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Thursday, October 25, 2012

197

Scrollus Interruptus

"On Jan. 1, I made a resolution I never thought I would. I took a Sharpie and a Post-it and wrote the words “DON’T READ THE COMMENTS” in big letters and stuck it on my computer. I’ve been so much happier ever since."
—Salon staff writer and former online community moderator, Mary Elizabeth Williams, is over it. Aaand... discuss.



197 Comments / Post A Comment

atipofthehat

...and don't write them either!

OOPS

redheaded&crazy

@atipofthehat it's just so hard to stay away ent it

BoozinSusan

@redheaded&crazie I read your comment, and I was like "Ents? Where?!" So there's that.

Bus Driver Stu Benedict

Did somebody say something? I thought I heard somebody say something...

deepomega

But if you don't read the comments you won't experience my excellent puns.

EpWs

@deepomega WHERE IS THE PUN IN THIS COMMENT

stonefruit

I'm sure she meant "DON'T READ THE COMMENTS anywhere but at thehairpin.com," though.

SarahP

@stonefruit That's my internet policy. For real.

allofthewine

@SarahP Agreed. I don't know what kind of voodoo magic Edith and the others had to perform, but the Hairpin is literally the only place where I read the comments and WANT to read the comments. <3 u hairpinie.

Teeth and Claws

@stonefruit Word.

renegadeoboe

@SarahP Mine too!

you're a kitty!

@stonefruit actually, the ones at Metafilter are pretty high-quality as well, though not quite as great as here.

par_parenthese

@stonefruit EXACTLY.

Lush Life

@allofthewine All the wonderful comments, advice, and support I read here on the 'pin are what convinced me to join, rather than just to continue to lurk.

beeline96

@SarahP Mine too

JessicaLovejoy

I've stopped hate-reading lately and it's been an epiphany. This combined with deciding not to follow that rich bitches of Instagram thing is probably why my bp was a nice 104/69 this morning.

Nocs

@JessicaLovejoy I wish I could be like you, but I get sucked into at least one hate-reading session per day and STAB STAB.

BoozinSusan

@Nocs Uh, yeah. Holler. Don't read the comments (especially on Yahoo News and, when you're being a political tourist, on Fox). Why do we do this to ourselves?

Miss Maszkerádi

@JessicaLovejoy How does one successfully stop hate-reading? I need to, for my sanity, but I can't tear myself away from the grotesqueries.

hieropants

@CountessMaritza Beats the hell out of me! I had to stop reading The Consumerist entirely because I could not stop reading the comments and then screaming about the guy who kept insisting he was not rich because he could not afford a house that had separate bedrooms for all three of his kids IN DOWNTOWN MANHATTAN ARGH

plumb-bob

@CountessMaritza I installed a site blocker plugin on my browser and blocked a couple of the sites that were bad for my blood pressure, but now I just go open them up my other browser...TIme to download another site blocker! Or take up a time consuming hobby.

hahahaha, ja.

@hieropants: Oooooh myyyy goooood I used to read the Consumerist every day, and it taught me a lot! But then it also taught me that people who have financial troubles because of medical issues brought it upon themselves because they should have been saving tens of thousands of $$$ JUST IN CASE because everyone has the ability to do that. And other things. And then I quit it cold turkey, although once in a while I still find myself itching to type the URL out of habit.

hieropants

@hahahaha, ja. I KNOW RIGHT? I kinda miss it, because there were interesting discussions there, but every time I read an article that I knew was going to have lots of terrible comments that tiny part of my brain that loves to be in horrible pain went "YOU SHOULD TOTALLY READ THIS" and then I couldn't ignore it. So I just quit, and then my sister made fun of me because I am unable to stop hitting myself (metaphorically).

JessicaLovejoy

@CountessMaritza Cold turkey was my way.

TheUnchosenOne

I have CommentBlocker installed on both my home and work computers and have only whitelisted a half-dozen or so sights. I have been so, so much happier. As far as I know nowhere else on Internet even HAS comments.

TheBourneApproximation

@TheUnchosenOne

Holy crap, a comment blocker! That's what I'm missing in my life! Now if only I could find something like that for Safari... (Chrome has ceased to work on this computer recently.)

I recently registered an account at an otherwise thoughtful and insightful videogame blog, because it gave me the option of blocking comments from individual users. After I set up the account, I went and calibrated the blocker on a "Women in Games" post. My reading experience has improved many times over since then! And it's always funny when I see that an *entire thread* has been blocked.

adorable-eggplant

@TheBourneApproximation That's brilliant!!!!

HeyThatsMyBike

@TheUnchosenOne !!! I actually came down here to ask if such a thing existed! I would love to read any article on CNN and have the article just END instead of flowing immediately into a bunch of stuff about the holocaust and racial slurs and things about Obama being a Muslim/Kenyan/Indonesian. Even if the article is about, like, rutabaga or something, all three of these categories will make an appearance within the first 5 comments you read. And it really bothers me even though it probably shouldn't.
Off to find this magical blocking device!

Brad Paisley

@TheUnchosenOne
NOOOOOOO NOT THE COMMENTBLOCKERRR

Josh is like Germany Ambitious and Misunderstood

@TROLL oh man have i gotten to witness the hairpin's first gimmick commenter???

Cawendaw

@Josh is like Germany Ambitious and Misunderstood First? You mean Eeyore is a commenter literally stuffed with sawdust? A Penguin is an actual non-human, computer using animal? Evil Melis is actually... actually, I don't know if I want to know the answer to that one.

