Bears. Beets. Battlestar Galactica.
Some internet drama has broken out, guys. I don’t know if you know about it. Maybe you know me from various blogging-circles and you follow these things, but maybe you don’t, so I’m just going to quickly recap things here.
- Taylor Davies wrote a post on Independent Fashion Bloggers about bloggers and body image. She made a lot of good points and also one incredibly bad point, that being Perhaps tall white thin blonde bloggers are more successful because their blogs are just better. Yo fat kids and minorities, get better blogs and you can be successful too! (edit: those are my words, not hers. It is likely that she did not aim to sound like this much of an asshole, but it came off that way, and the commentariat responded to what she wrote, not necessarily her intentions). The article has since been edited, removing some of the most offensive language.
- Commenters flipped the fuck out. Appropriately, I would say.
- Jennine Jacob, the founder and Editor-in-Chief of IFB, wrote this “open letter,” which sort of missed the point (it looks like she thought the commenters were mad that Taylor had made the obvious observation that most popular fashion blogs conform to a certain ideal), and went on to call the dissenting commenters “bullies” (a word which has become so trendy these days. Sigh). Cue more flipping out from the commenters.
- Taylor finally stepped in again and made a perfectly pleasant and well-thought-out apology. A happy ending (even though a bunch of folks are still pissed)! Cheers to you, sister. At this point I’m willing to give her the benefit of the doubt.
In light of these events, I give you That Girl Magazine’s top 10 tips for conducting yourself on the internet (and in other such public forums).
- Do talk about the things that you think are important. Taylor was actually concerned about the diversity in fashion blogging! She knew that the topic was controversial and went there anyway! Go Taylor!
- Don’t deny your various privileges. What Taylor ended up (accidentally) saying is somewhat akin to “Well, maybe if we had any qualified black presidential candidates before Obama, we would have had a black president a long time ago! Not my fault that they weren’t trying hard enough!” You should like a douchebag.
- Do own what you write. If you write what you actually feel and someone hates it, that’s not your problem. They can suck a bag of dicks.
- Don’t tell the commenters that they can suck a bag of dicks. It doesn’t help anybody do anything. It just makes them hate you more and makes you look like a bitch.
- Do clarify your point if you think it’s been misinterpreted. It’s your writing and you’re the only one who really knows what you meant.
- Don’t edit by removing content. I’m of the opinion that once something is out there, you can’t take it back. Once you hit publish, you have to be okay with the fact that whatever it is you’re saying will be out there forever. Deleting a few sentences makes you look like a coward.
- Do acknowledge when you’ve fucked up.
- Don’t blame everyone else for “taking it the wrong way.” If what you wrote was ambiguous, not everyone is going to give you the benefit of the doubt.
- Do accept the consequences of your actions. A bunch of people have chosen to leave IFB because of this whole thing. That’s what happens sometimes. Okay.
- Don’t let the haters stop you from doing your thang.
Yeah. I just said “thang.”
Edited to add: Jennine has taken point 7 to heart and written an apology as well. Rock on, Jennine.