I posted last week about why I consider the common anti-trans arguments invalid. My comment was inspired by a thread on I Blame The Patriarchy, Twisty’s blog.
One thing I didn’t talk about was the issue of Twisty’s culpability for the thread. I didn’t discuss that because I wanted to separate out the issue of anti-trans arguments — which I consider an important issue — from the issue of blog moderation techniques, which is an issue that I consider extremely petty.
It appears that Twisty wasn’t paying attention to the thread when the anti-trans hatefest exploded. She posted twice without, apparently, having actually read the thread in any detail at all. The third time she posted about the thread, she described herself as having just read the thread for the first time; she then condemned the transphobia and (if I followed events correctly) banned the disgusting hatemonger Luckynkl from her blog.
It would be one thing if IBTP was a constant hive of anti-trans hatred in the comments, in the way a blog like Little Green Footballs is a constant hive of anti-muslim hatred. If the problem goes on constantly for years, and the moderator never makes any attempt to address it, it’s fair to assume that the blog is that way because the moderator finds that acceptable. But that’s not what happened in this case. What happened is that Twisty didn’t pay attention 24/7, one thread exploded and got out of hand, and it took Twisty a while to correctly observe how fucked up the thread was and react.
Especially for those bloggers with busy comments sections, it’s not always possible to monitor what’s going on closely1, and it’s guaranteed that we’ll sometimes fail to react as well to situations as we should have. To blame bloggers for everything that people post in our comments is unfair. And people who think that there’s only one politically valid approach to running a comments section are overpoliticizing what shouldn’t be a political issue, and practicing the politics of personal denunciation.
I don’t agree with that. Twisty didn’t react as well as she should have, and she didn’t initially understand the situation — but who does, all of the time? Twisty didn’t herself say anything hateful about transsexuals, and the condemnations of her are in my opinion unfair and misplaced.
Along similar lines, I recommend this post at Tiny Cat Pants.
- There are sometimes days at a time when I can’t look at “Alas” comments, or can’t do more than skim. And the comments on “Alas” aren’t as busy at the comments on IBTP. [↩]