Oh the Humanity!

I talk a lot about minding our own business, today I want to talk about the opposite.

When I wrote about ways to deal with the Friends and Family Food Police at  at the holidays, I got an e-mail saying that I should just “keep my mouth shut and appreciate that they care enough about to say something”.

Um, no.  I’m not going to do that. I respect everyone’s right to handle these situations in their own way, but that’s not how I roll. To me this behavior is inappropriate and I’m not going to smile pretty and take it.  The people who are in my life must respect my choices (even if they don’t agree with them) and must treat me with the level of respect that I require. I give clear communication, set specific boundaries and consequences, and follow through.  I respect someone’s choice not to be in my life, and I will not hesitate to remove someone from my life if they aren’t able to get it together. What I won’t do is be surrounded by family and friends treating me in a way that I find inappropriate while I smile and say thanks.

When I wrote denouncing bullying behavior disguised as being for our own good, I got an e-mail saying that I should “stop worrying about the words people are saying and appreciate their intentions instead.”

I get why this makes people uncomfortable.  It’s difficult to see someone get upset with  a person who seems (or says that they are) well intentioned.  And I think that’s exactly what’s so insidious about this type of bullying.  People get to mistreat us and then side step while waving their red cape of “good intentions”.  That doesn’t work for me.  I think that we teach people how to treat us and, well meaning or not, this behavior is not appropriate treatment.

When I did a video condemning the fact that Dr. Oz, who makes MILLIONS of dollars selling weight loss, was shocked to find out that there is research that disagrees with him, I received e-mails saying that I “need to find more compassion for Dr. Oz and where he is at in his journey”.

I would have a tremendous amount of compassion if Dr. Oz admitted that he was on a journey, and had bothered to find out that there is opposition research. But he chooses to call himself an expert and tell millions of people (as a medical doctor who they trust, and for profit) to do something when he hasn’t even bothered to do a literature review.  I’m not scraping up a lot of compassion for Dr. Oz, I do have tons of compassion for the people he is so confidently and profitably lying to.

In this culture fat people deal with a whole bunch of crap and everyone has their own way to deal with it and that is totally cool, but I will not give up the option of insisting that I be treated with the level of respect that I require, and calling out fat shaming/hating/stigmatizing when I see it.

This blog is supported by its readers rather than corporate ads.  If you feel that you get value out of the blog, can afford it, and want to support my work and activism, please consider a paid subscription or a one-time contribution.  The regular e-mail subscription (available at the top right hand side of this page) is still completely free.   Thanks for reading! ~Ragen

53 thoughts on “Oh the Humanity!

  1. Good for you, Regan…and anyone else who makes an effort to do the same. It really does boil down to whether or not someone is being respectful or not. No one, for instance, has EVER tried to shame my tall, naturally thin cousin who can eat MY weight in mashed potatoes at Thanksgiving, yet my grandmother always had something to say to me. Things have changed considerably since I moved from home…I think the fam has just accepted that I’m “the fat one” at this point, which I’m fine with if it means they keep their traps shut.

    I used to know someone who would do rotten things to me but when I confronted him about how it came across or made me feel, he would always give me some line of crap like, “Well…I didn’t intend for your feelings to be hurt so I can’t be held responsible for how you feel. That’s all on you.” To which I call big, steaming piles of B.S.! Nothing on this planet gives ANYONE permission to be a douchebag. Especially not “just being honest” or having “good intentions.”

    1. My response would be along the lines of, “While I understand you have a concern about [X], I will respectfully state that your discomfort is your issue, not mine. Please do not bring it up again.” And if he did, that would be it.

  2. The ‘don’t react’ and ‘they mean well’ advice is the oldest trick in the book. It’s used to shut up anybody who wants to break through an old political paradigm. Civil rights protestors, feminists, environmentalists and activists of all stripes are regularly accused of being uncouth, unwashed, shrill, ugly, ill-mannered, rude, lazy and all manner of unpleasant things. When you look at it, what’s actually happening is that the loud, shrill, unpleasant person is often pointing out the REAL unpleasantness that’s going on and busting up the cozy world of somebody’s who profiting from it.

    1. Yes, exactly this. Staying quiet is accepting oppression and disrespect at the very least. Speaking up may make people uncomfortable, but it’s the only way to effect change.

