A Quick Question

I was pondering something today, and I wanted to get a little feedback. Given that a blog is a public forum (that is, unless it is private, in which case never mind), one expects and hopes for a fair amount of comments from those who read. However, knowing that more than a few troglodytes populate the internet ether, one also might expect to get the occasional nasty comment, too, especially if one ever posts anything of a controversial nature.

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My question is, if you have a blog, have you ever been the unfortunate recipient of an outright hateful comment? If so, was it in response to something you wrote, or was it basically the ravings of a lunatic? How did you handle it? Respond? Delete? Go private?

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When I started this blog, I was braced for ugly comments here and there simply because I have an obscenely large family, and that right there can be like waving a red flag in front of the proverbial bull. However, in two and aΒ half years, I have never received anything resembling vitriole. I have been misunderstood, to be sure. I have been challenged. But as for outright ugliness, notsomuch.

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If I ever did receive such a comment, I think I would pretty much shrivel up into dust and blow away. I’m not exactly thick-skinned. But tell me true…what would you do?

23 thoughts on “A Quick Question”

  1. I did have a blog and received a few nasty comments. Due to my large-ish family, five children. So I would expect you might encounter one or two. I deleted mine. I do dwell in hate nor do I pay mind to it. Ask a question, I would answer. Challenge me, and I would answer. Be hateful, and I turn the cheek by not encouraging that kind of behavior. I delete it and say a prayer, its all I knew to do. Hope that helps! Love your blog! πŸ™‚

  2. I haven’t received a nasty comment, but I’m sure I’d do my best to just turn the other cheek, too. Michele has given some advice that I’m going to tuck away in case I ever need it.

  3. I’ve only gotten a totally random rude comment. I just ignored it (at that point I was using a comment system that didn’t give users the power to delete comments easily at all.)

    Now I would delete it. If someone was persistently being hateful I’d put comments on moderation. If it was really horrible I might consider disabling comments entirely.

    Fortunately hasn’t been a problem yet though.

  4. I just wanted to add that I think you haven’t gotten rude comments because of the way you conduct yourself. Unlike many people who have large families, you are not defensive about it, or judgmental of those who choose to use birth control. You are honest about the difficulties, plentiful with the great parts, and just a joy to read. I appreciate you, and you’ve made me consider having a large family. Thank you for a delightful blog.

  5. I would click the *DELETE* button and laugh maniacally with my fists in the air because I HAVE THE POWER OF DELETION AND NONE CAN STAND AGAINST ME!

    I would also tell my husband all about it and cry into my pillow a little bit.

    But they wouldn’t know that.

  6. I would echo what Natalie says – that’s how I’ve handled the *one* rude comment I’ve gotten. And I’d agree with Amanda about why you haven’t gotten rude comments (although, with the really hateful people, they often don’t really read through what you’ve written anyways…). So, basically, I have nothing original to say πŸ˜› But I know I love comments, so I’m commenting anyways πŸ˜€

  7. I’ve been blogging about as long as you have and I have not received any hateful comments. I tend not to blog about controversial topics (besides the occasional homebirth post), so I pretty much fly under the radar, I guess.

    Were I to get a hateful comment, I would probably delete it. I might post a follow-up comment, if the person made a good point, asking them to re-post without the vitriol. I would definitely start moderating comments before they posted.

  8. I recently put my blog comments on ‘moderate’. We have had an ugly situation develop in the family (divorce, suicide attempt, accusations of child molesting) simply because anyone could comment without pause. So far, I have been contacted by one person I was afraid would post ugly comments, and I believe the moderation kept them from posting things that should not have been posted.
    I have had my blog just over 15 months, and no really hateful comments from strangers have happened. I have only posted a few ‘controversial’ posts. My readers are mostly family and a few acquaintances from the Tons of Kids Board.
    If I got a terrible comment, I would delete the comment and pray about what, if anything, I should say to/ about the commenter.

    I have explicitly avoided blogging about our family crisis… just uphold our family in prayers, please.
    ~Tammy~

  9. I’ve only ever received one really nasty comment, and it was in response to a post that I did about how I let my son cry to sleep (which I figured would be controversial), and how crying to sleep worked for our family. The person was ranting a little, but was honestly trying to respond to my post, and didn’t use any words that I didn’t want to appear on my blog, so I didn’t delete it, just responded to it.

    I do moderate my comments, just in case. I like that when you moderate, each comment is emailed to you, so you don’t miss one if someone leaves a comment on an older post.

  10. I got a seriously nasty comment when I was transparent about my abortion as a teenager. I expected that there could be some nasty things said, but I was unprepared to be called a non-Christian currently because of it (I wasn’t a Christian then). I deleted that one. Otherwise, I tend to just leave them.

  11. I delete nasty comments. I don’t have a problem with people disagreeing with me, but I believe it is possible to disagree without resorting to insults or obscenities.

    Anyone who attacks my character or my children immediately gets deleted.

    The nasty comments I’ve received have been in response to something I posted that a person (who always comments anonymously) obviously disagreed with. If they hadn’t been insulting and attacking, I’d have left the comments up.

