This morning was the first time that I have ever blocked someone making comments. I had previously warned her three times publicly, and many other commenters have done the same. I have warned her about her comment length, the aggressiveness in which she comments and the blatant scape-goating that is always present. Here are a few examples I wrote to her in warnings:
1. I will make these two things very clear: 1. Stop swearing. Stop ripping on gay men. Stop ripping on conservative Christians. We’re here to learn from, and listen to each other. You do neither as it seems as though you think you have all the answers to everything. 2. I have been getting emails and messages from people who are giving up trying to comment because of the novels you are writing here. This is NOT A BATTLE OF ATTRITION! Keep it to one direct point, short and sweet. You can create your own blog to elaborate on lesbian and feminist theology. I don’t mind you inserting your life experiences, your opinions, thoughts or whatever else. That is what this blog is here for. As you told Darren earlier, if people don’t hear it from your perspective, where will they hear it from? Great point. But your current format has to change quickly otherwise you will be blocked. This is a dialogue, but it has turned into your monologue that people are not willing to (nor should they have to) sift through.
2. KKK? Nazis? No way. You’re way off base. Others have hit the target about your comments in his last comment. This is now the third time I’m publicly warning you. This blog is not about pointing the finger, something you have done consistently since you started commenting. I have noticed very clearly that over the last few weeks since you started commenting, general comments have gotten a lot less constructive and a lot more back-and-forth fault blaming. My words and message haven’t changed, the commenter’s haven’t really changed, and the only new variable is your comments. As Jack said, you do communicate unique experiences, which we all appreciate very much. But the rest of it is too much. Lesbian voices do need to be heard, but not in a way that name-calls, points fingers and blames everyone else. This is THE LAST time you will be asked to change your style and length, there will be no ‘heads up’ next time.
3. _____ is officially blocked. She is the first one ever. I just deleted her last post. I warned her three times publicly, and I can’t take any more of her forcefulness against gay men, ex-gays, any form of Christians, the Bible, straight woman who don’t hate men, the church, etc. It’s over. So _____, if you would like to comment again, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will talk.
As will be my policy from here on out, when someone is blocked they can email me and we can discuss the situation. I don’t want to block anyone, and I have given her more chances and warnings than many other bloggers I know. But for the greater good of peaceful and productive dialogue (and that does mean people can disagree!) surrounding this very heated topic, I will not have constant finger pointing, blaming, bullying, name calling, etc. And she did all of those.
I’m not going to set up rules for comments because I want this blog to be free-flowing and a place to honestly and genuinely explore with each other. But none of her comments explored anything except her agenda. I look forward to continuing the dialogue.