    2. Exactly!!! I know it’s not the same topic but I fight against routine circumcision of infants and I get accused all the time of being gross or penis obsessed when it’s only about the human rights of baby boys to me – but it’s just another way for people to say shut up I don’t want to change my opinion

  3. I think unless people choose to stand up and say that something is not acceptable, those who do the unacceptable thing may not be aware that it is acceptable. Our thinking towards weight and health is so ingrained in the society that the victims of it will perpetuate it against themselves and others. This is why speaking up is so important. Without Ragen and others speaking up I would still be stuck thinking that my fat is ugly and it is my fault and I deserved the low opinion of others.
    The very fact that our family and friends say things with good intentions and because they care is exactly why we should speak up. These people love us and do not deliberately want to hurt and alienate us. They deserve our honesty when they do something that hurts and pushes us away. It shows we love and trust them enough to give them the chance to change their behaviour and thinking.

    1. Without Ragen and others speaking up I would still be stuck thinking that my fat is ugly and it is my fault and I deserved the low opinion of others.


  4. I definitely agree with your stand point with the person in the email. I sometimes wonder though if it is ever ok in certain instances to say something to someone about a personal choice that does happen to be affecting us or other people. Sometimes a person’s eating habits negatively affects the family budget, or spending habits in general. What do you think in a situation like that?

    1. This is a little bit strange. What if a person felt that doing the Jenny Craig diet was important – but it cost more than eating at home. Or if another person felt that fresh, organic food was healthier, but that cost more than non-organic, or McDonald’s for that matter? Or are you saying that a fat person *must* be eating more food, so it must cost more? If so, I think you might want to re-evaluate your assumptions.

      1. All they said was that the person’s eating habits had a negative external effect. No mention was made of weight or size so you might want to re-evaluate your assumptions, Buffy.

        The could be referring to someone with an eating disorder, such as a bulemic, who is blowing through hundreds of dollars a day in food.

        In which case they should say something because that shit is serious and life-threatening.

        They could be referring to someone who does not have an eating disorder but does not contribute financially to the household, yet they are eating up all the food you buy. I’ve had roommates like that. Heck, people with teenagers might experience that.

        And something should be said, especially if it’s becoming a financial burden.

        I’m not talking about fat people. I’m talking about when my brother and I were both entering our teen years, or even when we were kids, and my single mother was on a tight budget. There wasn’t room for the midnight milk and cookie sessions that we saw on TV. We didn’t experience coming home and eating Totino’s pizza poppers before dinner. We didn’t have extra.

        And if my brother and I had started eating a lot more, my mother certainly would have said something because she couldn’t afford the extra.

        But when I got an after school job, I was free to spend it on what I wanted, included my own groceries.

      2. I should add that my mom didn’t starve us and I’m sure that we ate more as we grew. But, I was always aware that there was a budget and there was a limit to how much more we could eat because of that.

        I’m still probably not saying it clearly.

      3. Jill,

        You are right – I think I did jump to some conclusions to Ashley’s post. I don’t know whether Ashley was referring to weight or size, it just seemed that way to me because of Regan’s post that she was responding to. But you know what happens when you assume? 😀

        Ashley – I think I was triggered by your comment because it felt like a variation of “we are telling you what to eat for your own good” comments I’ve gotten all of my life. I apologize for the assumption.

        — Buffy

    2. I guess what I’m saying is, if it’s not about their weight or size, but about something that definitely has an affect on you, then you should say something.

      “Dude, I have a budget. Either kick in and help out or stop clearing my cabinets as fast as I can fill them.”

    3. I think, then, that the focus needs to be on the effects that choice is having on others, keeping in mind how nuanced and complicated that might be. The conversation might want to center around accommodating and balancing everyone’s needs, rather than entering with the assumption that one person’s behavior is what primarily needs changing.

      1. I think it depends. If you’re the one paying the bills, and they aren’t, then they need to deal or contribute financially. That person’s behavior needs changing.

        That may sound tyrannical, but speaking as someone who is pretty strapped, I’d put my foot down if someone was draining my already meager resources.

        If they are already contributing then there needs to be a compromise.

        I think this is true in any situation.

        And really we’re talking about two totally different issues here.