MilesofMountains

@Cawendaw Don't forget Party Falcon.

Josh is like Germany Ambitious and Misunderstood

@Cawendaw i was called a gimmick commenter once, in a past life... ::looks into the distance wistfully, slowly swirling tumbler of scotch::

Cawendaw

@MilesofMountains I think we need a gimmick account parade for this week's FOT. It's the closest we as commenters come to dressing up.

smidge

@MilesofMountains LONG LIVE PARTY FALCON

EpWs

@smidge NEVER FORGET PARTY FALCON

BoozinSusan

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher Wait, guys. Party Falcon didn't die right? (S)he's just nesting, maybe catching a couple of mice and a party here and there?

smidge

@BoozinSusan I hope so. Miss you PFiffle!

Lily Rowan

In general, comments aren't worth reading unless the commenters are a community and/or the moderation is good. Ta-Nehisi Coates has both, for one example.

How much moderation is there here? And if it's as little as I think, why do you think there are so few trolls around?

stonefruit

@Lily Rowan oh! I always forget, because I read TNC's stuff on RSS feed, that the comment section there is usually quite good. Thank you for the reminder!

Janesy

@Lily Rowan I still can't figure out how the Hairpin manages to have comment sections that don't constantly morph into Thunderdomes. I've been reading and mostly lurking for...jeez, probably over a year now and I can't recall ANY commentary section blowing up in an untoward fashion. People disagree, sure, but it never quite goes straight to hell like it does on other sites.

Josh is like Germany Ambitious and Misunderstood

@Janesy actually, this is a good a time as any to bring up piece in N+1 i read (yes im one of THOSE people) about the hairpin that might shed light on this?

Megasus

@Lily Rowan We usually scare them away real quick when they notice how smart and articulate we are

NeenerNeener

@Josh is like Germany Ambitious and Misunderstood
Trolls hate sleepovers.

Thanks for linking to that; as I remember, I kind of had trouble understanding what her actual point was in the first place... this was a little better in that regard.

Brad Paisley

@NeenerNeener
THAT IS TRUE SLEEPOVERS ARE TERRRRRIBLE

Josh is like Germany Ambitious and Misunderstood

@NeenerNeener when i first read it, it made me think a lot about my place on the 'pin as a dude, and what attracted me to it in the first place (because, you know, its all about me)

NeenerNeener

@Josh is like Germany Ambitious and Misunderstood
Funny, that's mostly what I got out of that N+1 piece, that it's all about her.

Josh is like Germany Ambitious and Misunderstood

@NeenerNeener i got a lot of 'idk why you guys arent accepting of my criticisms of yr safe zone????'. I like that its casual and friendly here! i got my start commenting at the av club (before required registration, or even avatars, which was a trial by fire if anything). I still comment there and its better, but i like here best.

Lily Rowan

@TROLL (it doesn't work if you're speaking truth..)

Ellie

In re. Josh's n+1 link (which I have read before) and also Lily Rowan's comment about moderation. I tend to disagree. I am by no means one of those SOPA/PIPA soapboxers but I think there is a place for dissent, anonymity and even being a jerk to be funny in internet comments. Yes, sometimes people say things that hurt other commenters' feelings - I am personally really sensitive - but I'd rather have an edgier, looser forum. I'm not saying we should welcome racial slurs and the like but that we should also expect to maybe hear something mean and take it in stride. It's the internet, not real life. In real life, you are polite to people to preserve pleasant social interactions. On the internet, you can be a little edgier - it's less emotionally significant. This is of course very general and not true in every case. I think the AV Club is pretty much perfect in terms of moderatedness/openness.

TheBourneApproximation

@Ellie I feel like there's a room for both. But there are already a ton of places on the internet where you "can expect to maybe hear something mean" (for instance, lots of good culture blogs, and a significant number of feminist blogs - those folks can be *awful* to one another), and there are not many places like The Hairpin. I don't always want to have a fierce political or intellectual debate in the comments. Sometimes I just want a nice conversation, with people saying interesting things, telling good stories and jokes, and generally being civil to one another. Then again, I'm a person who has nearly stopped reading the AV Club on multiple occasions because of how snarky and unpleasant I found the comments there (things have gotten a *lot* better post-registration, but I still get tired there pretty quickly).

NeenerNeener

@Ellie
I don't know, maybe my internet/real world switch is broken, but I don't think of it like that. I don't suddenly become a different person when I sit in front of a monitor, but I think a lot of trolls do.
I don't really see too much harm in this being more of a "safe space" than other places around the internet. I haven't seen a lot of mean comments here, but I don't see what worth mean comments could have, other than giving people a thicker skin (and I'm sure we've all been exposed enough to both the real world and other places around the internet to develop).
I guess I don't fully agree with Molly's point that this environment is restrictive. I keep my mouth shut a lot on contraversial topics here, either because I don't want to expose my own ignorance or because I'm at work and don't have a lot of time to craft thoughtful responses to defend a position, BUT I have seen many disagreements here that I've learned a lot from. In that sense, I agree with you - I've probably learned the most from the disagreements, but they don't have to be hostile for me to learn those things.

