Commenters are always responsible for their own comments, and most of the regulars here probably don’t need to bother with reading this, but for those who may wonder, this is my attempt to provide a bit of information about my approach toward comment moderation.
I welcome anonymous comments, particularly from abuse survivors. Indeed, part of the original purpose of this blog was to provide abuse survivors with a place where they might, in small ways, begin to find their voice, even if it’s an anonymous voice. However, anonymous comments, and those from persons who don’t make their profile visible, will be moderated more rigorously than others. Anonymity can provide too many possibilities for meanness, and also for manipulation. So, if I don’t have some idea of who the comment is from, I err on the side of disallowing it. Many blogs don’t allow for anonymous comments at all; I’m doing the best I can to strike some sort of balance.
First and foremost, this blog is intended primarily for clergy abuse survivors, and it is my intent to maintain this blog as a safe place for clergy abuse survivors. This means that I will also err on the side of rejecting comments that I think may be too hurtful. In the past, I often tended to err on the side of allowing for an open forum. Then I heard from several clergy abuse survivors who told me they felt like they couldn’t even read my blog anymore because some of the comments were too upsetting for them. I say a heartfelt thank you to those survivors who shared those feelings.
My new approach toward moderating comments will necessarily involve more judgment calls on my part, and sometimes I may not exercise my judgment in the same way that some of you would. I hope you’ll bear with me. The bottom line is that I intend to keep my “first and foremost” audience in the front of my mind – i.e., clergy abuse survivors.
I can also tell you this: If your comment doesn’t get through, or doesn’t get through as quickly as you think it should, and you send me emails ranting about how terrible I am for not posting what you said, it’s probably not going to sway me to release your comment.
A few additional points:
- Comments that contain links to sites about social or political issues, or to sites for political candidates, will likely be deleted.
- Comments that contain links to proselytizing sites will likely be deleted, as will comments that, in my judgment, are too over-the-top on authoritarian, evangelical-style talk. This is obviously a judgment call, and I’ll admit that I don’t quite know where the line is on this. After all, even I have been known to recite the occasional Bible verse. So, I would simply say that many clergy abuse survivors do not find it helpful to receive sermonizing on how they should be better Christians, how they should be more forgiving, how they can pray their troubles away, or how they should put it all in God’s hands.
- Comments that libel me or call me names will be deleted. (You can disagree with me, but you can’t expect to say untrue things about me right here on my own blog.)
- Comments on older posts are more likely to be deleted. (As with almost all things, there are exceptions.)
- Comments that flat-out reflect ignorance, and particularly hateful ignorance, will likely be deleted. (For example, a recent attempted comment talked about how a 12-year-old girl was probably “in love” with the minister and so was partly to blame. I won’t allow such foul ignorance to be promoted and perpetuated on my blog. Rational, decent people don’t debate the “who’s to blame” question when an adult married minister admits to having sex with a 12-year-old.)
I wish it were possible to have a completely open forum. However, I have finally concluded that, given the subject-matter of this blog, it is simply not manageable.
Related posts: Venom-spitters and bile-spewers, 12/17/2010; Meanness, 10/26/2010; Straight to Hell, 2/15/11