Diluting The Homophobosphere

Using the above headline, today Manhattan media and gossip site Gawker “executed” four of its regular commenters for using homophobic language. The move was prompted by a recent Advocate article on what that magazine dubbed the “homophobosphere”, which they define as “an environment created by antigay postings on Internet blogs that spreads hate, produces fear, and is still protected by free speech.” YouTube gay sensation Chris Crocker posted a clip several days ago addressing the article (audio NSFW):

Aside from the odd Freeper troll, we don’t have much of a problem with homophobes here on JMG. But with a weekly comment volume sometimes in the thousands, I’ll reluctantly confess that I don’t read all of the threads and sometimes some crummy shit or personal attacks get posted. But usually by the time those instances are brought to my attention, the offending party has been well dealt with by you good people.

Still, on occasion I am disappointed by the general tone of the discourse here and have contemplated a number of remedies, none of which satisfy me. Other than the rare banning of a persistent asshat now and then, I allow even the most ugly comments to remain. The last thing I want is for this place to become a PC echo chamber, hence the regular HomoQuotable postings from folks outside of the mainstream of the LGBT movement.

To my mind, registered commenters or comment moderation would stifle the very thing that makes JMG the vibrant and funky (if often contentious) place that it is. So please, pull back on the ad hominems and the name calling, at least among yourselves. That’s all we really need here, isn’t it?