Updated Commenting Policy

As mentioned this morning, I have made some changes to the Commenting Policy to reflect new guidelines that will help us maintain the commenting space as safely and accessibly as possible. Following is the updated section on Disqus commenting at Shakesville:

The latest iteration of the Disqus system (2013) has some features which are not very compatible with the community format for this space. In response, members of the community are requested to be aware of and observe the following:

1. Vote Up, Not Down. Upvotes are encouraged so that community members can see that their comments were valuable to others. Downvotes, however, are prohibited, as we share a lot of personal stuff here and downvoting will, in many cases, serve as negative policing of someone else's lived experiences. Thus, we do not allow downvoting.

(If you accidentally downvote someone else's comment, you can undo it by clicking the down arrow a second time.)

Naturally, because there are always people who willfully disregard the rules of this space, sometimes comments will get downvotes by people deliberately trying to stir trouble. This would definitely be a problem if we were the humorless feminists we are oft accused of being—but we are not! We are and always have been stronger, wittier, and more creative than anyone who tries to get us down!

So, in recognizing that the only people doing downvoting are misogynist heapshits who flagrantly violate our commenting guidelines, we recognize downvotes as Feminist Experience Points! "Congratulations—you said something so awesome that a pathetic wreck with nothing better to do expended energy on giving you a Feminist Experience Point!" No need to feel bad about a downvote, Shakers—it's just evidence that you're LEVELING UP!

[If you are not a gamer and need some background on experience points and leveling up, here you go!]

2. Sort Comments by Oldest. To ensure that you're reading comments in chronological order, which is necessary to follow the conversation and understand in-thread moderation, make sure you sort comments "by Oldest," using the sorting drop-down box under the Disqus response box.

3. Don't Use the Reply Function. The new Disqus "nests" (or indents) comment replies rather than sending replies down to the bottom of the page. Nested comments can be difficult to navigate for people with visual processing disorders and makes moderation more difficult. For that reason, in order to maintain flat threads, we ask that people avoid using the reply function. It'll probably take some getting used to, and we'll be issuing reminders as needed.

4. Read Before Commenting. Even though Disqus has moved and fixed the comment composition box at the top of comments, as always, please read any thread in its entirety before commenting, so you are aware of any in-thread moderation. For your convenience, at the bottom of every thread is a link that will quickly return you to the comment composition box at the top of the thread.

I hope everyone will take a moment to refamiliarize themselves with the Commenting Policy in its entirety. It's always good to get a refresher!

I know there may be some questions about the new guidelines, so I will host a thread for questions tomorrow morning.

Shakesville is run as a safe space. First-time commenters: Please read Shakesville's Commenting Policy and Feminism 101 Section before commenting. We also do lots of in-thread moderation, so we ask that everyone read the entirety of any thread before commenting, to ensure compliance with any in-thread moderation. Thank you.

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