Monday, April 20th, 2009 10:38 am
This journal is intended to be a safe space for discussing social justice issues and other difficult subjects (everything else is on my livejournal, though that may change).

While I'm always open to constructive criticism, these rules are ONLY up for discussion on this post, and must be followed as much as possible even while you're disagreeing with them. They are subject to change without notice.


  1. Do not deny other people's personal experiences.
  2. Society has inequalities of race, gender, sexuality, class, ability, age etc. This is a bad thing, and it is worthwhile trying to counteract it.
  3. Avoid hurtful behaviour. Most importantly racism/sexism/ablism etc but also wholesale attacks on religious groups etc, flaming, or personal attacks. Assume that whoever would be most hurt by your words is reading them.
  4. Post in good faith.
  5. Noone is immune from criticism, including me, but I get the final veto.
  6. Do not use the Tone Argument: the way people express themselves is up for criticism but doesn't make it ok to discount their message.

If I'm talking about a social bias you don't suffer from:

  1. Do not think you understand someone else's oppression (what it's like or how to fix it) better than they do no matter how many other oppressions you suffer under.
  2. No derailing, if you want to go on a tangent make your own post about it.
  3. Think before you comment, and only do so if you are adding something helpful to the conversation.
  4. You are sometimes going to be influenced by and complicit with the bias of the society you live in. If someone points this out, even if they seem rude, don't freak out. Take a step back, really listen to what they've said, and look at why it bothers you.

If you have something to say which breaks these rules

Consider not saying it :P

But if you must: Send it as a private message or email, or make a post on your own journal and leave a comment with an explanation and link.

If you make a comment which I think deserves a reply but I'm not comfortable making public, I'll leave/make it screened and send you a private message.

If you break these rules you will be warned (with more or less politeness depending on how deliberate I think it was) and if necessary banned. If someone else is doing something you think violates the rules or otherwise makes you feel unsafe you are welcome to express your problem with their behaviour to them, and if you feel I should do more about it let me know.

Notes for your benefit

Unfortunately I'm still a bit of a clueless idiot and may break the rules myself from time to time. I will try VERY hard to listen to any criticism on this score.

Also I have chronic fatigue syndrome which flares up at random and means I may be slow to respond to comments and deal with any issues.

Everything before 20th April 2009 is ported over from my lj so is not a safe space, watch yourself in the comments.

Fine print
These terms of service apply and I work from these axioms and think we should listen to the people at the bottom of the pile. If you're still a bit hazy on what sort of space I'm after check out [personal profile] synecdochic's "comfort the disturbed, disturb the comfortable" is not just a bumper sticker for me.

These rules were adapted from the comment policies of lots of places, most significantly Hoyden About Town.
Monday, April 20th, 2009 10:26 am (UTC)
Good rules!

What's your policy when it comes to handling someone (unintentionally or otherwise) making a bit of an arse of themselves and violating your policy? Do you intend this to be a space where other readers can call them on it, or would you prefer for people to step back and leave that for you to manage?
Monday, April 20th, 2009 12:23 pm (UTC)
Sounds good to me! I don't think it matters so much which way you choose to go, as much as it does to have a clear position about what's acceptable/unacceptable.
Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009 06:08 am (UTC)
Then you have a policy that the policy is subject to amendment without notice! :D
Tuesday, April 21st, 2009 06:00 am (UTC)
Hi, I linked to this entry in my livejournal because someone complemented me on how well I've thought through blogging issues-- and of course I get my best thinking from other people who got there first. I wanted to leave you a better comment on debunkingwhite than fangirl squee, and didn't get that done.

It is f-locked, I'm happy to add you if you like, here is the url:

And here is what I actually said, to save you the trouble.

My best ideas about humane blogging practice come from other bloggers on livejournal. See for example this entry originally in debunkingwhite now over at dreamwidth:

The links at the bottom are really good.

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009 03:53 pm (UTC)
Ah yes. I couldn't remember where I added you from until I got to this post. Yay for debunkingwhite and yay for these rules! <3
Friday, May 8th, 2009 01:18 am (UTC)
I think these are the rules I aspire to. Idunno if I meet them. I think I do not deliberately get impatient or snarky with people who lack privilege, although I may be accidentally offensive (for example, I still haven't sorted out that "crazy" thing in my head). I do have a tendency to get impatient and turn on the snark for people who as far as I can tell are displaying privilege (or showing their arse). If you like, I can try to turn the snark off in your space; alternatively if you ever want to pull a good cop/bad cop routine, I am available to be the bad cop, at no charge.
Saturday, May 9th, 2009 02:17 am (UTC)
I will try to behave. I'm apparently screwing up elsewhere on this issue; if you're very lucky I'll learn how to behave as a result of it.
Tuesday, May 19th, 2009 08:30 am (UTC)
Can I just be banned in advance?

Since primarily I think the very concept of "safe space" on a voluntarily accessed, effectively anonymous website is so insulting and ludicrous that the suggestion thereof devalues any worthy analysis your following rules have.

If nothing else it will start your ban-list off and any further lucky people to be censored in such a fashion you can lump them with "gee you are just like that Thatcher idiot."
Wednesday, May 20th, 2009 10:38 am (UTC)
Well then in the interests of science! Ban away!

I will throw in the icon of mine I suspect is most likely to be deserving of a banning in your eyes just for kicks.
Wednesday, May 20th, 2009 10:41 am (UTC)
Oh and as a p.s. whilst im happy to be banned from your DW, feel free to read/comment on mine, though obviously no "safe space" or the like disclaimers come with my account.
Friday, June 12th, 2009 06:43 pm (UTC)
Those rules are my (cognitive, at least, if not written down yet) too! I'd love to brought into the fold, with every intention of debunking injustice.