How To Get Your Comment Deleted
When I first started this blog, I was very nervous about what kinds of comments I’d receive. I wanted to start off unmoderated and wait to see if comments became a problem before moderating. And I have been really pleasantly surprised by the quality and tone of the comments I’ve received so far. Generally speaking, the vast, vast majority of them have been positively delightful. Your comments have been encouraging, you’ve challenged me to think about things in new ways, and you bring fascinating insight and nuance to the conversation. The blog is very new but so far I am having an absolutely wonderful time writing and reading your comments.
I want to talk today about deleting comments, because today alone I had to delete two, bringing the total in the last 24 days that the blog has been public up to 3. I’d say that’s pretty good. If I only have to delete 3 or 4 a month, then I can handle that, especially with the amount of quality comments coming in. My hope is it will stay there, so that I can leave commenting unmoderated.
With two of the comments, I really had no problem deleting. The first one used “fatties” in a derogatory way and asked me if I read my “ridiculous thoughts” before posting them to the internet. The second one didn’t even make sense—it was about how the 11-year-olds the person supposedly taught in their 3rd grade class (yeah) were obese because they ate too much sugar, and then said something about refusing to drink “the FA Koolaid.”
So, how do you get your comment deleted? Insult me, laugh at me, use derogotory language in a non-reclaiming way, and equate Fat Activism to participating in a cult mass-suicide. If you can somehow manage to avoid this kind of disrespect, your comment won’t be deleted. It’s not about whether you agree or disagree with me—if your comment is respectful and in good faith, then it’s all good.
Now the third comment was harder to decide on. In fact, I’m going to go ahead and post it in its entirety here, and let you in on my thought process regarding whether to leave it or delete it.
I haven’t followed this blog much, I was linked here from elsewhere. I guess the question here is what is fat. If this post is all about “fat” by Hollywood or gossip magazines standards then it’s ridiculous.
However, I think the problem you have compared to similar posts on race/feminism is the fact that you can choose to change your weight and that being over a certain weight has damaging affects on your health in all sorts of ways. Being underweight also does so and it’s no better than being overweight but I think if no-one is saying anything to you directly and you are being upset that society wants to look good and be healthy then I don’t think you can personalise that as an attack.
If you are happy in your own weight then let people deal with their own in their own way. If you aren’t or are touchy about it then perhaps that’s a sign that you might be more comfortable if your weight changed. This would apply equally to whether you were over or underweight, a vegetarian or not or in a certain job that attracts offensive comments.
Sorry if this was at all hurtful, it isn’t meant that way but is just a comment from my viewpoint.
Honestly, the comment sounds like it’s in good faith. What ended up sticking me on this one is that it was posted under the name “Anonymous” with the email address “email@example.com.” This level of anonymity, when WordPress doesn’t even publish your email address anyway, doesn’t exactly scream “good faith.” So I’m kind of getting mixed signals from this—the words say “good faith” but the anonymity doesn’t.
Also, I think anonymity can be a great way to express our truth when we are the oppressed ones, and have a genuine fear of our words being used against us. But if we are speaking from a place of privilege, using words that oppress others, then we deserve to be called out on it. In this blog, please do not use anonymity as a cover for oppressive words. Doing so will get your comment deleted.
The content of the comment can be held up to the comment policy I’ve written out. It’s a pretty clear violation of number 3, in which I basically state that everyone already knows the “bad news” that fat is supposedly unhealthy, ugly, and perhaps I should now add, changeable. That bad news is all over the place; society is positively saturated with it. This is a blog for the other side of that story; the side that hardly ever gets spoken. The side that is actively silenced by the proponents of the bad news. I am committed to making not only the posts here but the comments stay on the topic of good news for people who are oppressed based on their size/weight. The quoted comment isn’t good news; it’s one commenter’s re-hashing the same old tired ideas we’ve all heard—that fat is unhealthy, that we can lose weight, that we’re being “too sensitive” to our oppression, etc. It’s said very nicely, but it’s still the bad news.
Anonymous commenter, if you’re reading, I want to say a few things to you. First of all, I am genuinely glad you are reading, and I really hope you keep reading. I want to encourage you, if you have an open mind or any amount of curiosity about whether the things you’ve always believed about fatness might be untrue. There is a plethora of information out there, and many links on this very blog to get you started in learning more (I’m particularly partial to Shapely Prose’s Don’t You Realize Fat is Unhealthy? as a starting point!) . The comments here can definitely be a place to ask questions and get clarification when something doesn’t make sense or you disagree with a specific aspect, but this is really not the place to be calling into question the basic fundamental assumptions on which this blog is built, one of which is that fat is not unhealthy, and another of which is that we do not have as much control over our weight as people tend to believe.
No one is holding a gun to anyone’s head and forcing them to read or comment; all of us have the freedom to choose wisely what we do and do not say in blog comments here and elsewhere. l invite all of you to continue to share your thoughts and your experiences here in ways that are encouraging, challenging, and clarifying; in ways that bring the Good News to those suffering fat-based oppression.