Miss Maszkerádi

@TheBourneApproximation Truth about many other women's/feminist blogs. As much as I feel like i'm probably a bad feminist for disliking Jezebel, the overall tone of most of the articles and comments is just so.....harsh, maybe, or overly and broadly snarky. Some other sites, no real discussion happens because people are just shouting slogans and declaring one another too privileged to have a valid opinion. And I mean of course i'm a feminist, but most of the feminist interwebspace is just......exhausting, and leaves me feeling sort of icky. And it's not because I have any ideas that women are supposed to be docile, accommodating smile dispensers who never raise their voices - I just have a hard time with PEOPLE being shrill, self-righteous and snarky. (Snark, to me, is different than sarcasm. If done well a sort of droll sarcasm can be brilliant. Snark is bitter, mean-spirited and always drawn with broad, blustering strokes.) I like the Hairpin best by far because people are reasonable, intelligent, and generally polite and assuming of good faith to one another. Like how people, not just women, should usually treat each other. Is it....really a bad thing to not be constantly in combat mode?

LooseBaggyMonster

@Ellie There's a lot of good in the AV Club discussions, but I'd rather not have to wade through the sizable portion of First/CancerAids and fapping comments.

The Hairpin really is the ideal - there's plenty of dissent, but it's extraordinarily polite and intelligent most of the time.

TheBourneApproximation

@CountessMaritza I think a lot of those feminist blogs would argue that you're a *good* feminist for disliking Jezebel, due to a variety of things they've done recently (Posting photos of a rape in progress? Sure why not!). "Exhausting" is a good word even for the good blogs, however. I've learned a ton, but half the time I feel like I'm a bad person for enjoying the things that I enjoy. Wading into their comments territory without being 100% on-message is just asking for being yelled at. The Hairpin is just the right speed of feminist discourse for me (because I'm so PRIVILEGED and all that, etc.).

@LooseBaggyMonster Ironically enough, the AV Club's new Gameological Society site has managed to cultivate an incredibly intelligent Hairpinesque level of civil troll-free commentary. Which, I mean? AV Club offshoot + Gaming blog? Things should have turned out very differently indeed!

Lily Rowan

@Ellie I think the internet is real life, but a lot of people don't think that. I'm not saying there shouldn't be discourse and disagreement, but have you seen the rest of the internet? I guess the registration process stops the random "ur a fat slut" commenters, and I greatly appreciate that.

Marzipan

@Josh is like Germany Ambitious and Misunderstood

Oh noooooo I didn’t see that one and I disagree but also I feel like by questioning/criticizing her I am somehow proving her point? BUT I STILL DON’T GET HER POINT. Like, The Hairpin is not the perfect ladyblog she yearns for, because BFFness, but also Sisterhood isn’t good, but Dissent and Serious Issues is good, but also a Safe Place that doesn’t Take Itself Seriously and Isn’t Self-Righteous but Is Willing To Alienate and Be Hostile but is Funny and Doesn’t Focus On Womens Issues but is a Womens Blog and isn’t Exclusive or Try To Create Intimacy but does form a Community, I just…what does she want? what is the solution? Or even the problem? Like, is her thesis statement “Thing Is Not as Perfect as I Had Initially Hoped”? or “Thing Was Not Perfect For Me, Then People Got Defensive When I Criticized Something They Like, How Hostile and Alienating, Which I Wanted Them To Be, Except Not So Exclusive and Personal and Like They Think They Are FRIENDS OR SOMETHING, wrong/gross”? It’s just, I really, I really don’t know?? I don’t. What more do you want from us, Molly Fischer?? What could we possibly do to make you happy?? Why do we have to do it all? Why can’t you accept us despite our faults?

Anyways, sorry for all the Capitalizing, I should Really Stop.

Springtime for Voldemort

@CountessMaritza I'm totally addicted to Jezebel, but it helps that I don't see it as a feminist site so much as a Gawker site that's for women and posts a lot of things about feminism, but is also trying to be a Gawker site. And that my love of it is more like the love other people have with reality tv. (In general, I'm addicted to social justice/feminist flame wars; I've been on the Tumblr wagon for almost 6 months, but have not come anywhere near to breaking my Feministe habit.) But I definitely love the Pin for it's warm, cozy, totally opposite environment.

I like the idea of comments sections. I like that there are so many different types of comments sections - totally open, extremely heavily moderated, hostile but all about sj (in theory), safe spaces, etc. I like that I can just sit back and learn a lot of things, especially about different group dynamics.

baked bean

@CountessMaritza You're not alone, I consider myself a feminist, and don't really get annoyed by other feminists, but I don't like Jezebel. I'm not interested in celebrities in the slightest. On the few articles I'm interested in, I get sucked into their comments and I don't like the comments at all. I also don't like the way the comments threads are set up, hart to read and navigate, which I guess is good because I get sucked in less.

teaandcakeordeath

@Josh is like Germany Ambitious and Misunderstood
Holy Schmoly the's ME in the screen grab! I never knew. Am I an internet celebrity now? For making playful 'Mean Girls' references? Awesome!

I think for me the intimacy of the commentariat makes me feel more welcome to say stuff that perhaps I would other wise be too intimidated to say. However I've never tried to write a post for The Hairpin so it might feel different on the other side.
It's a shame as her article (Anais Nin) sounded really interesting. I also disagree with with the idea that she has to write to us in an over familiar way if it's not her style. The different editors that write here do have different styles and I would prefer Molly to write passionately in her own words about why she found the book interesting rather than have her put on some false cloying tone as she thinks that's the only thing we will respond to. I really enjoy the variety of the posts here. And the commentariat.