        One is the issue of people judging the food choices of others based on the person’s size or the judger’s impression of what people should eat. Judging someone’s personal choices when they have no impact on you at all.

        The other is the issue of addressing someone who is behaving inconsiderately toward someone else’s property (be it time, resources or money).

    1. I don’t think this is true. As I’m trying to introduce others to HAES, I don’t think I’m doing it for my own benefit (or, at least, not wholly for my own benefit). However, I do believe that putting my opinions on to others is not respectful of their opinions – even if it is HAES! 🙂 I try to give others more info on HAES and let them make their own decisions – and I would expect them to do the same to me.

  5. “Good Intentions” doesn’t do it for me, because, you know, road to Hell and all. Then again, I usually don’t have anything to say, so that’s why I usually don’t say anything, especially to my mother. Though saying things to my mother in particular has more to do with my fear of sounding like I’m backtalking her, never mind that I’m 25 and as much of a legal adult as she is.

    1. Mothers will be mothers. My mom had no compunction about swatting my mouth if she perceived sass until I was at least 30. No joke. *sigh* I probably should have had an adult conversation with her at some point about the inappropriateness of that, but I do not even wish to imagine how well THAT would have gone over. *shudder*

  6. While I can appreciate that the “intentions” might be good, if no one ever points out that it’s hurtful and disrespectful, everyone is worse off.

    If I can *teach* someone something, even if it’s not received, maybe they will *think* and learn. That, as a human being and part of this community of humans, is my job, and everyone’s job in my opinion.

    Most people have never thought of “intentions” that way. They really do think they are being nice.

  7. It’s especially hard to confront the Good Intention People when we’ve been ingrained since birth to always be nice. For God’s sake, are women not allowed to express an honest emotion?! Yes! They are!

    I also don’t believe people do talk to you about weight to be helpful. They do it because it disturbs them for whatever reason. My reasoning for this thought: people have never hesitated to mention my weight when I was a young woman, but no one ever mentioned the drinking I was doing that was way more dangerous that my weight. Fat=bad but drinking in excess=socially acceptable?

  8. Not speaking up is tacit acceptance and approval for what’s going on. Speaking up, however, draws lines and shakes foundations with unpredictable and sometimes damaging outcomes. Ask me how I know… 😦

    Regan, there’s something you might not be aware of–just a heads up. There’s a new reality show coming soon called “Camp Fit”, billed as “The Biggest Loser for kids”. The FB page says its goal is “to make healthy living a life style for our youth” which sounds encouraging, but it was preceded by “Obesity is more than an issue, it is an epedimic. The numbers are beyond staggering, and the problem has grown to an area of least desire, the kids. The childhood obesity rate has more than tripled in the past 30 years, and with 1 in every five kids now being diagnosed as obesed, there is no time like the present to take on this problem and regain our children’s health. Camp Fit is a place where the solution lives”.

    Personally, I wonder what “obesed” means, but it might be something to keep an eye on. I’ll be doing that myself. Just FYI…

    1. I hope the people behind the fat shaming of kids won’t mind me signing them up to the Facebook Group “I judge you when you can’t spell”.

      It’s aimed at curbing the epedimic of illiteracy among media professionals.

    2. Obesity wouldn’t be as much of an issue if the children of today were allowed to go out and physically play outside instead of encouraged to sit in front of a monitor and play games. I so understand growing up fat, but I was encouraged to go outside and play and “burn off calories” and enjoy being outside.

      I also don’t subscribe to ANY “Biggest Loser” reality anything. Any “contest” that judges someone on their ability to lose weight quickly and kicks people off because of their inability to do so just inforces the rejection process. I will not be watching any such “reality” show.

      1. The sad thing is, we’re living in a society where you *CAN’T* just let your kid go out and play. I do not feel safe going outside by myself let alone with my child or even to let her run around by herself. Have you ever checked to see how many people live around you who are registered child sex offenders? It’s SCARY. I wish I could just turn her loose outside, but I can’t. She’s too trusting and loving of everyone that the first malicious stranger who intends to do her harm could charm her into his vehicle despite how much “stranger danger” I’ve taught her.

      2. “Obesity wouldn’t be as much of an issue if the children of today were allowed to go out and physically play outside instead of encouraged to sit in front of a monitor and play games.”

