Saturday, March 4, 2017

Kaelah's Corner (Feb 2017):
Get Off My Lawn!

About a week ago I was very proud that I had managed to write this Kaelah's Corner post so timely and would be able to publish it by the end of February. But then life got very busy again - and I completely forgot to ask Ludwig for a final review and publish the post by the end of the month. And so, Kaelah's Corner is a bit late again. Darn! Oh well, I guess that's life.

Today's post is not about kink, anyway, but about blogging in general and about our politics on this blog specifically. Those who write comments here on our blog might have noticed that the comment moderation function was switched on a while ago and is still active.

The original reason was that we got spam mail which the Blogger system unfortunately didn't recognize as such (the spam wasn't posted with the Anonymous option but from a Blogger account). We
even pondered whether the spam was indeed posted by a real person who actually selected fitting posts instead of the usual bot. Nonetheless it was real simple spam, linking to vanilla porn sites or whatever. Our hope was that the spam would stop once the moderation function had been activated for a while and that we could deactivate it again afterwards.

It took some time but since a few weeks we only get the "usual" spam again, so maybe our strategy worked or the spammer stopped for a different reason. Despite of that I have decided to keep the moderation function activated. And I am going to tell you why.

One reason is of course that we still get quite a lot of spam and there is always a risk that Blogger doesn't manage to filter out the one or other spam comment correctly. That's not the main point, though. The main reason is that in contrast to what I believed some years ago, I don't intend to publish every comment people make on this blog anymore.

Now don't worry, I am not talking about polite comments from people who don't agree with me on a certain topic discussed on this blog! Ludwig and I are still of the opinion that it is wonderful when people who have different views on a subject talk with each other instead of about each other (unfortunately the latter is very common today, especially when it comes to political views). Even if all participants keep their original opinion afterwards, they might at least have gained a better understanding of why others have a different point of view.

So, that's not what I am talking about. What has changed, though, is my stance on trolls and how to deal with them. A few years ago, I would have published every comment no matter how insolent they were (as long as the commenter didn't insult one of our readers) and written a serious reply.

First of all I would have given the commenter the benefit of doubt. Maybe he or she got something wrong or wrote a harsh comment because of fear of something, like severe scenes? Some things had scared me, too, as a newbie. Of course I didn't write impolite comments because of that, but maybe the other person simply wasn't so well articulated? And even if the commenter was a real troll, then my serious reply would show them how stupid their comment was and that I didn't reply in the same way. And others who might have similar thoughts or fears as the troll but weren't as dull and impolite might be convinced by my arguments, too.

The problem with this approach: It gives real trolls the attention they seek but definitely don't deserve and can lead to a very long, emotionally exhausting discussion. That's indeed what happened once in a while. Ludwig and I sometimes even took the time to debate with trolls (or at least people who weren't able to hold a decent discussion) on other forums or blogs when a topic was dear to our heart.

As a result, Ludwig was called a "true Teutonic demagogue" when he defended Mood Pictures against the "those monsters abuse defenceless (and maybe kidnapped) girls" faction. I, and subsequently Ludwig, were accused of having taken over a threat on another blog when I questioned the comment of some guy and we didn't manage to stop the resulting verbal exchange in which one false accusation after the other was uttered, giving us the feeling that we had to defend ourselves and set things right.

From today's point of view it all wasn't worth the time and the emotional involvement. Which is why I was glad that the moderation function was enabled when we received several stupid, insulting and even threatening comments over the past months. Instead of bothering with them, I simply hit the delete button and they were gone.

Because as I said, we still love to discuss topics and we still love to hear different views. And it's of course okay when someone is very dedicated to a certain theme or opinion and wholeheartedly fights for his or her belief. But - and this is where my view has changed - this is our blog, our home. And that means it's our rules. These rules are simple: This is a blog for decent people who like to participate in a polite and respectful discussion.

So, for all those who either don't have that ability or don't want to make use of it: Get off my (our) lawn! And to the vast majority of polite people reading and commenting on our blog - please take a seat, have a cup of tea and a cookie and make yourself at home. We love to hear from you and always try to publish your comments as soon as we see them. So please don't be upset should it take a while at times until your comment is published or a reply appears. It doesn't mean we don't like you or don't appreciate your comment, it just means we are currently too busy for any blogging activities.