PS: My boobs are psychic. They can tell when it's raining.

Nicole Cliffe

You won't care if they love you
it's been done before
you'll despair if they hate you
you'll be drained of all energy

- Che, of Eva Peron and ladybloggers

Faintly Macabre

@Nicole Cliffe High, flighty, and bored

-are most internet commenters

Rock and Roll Ken Doll

Aw heck, not only do I not read the comments on other blogs, I don't even read the articles.

Citizen Cunt

Lessons to Live By. Truth.

karion

Two kind of disconnected thoughts:

1. In my experience, there is a relatively short, manageable list of people whose words and criticism can sting me. These are people I know, respect, and/or admire (for one reason or another). Then there is everyone else. It is fairly easy to assign the feedback from the latter group its relative value.

2. The trolls don't appear on the Hairpin, at least as far as I can tell. That fascinates me, and makes me wonder about the gender of the vast legions of internet trolls.

forget it i quit

@karion Whoa, before we get into gender politics of trolldom, let me just add that all of The Awl network generally is troll free.

leonstj

@forget it i quit - I think it has to do, across The Awl & The Hairpin , with the general style of the blogs & the readers. Like...there's a kind of (and I say this in the best possible way) elitism (Maybe 'exceptionalism' is the better word?) Too both books.

I mean, the Hairpin is a "Ladies First" site that has a BOOKS EDITOR and NOT a Make-Up Editor - the Make-Up expert is good enough at Editing to be a general editor of a general purpose thing, not a person who's specialty is make-up that happens to understand grammar. So, three great editors here who all write to their own level - there's a certain assumption of literacy, both trad. and cultural.

At The Awl...I mean, the biggest 'trolls' are often the Editors. The weary sarcasm (which somehow doesn't seem to fit the definition of 'snark') is almost un-trollable.

Plus - the motivation of 'the troll' is generally to piss off people who are stupid and over-react. But...I have a feeling The Awl & Hairpin don't have massive amounts of stupid readers, and obvious trolling attempts would go mostly ignored...so there's not a lot of food for trolling.

themmases

@karion The author of this recent article about trolling also gave some space to the likely demographics:
"I have every reason to believe that the majority of trolls on the English-speaking web are, like Violentacrez, white, male and somewhat privileged. Not because I have personally counted all the trolls on the English-speaking web, but because trolls perform these characteristics. They enact gendered dominance ("your resistance only makes my penis harder," a popular trolling refrain, speaks volumes). They universalize their own assumptions and ethical imperatives (for example the assertion that nothing on the Internet should be taken seriously). They have enough free time to sink hours and hours into their online exploits, and have access to the necessary technologies to do so. I am entirely comfortable asserting these basic symbolic demographics."

...As well she should be.

noReally

@karion And Jezebel is a snake pit.

Brad Paisley

@leon s
I WILL FORCE YOU TO OVERREACT

Brad Paisley

@themmases
I HAVE SO MUCH FREE TIME BECAUSE NO ONE WILL HIRE A TROLL SO I JUST SIT UNDER THE BRIDGE ALL DAY WITH MY LAPTOP

themmases

@TROLL Here I am feeding you a reasonable comment about how there's nowhere to plug in a laptop under a bridge.

Brad Paisley

@themmases
THERE IS A STARBUCKS DOWN HERE

PistolPackinMama

@leon s "Plus - the motivation of 'the troll' is generally to piss off people who are stupid and over-react."

I can't speak to motivation of trolls. But I do think this isn't the only people they affect. There's a reason why Shapely Prose, Shakesville, and Captain Awkward, among others, have/had strict moderation and banning policies. It isn't because their readers are too stupid to not be hurt or offended by trolls. Some of the abuse banned by those sites, if the Shapely Prose Best of Trolling Tumblr was anything to go by, was horrifying. Sweet Machine, one of the writers at SP, has observed that her therapist called the kinds of comments they moderated and banned "abuse" as she asked why she felt so bad about the blog and moderating it. As in "of course you feel bad, you're on the receiving end of abuse." Sweet Machine who, by the way, just defended her PhD. The famous case of the IT blogger Kathy ... Thingie... wasn't a stupid woman being too stupid to blow off trolling.

Whatever is preventing trolling from happening here, it's not only because the readers are clever and the rest of the internet is thick.

Lily Rowan

@PistolPackinMama Yes, thank you. I can't stand thinking that somehow we're just better than everyone else.

themmases

@TROLL I know-- I'll draw you into a tedious argument about whether an unemployed troll should be buying $4 lattes! That'll show you!

NeenerNeener

@Lily Rowan
Come on, you can stand it. Just a little?

Brad Paisley

@themmases
TROLLS HAVE TRUST FUNDS

Lily Rowan

@NeenerNeener CANNOT STAND IT.

fondue with cheddar

@themmases White, male, somewhat privileged, and/or 13 years old.

PistolPackinMama

@Lily Rowan It's just a teeeny bit close to the line of "people are [online] harassed because they do something to deserve it."

plumb-bob

@PistolPackinMama The IT blogger was Kathy Sierra. I still have 'Creating Passionate Users' bookmarked, it was a good blog! Such a bizarre target for so much vitriol.

Lily Rowan

@PistolPackinMama Oh man, I hadn't even gone that far with it, but yeah. But it's also something like we're better than People, which, meh.

