and politics intersect, such as MLB’s decision to move the All-Star Game out of Georgia. This was a difficult decision. My feeling is that each individual already has the ability to “close” comments on a given post, by not clicking to reveal its comments. I lean toward putting the power in the hands of readers: if you feel that the comments on certain posts or topics are not worth reading, you should not read them. And if you do decide to wade into a sensitive topic, that is at your own risk, and you’ll have the ability to mute people you feel are not adding value. You’ll also have the “flag” button for comments that violate our policy, which will be added to the Trade Rumors iOS app soon.
- With the above point in mind, I am going to make a few changes to ensure that viewing the comments is an intentional experience. On desktop web as well as the iOS app, rather than have the comments show automatically below the post, we are going to put in a View Comments button, similar to what we’ve long had on mobile web. You will have to purposely click View Comments to see them.
As a reminder, our commenting policy still requires that you avoid the following:
- Attacks, insults, or trolling toward other commenters, the MLBTR staff, journalists, team personnel, players, or agents
- Otherwise harassing other commenters in any way
- Commentary that is unrelated to the subject matter of the post. Take special note of this one. 74% of respondents don’t want off-topic comments, and once comments are open on COVID-19 and political posts, there will be little excuse for that. A post about a Braves IL move is not an opening to discuss the All-Star Game decision; there will be a contained post for that.
- Inappropriate language
- Inappropriate avatars or images
- Spam links or self-promotion
- Personal contact information in the comments section
Specifically when it comes to attacks, insults, trolling, and harassment, doing this will still get you banned. It is also important to note that we don’t try to assess who “started it,” and someone else getting away with a violation doesn’t justify yours. We catch as much as we can. If someone trolls or insults you, we ask that you flag their comment and resist the temptation to respond in kind. Once the mute button is available, we will ask that you flag their comment and then mute them.
As I mentioned, this is subject to change. If we find that commenting policy violations increase drastically and/or require a greatly increased amount of moderation time from our staff, we may choose to close comments to better focus on the core aspects of running MLB Trade Rumors.
These policy changes will go into effect when our mute button is rolled out on the website, likely by the end of April. Until then, this policy remains in place. The mute option will not initially be available in the Trade Rumors app, but we’ll get to work on that. Once that’s done I intend to turn our focus to other ways we can improve MLBTR, and I’ll be surveying readers on that topic.
good choices. didnt vote in the manner that was decided but the rationale is sound.
Luc (Soto 3rd best in the game)
Same. I just always wondered why people would get mad at the MLBTR for closing comments on politics. It’s a baseball site and if they don’t want politics that’s fine. Tim did a good job addressing the situation.
yeah I’d have still shied away, but the ASG thing made it a little difficult. i was always of the mindset on it of “it is what it is,” but it still tests the politics/baseball boundary quite a bit.
That’s what bugged me. It was the meshing of politics and baseball. I’m sure I’m like most, I just want to enjoy the game, relax and escape “the real world” and a chance to root for my team. I don’t want to politics getting mixed in, regardless of who or what side or whether or not I agree. It doesn’t matter, I just don’t want it a part of the game.
Whether its playing the national anthem before games or Jackie Robinson, baseball is always going to be political regardless.
I agree. Especially with Manfred being all high and mighty, yet there he is, enjoying himself at the Masters —- in Georgia. Hypocrit.
Yes. Precisely. I think about baseball to NOT think about things that really matter (it’s a children’s game, as much as I hate the Yankees, they aren’t consequential in the real world). I hate that the separation between baseball (and other sports) and politics keeps eroding. I want to hear about the hot young prospect, the crazy old guy who still performs against all odds, the 32-year-old breakout story, not what the talking heads are focused on. I have CNN anytime I want that.
Perhaps. However, rejoicing in pride for the country we live in and our way of life and celebrating the breaking of color barrier should be both be things we can celebrate and be thankful.. At least I would think so.
It’s not the Executive Committee of the sport making a decision based on something that happened in the political area of one state.
MLB made it part of the game. Manfred is the worst commissioner BY FAR the sport has ever known
Politics is just the organization of people. Baseball IS politics. If you’re lucky enough to be fully satisfied with how the rules organize people, you should consider why other people feel so strongly about it changing. Race separation was an organizing principal of the game.
@Gothamcityriddler – No argument from me. I couldn’t agree with you more for a variety of reasons. I seconded someone else’s exact sentiment below.
The guy is flat out awful for the sport.
Fever Pitch Guy
Yes as a baseball fan the All Star Game controversy was difficult to ignore. Also I am absolutely flabbergasted that people threatened to leave if comments were open on certain topics. Once again we have a certain element who want to dictate what others can or cannot read or discuss, rather than simply not participate in those particular discussions. It’s quite clear those advocates of Cancel Culture feel empowered. I am grateful Tim did not bow down to their demands.
Manfred is at least better than Landis who for 24 years fought to preserve baseball’s color line and keep the game segregated
Fever Pitch Guy
We haven’t had a decent commissioner since Fay Vincent, or a really good one since Bart Giamatti (brief as it was). The last really good longterm commissioner was Kuhn. After the owners named one of their own (Selig) it was downhill ever since.
You should check out a guy named Judge Landis ……
Exactly I’m here to chat baseball you want a politics chat there are boards for that. Those conversations are always toxic.
If you think those conversations are always toxic…then just avoid the comments on those posts. A little bit of personal responsibility won’t kill you.
Mlb opened the can of worms when they moved the Allstar Game out of Georgia. Most of us use to use sports as an outlet from all the BS going on in every day life and now we don’t even have that . Thanks MLB.
Keeping comments open on topics that are different from pure ‘balls and strikes’ baseball is so much more than characterizing it as ‘politics’.
Some people see nuances and enjoy the back and forth when topics like the ASG come up. That topic has the intersection of Baseball, the business of baseball, politics and several others if you peel back the onion, open your mind to other points of view and participate. A baseball fan can get a lot out of that back and forth.
No one has to participate or even read the comments for this small number of articles. Tim makes a decision that allows people to make their own choices. There is so much credit that is deserved for that decision. I believe ( willing to be wrong) it was something he was Not 100 percent personally comfortable with or at least not predisposed towards when he published the poll. If I’m right then he deserves recognition for providing leadership within the context of his business.
Last – if you’ve read this far then thank you. I’m very concerned by the partisan nature of things. We’re all responsible for how to change that. Hat tip to many people who contributed to thoughtful discussion in these two recent comments sections. I took some inspiration from several of you
The issue of the ASG being moved out of Atlanta is political but it is also baseball. I see no issues with stories like that being discussed in comments.
Luc, been meaning to ask, who do you have as 1 & 2 ahead of Soto?
FredMcGriff for the HOF
The one thing I don’t understand is people who “bury their head in the sand” my wife is one of those people. It was obvious to me the poll would be a tool for decisions being made. It took only a few minutes. It just blows me away the people admitting not participating in the poll who clearly spend several minutes every time they post a comment on here.
I would rather not hear, supposed, grown men diss their wifes. Get Therapy.
FredMcGriff for the HOF
I already did. It was a complete waste of time and money. She moved out 1 1/2 years ago. We are getting along for my youngest daughter. Thanks for caring.
Might want to spell wives correctly if you’re going to try to be snarky.
I took the poll. I was in the minority in almost every choice. I think dead people voted.
I feel ya Bob.
In that case you are best off in the minority
I dont have a problem with minorities. Do you?
I really don’t care Do U ?
Tim I’m just curious, if no one whould have sent an email regarding their opinion, on either side of the argument, would you have just left it be. Anyway thank you for the great app.
No, I don’t believe so. There was overwhelming demand all weekend from people wanting to talk about the All-Star Game thing, and it was kind of swimming upstream to shut all that down.
Tim, I’ve been around since u started this endeavor, volunteered my time as a mod years ago when u went that route, love ur site and appreciate what u have done to make this place what it is, but my friend.. Opening up some of what u are doing is going to have click happy kids going on and on about their woke BS that has taken over the wonderful site u created these last few years.
