Some notes about commenting

I don’t have a comments policy, because I expect people to just know how to properly comment on a blog. However, once in a while I have to make a few clarifications. Recently there have been some comment threads shut down, and I have been seeing some comments come in that make me cringe. It’s time to address a few points.

  1. I expect you to follow my lead in terms of the tone of your comments. If I’ve written something lighthearted and silly, then feel free to be lighthearted and silly in the comments, and don’t worry about going off-topic. If I’ve written a serious post about something like violence or homophobia or rape culture, then I expect people to respect the topic and know that is not the sort of post where you start chatting to people about your pets or favourite recipes. (I’m not saying someone did exactly that, that is just an illustrative example.)
  2. This blog is for thoughtful, nuanced dialogue, and we handle controversial topics with maturity and sensitivity here. Commenters are welcome to share opposing viewpoints as long as they are engaging sincerely with the topic and demonstrating that they want to have a thoughtful conversation. I expect commenters to respond with courtesy to people with opposing viewpoints without yelling or attacking. I will not host comment wars, so when people start fighting I will simply shut down the comment thread. If you are posting comments that are inflammatory and unnecessarily judgmental, defensive, or hostile, you are likely contributing to the end of a conversation, so please don’t do this.
  3. If I see you posting comments that are likely to start an argument that will not be productive, then I will put you in moderation.
  4. FtM commenters are allowed to comment here as long as they’re interested in having a thoughtful conversation with a gender critical community. (Of course, if someone is just here to call me a hateful bigot then I will not be posting their comments.) If you are a Totally Excellent Real Female and see an FtM comment, assume that I have approved of this comment being on the blog and that this is a person you should respond to with the same courtesy you would anyone else. Absolutely no yelling at FtMs.
  5. I reserve the right to put someone in moderation even if they are a long-time commenter if I feel they are not following these guidelines.

22 thoughts on “Some notes about commenting

  1. At least you get comments. I comment out of respect to let the writer know that I am reading and I understand them. People seem to not want any comments at all. Because when I even say Hi, I don’t even get a response and I find that VERY rude. It’s like a big clique on here and I hate cliques.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Been on the receiving end of clique behavior for years. I don’t need to be famous, but it used to grind my gears something awful when I would write an in depth post saying things I haven’t heard on blogs before and getting crickets. Meanwhile someone posts a selfie or reblogs a meme…the likes and comments and shares pour right in. But I’m over that now.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I think you have to get to where you’re doing it for yourself. That’s very common, though. Six or eight years ago I used to blog on Daily Kos, that big Democratic community blog, and I’d see that all the time, the same people being fawned upon, while lots of really quality writing got virtually ignored. Fame appears to be self-reinforcing. Or else maybe being moderately above mediocre rises to the top.

        Liked by 3 people

    • Please don’t give up! It can take awhile to build up a blog following, and networking goes a long way. Taking part in bloghops (either one-off or weekly) can do a lot for garnering new followers and comments, particularly when you reciprocate. I also do a huge yearly event every April, Blogging from A to Z, which is a great way to find other blogs, particularly ones outside of your own niche. I also do a weekly Sunday hop for writers, with 8_10 lines from a published book or WIP, and used to do a Saturday hop with excerpts rated no more than PG-13. Bloggers also come and go. A lot of the bloggers I remember from the writing blogosphere from a few years ago now rarely blog, or stopped altogether. I figure people will later read and find value in my blog posts without a lot of initial hits, since they turn up in searches on topics like silent films, The Decameron, topics in Russian history, and various older books I’ve reviewed.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s a very reasonable, realistic, fair commenting policy. To date, I’ve only had to close comments on one post, my anti-Arbonne post which went viral, because of two butthurt Arbots who couldn’t stop leaving long, abusive rants. I’ve also only had to blacklist one commenter, who only ever commented on my secondary blog (my names blog) to leave rude, chutzpahdik comments point-blank telling me I was wrong or that my opinion was ridiculous. I finally reached the last straw with her when she flippantly dismissed my views on the dated, Anglocentric custom of “translating” proper names from other languages. I (respectfully) let her have it in my response to her comment, asked her if she liked anything about the post at all, and said I’d never seen any positive comments from her at all, just rude, negative, critical comments attacking my opinions or etymological sources consulted. I feel so much better since blacklisting her!

    Liked by 2 people

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