Greetings and salutations Good As You readers! (GAY! So clever!) A big Thank You Mr. Jeremy Hooper for bringing a few new readers to my itty bitty little page! Mr. Hooper mentioned in a post today: “…Katy Faust (who wrote a fallacious post about me than [sic] refused to let me comment on the post, telling me in email that she saw no reason to do so)…” What a generous man to send you my way. I have no doubt you are one of his more informed, intelligent body of followers. And you are obviously accustomed to Mr. Hooper’s lengthy posts, so I thought all y’all might appreciate the full transcript of our email conversation. Also, let it be noted that with Rivka’s permission, Mr. Hooper’s comments have been sitting at the end of my post for the past week.
Context can be such a beast. Enjoy!!
Thank you for your comment. I am aware of the correction issued by Public Discourse. I am also aware of some of Rikva’s comments under other names, as will any other reader who chooses to visit your blog post. There is plenty of information in your post so readers can come to their own conclusions.
“I never go after the person and always focus on the work.” And yet, in the name of “open comments” with little moderation, you allow someone to be pack-hunted and destroyed. Can you imagine if a group of right-wing fundies were doing the same thing to a gay writer on my blog? You all would rightly be calling for my head. It is tacit approval at best, and hidden gleeful participation at worst. Obviously Rikva and I have different methods and ideas on several subjects. But the plots for personal destruction against both Janna and Rikva are exactly why there is very little substantive dialogue on this subject. Scott Rose, and those who give him a platform, have made the cost of disagreement too high.
I shall not be publishing your comment. You have a venue under which to share your opinions and there are several commenters who are representing your views well at my place.
Thank you for writing. I wish you the best.
“I shall not be publishing your comment”
Are you kidding me right now? Really? REALLY?! Well, then with all due respect, you do not have one leg to stand on when it comes to discourse. I’m seriously shocked by this.
(Mr. Hooper tweets his outrage that I have not allowed his comment on my blog)
Let’s unpack this a little further.
Now you have “Rivka” (who I know you work alonfside on the advisory panel of R.O.L’s group) commenting on your thread. And she is yet again using that royal “they,” when she is really talking about Scott Rose and Scott Rose alone. Yet you don’t think I have anything to add to this conversation? And even more offensive, you suggest that since other people are “representing [my] views” that invalidates my need/right to speak for myself? That is really egregious, Katy.
If you/she/anyone want to call out Scott Rose, then by all means, call out Scott Rose. You might be interested to learn that just the other day, I called out Scott Rose on Twitter when he attacked Ryan Anderson. Ryan was very thankful and he, alongside many prominent conservatives, retweeted and favorited my support. I was joined by many other prominent LGBT writers who also called out Scott for his beyond the pale rhetoric, which we have all done over the years.
It is well established legal precedent that web writers/site owners are not accountable for their comments. Frankly, these days, as the parent of a one-year-old, I miss about 90% of my comments. The main times I see a comment is if someone brings something to my attention. I leave the community open and let it self moderate. There are comments from anti-LGBT activists who have threatened me harm, and there are some comments from pro-LGBT people who say ridiculous things. Heck, there are actually more than a few pro-LGBT people who like to go after me for not calling people “bigots” or “haters.” But it’s all there because I actually think this free exchange is good. I trust that people will gauge it—all of it—accordingly.
And your presumption about what I would do if one of your commenters made outlandish claims is dead wrong. Like you don’t even know how wrong. I don’t play that game where I mine NOM’s commenters in order to connect the rhetoric right back to them. The closest I have come to that game is when they have blocked my in-no-way-out-of-line comments and I have shown examples of comments that they *have* allowed instead. But I don’t ever say that this comment = this writer or this group. Again, that idea does not hold up in court. It also doesn’t hold up in intellectual debate.
You are making a truly unsupportable choice here. I seriously can’t believe you think it’s okay to just deny my ability to comment. I am an active participant in this debate. Reconsider.
Jeremy, thank you for the email.
I think it’s fascinating that you are spending paragraphs explaining how you are “not like them” after you aired a sliver of my email to your 13K Twitter followers. So “they” retweet and sneer and slander and you can claim to have clean hands. It is bullying behavior, plain and simple. And it seems to me that you have found a way to rationalize your role in it.
You and I have different methods to approaching blogging and comments, it’s clear. But as the mother of a 4, 7, 8, and 11 year old (we’re all exhausted, right?) I still find time to ensure that arguments, not people, are under attack in my comment threads. I allow people to say outlandish hateful things about me yes. But never would allow commenter to plot harm against someone else. (The worst kind of bigotry.) I am not a passive party on my blog, neither are you on yours. What I see lacking in our civil discourse is an absence of honest discussion due primarily to the demonization of the “other side,” of which your comment section is exhibit A. I am glad to hear that you have called out Mr. Rose. But if you really don’t have time to monitor it all and if you are truly disturbed by his methods, you could of course disable your comment section or ban him altogether.
There is nothing false in what I have written, and I provided a link so that others can verify my summary. There was nothing in your denied comment people cannot go to your blog and read for themselves. If you are so concerned with being identified with Mr. Rose… then *you* have power to do something about it.
