- Commenting: The Fine Print
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We stand up for our readers and ourselves by moderating disruptive commenters and declining to publish unacceptable content.
The Hoydens’ primary rules:
* Be at least one of: feminist, friendly, amusing, or perspicacious. Two is even better!
* Our blog, our discretion. Your right to free speech is protected by your freedom to set up your own blog, just like us.
* Playful shenanigans are encouraged, but obnoxious or vexatious shenanigans will be squelched.
- You can read some of our thoughts about the type of space Hoyden About Town is in this post from August 2008.
- Repeat for emphasis: we decline to publish unacceptable content.
- Please note that in order to vet potentially unacceptable content, all submissions from first-time commentors (as bot-determined by our database records of username, email address and IP number combinations) are held in the moderation queue.
- We get to define what constitutes unacceptable content.
Taboo words do not define unacceptable content. Meaning defines unacceptable content. Bigotry does. (Unacceptable content may include sexist, racist, classist, ableist, ageist, homophobic, and transphobic speech as well as a variety of other -isms and -phobias.)
Trolling and concern trolling are unacceptable. Concern trolls come across as insincere, manipulative, and condescending.
- Nobody is obliged to listen to you if you are being a jerk.
* Don’t threadjack, morph, sockpuppet, wank, threaten, or be repetitive and insipid. (Need a glossary?)
* Don’t dominate: allow space for other voices to be heard (i.e. avoid excessively frequent and/or long comments)
- We strongly prefer that you use a valid email address. Pseudonymous hotmail/gmail/yahoo etc addresses are fine, but if it is not valid then we cannot contact you about a comment if necessary. If we cannot contact you to clarify any concerns about the content, your comment may well be summarily deleted. You will certainly be placed into automod as a precaution.
- Take specific-case moderation discussions to email. General comments-moderation principles may be discussed in a comments-policy thread, if there is one currently open (comments close by default after 60 days).
- Violations of these acceptable content policies may be disemvowelled, mocked, edited, or summarily deleted.
* While amusement value may atone for a multitude of minor sins, we expect those who transgress too far to have the grace to apologise.
Want more guidelines? Our Commenting – The Fine Print page goes into more detail for those who require it – it is NOT required reading.
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If you find yourself inspired to dash off a critical comment, there are a few things you can do which make it more likely that your criticism will be engaged rather than dismissed:
- Read the whole post, and the links.
- Check your privilege.
- Could you be missing something?
- Is yours the only valid viewpoint here?
- Could your interlocutor have more experience with the matter at hand?
- Are you only here to dispense wisdom from your high horse?
- Ask at least one (and preferably three) good-faith clarification questions, and listen to the answers before unleashing your denunciation.
- Don’t assume the bloggers are ignorant.
- If it’s a feminist thread:
- are you adding anything new to the discussion?
- Could your argument be reduced to two, three, or more of the statements on one of the Bingo cards linked in our fine print section?
- If your answers are “no” and “yes” (be honest with yourself here), you might want to pull your head in and go back to Feminism 101.
- Remember, just because you don’t see it, doesn’t mean it isn’t there.
If after all that, you’re still sure you have a point to make, a criticism to raise? By all means come along and do it. We’re not perfect; we do make mistakes; we’re prepared to engage. On these terms.
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