Pure Football - The Epic Mini-Series Continues

We created the Pure Football forum in 1999 as a place for devoted Browns fans to talk and debate football, with an emphasis on analysis and wit. While there are now about 23,541 forums calling themselves "Pure Football" on the 'net, there aren't many like this one. The PF Forum has remained unique because of the well-informed Browns fans and the moderators who dwell there. Those fans have re-written the PF charter, presented here...

Pure Football Forum Charter
Revised 5/1/06

"Disruptive Posts Run Mercilessly." - Arthur B. Bietz

The Pure Football Forum (PFF) is intended as a haven for intelligent discussion of Cleveland Browns Football. The rest of the charter seeks to support this goal.

PFF is an on-line community open to all who register, including fans of other teams, but limitations are placed upon participant behaviors and on the subjects and content of the messages posted. Participation in the Pure Football Forum is a voluntary. Since it is voluntary it is logical and necessary that those participating agree to review and abide by this Charter. We highly recommend that before posting you visit the Pure Football Forum and read along with the threads for a while to get a good feel for how the forum works and what is expected. Welcome.

Pure Football is an actively moderated forum. Multiple designated forum participants provide the monitoring service. These individuals were asked to serve in this capacity by Art Bietz (aka Barry) and are volunteers. All posts are reviewed on a regular basis, usually within 72 hours. More often than not, individual posts that occur outside of charter will be deleted, moved to another forum, or will have out of charter text selectively edited, and this will occur without prior notice.

The PF Charter contains a set of rules to guide the moderators in their efforts. The intent behind the formulation of these rules is to achieve these goals:

  1. Allow for thoughtful and in-depth discussion and debate that is also wide-open and entertaining so long as the topic in some way relates to Cleveland Browns' football.
  2. Facilitate and promote participation by any who desire to participate. New participants are welcomed and encouraged to join the community.
  3. Actively maintain the intended focus of this forum: a focused brand of Cleveland Browns football discussion and analysis.
  4. Actively protect the forum from disruption.

The moderators understand that the best discussion often occurs in the form of debate. Debate may be aggressive and irreverent in nature, but civility toward other participants is required. There is no desire to make this a G-rated board, however, charter forbids blatant personal attacks against other posters.

Flame wars among the forum members destroy relevant discussion and intimidate readers that have not yet contributed. Continued violation will result in the banning of one or more of the posters. A ban can be of temporary or permanent, with the length of time at the discretion of the moderators. Occasionally, moderators will post reminders about charter or lock down threads when threads become disruptive to discussion.

An aggressive approach to countering another's opinion is not considered out of bounds and will not incur any action so long as it is done in a thoughtful and civil manner. Indeed, the best debate is often direct and challenges another's opinion. If this sort of give and take is distasteful to you as a participant, it is recommended that you not participate in PFF. Don't expect everyone to agree with you. This is not a rant forum, but it is neither a cotillion nor a feel-good fans' forum. PFF is a discussion and analysis forum.

A certain amount of mental toughness is embedded in the forum's culture, but one that is able to draw the distinction between disagreeing with a participant's ideas without making the post a personal attack. If you do not believe you can make that distinction and will retaliate with a personal attack without responding to the content of a post, this is not the forum for you. However, no one seeks to create a boring forum. The moderators will not obstruct playful parody, and other forms of good-natured repartee between participants, so long as it is clear that the exchanges are mutually seen as good-natured.

Disruptive posts are those with the primary purpose of antagonizing the participants of this forum, or are posted in numbers solely to prevent free discourse on a topic. Posting that is not topical, or is insulting to fans of teams and would likely invite disruptive reprisals is considered disruptive.

The following are examples of posts that will consistently be moved to another forum in this domain, deleted, or if the rest of the post has redeeming content, selectively edited:

1. Any personal attack will be deleted.

What is a personal attack?

* Any post that attacks or belittles a person will be deleted. This can include things as blatant as name calling, or suggesting others perform anatomically impossible acts, or direct and indirect put downs to a person such as "you never coached, you never played the game, you never stood on your head singing "Seasons in the Sun", etc.

* Any post or series of posts that lacks substance and is essentially stalking to antagonize a poster will be deleted; even if in includes thin content as camouflage. You can't logically disagree with someone 100% of the time for months on end, you don't always have to "win" a debate, and no one wants to read personal pissing matches. Continued pissing matches will result in the deletion of all posts by the participants involved, regardless of content. Take it off line.