It’s a phone clicky world now, not turn on the pc and think what to say. My 2c is keep closed what u have and put a noose on more. It flames me some of the crap see here and yep.. I go off in response sometimes, if could shut it down before…
John, you specifically called out “click happy kids going on and on about their woke BS” and yet, did you not realize how ridiculous you sound? How can we even have a conversation around what is okay to discuss on this site if people are going to claim “woke BS” is the sole problem.
I voted to keep comments turned off for all of the topics listed because I don’t see rational conversation occurring on those topics here and johnsilver’s response paints a clear picture of why.
Agreed Tone. We’re conflated no politics with morality. These aren’t simply political comments, they are discussions about social mores. In these cases there are right and wrong, not simply left and right as some would like to suggest. Our society is setting new moral norms, and some aren’t willing to accept them yet. It’s not ok anymore to spout off with bigotry, dog-whistle racism, and whatever else people think they can get away with while hiding behind a screen. It shouldn’t have taken us this long to get here as a society, but it has, and I have no interest giving up any of the ground we’ve made in treating everyone equally.
@kripes-brewers fantastic take, it’s exactly where I’m at. Bravo.
@despicable_one… Such a thoughtful comment!
Will it be your wisdom that defines which comments are “dog-whistles” and “bigotry”? I hope we can add a list to the site for those who are wrong. That way we can all be right together! Please inform us of which views on sensitive subjects are “right” and which are “wrong”.
@kripes, perfection. Instead of embracing the wonderful potential of the future sadly many others choose to decry the heretofore marginalized attaining equality as a threat to their worldview.
72 million people may not believe in your idea of new moral norms and never will. They won’t ever except change weather it is from one side or the other. We are a divided nation and propaganda and dirty tricks by the media are creating it. IMO
Tone… As many thoughtful, on subject comments that are made on here, there will unfortunately be knee jerk, irrational ones. It’s too darn bad and like others, I voted to close those type of posts because of that. But maybe, Tim’s mute button idea will address that.
Your correct “Balk”. The media creates whatever they want us to talk about, and what they don’t want us to talk about, Like moving the All-Star game , Notice how some sites censored comments because they knew we the people are pissed
Balk, while I agree that the media is allowing us to choose the messages we agree with – it’s called confirmation bias as you may know. So people are getting used to seeking out sites that support and confirm their own beliefs. When you come to an open forum like this, expecting to talk baseball, some of these moral arguments develop – note they are not political arguments. Statistically, you’ll have innovators and early adopters of these new norms. These are basically the people being termed as “woke”. Then there is the early majority, late majority, followed by the laggards. It’s part of any change process. We’re probably nearing the halfway point now with respect to an early majority of people accepting “wokeness” if you want to call it that, and the laggards are really digging their feet in to resist changing their worldview and simply allowing themselves to accept the notion that they may be on the side requiring change. Those folks may never fully accept that, but the next generation will. The rest of us will continue to call out the bad behavior until the change is complete and the majority accepts. There won’t need to be a list, you’ll just know the new norms and that voice inside your head will begin to stop people from saying or typing comments considered socially unacceptable. It’s a process.
Clicks are good for the site, aren’t they?
Tim, I’m not leaving and love the site and appreciate it. My comment is that your decision to open comments on the AS Game seems to be based on the overwhelming emails. I equate this to voting – the general public will come out to vote for something they don’t like (in this case the emailers were voting saying they don’t like that they can’t comment) while those that are happy the way it is, don’t seem to get out and vote. I think the vote itself was overwhelming that comments should be closed but you were swayed by those unhappy small percentage that went to the trouble to email. The high percentage that was happy with the current no comment didn’t bother. I hope you reconsider but if not it won’t affect me. I agree with your assessment that I have the ability to not click on the particular post. Thanks for listening.
I’d say more so than that was the insane volume of comments people started submitting on Friday on the ASG topic, spilling over into unrelated posts. Steve Adams spent a bunch of time Friday dealing with an absolute torrent of ASG comments.
Tim, I also agree with the direction you’ve gone. It’s not ideal, but we don’t live in an ideal world.
That Lincoln quote that he borrowed from Lydgate is one of those everlasting truths:
“You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time”.
Thanks again for following up with your decisions based upon the poll results and email feedback.
Good job navigating through a tough subject Tim.
Ian Theodore Fanthemson
I believe the changes are rational. I personally won’t be using a mute button since I can just as easily ignore the comment. I don’t need to assert dominance by blocking people and only read what fits my agenda.
Blocking isn’t asserting dominance
Correct. Blocking is not dominance. It’s laziness and/or feebleness for people too lazy or incapable of simply ignoring things they don’t like, agree with or understand or incapable of actually responding to same in an intelligent way to participate in a given and take.
I’m just glad they blocked that ex president for spreading false news about last years election and his overwhelming defeat.
That’s kind of where I am. I don’t get too offended by anything anymore and have tried to piece together too many threads where there are some comments and responses deleted and its an ugly thing to try and decipher sometimes.
I applaud he move. Conversation and discussion are good things! Just keep it respectful!!
So what the point of poll if you ignore the majority opinion? You have always done a horrible job monitoring comment section. Why should I have read a nasty comment and then mute it? Very disappointing but it is clear Tim wanted to open up comments and was going to ignore if didn’t agree with his stance. How unfortunate.
I think he’s actually going with the majority opinion here.
yep here we go, someone was going to say it. it’s not a democracy. they did not say they were going to do exactly what people wanted. in fact they promised nothing. it was a manner of probing to see how people felt. i mean majority or not, none of the Majorities were massive majorities that weren’t decided in favor of the Majority save maybe the Covid one, and I think those articles could be tailored to better promote reasonable diacussion.
I was worried that the poll results would be considered the binding direction of the site, and that caused me hesitation in asking. I did the poll to understand how big the split was. They are part of the picture.
One thing I should point out…we can’t create a comment utopia. The overall level of discourse that we have here is what it is. We can’t aggressively moderate it into a more enjoyable or civil discussion. We have to set policies, remove violations, and otherwise let ‘er rip.
Something that comes to mind is back when I couldn’t decide whether to keep the “black background” MLBTR had in its early years. Two-thirds of readers wanted it to stay, in a poll we did. I took other factors into account, including web design experts, and still made the switch to a white background. I think that decision was correct.
I still miss the black background but agree it was probably the right move
If ur on an iPhone or iPad just turn on dark mode
Still a bad decision. Made the site mysterious.
Tim you were right to solicit the input and you used it correctly. Remember- any given article is relevant for a very time. You have done all that any leader ( politician, business head, parent , spouse or friend) can be asked to do which is give someone a chance to receive information, process it safely and make their own decisions. Bravo
Maybe he doesn’t believe in censoring dissent. If you don’t like it, don’t look at it. Then you won’t get triggered.
I dont think thats a fair assessment. It appears both sides are trying to be pleased. Keeping them closed leaves those who want them zero option to make them. Opening them and adding stricter moderation and mute ability can help both side.
If it was 80% wanting closed I’m sure they’d stay closed but a tighter vote like that and you want to try and make both sides happy.
Less censorship, more baseball. It’s a shame these guys have to waste time looking at issues with comments to begin with, but if you really have the time to look through comments on articles regularly, I’d rather have the choice of who I want to hear from than not seeing anything because someone might not think how I do. Press mute, move on.
that’s my thinking. it’s a shame people don’t have courtesy enough to be common. I’m excited the couple of trolls out there can just be muted and comments are opened up. best of both worlds and hopefully less work for mlbtr staff. Excellent comprises
Are you really not able to self moderate?
The answer is unfortunately ‘no’. All too many people don’t know how to make that type of decision / compromise. Worse – they don’t even understand the concept.
As my dad would say, “this isn’t a Democracy”
You don’t have a read a nasty comment. You’re free to ignore the comment section entirely. It’s not like posts were immediately moderated previously, many times they stayed up for a while before being deleted.
Very happy with the decisions made here. Mute button is cool, and we can finally have proper debate on certain issues. Domestic violence posts remaining closed is a good call too IMO. There’s no room for anybody condoning that kind of behaviour.
Luc (Soto 3rd best in the game)
I don’t understand how comments being open directly correlates to people condoning the behavior.
