Meta: Linking to Freep Articles

Submitted by MGoShoe on August 3rd, 2010 at 9:55 AM

Lately there have been several MGoBoard spats regarding Freep article threads.  OPs have started topics on Freep articles and either provided a link or left the link out. Predictably the Freep boycotters and Freep non-boycotters have then engaged in thread wars over the presence or non-presence of said links.  When the non-boycotters have provided links they've been neg-bombed.  When the boycotters have vented their spleen about the Freep, they've been taken to task for their perceived silliness.

I for one believe that all of this is tiresome and detracts from the enjoyability of the board.  Thankfully, we can actually look to Brian for guidance on this topic.  In his Jihad the Second: Tentative Results front pager, he said the following:

Until such time as Drew Sharp, Michael Rosenberg, and Mark Snyder are no longer at the paper, if you are a Michigan fan with a Free Press subscription you should terminate it immediately. If you link to a Free Press article it should be the print page and it should be nofollowed. If you visit the Free Press website, you should have adblock on. If you write for Michigan's Rivals site you should not write for the Free Press. It's not because they took a swing at Michigan's program. It's because they were blatantly dishonest in doing so.

Most of those shoulds are recommendations because they refer to behaviors entirely outside of the realm of MGoBlog.  All except the bolded, italicized portion which refers explicitly to behavior that Brian desires on MGoBlog. Brian's guidance serves several purposes: 1) It reduces the ad revenue earned by the; 2) It provides a convenient way to discuss Freep stories that may have some relevance (sometimes there's actual news content to digest and share, sometimes there are examples of "Freepiness" or jihadi-like behavior to rail against (at least in the eye of the poster)); and 3) It serves to tamp down the frequency of MGoBoard spats.

Now, following this policy requires some discipline on the part of the MGoBlogerati and it requires that the Freepers (boycotters) and the anti-Freepers (non-boycotters) each give a little.  The Freepers have to not reflexively react negatively when a thread is started about a Freep story and the anti-Freepers have to not go off on the Freepers about how stupid the boycott is.  The bottom line is that both factions need to refrain from poking the other faction in the eye every time one of these threads appears.  

Now let's say someone starts a thread and posts a direct Freep link.  What's the appropriate response?

  1. Post a comment deriding the OP for his support of the Freep.
  2. Post a comment lauding the OP for not buying a Freeper tin foil hat
  3. Post a comment gently reminding the OP that the guidance is that we use print links for Freep articles and cheerfully provide him with that link

Ok, I'm sure that in this thread there will be some witty alternate responses and I'm looking forward to reading them, but I submit that the right answer is number 3.  Number 3 preserves board civility and encourages MGoBlogerati unity.

Now, I'm certainly aware that the passions of the Freeper and anti-Freeper factions are driven by much more than whether or not an MGoBlog Freep boycott is effective.  I know there has been some over the top language used on both sides and personal attacks mustered against various MGoUsers on both sides and as a result there are legitimate hurt feelings and abused sensibilities all around. I submit that if we follow this third or middle way, we will avoid much of the divisiveness we've experienced lately.  

Your thoughts? 



August 3rd, 2010 at 10:47 AM ^

Click it or don't, whatever. When the story first broke I said I wouldn't visit/ buy a paper for a year, and I'm a month away from holding true to that. 

Reading articles with the slant the freep generally takes would probably get me a little upset. I don't need that, and that's why I avoid it. 

And I'm fairly positive that I've never negged someone for posting a link, especially for the print version. So, in short, if you like the freep, then visit / buy, but I'm not going to. There are other media outlets that I would like to patronize. 

P.S. Gotta love the trolls in the morning. 


August 3rd, 2010 at 11:29 AM ^

Can you believe there are people on this board who neg-bombed my reference to Wile E. Coyote... Really? Wile E. Coyote? What's neg-able about a Warner Brothers character?


August 3rd, 2010 at 6:04 PM ^

Hey, Wile Coyote, I'm on your side.
Won't you hang in there brother, you're bound to survive. I hate that Roadrunner, as much as you do. He's a smart ass, he's a show off, he's a communist, too.

Now all them near misses, well, they ain't your fault. Cause that ACME company been ripping you off. Been sending you dynamite that won't detonate, And jet roller skates with a bad set of breaks.

All them contraptions, and all that pain, What a high price to pay for just doin' your thing. But you're doing alright, things are coming your way. You're just an old coyot', but every dog has his day.

Now one of these days, the tables will turn. That weird looking bird, he has a few things to learn. Ol' Wile Coyote, he never gives in. He just pulls himself together and tries it again.


August 3rd, 2010 at 10:08 AM ^

...that the Freep has content that people want to discuss.  Sometimes it's neutral articles on recruiting or a game.  Sometimes it's because someone wants to rail against the Freep for another example of anti-Michiganism.  Whatever, the point is that we should be able to have threads on Freep articles without devolving into pissing matches about whether or not there should be a Freep boycott. 


August 3rd, 2010 at 10:32 AM ^

100% agree.

I yield to nobody in my disdain for that newspaper both in sports coverage and as a general daily, but I'm just not going to let the Freep yank my emotional chain every time it uses an unflattering photo of RR or twists his words. If I did, I'd be agitated all day and night to no purpose.

The "jihad" will disappear with wins. If the wins don't come, then RR will disappear.


August 3rd, 2010 at 10:19 AM ^

people should just do what they want. post a link or don't post a link. if you choose not to read the freep, don't click the link. the same people who demand no freep links be posted are the same people who bitch about threads they don't find interesting/relevant. just do your own thing. 


August 3rd, 2010 at 10:31 AM ^

this rehash perpetuates the very thing you claimed you're trying to avoid. until Brian cares enough on this issue and demands one way or another, it's people's choice... and likely his intention.


that's it. this is like Nam, there are no rules.


August 3rd, 2010 at 1:24 PM ^

...what I wrote, it's the exact opposite of a diatribe.  It's actually a well meaning (if naive) attempt to prevent diatribes.  I also think the tenor of this board is a big deal.  It's one of the major reasons why this blog is so popular.  The relative peace that reigns here is important to many.  As a mod, I would think that's something you would want to promote, but I guess that's a mistaken belief.


- noun
a bitter, sharply abusive denunciation, attack, or criticism: repeated diatribes against the senator.


August 3rd, 2010 at 10:40 AM ^


Well, I hope you're happy.  With that ad revenue, Mark $nyder is now 0.0000238 days further away from being homeless, eating leftover pizza crusts he finds in the trash and clothing himself in MICH 2006 BIG TEN CHAMPS t-shirts that were donated to charity.


August 3rd, 2010 at 10:24 AM ^

I find everything about the Freep lame and waste of time. The paper itself. And people here screeching and crying at every verb and adjective used byt the rag.

Thanks, MGoShoe for continuing the madness. I was afraid there would no dumb Freep discussions tofay.



August 3rd, 2010 at 10:28 AM ^

The Freep puts out an article comparing the iPhone 4 and the HTC Evo?

Of course, I don't read the Freep, so I wouldn't know whether that would happen or not, I'm just sayin'....


August 3rd, 2010 at 10:32 AM ^

Who cares if people head bash?  They'll be gone if they keep it up.  If you wanna discuss Freep stuff (which you shouldnt because you shouldnt be reading the freep) do it, and if you dont, dont click the thread about it.


August 3rd, 2010 at 10:37 AM ^

I really dont think people shouldnt be able to discuss whatever they want to, even if they're discussing that "news"paper.  And who cares if they link to it, its not like you have to click on the link.