…And THIS is Why We Moderate the Hell Out of BB&W

I remember in the early days of BB&W, hungry to get an audience and engage my readers, I made a rookie mistake: I let trolls have their say in some fruitless hope that I might disabuse them with logic or smack them down with my mondo snark abilities. I learned quickly that trolls are not interested in discourse, and are more interested in disruption and the advancement of ideas and enlightenment.

It turns out that I’m not alone. Several news stories have recently come to light about how awful misogynists are to female bloggers, and the bullying and sexism spans across the races. But I’m not naive…it’s news now because it affects white women, and when they cry and complain, the collective blogesphere perks their ears to listen. No bother. Whichever way it’s become news, I’m simply relieved it has come to light and news organizations are beginning to pay attention. Because as a publisher, if your readers don’t feel comfortable in your house because monkeys are throwing shit all over the walls, then you lose.

I personally get MAJOR hits on the backend that most of you don’t see, from those calling for my death, destruction of the site, and wishing for me to be raped.

One writer, who incidentally is a man, got it right when he talked about his difficulty finding female writers who were afraid of the fallout from online Ike Turners:

My awareness of this loss only increased when I became a commissioning editor for a web magazine called Culture11. On several occasions, I pitched article ideas to women—some were journalists; others were professionals with insight into a particular subject—who’d have killed the assignments. But they’d turn me down, citing an understandable reluctance to subject themselves to the vitriol that too often accompanies being a woman who writes publicly, especially on certain subjects. That reluctance caused me to take an uncharacteristically heavy-handed approach to moderating certain Culture11 comments, having finally understood their cost. They weren’t as bad as what many female writers received in private forums, but they were without value and only added to a hostile environment that robbed the audience of good writing.

And that’s the crux of it. Trolls rob the audience of good writing and productive discourse. And that’s why we lay the hammer hard, so BB&W continues to be a safe corner of the internet for a specific segment of black women that finds this blog a benefit to them.

Listen to this discussion on NPR

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The Man Myth