PistolPackinMama

@Lily Rowan Yah, that too. :/

PistolPackinMama

@plumb-bob (formerly Pixa) Well, if you buy the argument that in Kathy Sierra's case, this is not just haters gonna hating, and it is women being targeted for abuse in particular because they are women, it's not, really. She could be writing about rape culture or yogurt culture and it would be reason enough.

plumb-bob

@PistolPackinMama I believe that is correct, sadly.

MilesofMountains

Every time I see people talking about the lack of trolls on the Hairpin I get nervous. Shhhh guys, what if they hear you and come over?

HeyThatsMyBike

@MilesofMountains Eh, we've had a few. There was the great Chris Robertson@facebook kurfuffle of early 2012, of course.
But even those who have shown up tend to go away because they are either blocked or get bored because we can make good arguments and don't actually get offended by "your momma" style jokes.

Brad Paisley

@MilesofMountains
HERE I AM

smidge

@HeyThatsMyBike Am I terrible because I found that Chris R thing so wildly entertaining? Mostly because of all the lovely, witty responses the Hairpinners offered?

Brad Paisley

@smidge
CHRIS R IS SORT OF MY FRIEND BUT EVEN FOR A TROLL HE IS KIND OF A JERK

'riel

@smidge What was the Chris R thing? Are there screencaps? Links? I want to see this, I think.

MilesofMountains

@smidge I started thinking of him like a bad-mannered small pet.

stonefruit

@HeyThatsMyBike @Smidge guys, stop saying his name! what if it's like Bloody Mary?

dj pomegranate

@'riella I also want to see this! I have heard tell...

smidge

@dj pomegranate I can't remember which article that was! Does anyone remember?

meetapossum

Behold.

FUCK YOU ASS TARD.

fondue with cheddar

@stonefruit Stuff his mouth with celery, I suppose.

area@twitter

@meetapossum it's even better than I remembered

dj pomegranate

@meetapossum Aaaaahhhhh that was...amazing. I've never seen anyone so gracefully outwit a troll. I hold Emby in even higher esteem now!

(I remember this post, actually, and not commenting on it because I hadn't heard Robyn's song yet, somehow, and didn't feel well enough informed. Little did I know I was missing the troll dance in the comments!)

Brad Paisley

@dj pomegranate
THAT IS WHY YOU HAVE TO READ THE COMMENTS

HeyThatsMyBike

@stonefruit I got in on the fun at one point, too, and also thought it was secretly kind of enjoyable because he was just so comedically awful/ridiculous. Also here is a link from a comment that the comment monster ate from Cawendaw: http://thehairpin.com/user/15700/fb100003583445675 (I won't hyperlink it so that you can enjoy). This was his other (banned) account.

Also is there a job that involves pulling out strings at a tampon factory? That seems...extraneous.
I picture his responses to Emby railing on his writing delivered in the same way as the Wicked Witch of the West delivers lines as she's (SPOILER ALERT) melting.

smidge

@HeyThatsMyBike Also, can someone link to the poem AHP wrote in response to one of his insults?

HeyThatsMyBike

@smidge Well, I haven't found that, but here is one of his other banned accounts. http://thehairpin.com/user/14184/fb1551704642

Blackwatch Plaid

@MilesofMountains I know nothing of this situation as I was a lurker back then, but I'm going to assume this is the Chris R. we're talking about:

Where's my money Denny?!


HeyThatsMyBike

@Blackwatch Plaid AMAZING.

hoolie

@Blackwatch Plaid WHAT KIND OF DRUGS?

fuck fuck fuck

@Blackwatch Plaid he was actually credited as "Chris-R", which is somehow one of my favorite things in that movie. also YOU'RE NOT MY FUCKING MOTHER

whizz_dumb

I miss Chris Robertson@facebook, that was so much fun. The handling of trolls here is hilarious, entertaining. A collective unflinching, perfectly executed BEAT-DOWN.

Megasus

One time someone made fun of my terrible nail polish applying job on a post I wrote. That one still stings. (It actually doesn't really)

BoozinSusan

@Megano! Wait, how did they know what it looked like? You can't see me right now, can you? ::ducks under desk::

Megasus

@BoozinSusan Oh there were pics, the post was about the nail polish (it was The Hunger Games polish).

redheaded&crazy

@Megano! Oh there are definitely comments I can think of that still sting (actually really!) because I am a wimpy wimp. But I try to think of them in a super saiyajin making me stronger kind of way.

Reginal T. Squirge

I kind of go the other way and still think of things I've said in the comments that I really wish I hadn't.

redheaded&crazy

@Reginal T. Squirge Oh I go that way too ............ sigh. At least I can control that and learn from it though! Well, I guess either way you learn from it.

Slutface

I understand not wanting to read hateful, vile comments, but not reading them at all is kind of like saying you're above any criticism or don't care about other people's experiences or points of view. Reading comments has opened me up to other ways of thinking, made me aware of privilege I never knew I had and many other GOOD things.

wharrgarbl

@Slutface Yeah, but 99.9% of the internet has comment sections that are just hives of scum and villainy. Every time my husband starts a sentence with "So I was reading this article and then I looked at the comments..." I know something truly, truly terrible is coming. Me reading the comments is something a site has to earn by being not full of genocidal animal abusers.

Slutface

@wharrgarbl Yeah, but Salon?

wharrgarbl

@Slutface Maybe it's just the articles I tend to read from them, but their comments contain a shitload of MRA whining, misogyny, and racist-grandma-type nonsense. I mean, they're not local news sites, but they're still not that great for your mental health.

