An Open Letter On Proper Madame Noire Etiquette: Since Some Of Yall Don’t Know How To Act

December 18, 2012  |  

Why we cover the stories we cover
While Madame Noire exists to provide content for you, it is also a business and subsequently needs to make money. In the two years we’ve been up and running, we’ve noticed, and data has proven, time and time again, that a majority of our audience, loves to talk about celebrity news. Loves it! And we’re here to give the people what they want. But that doesn’t mean that’s all we’re going to write about. We want to be reflective of the interests of black women. And we know that black women care about a whole lot more than what the rich and famous are doing. So we’re always going to balance it out. I mention this because on election night, last month, a few of our Facebook followers were upset that every story we posted wasn’t about the election. Though we had posted three stories on the topic already and the results hadn’t come in yet, some still felt it wasn’t enough. Then again last Friday, in the wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy a few of our Facebook followers tried to berate us for not posting the story, when they saw fit. We were working on the story, waiting for as many facts as possible, as they were typing these messages and we ended up posting it later. I say all that because we’d like for you to know that we appreciate our readers telling us which stories they’d like for us to cover; but at the end of the day, the decision of what we post and when we post it, is ours to make. Yes, we’re going to cover major news stories but that doesn’t mean we’re going to completely stop reporting on the entertainment and lifestyle pieces our site is known for. We simply ask, that if there is something you want to see, you request it… politely. Insulting us for not covering a story you could easily find on CNN, is not the most persuasive argument.

Things we’d like for you to do… or stop doing

When It Comes To Social Media
We often publish stories and ask questions that can be pretty divisive. A lot of you have very strong opinions about things. While we’re happy that you feel comfortable coming here to express them, you also need to remember that everyone is entitled to their opinion and it should be respected. Lately, far far too many of you have been using our Facebook and Twitter pages as a way to start some unnecessary drama with your fellow readers. It is not ok to call another person a name on social media or use information you find on their profile to attack them. It’s not cool, it’s not classy, and if we see it, we will ban you from the page, no discussion. We used to issue warnings, but at this point in the game, we just figure these are issues we shouldn’t have to address with grown people. So we’ll get rid of people who exhibit this type of behavior.

Respecting Us
Unfortunately, I fear that some of you, because you are protected by a computer screen, feel it’s somehow acceptable to disrespect the women and men who write for this site. It is not. It’s one thing not to agree with a writer’s opinion; but attempting to insult a person’s intelligence or talent, question their morality, or call them out of their name because you don’t agree with their piece is rude and tacky. Please don’t do it. There are ways to politely disagree without resorting to personal attacks. And honestly, it is the mark of a person who lacks both maturity and class, to attempt to insult someone over the internet, behind a computer screen. Disagree all you want; but do so politely. Furthermore, if you stumble upon typos, misspellings or grammatically incorrect sentences in any of our articles, we definitely encourage you to bring those to our attention. As I stated earlier, we are a small staff, so there will inevitably be errors that we miss. But in correcting us, we ask that you do so politely, and not use it as an excuse to shade or shame a writer or the site in general. If the site were truly beneath you, you would stop visiting, instead of looking for ways to insult it. We realize some of these people are trolls and will be banished accordingly; but some of you are rational people who have resigned to a level of rudeness we don’t appreciate. Though you may not realize it, we have feelings and we take pride in and are protective of our work. Your unnecessarily rude comments and corrections hurt our feelings. We ask that you consider that before you post something nasty. Some may call us too sensitive but we just expect people, and our readers in particular, to exercise a level of human decency when reading and responding to the work we spent time and energy creating.

Ok, good talk ladies and gentlemen. As I stated earlier, this doesn’t apply to the vast majority of you; but we are noticing this behavior far more frequently these days, which is why this post was written. We want to make Madame Noire a place where our staff, writers and readers are respected; where our content is professional, entertaining and inspires discussion; and where trolls, rudeness and a lack of compassion doesn’t run free and unchecked. If you’re down to help us achieve that goal, please keep coming back, again and again.

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