* Any post that is not mutually recognized as good natured parody by both posters that crosses the boundaries of what moderators consider civil by this forum's community standards will be deleted. Take it off line.

2. If a post attacks fans or teams, either individually or as a group, the post will be deleted, moved, or selectively edited.

PFF has a long history of welcoming and even soliciting participation by fans of other teams. Some of our best long-term posters are not Browns fans, nor should their reputations on other forums influence their ability to discuss football when they want to enter PFF. Fans from other teams provide a reality check.

Parody in discussion is allowed. For example, referring to AFCN fans or teams, as Appalachians, Ratbirds, Bunguls or Clowns is fair game if it is absolutely clear the post is football related.

An attack on fans includes Browns' fans you might deem as lesser or "not true fans". The base assumption is we are all true Browns fans to be fanatically following the team via BNI. Attacks on fans and fans' behavior will be moved to forums with more liberal guidelines for further discussion.

3. The "Vinnie - Bernie" aka "Couch - Holcomb" clause.

Sometimes opinions on a topic will break down into two dominant and diametrically opposite viewpoints passionately expressed and argued. These topics generate such fervor that gang mentalities develop, with each gang seeking to "defeat" the other gang, or prevent them from even voicing their opinion. Such a development chokes off intelligent discussion and generally destroys civility. The repercussions of these gang wars can continue for months and even years. Members harbor grudges and sometimes "stalk" other members.

To combat this, the moderators will move, edit or delete posts including hot button terms such as those or generalize posters. Topics may be "managed" with intense moderator scrutiny to ensure a free exchange of ideas and opinions.

Members should always debate, discuss, affirm, and evaluate individuals' opinions and post content, not what you perceive to be "movements".

4. Low Quality

This is tricky and subjective, but there are certain expectations involved when voluntarily participating in a discussion and analysis forum. Not every post need be "War and Peace" or every opinion backed up by a published dissertation, but PFF participants often put a lot of care into their posts. Respecting that effort is an essential expectation. If the best you can come up with is a one liner that is rude, lacks wit or counter-thought, or regurgitates an opinion that has been already expressed, consider passing on replying to that post. Also, consider putting in some thought and an original angle into your take when posting; add something of quality. On occasion, a short sentence of irony or fact addition/fact correction is great. And a picture can be worth a thousand words. But be selective with short replies or "atta boy Luther" takes that add little, including overusing emoticons. Short questions for others that generate discussion or analysis or links to article that do the same are encouraged.

Posts that run counter to the spirit of PFF, or posts that just plain lack quality are subject to deletion, closure or movement.

5. Posts discussing PFF moderation on the PFF are forbidden and will be moved to the World Wide Rant.

Feel free to call us genocidal depots or shining beacons of righteousness all you wish on the WWR, just don't do it on the PFF board as that topically does not pertain to Browns football. Mods are always available for contact through a PM note.

6. Gray Areas

Mods loath gray areas, but they are inevitable. Posters who purposely "walk the line" or "live in the gray" are subject to increased scrutiny and moderation. By necessity, the mods will make a judgment call on the type of response. If the poster cannot see fit to bring himself clearly back within the charter limits, he will be actively moderated with edits, deletions, and possibly a ban on his continued posting in PFF.

Mods do not seek to delete posts for jollies. They seek to maintain a culture that facilitates discussion. Mods would rather be threading than moderating. On occasion, posts that fail to meet the following overall goals of the forum may be deemed disruptive and may be moved, edited or deleted without notice:

  • This forum is intended to be a haven for intelligent discussion related to Cleveland Browns football.
  • Disruptive posts will be actively moderated in the sense that they will be deleted, edited or relocated.

While the moderators understand that discussion of Cleveland Browns Football can lead to many varied subjects (e.g. draft prospects, college football players and coaches, other NFL teams, etc) topics that cannot be specifically related to the Cleveland Browns will be moved or deleted. This is not censorship. This is active moderation to maintain a voluntary community. To ensure that the voice of all Browns fans can be seen and heard in a variety of settings on a myriad of topics, Art Bietz (aka Barry), the creator of the site may create forums for other topics of interest. Browns fans wishing to discuss other topics and are willing to participate and assist in the managing of such forums should contact him.

Finally, moderators of this forum often have to make judgment calls about appropriateness of posts in order to maintain the relevance of the community. Decisive decisions will be the rule and PFF is an actively moderated forum. Moderating a forum is a thankless and payless job. Moderators know that they have no monopoly of common sense and they have no gifts of divine omniscience. Mods only do the best they can as they see fit on a given day.

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