Having an open DV comment section has no correlation to condoning or not condoning DV. 0
Brick House Coffee Tables Inc
DV posts are only relevant for discussion (in my opinion) to the extent that they affect the roster machinations of one or more ballclubs. The site name is MLB Trade Rumors, not All Baseball Discussion. Trade is essentially Transaction.
Discussing something like “will Team X have to start the Super Two clock on Prospect Y because of the allegations or confessions of Player Z” is one thing. Offering opinions on Player Z is another.
I appreciate the careful thinkings on this site. Your passion for your product
(this site) is great to see.
I know it has been a while but what was the rationale for getting rid of the down arrow? Still love your site!
My memory is a bit hazy on this, but I recall it being more trouble than it was worth. People would kind of gang up and downvote people they didn’t like. It seemed divisive and not all that helpful.
Wouldn’t mind if y’all brought it back as long as you can see who’s upvoting/downvoting
This is exactly my memory of why downvoting was (wisely) dropped. It functions in an entirely negative way on every board I’ve ever seen where is it used.
Putting in another pitch for active moderation, meaning occasionally weighing in to explain why posts were deleted. This can serve as a reminder of the posting terms to everyone, and gives people who might otherwise be tempted to stray into political food fights a reason to step back. It might seem like extra effort but from what I’ve seen it can work wonders.
Hey Tim, I’m deleting your app. For years I’ve been going to it and lately it’s just gotten too ridiculous. Let people have their opinions. You’ve gotten a little too big for yourself. It’s a baseball app with mostly inaccurate stories and way too many spelling errors. It’s only a matter of time before you start charging us for something if you haven’t already started doing so. So long.
“This isn’t an airport, there’s no need to announce your departure”
*cough* Xabial *cough* *cough*
Removing DVs’ best
Twitter, Facebook and others had “negative action words” yet still got rightfully removed.
You can alleviate this if identities’ attached to votes, but people would just create multiple accs. Many pseudonyms here.
Thank you Tim!
Whatever happened to Xabial?
imagine caring this much about commenting on baseball articles lmao
Luc (Soto 3rd best in the game)
I like commenting so I can see other peoples ideas and opinions. Also defending my team lol. But talking about politics, All Star Game, and etc is dumb. The owner mad a baseball site for a reason. Talk baseball
Luc, is your world really that myopic that you somehow think anything is insulated from the result of “politics”?
Shhhhh the emperor has no clothes
It’d be nice if baseball and politics didn’t overlap, but that’s just not the reality we live in
Thankfully Tim understands that both ASG type discussions, as well as, balls/strikes can be accommodated.
Some introspective folks will have broadened their perspectives (dare I say grown) as part of this overall discussion.
It will be an interesting experiment. I hope things stay civil, but I have my doubts. Posting comments on the internet is a lot like driving alone. Some of the things that are said…keeping fingers crossed.
Tim, thanks as always for your hard work and thoughtful efforts. I hope you didn’t find the poll taxing.
I see what you did there…
Keep up the great work, I truly appreciate MLBTR.
I would’ve voted to close all comments. People suck and will never abide by the rules.
So since you don’t like something, no one should have access to it? How progressive of you.
“Anonymous commenting” isn’t progressive, at all. Youtube stopped it years ago when their comments turned gutter-level.
And even if they don’t conform to some / all of these rules what happens? Absolutely nothing if you ignore them. It is an anonymous comment on the internet and is no more consequential than a fart in the wind.
I agree with these decisions. People who don’t want to read the comments don’t have to read them, they can just hide them. And with the mute button and report button, those are tools people can use if they don’t like someone or the comments are breaking rules, respectively
For me, I answered yes to the “would you mute someone if we added a mute button.” I didn’t answer yes with a specific person in mind, but inevitably I usually do mute people on online sites and forums. Idk how similar that is to others.
Many, many topics on this site are up for debate, but as a 10 year plus loyal reader, I think we can all agree, that this IS the site to go to for baseball news. It’s the nature of the “new world” that everyone has a voice and can’t wait to use it. My favorite subject to talk about in the world, is baseball. Being able to mute the trolls is a plus, and will keep the conversations moving with the REAL baseball fans. Keep up the great work guys. The chats, the constant updates, and everything else on this site, are great, and very much appreciated.
I agree, I’ve been coming here for so long too, but I would come here if there were comments or not.
true but I do enjoy most of the comments
Thanks Tim and the entire MLBTR staff! Keep up the excellent work! Will become a paid site member once the mute button rolls out.
I do not understand why you decided to go against the overwhelming majority on covid and mlb/policitical posts and chose to cater to those who probably only want to troll on those topics. It’s your site, but “playing both sides” like this isn’t going to be worth it.
I understand and respect the ability to just not read the comments, but I think you will never be able to reign in the certain subsect of people who did not vote for the person who won the 2020 US presidential election and they will use any space to spout their rubbish. But you appear to at least be fluid in seeing how that pans out, I’m just predicting that won’t turn out well.
Is there going to be removing any underlying racism that goes on in many commenters tone? The “non-white player is lazy” type comments are the next step here that need to go away, as they add nothing to anything and just allow a troll to get their jollies off by thinking they snuck an anonymously racist comment by everyone.
My final thought on this is: We fans really need to stop harping on hatred, we should be celebrating these one in a million athletes who have a skillset that almost no one has – regardless of team. Hitting a round ball with a round bat is the hardest thing to do in pro sports and throwing a ball 60 feet away into a tiny rectangle is also incredibly hard to do. We should be talking about what we love about the game, not what we hate about it, because if you read these comments, that’s almost all of what the majority of these comments seem to be about, and I’m no different. Something for everyone to think about….
In the case of political posts, I don’t see 57% as an overwhelming majority. I also struggled to understand the rationale of wanting comments closed, if we make viewing comments an intentional effort. Is it that philosophically, you just don’t want the discussion to be had here, even if you’re not reading it? If so, that didn’t sway me.
Rotoworld does not allow comments, its pure news and media/writing/journalism and I learn and am entertained even by their posts, which do not have a peanut gallery extolling how much they hate that player, bringing the whole vibe down. I don’t see a huge difference in what you two sites do, but you are fantastic to have side by side. No one is more up to the second than MLBTR, outside of twitter, and rotoworld has more in-depth by player and more player news than here.
As for the philosophy, I just believe anonymous commenting is always going to leave you wide open for problems. I love the chat sessions, which is kind of what you should be trying to achieve here, in terms of quality. If you made everyone register, this would make sense, but almost all anon comments sections have been removed other than here due to this very reason.
This is something Craig Calcaterra wrote in his newsletter today:
“Requiring payment > Requirement real names > requiring registration > allowing anonymity to comment > allowing negativity even short of having to comment in the form of up/downvotes. The closer you are to the former end of that continuum, the better your platform is going to be.”
MLBTR is mainly a free website. We require registration with an email address, so we’re kind of in the middle of the spectrum on how easy it is to comment anonymously. We recently created a subscriber-only forum, and I imagine it will have a different feel, but it figures to take a while to reach critical mass.
I love that idea! Thanks again Tim and again, I respect your choices here, I just don’t have a lot of confidence they will work out.
Ducky Buckin Fent
Mr Dierkes could you tell us where & how to access the subscriber’s only forum.
A couple of us were talking about this & no one seems to know exactly where it is. I joined merely to support you guys not for any “perks”. But I think I may be interested in this particular one as it seemed others were as well.
Really appreciate how you listened to us by the way. Thank you.
you actually read his newsletter!? Based on your interactions with the reader you seem level headed and honest, quite surprising for a calcaterra reader.
For Love of the Game
And you just had to wade into politics. In your words, everyone who voted for “the person who won the 2020 US presidential election” is right and everyone who did not just “spouts their rubbish.” You are part of the problem. When is that mute button coming?
The topic is literally about politics and I am on topic by bringing that up, as someone who has been online since the 90’s and have a MA in history, I have been tracking the general trends of the internet for decades at this point (book will be completed sometime this decade), if you don’t think that certain red capped group of people weren’t totally emboldened by the internet in projecting their hatred and being very up front with their right wing views (anonymously, here), then you are ignoring the problem to begin with and are playing the result, not the cause.