Cat named Virtute

@Slutface She says she reads her emails. I think if a person has a particularly urgent concern or criticism, email is probably a more efficient way of dealing with it anyway. I can't imagine that Edith &co read every comment on this site; how could they and still have time to produce content and have lives?

Slutface

@Slutface The comments on that article itself complain about Salon's lack of interaction with their commenters. Many stating that complaints about trolls have gone unfounded. If you're going to have a moderating policy, follow through on it! That's one thing that frustrates me about Jezebel is that they would pick and choose who they would moderate and I left. I'm not making excuses for trolls, they can get the f out, but if Salon isn't going to do the housekeeping, then they shouldn't complain.

themmases

@Slutface Oh yeah, the comments really are exactly as famously bad as the article says. It's kind of disappointing, because they cover some interesting topics that I would love to have an internet conversation about, but luckily Salon is big enough that it may eventually get written up somewhere with better commenters.

Brad Paisley

@Slutface
I WILL MAKE EXCUSES FOR TROLLS, WE ARE AWESOME

Judith Slutler

@Slutface Salon's comments are absolutely awful imo.

EpWs

@wharrgarbl I see your Star Wars reference, and it filled me with joy.

wharrgarbl

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher D'aww. Seriously, though, who among us would be shocked to find that half the commenters on local news sites have a death sentence on twelve systems or are typing with only one arm?

EpWs

@wharrgarbl Now every time I glance through my local news sites' comments, I'll be picturing Mos Eisley. Ignorant awful comments get so much better with the cantina theme going through your head...

Slutface

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher Yeah, I see what you guys are saying now that I've been going through their archives (what? I have time to kill right now). I guess the more popular and general the site, the worse the commenters are. I think you can definitely see a difference with commenters on sites like this that are for women, but aren't boys! makeup! sexy politics! There's more depth here...not sure if I'm making sense, but yeah...some people are terrible.

wharrgarbl

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher And it also goes a long way toward explaining why they're all "We don't serve your kind here!".

Hellcat

@wharrgarbl I'm just trollin' on by to say I love that you said "hives of scum and villainy."

Springtime for Voldemort

@Slutface I also have learned a lot from comments sections. Having said that, it also tends to be smaller comments section. So not the comment section of Salon or HuffPo whatever, but sites either with very specific readers where you can get a good (not perfect, but good) idea of how that group will function out in the real world, or comments on people's personal blogs (I used to read a looot of stuff in the sort of "original" feminist blogosphere, when it was mostly just people who had wordpress and blogger and LJ accounts). Reading comments has been hugely helpful in not only learning about various issues and checking my privilege and all that, but also just knowing when, even if I totally disagree, it is just not going to go over well if I say that thing and I should just not say that thing except maybe to my best friend while drunk.

sudden but inevitable betrayal

The Hairpin staff is actually 100 times bigger than we all think, it's just that most of them are wearing body armor and spend their days cutting down legions of trolls with broadswords (I mean, I assume).

Brad Paisley

@sudden but inevitable betrayal
NOOOOOOO NOT THE BROADSWORDSS

fondue with cheddar

@sudden but inevitable betrayal BROAD-SWORDS GET IT

wee_ramekin

@sudden but inevitable betrayal

"...most of them are wearing body armor and spend their days cutting down legions of trolls with broadswords..."

That is actually exactly how I picture Melis when she pulls Troll Containment Duty. Seriously. Whenever we do get a troll, and I'm waiting with bated breath for Melis to come in and Burn Them With Fire, I think "Okay, she's putting on her armor now. No need to worry, she'll be here in a minute."

HeyThatsMyBike

@wee_ramekin What if Melis IS all the trolls?! The trolls are her Tyler Durden!! They were her all along!! **Mindsplosion**

PistolPackinMama

@HeyThatsMyBike Or her Kaiser Soze.

HeyThatsMyBike

@PistolPackinMama Precisely.
This also makes me want to quote "Clue" for the five trillionth time.
"Communism was just a red herring." -Melis, while admitting she was all of the trolls ever.

evil melis

Related: it only took six hours of my two-day stint at Gawker for one of the commenters to change his/her (but come on, his) handle to MalloryIsShit. A record!

Bittersweet

@evil melis That's worth noting on your CV.

Pela

The Hairpin is *LITERALLY* the only place on the internet that I read the comments. When I'm talking it up to the select few people I invite to check it out, I tout it as the only place where it's safe to read the comments.

I would die if the rest of the internet found this place and ruined it.

Cawendaw

@Pela Every time a discussion like this comes up I'm hit with waves of pre-emptive nostalgia, because I just can't believe that this will last. Either an influx of not nice people will slowly shift the commenter culture, or the culture itself will decay from within and become not nice on its own. The lost golden age is now! Pinnerdammerung looms! Sadness! Melancholy!

PistolPackinMama

@Cawendaw Pinnerdammerung... now I want a breastplate and a horned helmet.

dj pomegranate

@Pela I read your first sentence as Chris Traeger. And now I'm imagining Christ Traeger reading the Hairpin at work.

Also, I agree. Stay away from my internet, Internet!

area@twitter

@Pela Yup, same.
(p.s. ahhhhh fellow Warcraft icon! Of Mazzaranche, best pet EVER! Are you a hunter? Because if I found a WoW hunter-buddy on here I might expire of joy. We could do each other nails and compare agility buffs!)

