Membership & Registration FAQ
By far the most frequent question I got back when BFB changed to a registration-only model was, "Why?"
The answer is pretty simple: the discussion on fat acceptance is one that invites trolls and the never-ending
"Fat is bad! I lost weight, you can too!" argument. If you want to see what happens without moderation, try
checking out the USENET groups soc.support.fat-acceptance and alt.support.big-folks. Back in the early 90s
these places were filled with bright, great discussions and only occasional trolls; now they're all trolls
and only occasionally filled with real discussions.
I really don't want this site to turn into one of those cesspools where it becomes bickering and nothing else.
I want people to feel comfortable here, and be able to share ideas and thoughts on fat acceptance and advancing
fat rights without worrying that there's some bozo around the corner who's going to stomp on everything and
make people feel bad.
And now, the FAQ.
So why do you ask me why I want to register, anyway?
As touched on above, BFB really isn't a "I want to post once and say one thing and then leave forever" type
of website (or at least, I hope it isn't!) Members here tend to stick around for a long time and state their
opinions on lots of issues, and I like that. The "Why do you want to register?" question is an honest one,
and ensures that people coming here know what the site is about (fat acceptance, not a "hot dating site,") and
know that they're joining a community.
Is the registration process safe? What do you do with my information?
Give me an overview of the registration process.
Sure. You go to the registration page. The first step is to choose a username.
You should really avoid ALL CAPS and random numbers at the end of your name (ie, Paul3492039) - these are a
bit dehumanizing. If the username you want isn't taken, you'll get to fill out your profile. It asks for
a brief biography, asks why you want to join, and asks how you found out about the site (we love to know this.)
Then you'll receive an email with a clickable link you need to follow to prove that you're really you, and
you really signed up.
From there the registration must be approved by a real person, so it can take anywhere from an hour or two to
five days. This is solely due to my schedule and not any malicious, sadistic intent. Once you're approved,
you can log in and post to the blog and the forums.
I never got the first registration email. What gives?
Every week, people who have registered but not confirmed their email addresses are sent a follow-up. If you
don't receive this one, get in touch.
I confirmed my email but never got approved to post. Why?
The reasons vary on this. The most common one is that you misunderstood the purpose of the site. We get a
lot of people, for instance, who think BFB is a dating site or think we can help you become a plus-size
model. These aren't the case of course. Then there are people who post inane reasons for joining (ie, "Because
I want to.")
If it sounds like this is subjective, well, it is. If it's obvious from your profile that you're not really
bringing anything to the table, you won't be approved. That's why it's important to fill out at least
the "Why are you joining?" question.
If your attempt at joining is a true misunderstanding, I'll send out an email and explain why you weren't
Wow, I don't know about that subjective stuff. I'm going to go elsewhere.
Can I cancel my membership?
Sure. Just send an email and your account will be wiped away.
Does it cost anything to become a member? What about donating - do donors get special treatment?
Donors get good karma!
There's no cost in joining BFB - it's free, and always will be. Donations are always accepted but donors
don't get any kind of "special" treatment.
I think this whole registration thing is lame, because you're stifling true discussion on the issues.
This is inevitably followed by the "Paul's against free speech!" red herring, by the way. I'm not against free
speech, and I'm not for stifling discussion. But given the shaky past of totally-open fat discussions on
the web and USENET, I'm really not keen on not having some sort of gated community. It's sad that it
needs to be that way, yes. But having BFB overrun by trolls is not my idea of a supportive environment.
And besides, it's a free web. Discussions can and will happen everywhere. For instance, I know that there's a
good number of people who actually really dislike fat acceptance but read BFB anyway. I think that's
I'm having a rough time logging in/logging out/posting. Help!
Help is just a click away.
Naturally if you have any questions that weren't answered here, let me know.