Sunday, May 23, 2010


Let's start by saying I kind of hate comment moderation on blogs.  It leads to stilted conversations and adds up to a lot of work for the blogger.  Sometimes I'm up for a great conversation, and sometimes I want to just dump my thoughts out and leave them there.  Having moderated comments makes you revisit old posts you're just sort of done with, and it ties you to your blog in a way that makes me slightly uncomfortable.


For the first time ever I've turned on the comment moderating feature here.  And this is because I finally had to, after being cyberstalked and threatened by an Angry Entitled Asshole of a Commenter. 

And blog etiquette seems to dictate that now I have to articulate a Comment Policy, right?  If you're going to moderate comments, it's only fair that you clearly lay out what flies and what dies, it seems.  The thing is, I'm not going to do that.  Mostly because I don't want to, and forcing myself to do something that I won't enjoy and don't feel like I should have to do just sort of feels like doing homework.  But also because this is my. fucking. space. and allowing a misogynistic entitled bullying asshole to come in here and force me to do things I don't want to do feels sort of ... out of line with feminist ideals, to say the least.  Beyond that, I'm not sure why any blogger owes a Comment Policy to the public at large.  If you're coming into my home, and your shoes are all muddy, and you demand an explanation of me when I ask you to take your fucking shoes off, then you're not really the kind of person I want in my house, anyway, so please leave.  Now.

That's all.


  1. Meg'n5/24/2010

    Aww, that sucks. But I agree on the comment policy bit. Someone will always whine about how you're silencing them and free speech and blah, blah, blah. But ultimately it's your call.

  2. Yeah, I moderate all of the comments at my blog because I focus on transgender issues and I operate under the assumption that some people aren't capable of discussing the topic without being @ssholes. Funny thing is, I've never had to ban a commenter until a recent post about religion and atheism. Bizarro. You just can't predict these things.

    It's a shame that The Commenter Who Shall Not Be Named has messed up things for the rest of the commenters at The Feminist Agenda and also for you, the blog owner. All is not lost, however: there are indeed ways to steer around the annoying, creepy folks without limiting discussion and making blog moderation a daily annoyance.

    I have an unused "auxiliary blog" at Blogger and I noticed that Blogger offers next to no moderation tools. That's kind of weird and unfortunate. You don't have to restrict yourself to Blogger's limited moderation tools. There are various options to explore if you feel inspired to jump through various technical hoops.

    One option is migrating to a different blogging platform. Wordpress, which is the blogging platform that I use, allows one to restrict selected commenters to always drop into the moderation queue and wait for administrator approval. You also have the option of banning selected commenters to drop into the spam queue so that you don't even have to read their obnoxious crap anymore. Another nice feature is the option of setting your blog to only moderate new commenters. Previous commenters are able to comment without dropping into the mod queue.

    The are drawbacks to Wordpress, however. You have to be satisfied with using prexisting templates for your blog's overall appearance. If you wish to toss Wordpress a little bit of money, however, they'll grant you the ability to edit your blog's physical appearance. Also, there doesn't appear to be anyway to generate ad revenue from your blog. Last but not least, some people find their menu system to be confusing, especially if you've gotten used to Blogger's way of organizing menus.

    Alternatively, you could install a thrid party comment system such as Disqus or IntenseDebate. I've never used Discus or IntenseDebate as a blog owner, but I've encountered other people on Blogger who have, such as Rene at Womanist Musings. The services are free and their moderation options seem to allow for a blog owner to ban individual users without restricting the comment flow of others. Presumably, this would be a less dramatic step than migrating your entire blog to a different blogging platform and a different URL.

    Whew. This has turned out to be a long comment. I'm going to wander off, now. :)

  3. Yeah, I do wish Blogger had more options for comments. In this case just banning one person would have worked, but then I would have had to force everyone to log on to comment in order to keep him banned, etc. Unfortunately there's no perfect solution when it comes to comment moderation. =(

  4. Anonymous5/24/2010

    Sorry to hear it. I think we'll all survive a brief wait on seeing our comments appear, though. Good luck with the asshat.

  5. Anonymous5/25/2010

    Oh the myriad and subtle workings of power, and the rage of privileged folk who feel their privilege is being challenged. Sometimes blog comment buffoonery is like an object lesson in patriarchy.

  6. I'm sorry you had to resort to this, but thumbs up on that last paragraph :)

  7. This guy is like an object lesson in patriarchal power: "I'm going to yell and scream about how patriarchy doesn't exist and is all a figment of your hysterical little imaginations while I threaten and harass you and utilize every avenue of male power to silence you!" I believe this counts as a performative contradiction?