Mere mentioning of the cause triggered you to write this. Interesting. Have fun with the mute button, I know I will.
Funny thing is I am a US citizen, just located in the UK for a decade. But sure, totally prove my point by giving you any crumb about myself you will argue my baseball opinions with a personal attack. You cant even see a screen name without using it against someone. It’s just ANY reason with you types.
You are proving you are problem here, not I. Its impossible for you to write a civil reply without resorting to personal attacks. Period.
You’ll be the most muted person here. Have fun talking in your echo chamber! 😉
The amount of irony in your post is just incredible. I can find numerous posts of yours where you resort to personal attacks, but I’m sure you’ll have an excuse as to why you’re infallible in this regard…
I’m going to try really, really hard to live up to my ideals that say ‘discussion is good, cancel no one and I can’t learn things from almost anyone ‘
Alas I think I’ll fail miserably when it comes to A’ssfaninUK.
Forgive me Father… by muting A’fan and thinking unkind thoughts
Ducky Buckin Fent
Let’s just all remember that there is fantastic poster here who – ironically – goes by A’sFaninLondonUK. It would be unfortunate to mute the wrong one as the London variety is always worth reading.
The lack of self awareness made me actually lol.
I see where you’re coming from, but I think the policy was kept vague enough (and wisely so) to encompass the examples you are speaking of.
However, as Tim says, they can’t create a “comment utopia” where nothing offensive will ever slip through. That’s why the mute and flag options are available. If you think a commenter is trying to be “subtly racist”, flag it. That’s about all they can do in reality.
I agree with you and I totally respect Tim’s choices, but also agree with @Darkside830’s posts at the top here. It’s just a thing he can attempt to do, but I have doubts it will stay civil, as Americans are having extreme difficulty being civil to each other, especially over the last 12 years.
@UK, yes ‘we’ need to stop harping on hatred and focus on baseball. Like seeking treatment for TDS. Like focusing on not seeing racism in everything, as it has to be weighing you down mentally. The A’s won last night, a big comeback, exciting win. Celebrate the wins!
It’s not “seeing racism in everything” when there IS racism happening in everything. My heart weeps for what’s happening in America, its so terrible, and to see a mass of people there actively cheering it or coming up with any reason to qualify it, is particularly depressing. No one should die from being arrested and no one “deserves” to die from some arbitrary “crime” that isn’t murder or rape. America should be the melting pot, but it appears the previous president saying and doing severely racist things cued a whole bunch of people there to think they should and could act the same way. I simply can’t ignore that.
Back to the game: It was very kind of the Dodgers bullpen to not throw strikes in the later innings, that was very nice of them to allow us a charity win – lol. Luckily the A’s are always a big second half team, so any 1-12 start will probably be nullified by a huge 30-10 run in the second half, like they seemingly always do!
@UK, your over-generalizations about the US are so palpable and off-base. Dig deeper in your news sources, use what you learned in your Masters to truly understand history and how it is relevant today. I fear that you may just never have understood the American experiment and don’t care what happens to it based on your current opinions you have shared on this site. A cursory look at ‘the UK’ would probably incorrectly generalize it, too. I can’t imagine your advanced degree hasn’t taught you to be think more critically with some substantial nuance. Don’t fall prey to the groupthink of MSM. Good luck to you and the A’s, hope you both have better second halfs.
Curly Was The Smart Stooge
Oh Lordy…………hurry up with that mute button!
A’sfaninUK. Seriously? I don’t post here that often but the mute button was made for posters like you. Too much bloviation, not enough substance.
You hit the nail on the head with many of your observations or comments. Unfortunately, we have a loud minority backed by Murdoch & Co. who want to live in the past and keep the status quo in this country. Who also live in their own bubble devoid of reality, facts, math, and science.
As a former huge sports fan, it’s disheartening to see the militarism, commercialism, and politicization injected into American sports over the past 40 years.
Typical, blame the “mainstream media.” Does that apply to ESPN/Disney and Fox sports too?
Well done Tim. This is a baseball website and I condone all efforts to keep it as such. Other discussions can be held on Facebook…..
Just here to drop a line of support and say thank you for keeping this awesome site up and running and dealing with challenges/complaints. This place has been my go-to baseball home for well over 10 years, and I think it’s extremely easy to take it for granted.
Keep up the good work, Tim & the gang. You continue to make this site awesome.
Top marks. I’m glad the site took the time to review the policy and create one that does a good job at addressing a lot of the concerns. The muting of a comment thread is *chef’s kiss*
Ducky Buckin Fent
When I saw your reaction @Mohlers – in particular – to all this that’s when I realized what a problem this had become. I’m pretty happy about all this too. Nothing is ever perfect but this seems a lot better.
Now we can get back to looking forward to that Yanks Braves epic 7 game World Series that we seem to disagree on about how it’ll end (Yanks win of course).
You’re going to mute me, aren’t you?
Hahaha I wouldn’t mute you man. If I did I couldn’t rub the eventual 96 series revenge the Braves get in your face.
Even when we disagree @Ducky, you’re respectful and can take a joke. You’re a stand up guy in my book.
Ducky Buckin Fent
I just wanted to give you a hat tip.
You come across as a good natured, humorous, insightful, respectful baseball crazy. I’ve never seen you troll, insult people, or bring your politics to your posts.
That showed me that something was not right about all this
Man. Remember the game one a baby faced Andruw Jones had? Mercy.
I screw up far more than I’d like, but I do certainly try to contribute to the board. Because you guys are the only baseball fans I know!
So we’re all just kind of stuck with each other here. I’m always such an optimist. I know that. But this seems like real progress. Thanks for being a reasonable voice in all this.
I can never forget Jones in game 1. Being a 9 year old from the Northeast that year, I got a Jeter jersey for Christmas from a Yankees fan relative, it fit quite nicely in the closet when I wore my Andruw Jones replica everyday lol.
Glad we are getting back to baseball both here and in the real world. Even as a Braves fan, I couldn’t resist getting some Cardinals tickets for a June series when traveling for work, just to get some baseball in after my second vaccine.
Ducky Buckin Fent
He looked like he was about 16.
Which…now that I think about it he was actually only 19 if I recall right.
I was Covid positive a few weeks ago.
As such, I’ll need but one shot.
St Louis is a real, true baseball town. Not sure if this is your first time catching a game there – or not – but if it is get ready to have a blast. Nice park, great fans, tons of passion.
Ducky you’re a good dude, man.
NYY may not make the WS this year, but I like our chances. I really can’t see Atlanta getting past LAD, SD, NYM and my dark horse gut feeling influenced pick for NLE winner -> Phillies
Ducky Buckin Fent
Well, I do try.
But I’ve posted some things I’d rather not have in retrospect. I can be a pretty sharp tongued New Yorker sometimes & that’s not always for the best.
I’ve said this before though. But its true. You guys *are* my baseball community. My son, business partner, & girlfriend all detest baseball. The only real baseball fan I know is a Twins fan & he hates the Yanks.
Phillies not a bad sleeper pick.
I just think the Braves lineup > Padres lineup & I like their rotation. Smart money on Dodgers of course but that’s just Not Fun.
One ‘side’ is going to be unhappy if they don’t get their way on certain topic(s). Some people will be mad no matter what. This seems like the most adult way to handle this.
That gives people the perfect opportunity to annoy their friends and family with their opinions.
Which sounds great to me. Let them share the burden.
Sounds good. Difficult decisions made fairly. Thank you!
Nice job, you put a lot of thought into it, appreciate you guys and this site!
So will those pointless White Sox comments on Cubs posts be deleted? 🙂
What else will we do here?
Tim, as a long time frequent flyer of MLBTR, thanks for keeping this going and identifying an aspect that has become a major drag and doing something about it.
Well you can sleep well tonight sir because I agree with your decision. it’s called common sense. Your doing a great job I look at this app the first thing in the morning when get up even before talking to the wife hahaha.
I like how many comments there are on posts about comments. Nothing people like more than complaining about how no one is listening to them.