Pela

@area@twitter OMG I am having a swoon right now. Yes! I had a 60 Tauren hunter before the expansions and me and my Mazzer had an awesome time running around Azeroth! I stopped playing a bit after BC, and tried a few years ago to get back into it, but it just wasn't the same. I felt like such an old man, telling the young kids about how nerfed everything had gotten, back in my day we had to wait till *40* to get our mounts, and if you were Horde, you just died all the way across Stranglethorn Vale to get to the flight path and Booty Bay.

I would lovelovelove to play pre-expansion WoW again. I never got to do Onyxia or Zul Gurub or ANY of the cool dungeons! After the expansions no one really wanted to do them. And I'm a completeness nut.

I also need to do my nails again too, so in all seriousness, OMG HI FRIEND!!!!

area@twitter

@Pela AHHHH AHHH AHHHHHHHH SISTER. I have played my Tauren hunter since 2005! My pets and I are running through Pandaria right now laying waste to enemies. You're right, it isn't the same, but I've liked most of the changes- although it's fun to look in General chat and say "Damn kids, I remember back when we had three pet slots, and by gum, you ran with a cat in raids or you were no sort of player! Why, in my day, real hunters kited Drakkisath back through half of Upper Blackrock Spire with nothing but Concussive Shot and a full bag of potions!" Good times.
SISTER. My blue beetle Ted and I will pwn many mobs in your name this eve!

Pela

@area@twitter Yaaaaaaayyyyyy!!!!! Funny story, I locked my keys in my car and the tow truck driver asked me if I played WoW and we ended up talking for like 20 minutes about how hunters have been de-nerfed recently, and now there's combat-non-combat pets?! Like Pokemans?!

I just got a real job, which means real dollars to spend on frivolous things, like WoW. Maybe I will re-roll in a few months and join you in the slaughter. Horde for life!

area@twitter

@Pela Yes, there are Pokeymans now! I haven't tried them out yet, but my guildies are big, big fans. Also there is a lot of good storytelling with the phasing mechanic, and you can grow buff food on your own personal farm and it's GREAT. I am sold, I was definitely leery of the pandas but this is probably my favorite expansion. Lok'tar, sister! May your blades never dull!

Pound of Salt

The lack of trolls on the hairpin must have do with the quality and tone of the posts, right? I think anytime someone writes an article that is obnoxiously opinionated or sarcastic/cynical, it brings out the worst in people. Also the more popular the site, the lower the lowest common denominator.

Brad Paisley

@Pound of Salt
HERE I AM, I AM GOING TO BRING ALL MY FRIENDS

Pound of Salt

@TROLL Welcome! I have always admired your bejeweled belly button!

Brad Paisley

@Pound of Salt
THANK YOU

EpWs

@TROLL Tell me your hair secrets!

Ask A Troll?

BoozinSusan

I love Mary Elizabeth Williams. And good Lord, I read the comments on one of her articles on Salon last year, and more than a few included things like "Stop whining about your cancer, we've heard enough already." So, yeah, I get why she had to do this!

City_Dater

@BoozinSusan

Not to mention the INSANE level of truly epic misogyny in the comments on any and all Salon articles by women and/or about women's issues. It's horrifying; the whole site is troll bait.

BoozinSusan

@City_Dater I know! It's terrible! I read one of their articles about Asian women marrying Western men, and the comments were all, "Well you Caucasian American women are fat and loud and you age horribly." I was like, sheesh, okay guys, peace out.

City_Dater

@BoozinSusan

Exactly. I resolved to "Never Scroll Down on Salon" after reading a clearly tongue-in-cheek piece about dating that had a comment section full of raging angry single men who were humorlessly ripping the (woman) writer to shreds. It was disgusting.

leonstj

Wait is Jane trolling her commenters?

'riel

@leon s I thought it might be Melis.

PistolPackinMama

@'riella I was thinking the style was... familiar. In a good way.

Beericle

@'riella
I was totally thinking it was Melis - or Evil Melis

Jane Marie

@leon s not it.

leonstj

@Jane Marie - Haha, I meant that the original post itself was the trolling, not "THE TROLL". Like, in a "BLOG READERS: ARE THEY HORRIBLE?" kind of way

Ugh i hate the word 'blog'. I refer to all blogs as 'online magazines' when discussing because saying the word 'blog' outloud feels like throwing up, and is equally as appealing.

Brad Paisley

@leon s
BLOG BLOG BLOG

Cawendaw

@leon s Yes! I remember reading something from the very early days of blogging (I think it was on thismodernworld?) to the effect of "...anyway I should have more time for blogging. Which is a really weird word, if you think about it. I mean, it sounds more like something you'd hear as 'Oh man, I got so hammered at Sally's party, I blogged all over her couch.'" Which gave me the image of internet writing as this convulsive, involuntary activity that ruined furniture and disrupted parties. So, y'know, not so far off.

evil melis

I GO OUT TO LUNCH AND I COME BACK AND I FIND MY NAME ALL OVER THE TROLL POST YOU GUYS HOW DO YOU THINK THAT MAKES ME FEEEEEL

EpWs

@evil melis Uh, filled with joy?

evil melis

i do not know joy

I smell burnt toast

@leon s Bob Loblaw's Law Blog

Daisy Razor

@evil melis Filled with evil, then?

TheLetterL

Ahhhhhh! The TROLL ALARM has been activated. Quickly, everyone to your protective sleeping bags. Hair-braiding and truth-or-dare have been suspended until the all clear.

