Friday, May 17, 2019
When we set up Do Some Damage ten years ago -seriously, ten years, what?- we came out of the gate promising to pull back the curtain on crime fiction, and to provide a platform to as wide a variety of voices as possible. We also came out of that same gate as seven white guys, representing both the bearded and un-bearded male communities. We were called out on this, and listened. As time went on, we aimed to do better, and we're proud of the work the site has done over the years to platform new voices and be as inclusive as possible. Never perfect. Never 'right'. Never finished. But always listening to criticism and aiming to learn.
As part of our approach, we adopted the editorial line of not having an editorial line. We provide the space, our posters provide the opinions. Sometimes we all agree with each other, sometimes we disagree. We've always been willing to host anonymous essays, and to allow anonymous comments in the discussions. One shift that's happened in the last ten years is the conversation moving elsewhere. It used to be, the conversation would all stay in the comments below the post. Now it goes all over. Facebook, Twitter. The responsibilities are shifting, and blogs need to recognise it's no longer just about maintaining our own little corner, but in the part we play in the wider conversation.
On recent posts, about important issues, we've been made aware that anonymous comments have made people uncomfortable. And, of course, we hosted an anonymous essay that has generated a lot of conversation elsewhere. We think it's important, in the current climate, that conversations need to be open, transparent, and as close to 'face to face' as we can manage in the social media age. If we are to continue having the important discussions, we need to put our names to things. It wouldn't be fair of us to retroactively change any rules. Previous confidences will be respected. But moving forwards, Do Some Damage will not accept anonymous posts, and any unsigned comments will be deleted.
Thanks for your patience, and thanks for sticking by Do Some Damage for ten years.
Steve & Jay.