Now that I have contributed to the communal shoving of our heads up our own butts by commenting about commenting……..baseballpun awaaaayyyyyy!!!!
Thanks so much Tim… nice work!
Yo Tim! Lemme just say thanks for this site. I’ve been a daily visitor for years, and can appreciate all the effort it takes to pull it together. It’s a great resource and tremendous fun for most of us. Thanks for all the work.
For Love of the Game
I am sorry to have participated in the drama by occasionally allowing my emotions to get the best of me (see my response to A’sfaninUK above). This is the best and most comprehensive site about BASEBALL. That’s what brings us all here. Beginning with me, let’s promise to try to limit our comments to baseball!
I used to read the comments but they became to disgusting, toxic and would bring me down just a tad. I don’t even bother looking at them now because it’s been ingrained in me to skip over them. All the unneeded nonsense that I’d see was no more after I stopped scrolling past the article
Sounds reasonable overall. Adding the ability to flag bad guys on the app will be a good step. I hope you are diligent in deleting those who hijack things into politics on COVID or ASG posts, spread misinformation about COVID (a big part of why you started closing comments as I recall), etc.
Great job on navigating this, Tim. Managing people is one of the hardest aspects of running a business.
Manfred is the worst commissioner in the history of American sports.
“Commentary that is unrelated to the subject matter of the post. Take special note of this one.”
If anyone didn’t understand why moderation can be so challenging, maybe they do now.
Irony alert: the request to keep posts on topic, as stated right here in this article as one that we are being asked to take special note, is currently being outvoted by 5-1. Where are the 74% of readers who said off-topic comments should be removed, at least when they were responding to a poll?
Ducky Buckin Fent
“Off topic” can be a grey area though.
Sure some of it’s blatant & we all recognize that, @BlueSkies.
But it’s oftentimes more subtle.
I made a post awhile ago where I noted that due to shifting, openers, & entire lineups of LH batters the Ray’s are still baseball but “different”.
I compared it to waterfowl hunting on the Red River which is one of the few (4 I think?) rivers that flows North to South. Being on it gives me that same feeling of everything being a little “off”.
Is that off topic? Maybe! But I don’t see that as the aforementioned blatant variety. So that’s why I voted the way I did.
honestly, one might argue Manfred being the commissioner makes ANY comment section a valid place to yell at him within reason.
Ducky Buckin Fent
Interesting article on The Athletic about closing the ASG. I’d recommend giving it a read if you are able to, @DarkSide.
It isn’t so gray, really, and definitely not in this case. You’re actually saying nothing is off-topic so long as someone had a burning desire to say it, which seems to be the operating definition of being on topic for most. So no surprise, the current score is 7-1 in favor of off-topic posting. The poll is one thing, this is reality, and why moderation is such a pain in the neck.
Ducky Buckin Fent
That’s…not what I’m saying.
I was just trying to give you my reasoning, as such. In the big picture I see it as a fuzzy line much of the time. That’s why I gave my specific example.
Can’t speak for anyone else.
But I feel like you’re trying to put words in my mouth that I’m spitting back out.
Fair enough, I wasn’t sure what you were trying to say honestly. My point is for most people it seems nothing is really off-topic. If it’s something they said or they approve of it, then it’s pretty much automatically on-topic. I wish Tim luck in enforcing that rule. No matter what people might say in polls in theory he probably isn’t going to get much cooperation in reality.
Ducky Buckin Fent
Hey, look at that.
& I do see your trepidation.
No easy answers here. Except for maybe what we just did.
Aha, so it is possible?
BTW, the score is now 8-1 in favor of nothing being off topic. 😉
Ducky Buckin Fent
Felt pretty good to tell ya the truth. & it was probably a lot more effective than you & I calling each other less than noble names.
I now have an object lesson of – “Ya know…BlueSkies ain’t a bad dude. I think I’ll offer him my opinion & see what he says. He’s made sense in the past & he seems open to a reasonable dialogue.”
Nothing all that earth shattering. But it’s a step in the right direction, man.
Here’s to small steps in right directions.
I appreciate the thought and sensitivity you try to bring to these issues. However COVID always seems to be political in the comments section. My perspective is different as I am in Canada and I am a physician working during this pandemic. The politicization of this issue and the misinformation and vitriol of the comments section on this and political rhetoric that can dominate the comments are just too much. I see you are building in a mute option which is a smart move. I really enjoy the site and your writers. I come here for them; I come here to read and discuss baseball not politics. It is an escape for me. Given your decision to allow political discussion in the comments still, a decision I respect and know you don’t make lightly, I will not be coming to this site until the pandemic is less of a hot topic and politics and partisan divisions do not dominate the comments. Let’s hope that is sooner (next year?) rather than later. Thanks for all the great content to date.
I, too, am a little perplexed with the decision to go against the majority opinions, but only a little. I was in favor of keeping comments closed on the most sensitive topics only because I have seen what those threads ultimately devolve into and it ain’t pretty. Despite people’s desire to comment on those things I believe the comments on those topics rarely, if ever, contribute to the site in a positive way.
That is however only my opinion. It’s worth as much as anyone else’s, and I do like how transparent you’re being with the rationale behind the decisions. I think the decisions are based on sound judgement even though I don’t necessarily agree. But I think that disagreement is based only on my more pessimistic view of the situation. You’re trying to give people the benefit of the doubt. In my experience that rarely works out, but we’ll see what happens.
At the end of the day I’m still going to check MLBTR several times per day to keep up on the news on my Halos and the rest of the league. I do like the fact that you’ll add the function of having to voluntarily view the comments. That alone I think will resolve a lot of issues. If you click “view comments” then get offended, that’s on you, and I think that’s the right way to deal with it.
Kudos Tim. Keep up the extraordinary work!
I support whatever decisions you make. I love this site and the comment section isnt going to make or break it for me. As long as the articles are good, I will always come back.
Thank you Tim! I appreciate the time, energy and thought you and your team have put into this whole comments-issue. I personally like the new ideas you plan to implement and will say this: your goal to make MLBTR the best it can be for the majority of your readers is admirable. Thank you again!
I appreciate this dialogue, rationale and explanation immensely. I suggested the other day out of curiosity, if someone keeps getting muted by users, will that send an alert to the mods so we can just get rid of them altogether?
I think on the back end, we are going to have a most-muted list. I think that will help bring some people to our attention, and then we can assess whether they’re being muted because they’re annoying to many but not violating the policy, or they are actually violating it.
If you really want to make money have people bet on which names will be the most muted…I would bet on that 🙂
I love it. Thanks, Tim. Also, I’m going to pretend that was entirely my idea and not something you guys had already been working on. I’m so smart! Lol
Truly surprised to see some of the comments complaining about this decision, as if you pay a membership or something to get content from this site. It’s a free site and just the fact that they asked for feedback is a huge plus compared to other sites that make decisions in a vacuum. We are truly the most entitled generation, everyone feels every space they decide to visit should only contain people who feel exactly how they do.
Anyways, a mute button is truly a good compromise and if anyone does feel that triggered by comments, maybe the comment section isn’t for you.
In nurse follars
It’s a shame it’s come to this.
Great site to comment and read others opinions on baseball. Looking forward to changes
In My Opinion; I think we should mark our posts as fact or Opinion… The Fact Is I dislike when the politics start as I come here for baseball… In my opinion, by properly qualifying our statements we will give each other the respect we deserve
Well stated. When we express an opinion, I think adding a simple “I think” or “I believe” is far better than stating one’s opinion as fact. I think some people may nonetheless trash the thoughts or beliefs of others simply because they can, but I believe by adding an “I think” or an “I believe” we come across as more friendly and less absolutist, and it might help invite discussions. Or throwing in an IMO or IMHO can be helpful.
Heathcliff Slocumb, I presume?
Reason will Prevail
Now on to important things like whether limes should be cut thin or thick
Doesn’t matter how you cut the lime. It will still prevent scurvy if you drink enough rum and coke 0
While I must have missed the poll, I was one who wrote in on this issue. I’m glad you took the time to look through specific feedback and incorporated those thoughts into a fair policy. Well done.