        So how do you explain all the fat kids in the 70s who were outside playing with the rest of us.

        And how do you explain the skinny kids with their asses parked in front of the Xbox.

        Who’s to say that obesity is actually an issue in children. Meaning who says children are actually getting fatter since they are also subject to the Holy Magical BMI number (and the BMI equation for children is even more fucked up.)

        Maybe they’re getting BIGGER, which is not the same as fatter. But a bigger kid has a higher bmi, regardless of body composition.

        I’m not saying that there isn’t a problem with kids not being as active but that’s not necessarily contributing to obesity. After all, some people naturally eat less when they are less active to maintain their natural weight.

        Some people naturally eat more calories when they become active to maintain their natural weight.

        So it’s not a matter of burning it off unless you also want to add compulsive calorie counting to the mix and screw up your metabolism.

        The biggest issue with the lack of activity is that they are setting themselves up for the problems that a sedentary lifestyle creates, such as poor muscle mass and strength, poor flexibility, and poor cardiovascular health as well as diseases that have been directly linked to a sedentary lifestyle (and heredity) — such as the dreaded “diabetus.”

  9. Bravo, Ragan! I totally agree. My grandmother used to do this crap: she would criticize you and when you reacted negatively, she would say, “Oh, I was just trying to help!” Then, somehow, you have become the offender.

    1. My mom does this followed by. “You take everything so personally.” or “It was only constructive criicism.” I spent a lot of my life thinking everything was my fault.

  10. I think that intentions are worth considering, but “good intentions” don’t magically make rudeness or cruelty not rude or not cruel. They don’t make judgmental comments somehow not judgmental.

    I think that when someone plays the “But I’m only trying to help!!” card, an appropriate response is, “I know. That’s why I’m letting you know that you’re not actually helping.”

    If your intentions really are good, then you’ll be wiling to respect someone’s boundaries. When they tell you that what you’re doing is hurtful, if you don’t stop, you’re just proving that your intentions are crappy. As the saying goes, if I tell you you’re standing on my foot, don’t keep standing there while arguing with me about how you didn’t *mean* to step on me.

    1. I agree. How I perceive someone’s intentions does influence how I respond to them. (I tend to default to polite and friendly unless ample evidence exists to the contrary.) It does not, however, influence whether I respond.

  11. Huh. I had a situation like this with one of my thin SIL’s (they’re all very thin, I’m very fat). She’s just finished venting to me about how critical her MIL was of the food SIL had in her fridge and my reply was basically that MIL was wrong, it is never ok to critisise someone else’s food choices.

    Quick as a flash SIL gives me that ‘concerned’ look (you know the one) and says ‘What about if you’re concerned about them?” To which I replied “Unless they look like they’re about to die this very minute it’s *still* no-one else’s business”. Luckily she took that hint.

  12. Yes, it’s your fault because you’re fat. You can’t get that job because of your weight. How dare you try to blend in with The Rest of Us looking the way you do? Don’t even think of wearing that top…have you forgotten you’re fat? What if someone sees your flabby upper arms?? Don’t take this the wrong way, but…No offense intended, but I really think that…I’m only trying to help…


    A backhanded compliment is still a slap in the face, no matter who’s dealing the blows. I can tell you first hand that when you pitch it back over the net, with equal fervor (and sometimes even using the same exact terms as the “well-meaning individual”), it is truly a work of wonder. I had a chance to do this to my MIL after 14 years of her abuse and little digs this last Thanksgiving, and it felt FANTASTIC. Her tack was, “I’m sorry you feel that way, but with MATURITY, one would see our observations as intents to HELP” (same shit, different smell…).

    My response: “With MATURITY, one would know when one’s opinion was not welcome. MATURITY would tell you when to keep your mouth shut and tend to your own matters. MATURITY does not need to call attention to itself. MATURITY is something you need to stop talking about right now.”

    These well-meaning ‘suggestions’ come in all flavours and colours, but the hidden intent is the same: you make me uncomfortable with your presence, and I cannot find a way to fit you into my world…so please change your appearance/behaviour/whatever until I find you acceptable again.

    And when it comes down to me feeling comfy in my skin or someone else, I know who’s going to win every time.

