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Thoughts on language, reporting and community norms


A recent blog post raised an interesting issue about certain kinds of language in the community.

I’ve moved those comments here to allow members to read and maybe share their thoughts.

The important lesson here is that we are very happy to hear feedback, and all members are able to ‘flag’ material that is inappropriate or objectionable. However, we need to get consensus and not necessarily block or delete content we personally disagree with.

On the other hand, when posting items that could divide members, it may be worth considering the use of some of the formatting tools, or warning flags, that are available.

This is a relaxed, friendly and inclusive space, and keeping it that way is everyone’s responsibility, and we are always happy to hear your thoughts and feedback on how well we are doing that.

Happy Mother's Day! So what do mums actually drink?

Good morning. Sorry if I am being a little of a grumpy old man but does anyone else feel that this “blog” is entirely inappropriate on the WS community chat room? Funny it may be but leave it in the book.



Hi @Vinewine26 I do take your point

I was a little uncertain yesterday, and, to be honest, if it had been actually a post by a member as opposed to a humorous quote, I might have asked for it to be edited. I decided that we can’t edit a quote, and therefore either I’d have to leave it I remove it, so let it stay.

We don’t really have a policy on flowery language as long as it does not attack other members, but I’m happy to take a view from members here for future reference

I don’t think it will be a regular occurrence and was specifically related to this author, so I apologise for this post but hope we can leave it up for discussion (and humour)


I’m sure things like this will divide opinion, but just so there’s at least one other view I’ll state that no, I don’t think it’s inappropriate and swearing doesn’t make me uncomfortable. It’s probably nicer that the community isn’t full of bawdy language but this is a quote on one post, and there’s a mute option for those who find it distasteful.


Thanks @tom, I’ve removed the quote and anything which “could” potentially cause offense ! Shame ! Especially on a “mother’s day” thread .


I think removing is a bit of an overreaction. You could have blurred it and warned that it may have explicit content so reveal at your own risk. The other thing I would say is if you quote, especially such a large body of text, please use quotation marks so it is clear from the beginning… I also found it funny, but true that it did have a lot of swearing. Or maybe it could have been linked… It did certainly add to this discussion.


Thanks for the responses. I am sure it caused some soul searching and, yes, it is very humorous. Time and place and all that. Let’s all enjoy mum’s day with a bottle. Champagne Charlie for us. Great value on the 5 for 6 deal.


indeed! This is a new community, and many things will be the ‘first time we have faced that particular issue’, like this.

There were some things we could learn from this, such as how and when to use the block quote option, the possibility of adding a spoiler blur in certain circumstances, and just raising the issue of certain kinds of language and humour.

Our guiding philosophy, which I hope you can get from the Terms of Service, is that we are not here to police the site, but to guide discussions and keep things ‘on track’. Humour will always divide people but we need to accept that we won’t always get it or like it, but as long as it is not unduly affecting or hurting anyone, then I think it should be seen as acceptable.

We do, however, have the opportunity for members to express their views through comments, private messages, flags and so on, so the members themselves can help to refine our accepted behaviour here over time.

I’m initially replying here so those who’ve commented can see this, but I will move this conversation to a new thread for further comment so that we can keep the particular original thread ‘on subject’

Good discussion! Thanks for the opportunity to raise this.


Quote or not, funny or not, bad language is not appropriate on this BB.


@Leah I thought it was quite amusing and certainly not offended.
It was obvious that it was in context of the thread :wink:


Out of curiosity, why so?


Hi Catherine, bad language of any kind is not needed in any circumstances, especially on a site that was created so that people can learn about and discuss the pleasures of drinking wine. It just lowers the tone and portrays a bad image of us as individuals and TWS whose name and reputation we hold dear…


I disagree; I think the context it was used in was much in keeping with the tone of the thread and previous posts on it. If we all started effing and jeffing in every thread then I can understand that being an issue. However I don’t think more colourful language in itself is too much of an issue when used sporadically and without intention to offend. Of course I appreciate others may not feel the same way but as the Community wasn’t created to be influenced by the attitudes/values of the Society as a business I’d hope there wouldn’t be a feeling of people having to censor their language in that regard :slight_smile:


We will agree to disagree then. At least if you blur posts with bad language people can choose to open it or not…


I didn’t read the thread until now.

It was clear from the start it wasn’t a serious wine discussion, and later posts emphasises this

There was a link to the book

So a post from the authors book was not out of place in the circumstances.

The post was obscured and you couln’t read it accidentally you had to choose to do so as you had to click on it to read it.

There were prior warnings about language in the post so if that is a concern one wouln’t click.

in all these circumstances i can’t see a problem.


I thought the incident yesterday was fine in the context and I like to see members expressing themselves in a way they’re comfortable with, safe in the knowledge that anyone who doesn’t find the language palatable can mute/flag the post so everyone’s views are supported.

Perhaps a sensible happy medium would be to encourage (I use that word rather than ‘enforce’ deliberately) anyone wanting the put some more fruity language to go ahead, but use the blur feature (click the ‘settings’ button in the editing screen and select ‘blur spoiler’) so those inclined to read it can, but those less in favour won’t see it?


Note the message people - TWS isn’t happy with people using bad language on this bb but doesn’t want to upset anyone by saying so. Let’s keep it clean please if we can…


I just put a ‘like’ against the post in question as I not only liked it, but have failed to see what was so offending about it. Especially when there are so many truly offending words like Chateau Lary 2014!


That’s not the message I got from this at all…


Boundaries can be a bit arbitrary unless they’ve been explored. This is that exploration. Taking offence isn’t the same as having the moral high ground (though you wouldn’t know it if the current public discourse in the media is anything to go by) but ‘anything goes’ must have its limits. I thought that the blog post was funny and apt. I wouldn’t want the forum to be rammed full of the like, because this is primarily a wine site, however, given that this is the case, that’s unlikely. I recently did a stint of jury service. Twelve days with (very pleasant) randoms and having to behave myself eventually took its toll and a mild ‘censored’ joke leaked out. It got six or seven laughs, so I guess my peers didn’t damn me.