This site is not compelled to grant free speech to anyone. What we all have is the right to post here on any topic, as long as we do so within the community rules, as outlined below. If our core ethos of 'Play the ball, not the man' doesn't appeal to you then you might be better off frequenting one of the many other excellent Spurs sites on the web.
This is a community where we invite Spurs fans in to ‘pull up a chair’, relax and discuss Spurs (and other) matters in a comfortable, mature, amusing and (mostly) intelligent environment. To preserve this environment COYS has rules and a Moderating Team. Every member of COYS is subject to the site rules, known as the COYS Code of Conduct (the CCC). You may find the COYS’ Moderators adhere to the guidelines more assiduously than some sites, in order to encourage respect for fellow Spurs fans. The CCC is rigorous, however please bear in mind that we are doing our best to provide a cyber-warrior, gooner, wind-up merchant and loud-mouth free 'safe haven’ for you to relax in and enjoy. We haven’t, don't and won't get that right 100% of the time.
(a) RESPECT is the key to COYS, so please ensure you PLAY THE
BALL (the issue) and NOT THE MAN (a fellow COYSer, ITK or another
forum). If you follow this rule, it is likely your stay on COYS
will be a long and positive experience. If you choose to play the man,
including the use of sarcasm or phrases like 'knee jerk' to denigrate the views
of fellow COYSers, you are also choosing to risk a suspension of your account.
You have ample opportunity to express your own point of view sensibly and
reasonably without making your comments personal which is only likely to result
in a similar response. If you are incapable of venting your frustration without
resorting to digs at one or more fellow COYSers then this is not the place for
you. There are many other sites where one can indulge a penchant for
keyboard-warriorhood. COYS isn’t one of them. Please
be sure your words are compatible with the CCC before you hit
the 'post' button.
(b) Emoticons: Try to use emoticons to take the edge off what might otherwise seem an aggressive post. If you choose not to use smileys and you are misinterpreted, or if you use them to mock or belittle someone else's opinion, then you must accept any consequences that ensue.
(c) Self Control/Report Function: If someone makes you angry, take a break before you reply. Carefully consider if you have really appreciated what they meant to say. If you are still upset or offended, then please don’t get into an argument with the other poster - instead, either (i) PM the other person and see if you can reach an amicable resolution or (ii) use the “report” function at the bottom of the relevant post and leave it to the Mod team to decide if the rules have been breached.
(d) Venting: Within reason, negative comments aimed at the footballing qualities of players, coaching staff or directors of any team (including Spurs) are fair game, although we urge you to try to make them as constructive as possible. There are members of the playing, coaching and admin staff of THFC who are also members of COYS, who are entitled to the same respect that is afforded to all COYSers, thus abusive and personal comments are not acceptable. Venting frustration at on- and off-field events is fine, as long as it isn't directed at a COYSer or group of COYSers.
(e) Repetition: Repetitive posts are not healthy for the community or for the person making them. These one-trick ponies will be asked to broaden their contributions. Failure to do so will mean a parting of the ways.
(f) Thread ‘Hijacking’: Diverting any thread, including Off Topic (OT) discussions, to propagate one's own biases, is disrespectful to both the thread starter and to those who are debating the issue at hand. Please ensure that all discussions that have existing threads in the Soapbox forum are kept in there, and are not posted in other forums.
(g) Lost Marbles: Attention-seeking announcements of departures from COYS run contrary to the spirit of the community. If you make such a post, your account may be terminated. If you want a break, take one. That way you will have the choice of whether to return or not at a later date. If you make a "look at me" post along the lines of "I always stay away from here for x days after a defeat", it will be treated as a request to have your account terminated.
(h) Stalking: Stalking of other posters, either in a forum or via PM, will not be tolerated. If a particular poster bothers you, please use your powers of self-restraint, or use the 'ignore' feature. The same goes for those who indulge in 'clique banter', which can be adequately communicated using the COYS PM system, rather than the forums.
(i) Stranger Danger: If you have reason to doubt the credibility of any other COYS member, then please remit the proof to Prof or one of the Mods and the matter will be dealt with accordingly.
(j) Play The Ball, Not The Men: Threads
and posts that 'call out' sections of the COYS membership (e.g. "to all
you Keane haters", or "you lot who defend the club") are unnecessary
and inflammatory, and will be treated as if they were attacks on individuals.
If you dislike (to the point of being unable to adhere to the CCC) criticism of
any of the players and staff of THFC, or if ‘head in the sand’ type posts
irritate you, then stay away from those threads.