  13. So, we should allow ourselves to be hurt, in order to avoid hurting the people who are making a choice to hurt us? Um, no. Once upon a time I would have done that. But no. Never again.

  14. I have a friend who drinks and smokes heavily, but because she’s thin and I’m not, I’m the one with the health problems. I swear, the next time she asks me what my sugar intake was for the day, I’ll ask her how many cigarettes she had today.

  15. Hooray for Ragen Chastain! I am 5’4″ at 265 lbs and tho I want to go down to at least 200 lbs so that I will look more curvy, I have a healthy respect now not to be overly obsessed. I’ve had lots of shamming and stigmatizing and rejection that is just beyond belief. I live a quiet low risk life style ejoying healthy good food and I drink pleny of water and yet a friend says I’m killing myself. This same friend suffers from insomnia and personality disorders. My Mom has bought into the ridiculous lies and she critisizes me to no end meanwhile she has serious health problems and I seem to be getting healthier all the while. My boyfriend also punishes me now for my weight by refusing to visit me until the scales go down down down. Punishing fat people as in the shows like Biggest Loser is not at all good in my opinion. Seriously, I don’t understand how they can get away with it. Oh yea Ragen thanks for turning me on to the fashions of Yulia. I’d love to own even one dress she designed.

  16. “need to find more compassion for Dr. Oz and where he is at in his journey”.

    Which makes people with his lack of ‘compassion’ for fat people seem all the more pointed and knowing. If he needs to receive it, the best way would have been to show it to others when he thought they were in the wrong.

  17. Dear Ragen, you are so absolutely right! This whole “just smile and consider that they have good intentions” thing does not work.

    Even well-meaing people need an honest feedback on how their words sound in other people’s ears, and need to understand that the fallout might be negative.

    I found that the only other option for me (except telling others clearly and unmistakeably that their behaviour is not acceptable for me) is to just stare them down.
    Like, totally stare into their eyes as if they had done something ooops like fart in the presence of the Pope or something. Works for me – but hey, I am 50. A nice privilege that comes with old age, teeheeheee…

  18. However, I think someone should say something if their loved one’s eating habits are dangerous.

    For example:

    I have a friend whose roommate is switching to eating raw food, mainly fruits and vegetables, because he believes that they are more healthy than cooked. He also has a little protein. The contents of his refrigerator are fruits and veg but no soy or raw nut butters or other sources of protein. There’s a little pre-cooked chicken so I don’t think he’s going the total raw route.

    I know all this because I was hanging out last night and the roommate told us (and showed us the contents of the fridge).

    Thing is, roomie is a type 1 diabetic who has had several hypoglycemic episodes in the past — as recently as November, in fact — and with all the fruits and veg, little protein and few “BIG” carbs (like bread, rice, potatoes, and pasta) I worry.

    Most fruits and veg have so few calories, and the body burns through them so quickly that even a non-diabetic would experience severe blood sugar fluctuations.

    I feel like saying something but I’m not his momma and I don’t think he’d listen. I just hope he is incorporating some big carbs and more protein and doesn’t have any problems.

    1. I think raw foodists and fruititarians are a bit off their rocker, but I haven’t heard that a fruit and veg-heavy diet is bad for diabetes. I would be worried by the lack of fat, but that’s because I personally find fat to have a stabilising effect on blood sugar (I’m not diabetic myself, but other diabetics have found the same.) But others have better luck on a low fat, low protein diet. The fact is that he’s a grown man, he knows how to check his own blood sugar, he knows what his own hypoglycemia symptoms are, so if this doesn’t work out for him then he can decide to stop. He has researched this – even if you don’t agree with his sources. He knows about diabetes because he has it. I know your intentions are good, but isn’t that what this post is about? If you tell other adults that they don’t know how to feed themselves you’re calling them stupid.

      1. I’m not sure if he has researched this or if he and his girlfriend have decided to eat a bunch of raw food because they have heard that it’s better.

        I’ve already explained my issue with the fruit/veg heavy diet.

        I don’t think that suggesting to a fellow adult that the raw food diet they’re adopting might be problematic is calling them stupid.

        Especially if they have a history of diet-related hypoglycemic attacks (such as daily severe attacks from drinking multiple sugar-free energy drinks per day).

        But, as I said, I haven’t said anything. But I am worried.

