The administration here has a bit of a confession to make: we don't like HATE WEEK. We don't hate it, but what was started as an homage to Orwell's magnum opus and an excuse to act like a doofus on the internet has become something that comes off as legitimately hateful. What was intended to be a forum for Ole Miss fans to vent, therefore keeping most of our worst opinions and emotions quarantined in a comments thread that people could easily avoid, became a shouting match. It got stupid, it got mean, and, worst of all, it began to spill out into other parts of this website and others on the SB Nation network.
It was supposed to be fun, feigned, and kinda dumb, but it became a bad look, not just for the RCR community, but for the Ole Miss community at large. Because of this, we've very seriously considered just doing away with HATE WEEK altogether. But, because so many of y'all do earnestly enjoy and even look forward to it, we won't do that just yet.
Now, if all of this is sounding familiar, that's because we had a very, very similar conversation towards the end of the last offseason. After the flaming diarrhea heap that was the 2013 Mizzou HATE WEEK (which I won't even bother to link), along with the general tendency of some thin-skinned opposing fans to get their feelings hurt by HATE WEEK in general, we were close to pulling the plug. What we did instead, though, was remind you that HATE WEEK, while pretty loose in its guidelines, isn't exactly the Wild West of the internet. There still are rules here, and you've got to obey them if you want to keep playing. We've also been using a HATE WEEK disclaimer for the past couple of years to remind everyone that this whole endeavor is deliberately silly and stupid, and that getting upset over silly and stupid things is silly and stupid.
Those steps made things better, but they didn't make things great or even all that good. HATE WEEK is still, unfortunately, a bit of a "do we have to?" for the powers that be around here. We've only decided to keep at it because a lot of our most loyal readers and commenters really do enjoy it, and we're not yet mean enough to deprive y'all of that joy. So instead of axing HATE WEEK, we're going to take a couple more steps to hopefully give y'all a really dumb comments thread in which to waste your Monday mornings.
- We're instituting a probationary period for new members. If you sign up for an account here, you'll have to wait a full 24 hours to post something. This will significantly reduce our Andre of the Week candidates, but it will also significantly reduce e-shouting matches.
- We will more closely monitor the comments threads and hide or delete comments more frequently. The reason for this should be pretty apparent. If you're being needlessly incendiary, feedling trolls, engaging in ad hominems, etc., then your comments will be removed. We're taking an "if you have to ask, then the answer is 'no'" approach to "would it be wrong if I post this?" When we do hide or delete comments, we are going to explain why. This way it is clear as to what it is we expect out of y'all (and those of y'all stopping in to partake in the fun).
- We will, again, ask y'all to flag comments that you think detract from the overall spirit of this place. Obviously those decisions are ours to make, but y'all can make those decisions easier for us.
- Do not take it elsewhere. One of the main reasons we've enjoyed HATE WEEK over the years is because it keeps the shouting matches and irrational fan behavior quarantined to a single section of our site. Keep everything in its right place, not just within the Red Cup Rebellion community but elsewhere on the SB Nation network. Remember, to a lot of college football fans, this website is the face of the Ole Miss fanbase.
- We will, if need be, shut HATE WEEK down for good. I don't think it will come to this.
Yeah, so sorry for sounding like an elementary school principal with all of this, but I do think y'all mostly understand what it is that we're looking for. It's just the whole bad apples spoiling the whole bunch thing - and, yes, that goes just as much for opposing fans as is does for the commentariat here. Keep it fun, keep it between the lines, keep it within HATE WEEK, and we'll be able to keep it on this here website. We can almost guarantee that this will change very little of what you love about HATE WEEK, while reducing that which we all sorta hate about it.
Okay, that's that. Look forward to some HATIN' next week, y'all. And if you have any comments or concerns, drop 'em in the thread below. I'll get to them before next week.