  12. I don’t think I’ve gotten mean comments on what I’ve written, but I think I have a pretty small audience. I have commented on other peoples’ posts before and gotten mean comments back to me. Usually, it was by people that seemed to just BE hateful. So, I mostly ignored them. A few times if it was something in the Bible, I would just post the verse that was my basis for belief, but not respond by arguing with my own comments.
    I think mean comments come from a combination of the topic at hand (religion and politics–hehe), and readers who are not able to value other people. They don’t understand that disagreeing is different than attacking.

  13. Somehow I have slipped under the radar of the loonies so I haven’t run into that situation. I have had friends who ran into it, and they have it set where they moderate all comments. Standing from the outside, the rude comments were made by uniformed, stupid people who clearly didn’t even think. They are the unhappy miserable people who enjoy spreading vitriol trying to make others as miserable as they are.

    Because the people who leave these comments are so awful, their comments shouldn’t logically matter. I am sure I would curl up and cry if I received them though because I am not always logical.

  14. I’ve only had one or two a little obnoxious, nothing that I felt attacked or anything. I too was thinking about this and wonder why/who does these things. All I could think of is someone who has too much free time and a lot of anger. And I kept hearing “idle hands are the devil’s mouthpiece.”

  15. Was that your Rose in the comments above? She obviously learned to write from her mother. She has a gift… and a lovingly nasty sense of humor, which I love! πŸ™‚

    I just started the whole bloggy thing, but I do the “moderate comments” thing anyway. That way I’m the only one who sees the potential bad comment… and I can head it off at the pass, so to speak. Now, let me clarify: if that ever happens, I will still melt into a slobbering heap of goo and weep uncontrollably… but you won’t see it. πŸ™‚

  16. I’ve been blogging about 2 years and don’t get many comments but if I did get a nasty, I think I’d really be bothered by it. I would cry, not tell anyone in my family, (and they’d probably “suffer” because of my emotions) ruminate, sleep horribly and the come clean, apologize to my family and delete it.

    Now that I’ve been forced to talk about it…maybe it’d be better to just save everyone the trouble and delete it immediately and move on…

    Thanks for making me think through that!
    Kari

  17. I have never had a hateful or nasty comment, but I’ve had a few challenging comments. I never get very controversial. When I do, I fully expect SOMEONE out there to disagree with me. I am kind of disappointed if they don’t. I love a good meaty discussion.

    So far, my most volatile post has been about the woman who decided to have her tubes tied at the ripe old age of 22, never having been a mother. She felt she would never have that urge. I said she was foolish.

    THAT brought out some interesting comments.

    If you are getting flak, it means you are over a target.

    So, apparently, nothing much I say is over any sort of target. πŸ˜‰

    What would I do? I don’t think I would care. I wouldn’t delete a hateful comment, unless my kids were involved. I think leaving it up to convict the hater is the best thing to do.

  18. I no longer maintain my blog, but once, when I did a post that was very transparent about my depression and the stigma attached to depression, I received a hurtful e-mail from someone. It was just so full of judgment. I posted the first one, but I felt the second one would have done damage to someone who may have been reading and also struggling with depression, so I didn’t post it and then she challenged me for not posting it. I basically said, “this isn’t free speech, it’s my blog. If you have a soapbox, get your own blog.”

  19. I do blog occasionally on controversial topics. When I receive a rude or hateful comment, I usually hit the delete button without a second thought.
    If the commenter really has something to say but was unnecessarily vitriolic, I might send a quick email explaining why the comment was deleted and inviting them to dissent as long as they can do so with civility.
    Either way, I don’t take it personally. Christ told us to expect the world to hate us.

  20. I never approved one of them (it’s over a year old and still sitting in my comment box!), and a few I’ve deleted. But most people have been pretty friendly…

  21. I think of my blog as my personal space, and much as my wouldn’t let someone come into my house and spew nasty comments around, I don’t think I would tolerate purposefully hateful comments on my blog. Delete, delete, delete! Now if someone is disagreeing in a civil tone, I’d leave that comment.

    Hugs,
    Adrienne

  22. Never gotten a downright nasty comment on my own blog. Been disagreed with. Been misunderstood. Haven’t been insulted though.

    In comment “conversations” on other blogs, now that’s another story. When an author writes about something expecting folks to talk about it some, I’ve been engaged in debates lively enough to hook wires onto and power a big ol’ house. And that bookface thing, too. Interesting how someone’s status update dealio can make other people just jump outa their skin from all the judgement goin’ on inside of ’em.

    In my blog, I post from my heart on what’s going on inside me. I try to steer clear of things that I know are hot-button issues because I don’t want to have people start trolling for the things I might otherwise entertain in a debate. It’s my journal, not a newspaper.

    But boy, do I post comments on local newspaper sites!! πŸ˜‰

    If I ever got comments which cut me to the quick, contained obscenities, offended decent sensibilities, or provoked anger in my heart, I’d pray, discern, delete, eat chocolate, and cry about it. Not necessarily in that order, either.

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