Two pieces of news about the Winter Is Coming community!
First, we’re working on getting forums for the site up, and soon. I’m excited about the possibility of having a space for longer-form conversations about Game Of Thrones, A Song Of Ice And Fire, and everything related. I hope that this can foster a vibrant community, and I’ll be responding to and highlighting the best discussion there.
Second, we’re instituting a simple comment policy. There has been a lot of discussion, controversy, and research about comments, and it’s becoming quite clear that intelligent and respectful comments are a huge advantage for a site, while a negative community affects perception of the entire site and its articles. For most sites, that means moderation is necessary.
With that in mind, our policy would like to encourage two things in comments:
Please be respectful. Whoever you’re responding to–article authors, fellow commenters, or even cast and crew on the show–are people, and treating them respectfully helps ensure a better community for everyone.
Try to add new and interesting ideas to the discussion. For example, one of the best ways to foster intelligent conversation is to be specific about the things you liked, didn’t like, reminded you of a link, or found especially fascinating.
And two rules:
No sexism, racism, or other forms of bigotry will be tolerated. This is self-evident, I think, but I’d like to highlight one specific form that I’d like to see disappear, which is creepy objectification. For example, Game Of Thrones depicts a lot of attractive people, many of whom are sometimes naked, and the difference between appreciating human beauty and creepy objectification can be a fine line. But comments like “HBO, please make [actress] get naked!” are nowhere near that fine line and will be deleted.
No website wars. Please don’t use the comments simply to denigrate one site and build up another. The vast majority of messages I’ve deleted so far are content-free, disrespectful, and most damningly of all, boring attempts to attack this site and build up others.
I understand that there’s history behind these feelings, and I’ve been there myself, on both sides, with websites that I love. But most of these messages are needlessly nasty and will be deleted. This is not to say that WiC doesn’t encourage constructive criticism, nor that we’re blacklisting links to other sites. But they should be brought up in ways that are respectful and interesting.