Commenting Policy

The Village Aunties hope to foster a community of people who wish to discuss and explore feminist issues in a Scottish context, and Scottish issues in a feminist context. We welcome substantive, challenging, respectful, informative and humorous comments.

If you wish to be part of this community and comment here, please read the Manifesto and Take Heed for general guidelines. Please also acquaint yourself with the commenting policy below.

Comment moderation policy
Comments which are trolling, abusive, threatening, derailing, misogynist, racist, homophobic, transphobic, ableist, slut-shaming, or in any other way gratuitously offensive in the view of the Village Aunties, will either be deleted before appearing, or will be deleted from comments sections if they have slipped through.

Decisions are made by the Village Aunties according to our appraisal of the situation, and are final. You are welcome to start your own blog and discuss issues raised here if you feel the need. The Village Aunties are not responsible for your personal access to freedom of speech.

Here and here are some commenting policies from feminist blogs which we think are brilliant and will use for inspiration.

Dealing with trolls, threats and other derailing tactics
The Village Aunties have much experience over many years of feminist forums online. Trolling by misogynists, anti-feminists and general bigoted or immature nuisances is a huge problem in the feminist blog-o-sphere. Discussions around blog posts can become massively derailed in many ways. Bloggers and commenters can find themselves on the receiving end of vicious personal attacks and threats, including threats of violence and rape. This situation can be very off-putting for those wishing to engage in genuine discussion.

There is an excellent page on the Geek Feminist Wiki which lists a good number of typical trolling and derailing techniques used against feminists on the Web. It’s well worth a read. Please avoid the pitfalls detailed there when commenting.

How we moderate comments
Over the years many feminist forums have developed various methods for dealing with trolling. The Village Aunties will use the following method for moderating comments, unless and until some other way of moderating is required:

1) The first time you comment, your comment will require moderation. This means that a Village Auntie must read and approve it before it appears. Each time you comment after that the comment will go straight through; however, all comments will be subject to moderation and may be deleted if they are deemed to break the blog’s guidelines. WordPress will automatically block comments with certain key words or phrases or other indicators of spam or trolling.

2) If you feel you have a genuine case for having your comment allowed through when it has been moderated you can email the Village Aunties at villageaunties [at] gmail [dot] com. Be warned that point 3) below will also apply to emails to the Village Aunties.

3) Comments that are deleted (and egregious emails) will be copied and pasted with IP addresses and other relevant details to this Googledoc. Just as an experiment, the Village Aunties are keeping a public record from the start of what happens behind the scenes on a feminist blog. Keeping the comments on a publicly available document means that noone need look if they don’t want to, but a record is being kept.

Looking for an introduction to feminism?
This blog is not a Feminism 101 blog. This means it does not attempt to explain or justify feminism, or educate people about basic feminism. There are many resources out there to help if you are feeling out of your depth. We will gather some of our favourites for you to follow up, but remember, you can always just look for yourself. The afore-linked-to blog is a good starting point.


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