Managing Madrid has grown into one of the largest footballing sites on SB Nation in just a few short years. While this is brilliant and has helped our blog grow leaps and bounds, it has also led to some inevitable problems in terms of quality content and politeness in the comments section. While we do have a community guidelines page on MM, our editors have decided that we need a more detailed and specific outline on to how to behave in the comments section and more. We have shamelessly copied large sections of our guidelines from SB Nation's Chelsea blog, We Ain't Got No History, because frankly, they did a brilliant job.
1) Insults & Personal Attacks Are Not Welcome Here
With the size of this community, we’re bound to have different players we all rate highly, tactics and teams we prefer to watch, and roster moves that we’d prefer to see made. Discussing those topics is one of the primary reasons we all visit the comment sections at MM, and it’s why this particular item is so important.
If you’re going to comment at MM it’s expected that you can contribute without making things personal. All of us will eventually run into a user who seems to feel differently about everything Real Madrid-related, but that’s never a reason to say anything about the user themselves. Keep things to football and be respectful of everyone - the community will be a better place for it.
It's also important to reiterate that racist, homophobic and misogynistic (this includes making comparisons or "light" jokes that blatantly objectify women) remarks will not be tolerated at MM. Any indication of this in your comments will receive an instant and non-negotiable ban. While this hasn't been a huge problem at MM, it is always important to remember that we are a fully inclusive and non-discriminatory blog.
2) Relentless Negativity Isn’t Welcome at MM
Supporting Real Madrid can be frustrating, we get it. From Florentino Perez's mad directorial decisions, to our frustrating inability to win trophies in recent years, fans will sometimes feel down. But we can't let this turn into relentless negativity. I’m going to borrow a definition from another SB Nation community, Pension Plan Puppets, on this:
"What constitutes ‘relentless negativity’? Constantly complaining without reasoning or proposing solutions. We're all fans and we all get frustrated when the team doesn't perform or has bad luck, but regurgitating the same venom over and over again doesn't help anything or anyone - it just fouls the air, and we're all better than that. If you continue to do nothing but post negativity, you may lose posting privileges without warning. There's a difference between someone who aims to point out flaws and be constructive and someone who is destructive. That said, we understand the reality of emotional responses in real-time during a game, for example, and are likely to be a bit more lenient in such cases. Bottom line: the goal is to make this community fun for everyone."
Following any team is going to have ups and downs, regardless of what team you choose to follow. Real Madrid aren’t going to win every game they play or every competition they take part in, and they aren’t always going to look particularly impressive when the take the pitch. The relentlessly negative fan seems to find things to complain about in every single match and with every roster move made, and frankly, it makes the comments sections very difficult for others to read.
If you find yourself being relentlessly critical in a majority of the posts you comment on, you probably won’t find yourself being a long-term part of this community. You’re entitled to your opinion, but please be mindful of the fact that nobody wants it shoved in their face every single time they log in.
3) The "Plastic" Fan
This one is a big one, and it’s one of my biggest pet peeves. This community consists of members from all around the globe who follow the club in a variety of different ways. None of us are "better" fans than any others, regardless of how much time or money we spend following the club.
At MM, season ticket holders who attend every single match won’t be treated any differently than the guy that watches 1-2 games a year on TV from their couch in Siberia. Disagree with another fan’s views all you want, but if you make a comment giving them an insulting label such as being a "plastic fan" (or anything else suggesting that they are inferior in any way), I wouldn’t be expecting to be commenting here any longer.
4) No Linking or Redirecting to Illegal Streams
We have "How To Watch" articles at MM for specific matches, and in those pieces we include a link that provides streaming and television information. If you aren’t entirely certain if something is legal, it’s probably not a good idea to post a link in our comment section. Please note, this includes directing to apps which alter your IP address.
5) Trolling Is Not Acceptable Behavior
First and foremost, this is a community for Real Madrid fans to discuss all things Real Madrid. Does that mean you won’t be free to join the discussion even if you aren’t a fan of the Whites? Of course it doesn’t, but it does mean you’ll be expected to be civil and be aware that you’re commenting at a blog with a heavy pro-Los Blancos bias.
For example, even though Ronaldo might irritate the hell out of you, taking every chance you get to take a shot at him is not acceptable.
There’s a flip-side to this as well, as SB Nation has blogs dedicated to many of our rivals. MM community members are encouraged to check those sites out, but "trolling" in any of those communities will not be looked at any more favorably than a rival fan doing so here.
6) Certain Topics Are Best Left Away From a Football Blog
Politics and religion are the first things that come to mind here, as our readers will likely have a wide variety of views on the matter that tend to elicit strong reactions. Occasionally, something will happen which makes one of those topics relevant to Madrid, but the vast majority of the time we’d like to see those topics left out of the discussion. Even in the rare case that one of these topics directly relates to the matter at hand, tread lightly and keep things to the matter at hand. Doing so will make MM a better place for all.
7) Keep Things On Topic
MM has grown a lot over the past two years, and the number of comments have increased along with the amount of members. At some point, pages begin to load slowly for some users without the latest 43G phones or best internet connections. When we write a match analysis of El Clásico, it’s probably not the best place to discuss the latest transfer "news" from The Sun. If it’s newsworthy, we’ll probably write about it on the front page. If you just can’t wait any longer for us to do so, you can always create a fanshot or a fanpost with a link to the article.
We're also trying to create a hub for intelligent, fact-based discussion. Articles are the spur of such discussion and we expect the comments to reflect the content and intent of the article. Discussing your 10 favorite movies and the hairstyle of 20 celebrities in 100 comments is best saved for articles with rumors or fanposts. We want new members to scroll through the comments and get the impression that MM is a community focused on intelligent discussion that enhances everyone's understanding of the game.
On the point of keeping things on topic, some readers will occasionally be warned or have their comments deleted by a moderator in private. Hopefully the explanation clears up the reason behind the warning, but sometimes there may be further questions on the matter. Debating why you were warned or why your comment was deleted is not an appropriate discussion for the comments section, as Los Merengues fans visiting the site aren't looking to read that sort of thing. Simply drop one of us an email and we'll gladly go into further detail about the reason the warning appeared.
8) Try to Avoid Using Profanity
We’re all going to use four letter words at times, especially during games. That said, this isn't a situation where you blurt something out without thinking, to post a comment here you need to type it out and hit 'post'.
There will be occasions where some profanity is acceptable, especially during games where emotions are running high. With that said, many of us read these threads at work or with family around, and don't want to see the comment sections become something you can't open in these situations. If you can make your point without using any profanity, please do it.
9) You Aren’t Texting, & This Isn’t Twitter
Our comments are not limited to a set number of characters, so neither are you. With that in mind, let’s type out "you" instead of using "u", "be" as opposed to "b", and "are" as opposed to "r". Start sentences with a capital letter, finish them with punctuation. If you can’t be bothered to type out simple words to make reading comments a little easier, nobody here is going to bother reading them.
10) Have Fun While You’re Here
At the end of the day, this is why we’re all here, to have fun and support Real Madrid. The reason we’re asking you to follow these basic guidelines is to make it an enjoyable experience for everyone.
When you decide to comment, do so as if you actually want to be part of an online community. Make an effort to make good comments. Look to contribute and engage and discuss, not to consume and attack and dismiss, and remember that commenting is a privilege, not a right. Make it fun not just for yourself, but for everyone else as well.
Finally, the MM staff would like to personally thank all of you for your massive involvement in the site. Seeing your positive feedback and constructive criticism fills us with immense joy everyday, and your passionate following of Real Madrid makes this community a better place. Now, just imagine how much better our community can be if we follow the guidelines set above!