Update: One other thing I want to make perfectly clear, because I’m seeing this coming up a lot: We Are the Real Deal is not sponsored by Dove. It is a grassroots project, and nobody’s getting paid. MamaV approached Dove about sponsoring the panel at BlogHer — which still did not mean anybody got paid, just that Dove put money into promoting it. As part of that deal, we all agreed to put links to Dove on our blogs right before and after the conference, and there was a similar one at WATRD when it launched. That is the full extent of what I’ve done to promote Dove as part of my brief involvement with WATRD. Dove had no input into the content of the panel and is not sponsoring the blog.
Meanwhile, I’m not only seeing claims that the blog is Dove-sponsored, but seeing it characterized as “astroturfing.” That is utter bullshit, and it is incredibly not cool for people to keep spreading that lie. Feel free to criticize the content all you like, and criticize me for getting involved at all, but calling it “astroturfing” suggests that we secretly took money from Dove to promote their products while pretending to be blogging as usual. That is simply false, and incredibly insulting. I’d love to get paid for blogging, believe me, but I would never take money to fucking lie. If you’ve been running around the internet saying that WATRD is Dove-sponsored, let alone that it’s fucking astroturfing, please do your best to correct those falsehoods. Thanks.
So naturally, when I’m offline for most of two days, blog drama happens.
If you didn’t see my tweet yesterday, I have officially quit We Are the Real Deal.
What I didn’t add is, I officially quit days ago, and you’ll note I haven’t posted there in a few weeks. I didn’t just walk off in a huff yesterday. Quite honestly, my main reasons for leaving were that I already did not have time to keep up with what was going on there, and I’ve got a full-time job opportunity on the horizon which, if it pans out, will make that pretty much impossible.
But yes, I was terribly disappointed by the post yesterday, and that inspired me to make a quick announcement about my leaving, because I did not want to give the impression that I endorsed it. And yes, I’ve been uncomfortable with other elements of the content, and with the decision not to moderate comments. Since my time is becoming even more limited, engaging with hostile commenters and further discussing concerns with contributors behind the scenes is just not feasible, so the only choice was to leave. As I feared I might need to from the beginning.
New Contributor Miss Lori posted a great comment that pretty much sums up how I feel, which you can read (along with a snapshot of what went on) over at BFD. As I just said to all of the contributors in an e-mail, I hope that these growing pains are part of building an inclusive, empowering site. Unfortunately, I don’t have time to be as active as I’d like to be in shaping that vision, and in the meantime, I don’t want my silence to be taken as agreement with everything that goes up there.
That’s pretty much my last word on the matter, and I’m going to be offline all afternoon.