There are currently two persistent trolls and a few others from time to time, but the fact is that they are a tiny proportion of our readership, which I estimate, based on our various stat counters, is over 400 individuals on a weekday. This blog is not for those few trolls, it's for the over 99% of people here who aren't interested in shutting us down but instead enjoy The Hand Mirror as a place to come and read stuff and think about it and sometimes comment about it too.
And make no bones about it, shutting us down is what trolls want to do. Like the bully in the workplace or at school, their motivation is to target difference and to eliminate it by forcing conformity. This is encapsulated rather precisely in a troll comment we got towards the end of the last assault:
shut the fuck upAnother comment made it clear what the aim of that particular troll was:
have fun turning on comment moderation and ruining the flow of your blog, as posters have to come back a day later to see if they got a reply...Making threats of violence against a blogger might work if they are isolated and alone. Maybe that's worked for these two trolls in the past. It won't work this time; they are not picking on one person, they have taken on a group of women who have each other's back, plus a readership that gets what The Hand Mirror is about and wants it to continue. They are weak in numbers and in brain power, and we shall overcome.
We're not going away. We're not going to shut up. We don't need to turn comment moderation on because the vast vast majority of those commenting on this blog agree with the nature of this community and treat each other with respect. And if we do end up needing to be more heavy handed with moderation we will do it to maintain and protect what we have built; a safe space. We will outlast and outwit any trolls, together.