Brad Paisley

@TheLetterL
WHOMP WHOMP WHOMP

BEEP BEEP BEEP

WHOMP WHOMP WHOMP

WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE-YA

cosmia

I'm so happy I finally decided to give up hate-reading last year, because the people I know and love were really starting to get tired of me telling them about what a juicebox said on the internet today. Like for a long time I would just go visit sf_drama on Livejournal (OF ALL PLACES) every day, and get double-mad because not only does that community exist to discuss what stupid, offensive jerks on the internet say, every single person in the community is an obnoxious entitled baby who read a Wikipedia article on "social justice" and decided it made them an expert. CHECK YOUR PRIVILEGE.

MilesofMountains

@cosmia Double, triple agree on that community. I hadn't realized how terrible it was for me mentally until I stopped reading.

themmases

@cosmia Oooh I used to read sf_drama years ago (I no longer remember my livejournal password, which is probably for the best). I quickly found that, much like the places they were posting about, it was fun only as long as you only read and never commented.

par_parenthese

@cosmia "the people I know and love were really starting to get tired of me telling them about what a juicebox said on the internet today"

OHMAGAH, are you me?

eraserface

I actually refuse to use the iPad mobile version of Hairpin/Billfold/etc because they don't have comments and I just have to go back to desktop version to read them. DON'T WITHHOLD THE VOICES OF MY BRETHREN/SISTREN.

redheaded&crazy

Oh Jane this tag is my life: "SOMETIMES MY FEELINGS GET HURT BUT THEN I HAVE A NICE CRY AND FEEL A LITTLE BETTER USUALLY"

I'm really not cut out for The Internet.

Gwdihw

@redheaded&crazie I have thought several times that Jane's posts sometimes are more subject to people making mean/angry comments. And then I saw the tag.

I was more than a little shocked by people lashing out at the 'pin this week!

redheaded&crazy

@l'esprit de l'escalier Well, I get it ... there are some topics that just lend themselves more to disagreement than others. Sensitive topics, complicated topics, etc. I think personally I'd rather have the 'pin keep posting sensitive issues even if they "get it wrong" in some people's books, because the resulting conversations are really enlightening. I mean, I've really learned a lot from these here comment threads over the year.

I mean, shit gets heated. And I feel like it's in my best interest to stay out of that because, I don't know, I'm Canadian. So I can pretty much be found backing out of any argument with my tail between my legs. But I like it. It means that we as a commentariat are engaged, intelligent, all the good things people are saying above. Intelligent people clash! C'est la vie.

Gwdihw

@redheaded&crazie I totally agree about the importance of discussing the hard stuff even if some people dissent. And if there's groupthink here....it's smarter and more literate than most groupthinky commentariats!

Oh, and isn't the Canadian contingent big enough here that Americans might think twice about, say, calling Canada "America's hat" and stuff like that?

Eta: that can totally be a rhetorical question.

redheaded&crazy

@l'esprit de l'escalier oh no I just meant I fully embody the stereotype of Canadians best described here

Bittersweet

@redheaded&crazie "Sometimes Aunt Chatty's feelings have complicated matters a bit but she says she understands me now and knows I would never hurt her intentionally."

TARDIStime

@redheades&crazie
"Well, I get it ... there are some topics that just lend themselves more to disagreement than others."

I feel like this is why The Billfold can get so heated in the comments (full disclosure: why I get so heated in the comments), too.
Mike and Logan try really hard and mostly succeed in making it a happy place in the comments and diffusing explosions; but a site that discusses the way we all handle money from the perspective of people from all levels of privilege? Automatically incendiary for so many people.

What I'm basically saying is: Feel you.

redheaded&crazy

@TARDIStime Yess money is a sensitive topic for sure. Except at the billfold people are actual dicks a lot more often than over here. I do get why there's so much disagreement, and I think that some people do it right, and other people are jerks. And I try to comment over there as little as possible because I often regret it.

beeline96

I actually fell out of my Salon-reading groove because I always used to get sucked into the too-hateful comments; I miss out on good content, but I don't waste my time at work anymore (not on Salon, anyway!!!!). The same thing with Jezebel... I actually lost my Jezebel-commenter virginity this fall and was greeted with SUCH vitriol in the replies that I also have to force myself to not read comments there anymore. I actually want to log out of the "account" but I'm afraid if I click the account section, I'll be brought to the comment-replies that I've been ignoring. [Not all replies were hateful - in fact, many responded with shock at how hateful others were being. I like to think those commenters are part of the Jezebel/Hairpin overlap in the Venn diagram.]

If I don't read comments, it's not that I'm not open to other perspectives - I am! And I am especially open to 'Pinner comments, as opposed to Jezebel comments, because here we recognize that we're all different AND allowed to have our own feelings/opinions, and we respect and learn from each other. At Jezebel, my feelings and opinions were immediately "invalid" because someone - actually, most likely a privileged white male - disagreed with me. And it's not like you can lay your whole soul bare in a comment, so if you leave one single thing out, people still jump all over you... then when you respond, "BUT I DO THINK THAT/AGREE!" you end up... wasting your time losing a battle.

I actually had to talk it out with my therapist. She reminded me that whatever I feel is valid, and I should make whatever decisions are right for me. So, MEW and everyone else, your feelings are valid AND if it makes your life easier to ignore the comments, don't read them! Peace out.

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