For this assignment I studied Above the Law. Above the Law is a legal tabloid. The site is run by lawyers (and former lawyers) for the enjoyment of other lawyers, wannabe lawyers, and former lawyers.
This community is completely self aware as per the Gazan article. The commenters not only remark on the posts, the interact with and question each other ad infinitum.
I figure for this assignment I should find a lawyer-y site; as attorneys will probably be more likely to follow the rules....NOT.
Here are the terms of service.
Here is the privacy statement.
I did not have to look too hard to find examples of rule breaking. The post I chose was about a Federal District court judge who granted defendant's council a short continuence, as one of the defendant's attorneys' wife was expecting to deliver their first child during trial. Basically, the lawyer wanted to postpone the trail date a couple of weeks until his wife had the baby.
I found way more than 3 examples of rule breaking.
First here are the rules:
Side note - you can't see the comments until you click on this:
I like the "for your protection" part, it's like when you check into seedy motels in Podunk towns and the toilets have that the paper band around the seat that says "Sanitized for your protection."
Most of the rule violations fall under the likely to "cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety or be likely to upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person" variety.
Here are some examples that would fall in to the above category:
This one is interesting because the insults are directed at the writer:
Same with this one:
Here is how the writer responds:
When I first read through the posts I thought to myself "someone should enforce the rules."
However the writer just goes with it and responds.
But after I spent some time on the site reading other posts and comments, I realized this is just the vibe of the community. Most folks are kinda snakry and sarcastic with a hint of meanness and self loathing (insert lawyer joke here).
Below are some examples from another post. This post/comments are about a 1L (first year law student), at the bottom of his class, attending a top 10 school. The 1L is indifferent towards law school, but his parents are paying for it (so no student loan debt). He wonders whether or not he should stay and finish.
Super Mean + a flagged comment:
Writer response - note the use of the F-word:
So it seems like even the writers and people in charge don't follow the rules. It is like a community of rogue users, especially with all the abusive comments (Gazan).
Here are the 5 unwritten rule I came up with:
1. Thou shall be funny.
2. Thou shall not take thyself too seriously.
3. Thou shall disguise racist tendencies in a cloak of self-loathing. (please see above screen shot of by Coincidence, mentioning the AA admit and gay Filipino).
4. Thou shall share thy honest opinion.
5. Thou shall be tolerant of douche bags, for eventually the most prolific contributers will wear this label.