Since the trolls have come out in force this past week, I thought I would repost a shortened version of my ” ‘Hit and Run’ Comments and How to be Productive on the Internet” post:
These “hit and run” comments, where someone comes by to spew hate and then disappears into the interwebs without even waiting to see what happens, waste the energy of everyone involved. They don’t foster conversation, b/c 9 times out of 10 the person isn’t there to talk to, and they deliberately try to upset a community and derail a discussion. Unlike trolls, like those who lurked waiting for their comments to show up and be responded to, hit and runners are spewing rapid fire hate in the hopes of hitting as many people as possible before moving on to the next heavily populated area. Yet both groups discourage people from talking here b/c they create a sense of fear. Fear that conversation will degenerate into hate speech, that people responding will be sanctioned (b/c I don’t allow flame wars here even if one or more sides are right), and/or people less confident in their own grasp of the issues worry that they will be equally sanctioned if they talk. Meaning, when I approve and respond to hit and run comments, I help those people silence my regular readers. I am no longer willing to do that.
So if you are one of our 1,000 or so visitors here are some basic guidelines to participating in the conversation. YOU DO NOT NEED A COLLEGE DEGREE OR A FACULTY POSITION TO PARTICIPATE HERE AND NO ONE WILL JUDGE YOU IF YOU DON’T SPEAK ACADEMESE OR MAKE LITERARY OR HISTORICAL REFERENCES.
- consider the community in which you are speaking – if you take time out to learn about the blog you are on (read some posts and comment sections before talking yourself) you will be able to determine whether or not this is a place where you want to participate . While some people thrive on abusing others, participating on a blog that has similar interests to your own or discusses issues you are trying to become more informed about can actually become an important part of your intellectual and social virtual network.
- read the post before commenting – READ THE WHOLE THING FIRST
- try to add something to the conversation
- think of yourself as a community member
- Don’t expect people to caretake for you – your guilt abt benefiting from or perpetuating oppression is your problem not the people you have or are oppressing
- don’t cheat or be cheap – if you are advertising an actual business, film, or product, you would never go to someone else’s hard built business and plaster their windows with your advertisements, leaving a comment on someone’s blog that says “interesting post. by the way I was wondering if you would tell people about [product]” is the same thing.
- Always link back and credit your sources – if you take information off a blog, cite it. Blogs are intellectual property and when you don’t cite you are stealing.
- check your stuff at the door
- take long comments to your own blog – If you are wordy like me, it is especially important to think about how much you are talking and when you have crossed the line from comment to essay.
- Assume the best of others on the blog – people make mistakes and name calling is not ok
- Know the technology – if you are making a comment pay attention to whether or not the comments are on approval and/or if the blog owner is away. Many times people accuse blog owners of censoring them when they have comments on approval or have gone on vacation and so approval takes longer to happen than normal.
- always leave a link back to your own blog
As always, we retain the right to edit out or simply not approve comments that contain foul language, identity based insults (ie racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, etc.) or any comment that shows no understanding of the authors, comment makers, or community we have built here. We also keep documented records of IP addresses, dates, times, etc. of comments that insinuate or actually threaten anyone participating on this blog. If you have a history of threatening others or detailing physical or sexual threat against women or people of color on the internet, or instigating conflict through unsubstantiated and/or untrue claims of violence, you can assume your comments will not be approved here and that this is not the community for you.