The Rules of TTT, and Any Site News
First of all, welcome to my house!
As TTT is my house, the rules are mine. Since moderating TTT from 2009, I've set the tone and enforced the rules, and realised it's the only way to go. The site bears my name, and I take it seriously (even if I don't always take myself seriously).
You’re allowed to keep your shoes on in the house, but don’t piss in the metaphorical pool.
TTT is a niche site, where the aim is to pay the bills of those who rely on it, and continue to exist with a loyal readership and community, rather than to grow too large and become mass-market, and dilute the charm.
People are free to use other forums as they see fit, but to keep TTT as interesting and enjoyable as possible, firm rules and a certain commitment to quality are required.
If recommending TTT to others, please make sure they're not just a Liverpool fan, but someone likely to appreciate what we do. (Also, not someone who will force their opinions on everyone else.)
Commenting on the site is a privilege that can be revoked; Substack allows lifetime commenting bans, as well as lifetime actual bans.
Try to get a feel for the site before commenting.
If it's not for you, that's fine. We've been doing this for nearly 15 years (at the point of writing), and have fathomed out what works for us and what doesn't. It won’t be for everybody.
These are some to be aware of:
First of all, the community/comments can be accessed via recent articles, the Debate tab in the menu, or the Community tab that appears when you scroll down on the homepage. (It's currently less easy via the Substack app, which is great for recent articles but not for other parts of the site)
No nastiness towards other posters; try to be respectful.
Swearing is fine, within moderation. No need to asterisk words, but don't direct them at other subscribers or to Liverpool players, etc. There is not strong language policing on TTT, but equally, don't be offensive either. (Don't be offensive, but also, don't be too easily offended.)
TTT is a wonderful global community, with subscribers from Liverpool, the rest of the UK, all across Europe, out into Asia, Africa, Australasia, South America and an increasing number from North America. Cultural misunderstandings happen, and words in one country might have a different impact or entirely different meaning in another. But at its heart, this is a site based in England.
Be neat and tidy with your comments. Use paragraph breaks, punctuation and capitals where appropriate. Don't post like it's Twitter or WhatsApp. One emoji per emotion, one exclamation mark. (If English isn't your first language some leeway will be granted.)
Match threads during games are a little looser. You are allowed to type GOOOAAALLLL!!!!!! with as many exclamation marks as necessary, within reason. Otherwise, see point above.
Be aware of the site's editorial stance and Overton Window. I welcome a range of views, but anything too extreme is just not worth the time. If you hate FSG, it's probably not the site for you; we criticise the owners when necessary, but don't believe in a world where you just keep changing owners (especially as now, in order to get richer owners basically means oil states or reckless venture capital projects).
Ditto, we're not a “sack the manager” brigade, unless the manager is clearly out of his depth or out of time (and I help decide on those). TTT at its best is calm, patient, rational, data-driven, but also humorous and (in a good way) emotional, and we've always had quite a few older match-going fans who value the eye-test, as well as those who love data, wherever they live.
If anyone makes a fact-based and coherent argument about anything, it will usually be taken seriously. Views on the site shift over time with changing evidence, but we try not to do knee-jerk.
Party politics (and religion) to be avoided wherever possible, unless specifically related to a footballing issue. Politics is so divisive; it's hard enough to find Liverpool fans to amicably discuss football with without throwing in emotive issues.
Don't generalise. Not all Man United fans are the same; indeed, not all Liverpool fans are the same. Not all Middle Eastern people share the views of their state leaders. (Even all Tories are not the same.) Don't judge people by the worst examples of their groups, or in other words, 'nut pick' and think it represents what others are like. This applies to people of all races, sexes, homelands, and mainstream political persuasions. (Extremist political/religious people not welcome, but otherwise if you behave yourself on TTT you're fine by me; and what you do with gerbils in your spare time is your own business.)
Do not copy and paste entire articles from behind someone else's paywall (newspapers usually don't mind you sharing links and a few paragraphs), and do not share anything from behind the TTT paywall. All comments are to be kept behind the paywall, as this is a private forum. Please feel free to share our free articles or anything before the paywall.
The site has always been funded by subscribers, since 2009. We don't run ads, do promotional pieces or take money from anyone for anything. Other than selling books (which usually don't gross much), TTT is my only form of income. For years it has supported other writers and editors. We try to be as professional as possible but we're also not some big business.
The site's features are limited to what Substack offers. Ditto the Substack app. When Substack changes anything, it gets applied to our site. While sometimes confusing, this is better than being on WordPress and having to pay someone to update all the different plug-ins, which often clashed and caused a total mess. Substack also handles all payments (and take a cut, as does Stripe, the payment processor), so while not cheap, that makes life far easier.
Just because something isn't covered by the rules doesn't mean it's okay!
Enjoy the site, and make sure others can swim nicely in a clean pool…