UPDATE: 6th March 2008
I have been thinking long and hard about what I should do about comments on this blog and I have reached a decision that I am happy with for now. The policy I have come up with is in four parts:
People commenting for the first time will need approval from me before their comment will appear. This will hopefully prevent people who repeatedly violate my comment rules from changing their names and coming back for another hit. (yes, I know who you are).
People who have approved comments will automatically be able to post whenever they wish. Friends and allies of this blog are always welcome. People wanting to discuss the issues in a civil and respectful way are always welcome. New visitors are always welcome and will have posting privileges once they have a comment approved.
People who attack and insult people personally on this blog will have their names dropped into my moderation list. This is so that if you have something to say (yes, even if you disagree with me!) and you say it without rudeness and name-calling, I can approve it once I’ve seen it.
People who continue to ignore my repeated requests for respect and civility on this blog will go on the banned list. No discussion. No cries of censorship. You will just be banned.
If your comment does not appear as soon as you hit send, it does not mean that you are banned. It might mean that I haven’t had a chance to read through the comments and approve them. I do get a fair amount of spam and sometimes comments slip into the spam list instead of moderation.
I still reserve the right to delete any comment that I consider necessary to remove even if you have had other comments approved.
ALL COMMENTS ALLUDING TO OLD PERSONAL ATTACKS OR CONTAINING PERSONAL INFORMATION WILL ALSO BE DELETED.
COMMENT POLICY 2006-7
Thank you all for your comments on the “We hate DD thread”. I am not going respond to everyone individually but I do want to address a couple of issues. I hope you understand.
I did not take the decision to ban people from this site lightly. It was not done in a fit of anger but over a long time of accumulating experience with discussions here. I have repeated over and over again that I do not stop people who disagree with me from commenting here. Your comments force me to think and question too. I don’t have all the answers, as you all know, so it all helps to clarify my arguments. However, I do draw the line at insulting, offensive remarks. Many people who have commented here have crossed that line on occasions and they have not been pulled up on it. Why?
I am not always in front of my machine babysitting my blog and comments do slip through.
Sometimes a short warning from me has been enough to get the discussion back on track.
Some people have thrown insults on occasion but for the most part are civil and willing to debate without being rude.
In all honesty, I like some visitors more than others, but even they have been warned at times.
This recent decision to ban certain people from this blog has come from a long and tedious history. Since finding out what was being said about me, on a blog that I find appalling, I have found it hard to swallow. I am talking about a blog where the owner openly admires Le Pen and actively tries to prove that black people are inferior. I will be honest with you, I feel threatened by it and by these opinions. It hurts to read those comments and not just because of those ones in particular, but because of a history, a lifetime of it. By saying this, I do not want to give the impression that I am defeated by it. Far from it, it makes me more determined to carry on for myself and for others that are affected by it. To speak out against that kind of treatment.
Some people may be of the opinion that I should just let it go, ignore it and move on. Perhaps grow thicker skin. Even if this was possible, I wouldn’t want to. I am an emotional person. I get hurt by insults and injustices and prejudice. That emotion drives me. It is what informs my creativity. If I didn’t have that anger or those tears, I fear I would lose the drive to create, to speak out, to speak up.
One of the things that has been increasingly disturbing to me is that when certain people comment here, the threads turn into marathons. Not because that discussion is more interesting or enlightening but because of the fight itself. I think of it like this. Say an argument starts on the street. As voices are raised in anger they bring attention to themselves. People stop and stare, anxiously waiting to see what might happen, perhaps even a little excited. Some might try and calm down the situation. To try and reason with the people involved. To resolve the argument. A few enjoy the adrenaline rush. The rest of us are preparing for flight.
So now it turns into a punch-up. The vast majority will get out of the way as quickly as possible, perhaps standing at a distance to watch. Our desire is to protect ourselves but still observe the outcome. There are those who will still try and break it up. There is a tiny minority of people who enjoy the fight itself and will wade in to throw a few punches for the hell of it. Nothing is resolved until someone backs down or is defeated. What disturbs me about this situation, apart from the violence and futility of it, is that the interest becomes focussed on the fight itself and the outcome rather than the dispute that started it.
Obviously this is an extreme parallel to draw. No one has been physically hurt here but you understand what I am getting at.
So what it comes down to, is that comment moderation is activated. This will not affect those who have written here before and are approved or to new guests who follow the guidelines which are in the side-bar, but will give me the opportunity to see certain comments before they appear on the site.
I have said this before but just to reiterate: I do not want this blog to turn into a “well-done well-said” place. I want to encourage dialogue. Continue to comment. Put forward other points of view but keep it civil.
AN AMUSING COMMENT POLICY
If people call you bitchy, you probably just are
This remarkably inane comment was in response to a post where I dared to blame men for the twisted world they have constructed. So there we have it. Women who speak out are shrill, hysterical, bitchy, lying, navel-gazing fruitcakes. Men are not bitchy when they comment on the world they live in. No. They are angry. They are speaking their mind. They are saying it like it is.
So, I have some questions for you. When women speak up and talk about their experiences, what would be so bad about listening for a change ? What is so hard about thinking about what they are saying? How about NOT jumping in with your words of wisdom like “feminism is outdated” or “you have an inferiority complex” or “men have it just a bad” or “get over yourself” (whatever the hell that means)? How about trying to understand what is being said? Or asking questions? Or finding out more?
That was the serious bit. Now for the fun. I wrote some new guidelines;
SHOULD YOU COMMENT ON THIS BLOG?
If you think that sexism/racism/homophobia is over, do not comment.
If you have ten or less standard responses to sexism/racism/homophobia, do not comment.
If you cannot see anything beyond the colour of my skin or my gender. do not comment.
If you are going to call me by some demeaning endearment like cupcake, baby or darling, do not comment.
If you feel so threatened by me that you need to become a big-mouthed bully, do not comment.
If you feel compelled to write the same comment on many different blogs, do not comment.
If you have read 5% of what I actually wrote and made up the rest, do not comment.
If you get a kick out of putting people down, do not comment.
If you are going to go away and write a feeble, insulting post about me and then try and advertise it here, do not comment.
If you disagree with what I say but cannot cope with people responding, do not comment.
Got any more anti-troll guidelines ? I feel better now. End of troll fest.