When we first started this journey creating Tapas, we tried our best to cultivate a healthy, positive community to celebrate the arts. For the most part, I believe we have done a good job at working behind the scenes to talk to readers and creators about one of our core beliefs: there's never a wrong time to be polite.
However, as the community has grown over the years, we've found ourselves in the difficult predicament of not being able to patrol and protect the community as often as we would like. It became evident that larger scale solutions were necessary in order to help protect and empower creators from any kind of toxicity they didn't want to face for whatever reasons on Tapas.
Mental health, safety, and security are all deeply personal things, and there's no one way to go about ensuring that creators feel safe and comfortable publishing with us and putting their work in front of the Tapas community. We’ve individually deleted our fair share of comments from the community, but as an editor, I've come across a number of comments that have been reported that I personally felt weren't offensive. However, I soon realized it wasn't my place to deem what is and what isn't offensive to any one creator--I have no idea what the creator is personally experiencing and what triggers may be embedded in those comments.
Our goal is to give better tools to creators to self-moderate their comment sections and wall posts, and deem what is and isn't appropriate according to their own standards.
The first iteration of the blocking feature will be fairly straightforward:
1) You'll be able to click on individual comments and/or wall posts on the far right side to either DELETE that comment or BLOCK the user outright.
2) If you BLOCK the user, the offending comment along with all other comments from that user will automatically be deleted and the user will no longer have access to your profile or series page.
3) You'll be able to see a full list of users you've blocked to date under Settings, and have the option of unblocking them at any time. (Please note that unblocking will NOT cause their comments to reappear).
This feature has been long overdue and we hope to improve this feature over time with your feedback.
We have an absolute zero tolerance policy when it comes to harassment and bullying on Tapas, but do realize our own limitations in taking actions across a community this large and this impassioned. Tapas is just as much your home as it is ours, and everyone should feel safe here.
This is a powerful tool and we're entrusting the community to do what's right with it. I have full faith that if used properly, this tool will go a long way in making Tapas a better home for all of us.
All the best,
-Michael and the Tapas Staff