I have not deprived you of your “right to speak for yourself” and “denied your ability to comment.” You are not the victim here [Rivka is]. You have an enormously more powerful platform with many times more followers than I do. No one is preventing you from sharing your views. What I am preventing is a repeat on my blog of the vengeful circus that took place after your post, and am trying to ensure that people feel like they can honestly dialogue after my posts with out being attacked.
Genuinely, I wish you the best. Katy
PS- Shall I prepare myself to be filleted on your blog or on Twitter again?
“You are not the victim here.”
That’s rich coming from someone who seems to view political disagreement as “attack.”
First off, I didn’t even write about you on G-A-Y and I didn’t “filet” you on Twitter. I do adore your conspiracy theory about my desire to have “clean hands” and to get my followers to attack you. In truth, however, I am a political commentator who comments on these things. All of them, big and small. When a web writer presents her ideas seemingly because she thinks they have some sort of currency, I might push back against them with my own two cents. This is particularly true when those comments directly involve me and my site. This exchange of ideas is actually how discourse works.
I didn’t attack you on Twitter, I simply said I was astounded with your response to me when I simply attempted to utilize what seemed to be a public comments section. Yes, I do have 13k followers, as you note. When I write anything, any one of them have a right, and many feel a *need*, to respond. Heck, they come back at me oftentimes!! That is the price of being a somewhat public person who has some sort of a following. I am not responsible for my followers, and your continued efforts to make me speak for them is a dirty road to nowhere. This latest attempt to lay some sort of bullying-by-proxy scheme on my heart is particularly dirty. It is also funny for anyone who knows how fiercely independent and controlling of my message I am.
You are right that I have a more powerful platform(s) and many more followers than you. But that is irrelevant to this discussion. You have no logical reason for deleting my comment other than you just don’t think it added anything to the discussion. Or at least not anything you want added. That is a truly chilling way to run a comments section. If this is part of what you mean by you and I having different approaches to commenting, then you are quite right. But the differentiation is actually between you and 99.9% of public thinkers who believe in the fair and free flow of ideas. And again, the fact that your post specifically references a situation that very closely involves me makes your shutout even more egregious. And indefensible, despite these ineffectual attempts at such.
As for your statement, “If you are so concerned with being identified with Mr. Rose… then *you* have power to do something about it.” No, see, that’s what you don’t seem to understand. Even with your pal “Rivka” having to have her entire post edited because she made the defamatory attempt to link my name to him (someone I have never met, have called out many times, and who I block on Twitter), you are still making some sort of passive attempt to link him to me. Katy, I have thousands of commenters. Some of them truly hate my guts but still like commenting on my site. Some of them use language that I would support, and some of them use language that I dislike for whatever reason. Most are just benign with essentially value-netural thoughts they want to get off their chest. In short: it’s an internet comments section. And I will say again, it is established legal precedent that a site owner cannot be held responsible for his or her comments (Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996). Not that I’m saying you are trying to legally connect me, but the application is the same. I am not responsible for content I didn’t create. Period. Final word. The “Katy” doctrine does not trump this truth.
And finally, you have to know that the last thing I see myself as is a victim. I am a public person. I signed up for this. An anti-gay activist lifted my wedding photo, wrote the word “perversion” on it, and did a whole commentary on how evil my marriage is. My infant child has been attacked, on many occasions, by name. I have been threatened with bodily harm more times than I could ever count. Westboro Baptist has personally protested me. Etc.. etc. None of this stuff bothers me, and I certainly don’t take it personally. In fact, I kind of live for it. I like it in a weird way that we politicos run into rather than away from debate.
Frankly, Katy, you don’t seem to have that same spirit. If you did, you would not be going multiple rounds debating with me whether or not you are in the right to moderate away my comment. If you’d like to have that public debate about whether or not you are in the right, I am more than willing to have that conversation. You will lose it. Because you seriously have no credible case here. And you are masking that, the one and only reason we are conversing via email rather than in the much more suitable public space, because you have no intellectual rational for blocking my words. I’m not at all a victim. But you are quite wrong. If you are okay with that, then so be it.
Be well, Katy PS I don’t “filet” anyone. But nice try. “Victim.”
I don’t think there is much more to add here. I understand that you see value in the open comment system. I see value in those with the ability to act making sure that people are not genuinely harmed during those public comments. I’ll leave with:
– I am sorry that your wedding photos were used against you.
– I am sorry that your son has been attacked.
– I am sorry that you have been threatened.
As someone on the “other side” I apologize. Those tactics are a HUGE part of our national problem. And if Westboro ever comes after you again, would you mind sending me a heads-up? I will gladly denounce them, loudly, on your behalf. Take care. I pray that you are getting good sleep- which is hard with a little in the house.
Let’s be clear: you see value in unreasonable censorship. Spin it all you want. In fact I really hope you do make a public thing about this cause you will lose.
In fact, I might write about it. We’ll see.
And I have a daughter not a son.
And there you have it folks. Write about it he did.
Thanks for stopping by GAY readers. Respectful comments are always welcome here, so don’t be a stranger.