A Public Apology
Yesterday, here at Grounded Parents, an incident occurred which deserves an explanation and apology.
One of our writers wrote a post which several commenters disagreed with. The writer took the criticism badly, personally, and lashed out against our commenting community, including valued long time active members of the community. Against official Grounded Parents and Skepchick Network policy, the post was not temporarily pulled after a discussion with the admins, but was instead deleted outright because the author wanted to end the discussion.
The network staff at Skepchick are no strangers to the stress of heated debate and disagreement within comment sections, and I am sympathetic to a writer who is overwhelmed by that stress. However, we have best practices in place and our writers all have access to network veterans to help them deal with such situations. Deleting the post was a mistake. As managing editor, I would like to personally apologize to the network and community for the lack of transparency and integrity caused by that move.
I also want to personally apologize on behalf of the network for the abuse one of our valued readers had to endure for disagreeing with a staff writer. After the post was pulled to shut down comments, our writer used her access to commenters’ emails to contact the woman she disagreed with the most. The emails were unprofessional and cruel and not at all indicative of the love, respect and appreciation we have for our readers, even when we disagree. The emails became more abusive after the reader asked the author to stop contacting her. This is not only behavior unbecoming of a Skepchick Network contributor but also unbecoming of a human being. Grounded Parents and Skepchick refuse to tolerate this level of harassment. This behavior is embarrassing to the network.
Until today we had no official policy on privately contacting commenters, but we are changing that.
We have since re-published the article with the comment section intact and open. The author was relieved of her blogging duties.
We value every one of our readers and commenters. We are sorry and hope to do better.
To Giliell, the recipient of these attacks, I hope you can accept our apology, sympathy and support.