      2. You are calling them stupid. Adults know how to feed themselves. They don’t need to be told to eat less, more, or differently. If you think his diabetes is more prominent in your mind than in his, you are calling him stupid. If you honestly believe he has forgotten that he has hypoglycemic attacks, that’s a real problem and very concerning, but I sincerely doubt that this is the case. I understand that you’re worried – I would be, too – but it’s also not at all your business. If “hearing that it’s better” is all he’s based this decision on, that is his research, and that’s completely acceptable. Again, I would do more research before changing my diet dramatically, but he doesn’t have to. He can eat what he wants to eat and he doesn’t require your concern. What if this were a man who was fat and decided that he would be healthier if he ate more (which is the case for many fat people, not going to make a difference for some, and unhealthy for some – just like this diet for diabetics). It would be his decision and rude and patronising for you to comment. So don’t!





      5. Ruth,

        I think I understand what you are trying to say but I take exception to some things here. First, please don’t call people “off their rocker” for their food choices on this blog. You don’t have to be a raw foodist or fruititarian but, in this space, you need to respect other people’s right to be without using shaming, stigmatizing or humiliating language.

        Second, Jill clearly stated that she didn’t share her concerns with the person so it seems like you may have jumped to conclusions in your reply.

        Third, I think it might also be a matter of pronouns. You may have meant “you” in a global sense, but it sounded like you were directly attacking Jill. I have absolutely make this mistake before.


      6. Ragen,

        I’m a bit confused. Jill said in her first post that “I think someone should say something if their loved one’s eating habits are dangerous.” She then went on to explain that she was worried about her friend’s roommate who she felt had switched to a diet that she felt could be dangerous when combined with type 1 diabetes. Ruth’s opinion was that she shouldn’t say anything (and I know Jill hadn’t yet said anything, but based on her first comment above she was considering it). I happen to agree with Ruth that what this friend decides to eat is not Jill’s business, nor is it Jill’s job to decide if it is dangerous or not. I kind of felt that this was the point of your post. Am I not getting it? Not the first time that’s happened – 🙂

        I understand your exceptions to Ruth’s wordings, but I also think the Jill posting in all caps is a bit much. JMO.

        — Buffy

      7. Sorry, Ragen. You’re right that I didn’t mean to come across as aggressive, but I guess it did read that way. I’m much better with face-to-face communication!

        I know “some of my best friends are x!” is a terrible and hypocritical looking defence, but part of the reason I wanted to defend Jill’s roommate is that I’m a vegan and yes, some of my best friends are raw foodists, and they (and I) are tired of people patronising them about their food choices. What I said was meant to be jokey but again, I should have realised it wouldn’t come out properly in text and I apologise for that. And maybe I shouldn’t make such jokes when I don’t know the audience. So, I am very sorry about that. That was a mistake.

        But I still have a big concern, which is that Jill will actually go on to tell this person what they can and can’t eat and what is and isn’t healthy for them. And there’s no way to say it gently or sensitively – the gentle and sensitive option is to keep quiet unless they ask for advice. I think Jill is right to be concerned! But it has to stop there and I got the very strong impression from her posts that she was looking for a way to intervene somehow. I have never once stated that I thought Jill had already done this because I saw clearly that she stated that she had not. But if you keep describing someone’s food choices as “problematic” and you say that “I don’t think that suggesting to a fellow adult that the raw food diet they’re adopting might be problematic is calling them stupid.” it sounds very much like you are about to go all food police on someone. I thought that this was what the other blog post was about – that whether you’re some stranger on the internet or someone’s good friend and roommate, it’s not acceptable to force your concerns onto someone else.

  19. Nine times out of ten I don’t give a shit what someone puts in their mouth. I’m not the damned food police. The only time I MIGHT notice is if it’s looking/smelling good or if it’s something I’ve never encountered.

    BUT. When a friend that I CARE ABOUT comes to me and TELLS ME something about what they are doing in their lives, and that something sets of RED FUCKING FLAGS, then I notice, and I worry.

    This set of RED FUCKING FLAGS because of the diabetes and for other reasons that you don’t know and are none of your damned business.

    So CAN it with your sanctimonious attitude about MY concern about MY friend’s choices, and stop trying to paint be as a fucking villain.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.