(k) Bumping Old Threads: Bumping someone else's thread in order to mock/belittle the posts therein is very much against the CCC. Opinions cannot be taken out of their original context. The same is true for bumping one's own threads or posts, which is a 'Told You So' action by those who are low on self-esteem.
100% Rule: One of the mod team's pet peeves is COYSers who whine that
the reason they breached the CCC is because someone else's post or posting style
made them do it. This shows that the person is unwilling and/or unable to
exercise the minimum of self-control required to be a COYSer, or to accept
responsibility for their choices. Every COYSER is 100% accountable for the
words they choose to post. No excuses --- e.g. the topic being discussed or
the poor posts of other COYSers --- diminishes that responsibility one iota, so
please don't waste the mod's time by trying to invoke it.
(m) Use of Sources: COYSers must provide a link to the source of non-ITK information (e.g. specific blog or twitter account) and articles (with a link if possible, and the article pasted underneath) within their post, to ensure the appropriate credit is being given. Do not post information without attribution, as the type and reputation of the source is important in helping COYSers assess its credibility.
8. Netiquette (by greenegg). The mod team have been giving some thought to the COYS experience, and how it can be made using COYS simpler, faster, and more pleasant for all of us. We would like this to be treated as good manners. Please note - bad manners make for grumpy mods. If we can all stick to these simple rules then we will all enjoy COYS that little bit more - if such a thing were possible. :-)
(a) O/T. Please put O/T at the start of a BNL thread if it is NOT spurs-, sports-, or COYS-related. Any thread to do with sports (not just football), or about COYS or a COYSer, is on topic. Threads in the subfora don't need this.
(b) Replying. If you are replying to a post which contains images or videos, please delete these from your reply before hitting the 'Add Reply' button. There really is no need for replies to contain images etc - this makes the page longer and more repetitive, plus it all puts additional strain on our server.
(c) Block Capitals. Please do not write a header, or a significant part of a post, in BLOCK CAPITALS. It is the message board equivalent of shouting and is unpleasant. For the same reason, exclamation marks shouldn't be used in thread titles.
(d) Emoticons. Please do not reply to a post with which you disagree with nothing more than an emoticon. Whether it is the intended outcome or not, this is usually seen as derisory and adds nothing to the debate. If you disagree, explain why.
(e) Textspeak, white text, etc. Don't use them. Simple. We have users from all over the world and of all ages and cultures, so let's keep communication as clear as possible.
(f) Which Forum? i) The Soapbox: COYS is not primarily a political forum, however it is clear that a sub-set of COYSers feel passionately about certain non-sports subjects. The Soapbox is a place to express your views on 'political/religious/social' topics (e.g. elections, terrorism, gun control), and have the opportunity to read perspectives other than your own, on the condition that the topic and the individual posts adhere to the CCC. If you'd like to start a new topic in this forum, please contact Prof for approval before doing so. ii) DBS: The Danny Blanchflower Saloon is for threads about COYS and COYSers.
(g) Thread Titles. Don't start threads with a sensationalist title or vague title. There's no need for 'clickbait' thread titles.
(h) New Thread/Old Thread?
Duplicating Threads. Please take the time to check whether there is an existing thread on a subject before starting a new one. COYS has a search facility which is available at the top of the page (click on the cog to the right for enhanced options), which will tell you if a thread on the subject already exists.
During Match. Keep all match-related comments in the match thread. The match thread should not be used to refer to other games as that could spoil things for COYSers who have recorded those matches to watch at a later time. During a match, do not start/bump player or manager threads; please wait until after the final whistle has blown.
Post Match. If one doesn't already exist, you can start a new thread dedicated to a player, the manager, team tactics, etc., to share your match-specific opinions. Don't bump old threads for this purpose. When creating post-match player-specific threads, make sure your thread title includes the player(s) name and the name of our opponents.
(i) Discussion. If you find an article or news item somewhere and think it would spark a good discussion on COYS, that's great - bring it in, but don't just copy and paste the item, say 'discuss' (or something similar) and walk away. Explain why you brought the article into COYS and what your opinion is. Start the debate, and if possible, hang around to participate. If you aren't able to hang around, then start the thread when you can be there for awhile, so you can respond to points others make.
(j) Polls. Please ask yourself "Would this topic be better discussed as a standard thread?" before starting a poll. So don't create two option polls, as the subject will invariably be better handled as a discussion topic.
(k) RIP threads. Please be judicious in deciding whether to start an RIP thread for a celebrity (including people from the world of sports). If the same person keeps starting RIP threads for increasingly minor celebrities, it comes across as somewhat ghoulish and mawkish.