1. Keep your language clean.
(a) You may not use expletives. You may not exchange or omit one more characters from one of the words listed above in the name of conveying the same message. For example, you may not substitute sht, $hit, or sh!t for shit.
(c) You may not use slurs for ethnic groups, nationalities, race, sexual orientation, or religion. If you are confused as to whether a term is inappropriate, it probably is. To be fair, though, you may consult Wikipedia’s list of ethnic slurs, list of religious slurs, or pages in sexual and gender-related slurs. It’s not hard to spot xenophobia or jingoism.
2. Protect proprietary content: you may not use content marked “VIP” in other fora. This includes everything from copying and pasting a whole story to passing along a quick nugget of information in your own words (e.g. “I heard Smith may be committing sometime in the near future.”).
3. Do not post commercial offers or any material that infringes and/or violates any right of a third party or any law. This will be a zero-tolerance, immediate-deletion rule. Moreover, do not fish for email addresses.
4. No flaming. To paraphrase Potter Stewart, we’ll know it when we see it. The staff are not a bunch of shills, and discretion will be paid in enforcing rules on flaming—heed warnings!
5. Be respectful...
(a) ...to other posters. Under no circumstances may you threaten violence to another participant—or anybody else, for that matter. Under no circumstances may you use inappropriate slurs against others (see above). Beyond that, enforcement is largely discretionary. We all know that there’s a set of insults that is too far (for example, slurs), but we also know that something like “you’re being stupid” isn’t anything too terrible. We also don’t know where the line differentiating the two kinds of insults is. Moderators will encourage respectful, lively debate and will steer as needed. Further, don’t post information about other posters without their permission.
(b) ...to players, families, coaches, and staffs of Pitt and other college/high school programs. Minimize name-calling—if it goes too far, you’ll be asked to edit or stop. Likewise, unsubstantiated rumor-mongering will not be tolerated.
(c) ...to recruits. That you did not want Pitt to offer a two-star prospect that commit- ted does not mean that you get to demean them incessantly. On the other hand, “open letters” to recruits may constitute a violation of NCAA rules (boosters may not make such contact).
(d) ...to the staff of the site. The writers put a lot of time into their work and deserve common courtesy. Moderators stand nothing to gain from being shills. In short, these people want a good, healthy community as much as anybody.
(e) ...to Pitt. Ultimately, this is a board dedicated to Pitt athletics, and if you’re to err, you should err on the side of Pitt. We don’t need constant bashing or repetitive negative posting. Before you post, ask yourself: is what I am about to post a healthy contribution?
6. Know the forum. This is intended to be a lively discussion board. In posting here, you accept the rules of the board as a set of (minimal) limitations on your free speech. Likewise, you also give others the right to respond to your post—positively, negatively, or otherwise. It is disingenuous to write a strongly-worded post only to lament others’ criticisms of your points. Some thickness of skin is presumed. Of course, the rules and the staff will do everything possible to ensure that nobody goes too far in their criticisms.
7. On politics: debate is allowed, but special care will be taken by the staff to ensure that political threads remain civil and high-quality. In no uncertain terms: posters have less leash on political topics than they do on other topics. It’s unfortunate that such is the case, but we all know how quickly things can devolve when politics are involved.
8. The staff will show discretion in enforcing these rules and sincerely wish to see the board be its best. Along these lines, you’re encouraged to work with moderators to keep things civil. If you see an obvious problem, report it. If a moderator asks you to edit a post or tone down a potentially nasty conversation, take their thoughts under consideration. Nobody wants the law to be laid down too harshly or unfairly.
We look forward to a good board culture characterized by lively but respectful debate and the quick transmission of high-quality information.