Okay, folks. As mentioned at the beginning of my last post, a few things are going to be changing around here:
First and foremost – posting frequency. After a few months of painful unemployment, I am again gainfully employed. However, my new job is going to leave me with a lot less time to do the research needed to put together quality posts. Rather than let this blog devolve into nothing but WTF roundups of miscellaneous crap, I’d prefer to keep a higher standard with a lower frequency of posts. By all means, I’m not going to slow down to one or two posts a month, but it’s hard for me to pin down how frequently I will be able to post until I’ve gotten accustomed to my new job.
From the outset, I didn’t want this blog to come at the expense of real-life concerns – which is why I mostly ignore things here on the weekends and have trouble keeping up with conversations that explode the way the DNF conversation has. I realize this will probably cost me traffic, and I know this might disappoint some of my more dedicated readers. However, I’m only one person and I do hope you can understand the amount of work that goes into posts like the one I just wrote. Those of you who feel like sticking around, thanks for your patience.
I have very much tried to take a “moral high road” approach when it comes to commenters here on my blog. I don’t want to be the sort of person who deletes comments from anybody who appears to disagree with them, because I think that ultimately harms what I’m trying to do. I’m trying to reach out to gamers, mostly (but not all) men, who don’t identify with feminism but who are open re-thinking attitudes that they hadn’t thought to question. Another important consideration is the fact that I, too, am far from perfect. Both are factors that initially made me decide not to delete posts by humans and instead tell people to ignore them. My change in employment status as well as a few emails from older commenters has made me re-think this of late.
The problem is that as much as I can ignore persistent trolls, they will always have someone to give them attention and I just don’t have the time to keep up with the inflated comment counts that result from this. It has also gotten to the point where I’m spending more energy ignoring persistent trolls than I am actually participating in discussions, which is tiring. I am not willing to stick to my ideals at the expense of my real life, because I’ve been down that road on the internet and I know where it leads. It leads to anger, frustration, and burnout and ultimately achieves nothing other than wasting time that could have been spent in more productive pursuits. So I’ve decided to come to a compromise.
I will continue to leave comment moderation turned off; comments will not have to sit in queue to be approved. Nor will I ban comments from commenters that have frequently disagreed with me and caused arguments in comment threads – as long as I judge that they are attempting to engage in genuine discussion. I don’t want to reinforce stereotypes about the feminist “hive mind”, and I certainly know that in plenty of cases on other sites that I have been “that jackass on the internet”.
Please know that I believe in reading charitably and that I will be extremely lenient in deciding if I think that people are trying to have a real conversation. Discussion on the internet is hampered by a lack of non-verbal social cues and often what seems like a disagreement is really just people talking past each other. I would rather have a very forgiving policy and have some aggravation than be very strict and have lots of drama. I used to do drama in the past; I’m done with it now.
Persistent trolls will be blocked from commenting on this blog.
For anyone wondering what qualifies as a troll, I will use this definition from Urban Dictionary as a guideline:
As stated previously, I will be extremely lenient in judging whether I think people meet this criteria. Everyone has an Internet Crazy Button, even me, and some subjects just make people irrational. It’s cool. I get it. The most relevant factor in this determination is time. If over a period of weeks your comments read entirely out of Derailing for Dummies or the misogynist wing of the Men’s Rights movement and display absolutely no variation in rhetoric or attempt to engage in genuine discussion with other commenters, then I will judge you to fit this criteria and you will be blocked from commenting. (That said, I absolutely do not want to get requests from other commenters to the effect that I designate someone as a troll and block them from commenting. I mean it.)
In the end, my peace of mind has to come first if this blog is going to survive. If that makes me a freedom hating feminazi bitch, well, best of luck to you in your internet travels. God knows that there is no shortage of feminist gaming blogs for you to troll.
A copy of this will be added to the sidebar under the heading “comment policy”, with a link to this post in the “about” section.
Updates will be of lower and unpredictable frequency for the forseeable future. To those of you who have stuck with me this far, thanks for your forbearance. If you want more frequent feminist gaming blog stuff, I suggest checking out any of the links in my blogroll, especially the Border House (full disclosure: I sometimes cross-post there as a guest) and Geekfeminism.org.
Persistent trolls will be banned, however it will take dedication and perseverance to earn this designation. I am the final arbiter of who is and is not a troll. This is not a democracy; it is a benevolent dictatorship.