This is great. I’m really thankful for the thoughtful approach and explanation, and for seeking to always make this place better for us! I agree with these decisions and hope other people honor and respect them in a way that allows us to continue to talk baseball in a healthy and fun way. Love MLBTR! Great job!
Dang, I just wish that i had something that I could self promote about here but sadly……..nuthin……..
People generally don’t talk to each other on message boards, they talk “at” each other.
I have found many people distort opinions thus creating strawman arguments. I’m looking forward to muting those people.
I’m all for open discussion, it’s fun. It’s just tough to get there.
Yeah, not that long ago, You could find people to BS with on different message boards while discussing the topic of the article. Even people that would disagree on the subject matter would still be friendly and you felt like you were talking to someone instead of at them. Sadly, you are correct about the evolution about posting on boards.
Ducky Buckin Fent
I’ve found there are maybe 15-20 posters on the board whom I have interest in hearing their takes. It’s certainly not confined to one team, or even one league.
If I choose to mute a poster or two I can’t see that as doing anything but good. One person in particular seems to have a real penchant for pissing me off. & I can’t see how that “dialogue” disappearing will do anything but good for the board in general. You guys don’t need to see all that.
I like well thought out debate, but so much of this is playground banter.
I picked Gonzaga to win the National Championship. If that was a baseball prediction, someone would call me that idiot who picked UCLA.
Ducky Buckin Fent
You picked UCLA!?
Heh. I kid, I kid.
Yeah, I know you do. I will continue to read your posts as it’s essentially the Cribs Notes of the Angels for me.
& you were kind when you took me to school in re the Angels ‘pen.
I grew up minutes away from the UCLA campus.
The Angels pen has been pretty good.
Madden seems to have some of the same concerns I have, how to bridge the gap to Iglesias.
He’s not being used as the closer. He’s has come in the game in the eighth. He’s come in with the Angels tied and losing.
The only time he’s been effective is when he has come into the game with a lead and is expected to get only three outs.
I hope Madden sticks to that kind usage. I hope he has the men in the bullpen who allows him to do that.
That boating analogy was a great analogy.
Ducky Buckin Fent
Pretty campus. I’ve settled into the Midwest, but I was in LA couple times when I was younger.
I know Madden can rub some people the wrong way & I do see why. But I think he’s one of the best & you’ll win a few more games with him running your club.
I want to see somebody out west knock the Astros off & like any good baseball fan I wanna see Trout playing in October.
I do like what they did with Watson & Chisek. Thought that was pretty savvy by your GM.
Nice talking some baseball with you as always. I like what MLBTR did with all this. Shows open-mindedness & they listened to their customers which is good business.
Very appreciative of the thought and research given to the matter in determining what was best for all. I am a loyal follower and what have stayed regardless of the outcome, but your efforts here have only cemented by continued following. Keep up the great work.
Although I disagreed with the masses, I really couldn’t care less. I’ve been following MLBTR since the beginning. I’m not leaving one way or the other. You do what you need to do.
Nice balance in your decisions Tim and you can always adjust in the future. Thanks for hearing us out.
Just A Girl Who Likes Sports
Let me be That Person who tests your new off-topic policy, which I approve insofar as it doesn’t apply to me. Anyway, I have asked several times through the Android app why it logs me off every time I close it. If we can put a man on the moon (or mute comments from individual users) maybe the app can allow us to stay logged in? Thank you for coming to my off topic Ted Talk.
I think it’s OK to ask that question here! I don’t know the answer to your specific question, but I can say that the Android app is in need of a touch-up this year and hopefully we can address it. We will eventually be opening up the hood to add these commenting-related features to it.
Tim, I appreciate the logic behind the decisions. I acknowledge you didn’t have to don’t that. I was a pro-open everything voter but am satisfied with your conclusions and reasoning. Great job navigating a polarizing subject.
Thanks for requesting input from fans. I didn’t participate in the poll but I did just create an account because of the decision to allow these discussions. I support that decision and MLBTR even when comments veer off track and you begin to realize your witnessing patients of the Asylum got ahold of a computer. Cheers.
People really get that bent of shape over comments? Wow.
I get called a troll constantly, and have no idea why. I only troll part of the time.
Do you possibly live underneath a bridge?
These are good choices. Thank you for considering both sides of the isle.
I just hope the mute button is here by trade deadline. I ignore most comments sections now days. But love to see some opinions not attached to the ridiculous trade proposals by certain fans of certain teams.
I think the decision are fine, especially the mute button. I have stopped commenting here as much mainly due to just a handful or people, so taking them out of the equation would get rid a lot of my issues with the site.
I don’t disagree with keeping comments closed on DV topics, but my question is why have the DV stories at all? Yes, they are news stories, but this is not really a news website. I would be perfectly happy if ALL the controversial stories were eliminated from the site and we just get back to MLB trades and rumors. That is what the site is supposed to be about. There are plenty pf places to go to read about domestic violence or politics or everything else, but this site keep its topics on the lighter side. Then you won’t have to worry about commenting controversies.
I think that’s a valid point. There was a time when if a baseball story didn’t have anything to do with trades or free agency, we didn’t touch it. It was kind of hard to get this through to the casual reader, who consistently thought we just missed the story or were omitting it out of some personal agenda. “Kirby Puckett passed away and it’s not on MLBTR? You monsters…”
So we kind of gradually moved toward the inclusion of putting significant baseball news up on the site. Some have clear hot stove/roster implications, like injuries and, to be honest, DV suspensions. Others do not, like the ASG move or someone passing away. I don’t know that I want to move in the direction of covering fewer topics and ignoring various major baseball stories.
I do understand how the DV suspensions can impact roster decisions. That can definitely make it a topic worth talking about here. Maybe it is more of the focus on said topic. Maybe if the stories focused more on the open roster spot and the person getting the opportunity to step up instead of the reason the spot is open or the person that squandered their opportunity.
It’s just tough nowadays because everyone is just so sensitive about their own personal beliefs that they treat them like dogma and get so mad because someone doesn’t feel the same way. And its not just controversial topics either. Just a couple days ago here a guy got incredibly upset because I dared to question the Yankees facial hair policy.
That being said, I don’t see how anyone could have issues with an obituary section here. These men spent a large portion of their lives entertaining us. The least we can do is offer a bit of respect for them upon their deaths. To be honest, I think you guys should go a bit further and maybe do a bi-weekly or monthly roundup of obituaries. Sure the Hall of Famers deserve the full story treatment, but lesser known guys deserved to be remembered too. There are many players that I remember well that others might not and vice versa. These guys deserve remembrance even if they are long retired.
MLBTR is going to get my sympathy and understanding on this. They are trying to walk the middle ground and it looks to me that middle ground is pretty razor thin. They are the ones that are really caught in the middle as we argue and rage with each other.
No matter how we feel on a certain subject, there is another that believes the opposite and we are more all so damn passionate that we are ready to take each other apart. Really difficult creating rules and policy that will make everyone happy under such circumstances.
I actually like the lack of features/options on the iOS app.
I’m excited to read the comments about the comments policy. Love this app!
I am disturbed that political and Covid posts will now have commenting allowed. The politics of baseball fans is so utterly polarized which leads to posts filled with negativity and vitriol. I see this as defeating one of the fundamental beauties of baseball which is to unite people in a common interest or passion whose backgrounds and politics might be completely different.
I suspect that the vitriol I normally see in the comment sections will only increase. I will decline from visiting the comment section in the future. I hope everyone’s team plays well. Peace.
I would suggest simply not visiting a thread that has political overtones. There won’t be that many. Moving the All-Star game is clearly one, but it’s a rarity. The Athletic had an interesting approach where they blocked comments on the original story, perhaps when anger was highest, but did allow comments on a subsequent story. Perhaps that approach could work here.
Every story can have political overtones, if someone decides to hijack it. The offseason review of the Dodgers was taken over by political posting within minutes. The garbage being brought up was completely random and unrelated to the Dodgers but it had the affect of instantly shutting down any baseball discussion on that story. So good luck avoiding discussions with political overtones when such obvious hijacking is allowed.
EXCELLENT CHOICES!!!!………All Of Them…..
