I’ve gotten half a dozen emails in the past two or three days about comments getting stuck in moderation. I’m not sure if it’s because we have an influx of new readers (welcome!) or if it’s because we just upgraded WordPress and our spam queue is working over-time, but either way, lots of comments are getting stuck and a lot of people are getting pissed off, and in turn I’m getting pissed off because I’m coming home and having to read through pissed-off emails.
So. If your comment gets stuck, please be patient. I promise we will get to it. If your comment stays in moderation for 24 hours or more, it’s probably because you were being an asshole (and chances are, we told you that you’re being put on moderation because you’re an asshole). But if you post a comment at 1am and it’s still not up by 7am, please do not email me bitching about how I’m censoring you — I can do a lot of things, but clearing comments out of moderation in my sleep is not one of them. I’ve also been leaving my computer at home lately so that I can focus on studying; so if your comment goes into the mod queue during the day and stays there for a few hours, it’s because I’m actually doing work, and the rest of the Feministe bloggers have jobs, too. I check the blog every two or three hours, but every once in a while I am also going to have a life — tonight I went to a show, and I was not clearing out comments from Prospect Park. Sometimes I go to the gym. Sometimes I eat at an actual dining establishment as opposed to in front of my computer (it’s rare, but it does happen). If your comment is stuck, it is probably because I am doing one of those things. So please, chill. I know it’s irritating, I really do — but ain’t nothing can be done about it.
To the people who have written nice and courteous emails asking about the comment mod policy, I hope this clears things up (and the bitchy tone is not meant for you! You are great. The bitch-voice is meant for the people who send me rude emails, and/or pictures of aborted fetuses — yes, coming home to “You’re censoring me!” and “You’re killing babies!!” really makes a girl’s night). The moderation queue seems to work without rhyme or reason — my own comments get stuck in there sometimes, too. If you’re a newbie commenter (or commenting from a new IP address), your first comment is always going to get stuck. Even if you’re a long-time poster, or a regular blogger here, comments get caught up sometimes. I clear out close to 100 moderated comments every day. If you’re in moderation, it will tell you that “Your comment is awaiting moderation.” Please await.
Some comments also get caught in our spam filter, which means that I don’t see them (when that happens, you’ll hit post, and the comment will just disappear — no mention that you’re moderated, and no comment posted). I try to scan through the spam every few hours and mark the not-spam comments so that they go through, but there is a chance that your comment may get lost in between “HOT LESBIANS” and “INCREASE YOUR SIZE.” Most of the comments stuck in spam get posted within a few hours, so patience there is helpful, too — if it seems that all of your comments are disappearing, though, drop a note to the Feministe email account and we’ll see if we can fix it.
Our system is also not perfect, and we’ve been having lots of server issues lately, which means that comments just sometimes get eaten — they go to the land of socks lost in the dryer, and there is just no explanation for why they never appeared. We’re looking into better hosting to fix that, among other problems.
Finally, we do sometimes delete comments and ban people. If we ban you, we will tell you. We will usually tell you if we’re putting you on moderation, too. And if we delete your comment, it’s usually for good reason — it will never be because we simply disagree with you or are “censoring” you, and we’ll usually let you know. The people whose comments get deleted are almost always obnoxious anti-feminist drive-by commenters showing up to call us ugly cunts anyway, so if you’re reading this post, your comments are probably not getting deleted with any regularity (unless you’re one of the people still commenting on the Skinny Bitch post from approximately three months ago, in which case, yeah, I’ve deleted you — move on). You may also get deleted if you attack one of the bloggers, or if your comment is wholly offensive and inappropriate, or if we’ve set out particular comment guidelines for a post and you’re violating them.
Managing this blog could easily be a full-time job. There are several of us, but it remains an unpaid and time-sucking hobby. We love it, and I personally think that our comments sections are some of the best on the internets, but striking a balance between healthy disagreement and safe space is an ongoing challenge. Part of that balancing act is a moderation and spam system that catches a lot of innocuous comments in its net. We are doing our best to keep these conversations going, and we know that means getting all the comments up as quickly as possible. We really value the comments that we get, and often the most interesting points and observations are made in the comment sections. The conversations we have are my favorite part of Feministe. We’ll continue to do everything we can to keep things running smoothly, and we just ask for a bit of patience when there are gaps and bumps.