Hello, hello friendly neighborhood BALKers! Our tiny little corner of Kinja seems to be growing at quite a clip these days and as a result, we feel it’s time to lay down some very basic ground rules. We know some people asked for these early on, but when we were much smaller, we hoped to avoid being iron-fisted and that general common sense and basic courtesy would keep the peace. Well, the time has finally come for us to spell a few things out so your wait is now over.

We want to review what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior. More specifically, what kinds of issues are likely to result in banning:

  • Any racist, ableist, misogynistic, homophobic or transphobic slurs will result in banning.
  • Divulging anyone’s personal information without explicit, public permission will result in banning.
  • Repeatedly attacking another member despite being asked to stop will result in having author rights pulled at a minimum and potentially a banning at the discretion of the moderators.
  • The publishing of personal conversations with another board member without explicit, public permission will potentially result in banning at the discretion of the moderators.
  • Call-outs are specifically forbidden on this board. There might be times where things happen on Gawker Media where we will discuss the goings-on, but call-outs and inciting people to pile on a commenter is not okay.
  • If a mod has asked a member to tone down in an altercation, that must be respected. Failure to do so could result in the pulling of author rights or banning depending upon the situation.
  • If an argument arises outside of Backtalk, please do not bring it to Backtalk. We do not mind if people share comments to the board. However, if you are in an argument with another member, it is not acceptable to share comments from that argument to the board. Such comments will be removed. This is nothing personal and all members are held to the same standards.

While we mostly apply these rules to our board, if we become aware of you persistently harassing or otherwise provoking and inciting arguments in other places with our members (such as other Kinja communities or on Twitter) and they have asked for this to stop, we will have to reconsider your involvement on our board, including possible authorship losses or banning.

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Listen, arguments and disagreements will arise on the board. We know this. We don’t expect that everyone is going to like each other all the time. And this is the Internet after all. We are a growing and pretty diverse board and we don’t mind lively debate or even heated disagreements as long as all parties are comfortable. We do expect people to behave maturely and courteously towards each other. If anyone is feeling uncomfortable about the direction of an argument, please contact a mod.

Furthermore, in regards to sharing, please keep in mind it is always within the discretion of the moderators to unshare a comment or a post if we deem it necessary for any reason. This doesn’t come up very often. Generally, we try to alert people when we do it but we are not always able to do it in every situation. Should something you shared be unshared and you do not know why, please feel free to track us down and we’d be happy to talk. Quite often it is simply a matter of making space on the front page or oversaturation of a particular topic.

Finally, we want to let you know that unsharing and unfollowing is something that is considered uncool in this community. We do not want to see this community use unfollowing on commenters as a punishment. Particularly if there was no discussion about the reason for doing so. Please, if you have been unfollowed, let us know so we can rectify it. It may be Kinja or it may be board shenanigans but please let a mod know if you are experiencing issues.

Thank you, guys. We can’t express how much we adore you. We really strive to make this a safe and enjoyable board and want to keep the lines of communication open. So please contact us any time. And most importantly, keep being awesome.

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(And while we have your eyes and ears, let us take a moment to publicly thank our amazing troll patrol mods who silently help us out all the time: BIG, BIG THANKS TO K2B and INTHERAIN. You guys rock!)

—Cheerful, Owl & Snacktastic