FanPost

On Game Threads

So I went out last night to watch both the Bruins (even I can get excited over a Stanley Cup Finals) and the Red Sox at once with some friends. I come back to see the Game Thread has amassed a remarkable 1,000 comments. Not what I expected with the Cup on the line, but I was quite glad to see Beckett's excellence had not gone unobserved.

Then I opened the old Email, and realized that those 1,000 comments might not be of the highest quality.

I do not claim to have gone through all thousand thoughts, but I've given the more...in-depth discussions a look, and here's the general conclusions I've drawn:

  • Tensions were kicked off by an unhealthy obsession with the goings-on at the opposing team's blog which we would all probably be better off without.
  • Things escalated over a suggestion of veiled racism in a comment. 
  • Which in turn led to a giant case of internet: serious business.
  • By the end of the game, there was barely any actual commenting being done on the game itself, which was a pretty good one.

Now, ignoring whether or not the "black hand" comment was made with malicious intentions, and without going into a too-long debate over whether or not their use in American history as a means of racial oppression has permanently tainted the word "lynching" with racial overtones, we've still clearly got a problem.

I don't necessarily think the Rays fans were overtly trolling, or necessarily the "perpetrators" of what went on in yesterday's game thread, but they are undeniably the catalysts.

I'm not interested in being the guy who bans anyone who's not wearing a Sox jersey, but at the same time Game Threads are the most community-oriented aspect of the whole site, and so it seems only fair to leave it up to said community.

Is it preferable to ban users from other sites who haven't necessarily broken rules in the interest of a less contentious game thread?

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