The site is Great….and you guys all do a great job of monitoring the content and acting on the ones that are inappropriate.
Kudos to you and your staff for coming up with a solution that seems “well thought out” and considerate.
Ian Theodore Fanthemson
Given how sensitive people are, I wonder how many people dropped their subscription to this site because of the decisions listed above?
I would imagine there are people who would do that.
This was the right decision. And I’m glad this decision was made. Thank You! I love your site!
“if you feel that the comments on certain posts or topics are not worth reading, you should not read them.”
It’s a shame that this is the world we live in. If you don’t like what the article is about (ASG move, for example), just keep scrolling. No need to stir the pot all the time – this isn’t Facebook or Twitter.
My preference was to keep all non-baseball related topics off-limits, but I think you have reached a fair solution.. You’ll never be able to make everyone happy, nor should you try, We need to be able to compromise. I would suggest that the mute button not be the end of your guidelines, as if I have to keep muting users because of the content, I’m going to eventually take my glove and go home. Things had gotten pretty bad last year, there were threads that turned into a series of personal attacks, misinformation, sniping and worse. Its the same reason why Yahoo turned off their comments, as it becomes more than your team can handle trying to police the comments on every post. I think when Yahoo closed theirs out, all of the trolls had to find another source, so they hit MLBTR & Nextdoor, apparently.
I believe you’re correct. I’ve seen similar happen even at team-specific blogs. As other sites began to close down comments, the trolls needed an outlet and started flooding places where they could troll.
Thank you for doing this. Your guidelines, rules, options and comments are more than fair and reasonable.
Sign me up for another year!
Sounds fair. I rarely am tempted to read comments when reading the web version but in app I just kind of naturally drift downward because I’m multitasking and usually regret it. Making it a more active choice seems the way to go. Thanks for putting so much thought into it.
dave frost nhlpa
I’d like to be able to fix grammar to my post.
Is this a good place to make an inappropriate comment? #hidinginplainsight
It’s crazy that it’s come to this, but I get it. It’s a baseball app, and the fact that politics and other things such as Domestic Violence intersect with it we will have topics to discuss such things. But as far as people getting trolled or groups getting furious enough to verbally thrash each other over said topics seems like something that would be brought up more in my daughter’s 4th grade recess than on a sports site. But regardless, thank you to MLBTR for putting it out there and in our hands. It’s nice to have an app that cares that much about their readers and commentors. Keep up the good work!
You are on target with 4th grade recess. I taught 4th grade and there are pot stirrers, off topic talkers and those with opinions not facts who are sure that they are correct in anything they “ believe”.
This is the first time I’ve commented in years on a post. I use to be an avid contributor to the community, however, in recent years the community has been overran by a large number of trolls. I miss the early days of MLBTR when most of the commenters could have deep philosophical discussions about their teams and baseball as a whole.
For a long time I feel as if the original purpose of MLBTR’s discussion forums have lost their way to a large number of people that simply do nothing but chide other responders instead of engaging in productive dialogue. Hopefully this site will find its way back to intelligent baseball fans who want to have intellectual exchanges with likeminded people.
So you have a vote and then, like the rumpsters, ignore the overwhelming vote results and make your own decisions that go against the vast majority desire to end obnoxious commenting on political issues the vast majority don’t want to see on this site? Why bother asking? Just do what you want, like a little Qrazy dictator, and say bye-bye to that vast majority you decided to ignore. Let’s just decide that we don’t need a democracy in any part of our life. Great message you are sending. Bye now.
Did you know that you have the power to skip the article or read the article and don’t view the comments or read the article and read the comments and reply if you choose? The power is within you to decide. BOOM!!!!!!!
Also nobody cares you are leaving the board, you loss makes no impact to anything.
Technically it effects the money the site brings in due to ad revenue. Less clicks equals less money. They even touched on this last summer when the season was almost cancelled.
I have to politely disagree with you. I do care about Ga leaving the board and I’m very clear on the subject. My sentiment is -> 🙂
See, now this is entertainment. So glad comments like this will still be rendered here.
Ga…….. You seem upset. I get the feeling many others won’t be distressed by your absence.
Congrats on being my first mute
The total lack of self awareness from people like this is truly a sight to behold. If I didn’t know better, I’d think they were doing it as a joke.
Have You Seen My Baseball?
Thanks for making such a great site. I’ve been with you guys since the very, very early days. Before there were any ads on the site, so early! It’s been enjoyable watching your business grow and develop. Keep doing the great job you’re already doing.
Play the Game
Here’s an idea. Just stick to baseball. No politics, No domestic stories, Nobody cares about your views let’s just talk baseball.
Well done Tim. We appreciate your work & having the site available to us. I support your decisions & like the options to tune out those that use the platform to promote their agendas. I’m not sure I know anyone who’s undecided on non baseball issues & seeks wisdom in those areas from the comment section.
I look forward to commenters when I want to get inside takes from people who follow teams outside mine. Gives me info on players to check out or keep an eye on that I wouldn’t normally see. Insights about ownership & mgmt philosophies.
Friendly banter with fans from other teams can be entertaining. Comparing stats/opinions of players & teams, informative. I see baseball wisdom from both young & old. At times, humor is in full force. Makes me want to keep checking in.
Personal attacks? As I said in my post yesterday, it’s partnering with the enemy & we’ve had enough of him. Let’s keep him out of our baseball family.
Blessings on all of you.
I think all those are wise decisions. I’ll still be using the app, never was gonna leave either way though. Now if I could just start getting notifications from the app about my team related news, that’s a problem I’ve had since last season if not longer.
Great decision. Domestic violence ones make sense to keep closed. Otherwise, its good for open discussion and the mute button should help + just don’t look at comments on posts you don’t want to be triggered on! Open discussions help dissolve the walls people put up when they’re only living in their own echo chambers.
It’s just that it’s not an open discussion when, all too often, it quickly devolves into people shrieking their canned echo chamber talking points at each other. It goes into “you’re just a…” straw man BS. So often people aren’t even making any attempt to have an open discussion, they just want to hemorrhage their opinions all over everything.
Only thing left to do is stop pasting from my clipboard on the iOS mobile app, then I’ll redownload it. Otherwise I’m only using the web app.
All excellent choices. Then again, it’s also how I voted!
I’ll welcome the option of a mute button. One question. Will the mute button be thread-specific, or commenter specific? In other words, would we need to mute that ID every time we entered a new thread? I don’t have anyone on my target list as I generally only engage with fellow commenters who are reasonable, but I would like to understand how it will operate.
The mute button will be commenter-specific. Once you mute a person, you will not see any of their comments. Entire threads they started will be hidden as well.
I just hope it doesn’t result in childish hit-and-run comments where people take their shot and follow it with a mute or a block so they don’t have to see any responses… as we see elsewhere.
How is that different than now, where you can make a comment and then not go back to that comment thread? There are also still options to report people…so if what they say is truly that bad, it’d be dealt with.
I don’t follow the point you’re trying to make. Have you not seen the tone of comments here (and most other places for that matter), the tone that precipitated the comments being turned off entirely on those subjects?
Great ideas. I’m 100% on board with them. Really hope they’ll work. Glad MLBTR is taking steps to address the toxicity in the comments section over the last year.
Solid. Great decision. Going to look for doing a paid subscription.
Good decisions. I’m glad that the domestic violence posts are going to remain closed, i dont think there is any reason to debate on that topic.
That’s fine. But anyone who comments that covid is a fake virus or that it’s no worse than a cold or flu should get banned. Just ask my cousin who’s still in the hospital!
Bearded Texas Hulk
I work in medical research, and this is not a fair virus or the flu. It is far more deadly. On the personal side, my assistants wife (who is a nurse) nearly died from it.
You are literally the last person I’d want to hear about data from. Medical research is biased and paid for.
Me and my family had a cold. I had a friend who died. It’s all random and if it’s going to kill you it’s going to kill you. Masks are worthless as we all wore ours religiously.
My friend was 28 and a dad of 2 young boys and died right before Christmas.
I think these were all the right decisions. Cheers to a job well done guys!
