This blog has been getting a lot more traffic lately. The downside is that we’ve had a lot more trolls here lately as well.
Because of this, and because of a shitty situation in one of the comment threads earlier tonight involving an abusive troll who I wish I had banned sooner, I want to open up a discussion to everyone here (that is, everyone here who is not a troll or an MRA).
The question is: Do I need to crack down harder on trolls?
Generally my approach has been to let trolls post unless and until they’re abusive. I know a lot of people here like engaging with trolls and taking them down.
The problem, of course, is that these trolls can quickly become abusive. And this can trigger people.
Should I be quicker to ban people — banning trolls at the first sign that they might become abusive rather than giving them the benefit of the doubt (which, unfortunately a lot of them don’t deserve)? Should I be stricter about who I let post in the first place?
There are actually a lot of people I don’t let post here at all; if their first comment is too aggressive or hostile or (obviously) contains a slur I don’t let their comments through. I’m especially strict when it comes to people posting in threads about women who’ve been harassed.
But I could be stricter, and I could ban more quickly if that’s what you think I should do.
Frankly, I gave up a long time ago on the idea that it’s possible to have any kind of “open debate” with these people. Too many of them are abusive assholes for that to work.
So my priority here is the regular feminist and feminist-friendly commenters on this blog, and coming up with a comment policy and procedures that work better for you all. There are people who enjoy and in many cases feel empowered by being able to confront the trolls here. But I don’t want, and I don’t think any of us want, more situations like the one that happened tonight.
To be honest, I do think I need to crack down harder. I just want to hear what you all think on the issue, and to hear your suggestions as to how to do this most effectively.
The other aspect of this: I think I need to put up more no troll, no MRA open threads. And so I will be doing that.
(I may not be able to get back to this thread for a little while, but I’ll definitely be back later in the evening.)