I’d just as soon close all three. How many people have actually adjusted their opinions and world view because JD396 wrote a really compelling post on an MLBTR article? I’m as opinionated as anyone else, but even if I do happen have some expertise or something that might inform others, I’m just some random dude on the internet.
Bearded Texas Hulk
Can one exception be made to this policy? I love telling ppl “that’s a clown comment bro”. It’s kind of my “thing”. Cause I am a goob.
Remember when the internet was an open forum for discussion and the sharing of free thought and ideas?
I remember a lot of things that never happened, but that’s probably just old age.
Excellent decision on comments.
I hope it works out. In my experience however, every discussion on a social issue or current event devolves into a boring, political back and forth.
Having politics infiltrate this site and baseball in general will be a very negative development in my opinion.
Keep unwanted baseball out of my politics!
Dude if you don’t want to deal with the baseball stuff then just ignore it or don’t read the comments. There’s a lot of cross over relevance that baseball brings to the RW. it can have a great effect if you understand new analytical stats like barrel rate and exit velocity. Apply those to RW problems and you can make an impact. You could be a smashing success.
See what I did there?
I believe I changed the comment section during the global pandemic because ever since then their censoring comments like hawks.
Yes you did ……..
ASG is fair game because it’s part and parcel of Manfred’s poor mgmt of baseball. If he wanted to make a statement why not get all 30 teams and the MLBPA to put out a joint statement? Or was he capable once again of a huge, heartbreaking unilateral decision with massive unintended consequences but not the simple task of explaining to others why they should do something in the best interest of baseball?
I’m against political content but think this is an exception because it is really subtopic “Why Manfred Will Be the Death of Baseball.”
Not all of my votes won, but I think pretty much all of this is reasonable.
Only one that kind of surprises me is the very high percentage of wanting posts removed. Overmoderation is a real problem on some sites. Especially with the ability to mute posters, I don’t entirely know if it’s necessary… but I guess it really speaks to the trust the readers have in the moderators of this site to do that job correctly and not just go haywire removing tons of posts that just don’t agree with the mod’s opinions.
So basically you’re not listening to the majority. Got it.
Wasn’t it called a poll/survey? When is that binding?
> We’re going to open comments in Covid articles. We’re hoping they can stay apolitical.
Oh Tim, you sweet summer child…
This new policy coincides with about half of my votes and goes against the other half. That is probably how it should be. Nobody should get everything that they want at the expense of others. Isn’t it a baseball adage that the best deals are when both teams walk away a little unhappy?
I love this site and visit it 15-20 times throughout the day. If I don’t like comments I just move along. It really is that simple. I’m proud to be a front office subscriber and will be as long as the option is available
Can you unmute after muting someone?..someone can give a nice smartassss answer and you might want to see the original post to see it
More important than whether or not I agree with all of these decisions, I appreciate your explaining the decisions and thought process behind them.
As it happens I do mostly agree with the decisions. I particularly like the mute button.
Thank you for addressing this. In a rational manner. I do believe you are trying to make this the best location to discuss baseball. Keep ul the good work.
I’m surprised they didn’t close comments on this. MLBTR acts like it’s reporting requirement news! It’s baseball fellas calm down.
Man there is a lot of soft people on here. In what world do you think it’s a good idea to start censoring people on any subject? Mute someone is fine but I promise u start censoring people u deem inappropriate you are gonna find yourself soon censored. Closing the comments may filter out some knuckleheads but it will also result in losing insight that you won’t find in your bubble
I can give and take with the best of them. But I also have little interest in seeing comments for folks I have no interest in.
I agree but that’s the point of mute. Once u mute someone that spouts nonsense they are banished from your view. I hate suppressing many to eliminate a few
Ducky Buckin Fent
You sure can, @Brady. & you have a perfect Southie name.
The worst part about you is that you’re a red sox fan yet I go out of my way to read your takes. This has created some inner turmoil. But life is full of little surprising treasures. This is just one more.
What do you think about the changes?
I like them.
& it’s cool that Mr Dierkes paid attention to his customers. I know that’s merely good business on his part but not everyone is good at making sound business decisions.
Good luck. And remember, if everyone disagrees with you, it means you have created a reasonable balance.
Well done MLBTR. I have been part of this since the beginning. I keep coming back because there is no better site.
I guess I’ve been on MLBTR for a while now, and I can say that there used to be a lot of great baseball talk, but that went downhill fast in the past year. I applaud you Tim because this was a really good happy medium to land on. I really think this will help the site a lot; especially in retaining more long-time readers.
The domestic violence idea was good as the only “good” comments that would ever come out of a post like that would be “piece of trash”, “terrible”, or “disgusting”. So to avoid any controversy, closing it was a good idea.
I want more Covid talk and more political baseball talk, just because I like the dialogue. I understand it’s a pain to moderate, but that’s where either: 1. Ignoring it or 2. Muting it, would come into play. All good ideas, and I bet you’ll see a nice uptick in site usage over the next few months because of it.
Tim Dierkes: Puts out commenting adjustments.
*Everybody liked that*
Ducky Buckin Fent
Mr Dierkes just sent me the link to the members forum. I’m going to check it out.
These guys are really trying for us.
I posted some stuff over there as well 😉
Ducky Buckin Fent
It looks like you have to download something?
Trying not to ask my son for help. He’ll certainly give me it.
But…man, it’s that deep sigh right before he’ll say, “Sure, Dad. Bring it here. I’ll set it up for you” that sorta gets me.
Trying to muddle forward with this on my own…
If sports can’t stay out of politics, you won’t have to worry about my comments. I’m getting really close to being done with it all, especially pro sports.
That’s kind of the flip side of it all, it’s not just blowhard commenters injecting politics into sports… it’s the sports themselves.
Tim, thanks for your work on these issues. I have A recommendation for your consideration. Regarding the “most muted list”. I think it would be useful for those individuals who are muted to know when and how frequently it is occurring. A little bit of private self reflection might be in order. If I were offending people and causing them to mute me in large numbers, I’d want to know that.
Thank you for the work you do. In the end we’re all here because of our love for sports and comment sections should be a place to share that. As long as you’re acting in good conscience and doing what you think is right, then all will be good.
I disagree with closing comments at all, personally if I don’t like someones comments I just ignore them, it takes away the spirit of free speech. but if that’s what our worlds come to so be it, I boycotted baseball last year over the kneeling during the anthem, and I’m considering it now over ASG. I truly believe we need to support .all minorities, but doing it other ways.
I’m all about free speech, but it’s not like MLBTR has some kind of moral obligation to provide a soapbox at the bottom of every article for everyone with an opinion and a keyboard
Tim, one of my issues with MLBTR app (for Android) is that every time I am in the app it asks me to log in to comment, and every time I close the app, it logs me off.
So … I believe that means every time I want to mute/hide/flag comments or post, I have to keep logging in.
Is that an issue others are having?
Is has been mentioned
You are the second person who mentioned this. I’ll look into it!
The threads got closed because they went toxic. It wasn’t a hypothetical problem. They were awful. I guess I just fail to see how it’s going to help being able ignore everyone you don’t like so the political shills parroting garbage they read on Twitter and the self-proclaimed experts who got their doctorates from the Reddit Institute of Virology can shriek into an improvised echo chamber…
Respect! Very well managed, Tim.
Good job to Tim and the staff. Sometimes you don’t know—until you read their comment—that someone is a troll. Certain signature names will stick in my head—whether they automatically and regularly piss on someone’s team or spout political rubbish— so those commenters will be easy to mute from now on. But as much as I dislike the Dodgers and Yankees, doesn’t mean I don’t want to hear their fans’ take on things. Most of us here love baseball and just want to talk about baseball in a civil manner.
‘We are going to open posting on COVID-19 posts’
-The Gang Keeps Closing Comments on Covid-19 posts.
Huh, must have talked to a lawyer or your google Adsense rep. Sellout
“We are going to open comments on COVID-19 posts.”
So why have the last two “Covid-19 Notes” posts from the 9th and the 10th been closed to comments?
Waiting for Dr. Fauci’s ok
Covid comments are closed btw
Either way – games shouldn’t be canceled because of one or two cases. We have the taxi squad?