This Really is a Post About Blog Comments

Last week something really awesome happened to my son.
I sent the link of a review my son wrote to Tony Hawk via Twitter. I didn’t expect he would actually read it, but of course, I hoped he would.
A few minutes later, I saw this reply:
And then I screamed, ran down the hall and said “OH MY GOD EEEETHAN! You have to see this!”
He read it. His eyes got big. “Is he talking about my review?”
“Yes!” I replied.
He tried to remain cool and calm about it.
Then, he smiled the biggest smile I’ve ever seen. I got up and hugged him. “How awesome is that? Tony Hawk just called your review ‘the best one yet!?'”
“Pretty cool.” he said. “I’m glad he liked it.”
I tweeted it, dm’d a few people, called a few people. I was happy for my Son. He had been nervous about writing the review, wondering if people would like it or not. But he had received great feedback in the comments and then? He got approval from Tony Hawk himself. It meant a lot to him. He was feeling pretty damn proud of himself.
Later that night, I got an email notification of a comment from someone named “Poop.”
If there is one thing I’ve learned in the 7 years I’ve been blogging it’s that any time someone named “Poop” leaves a comment on your blog, it’s not going to be good. (Same goes for “Nunya, Anon and SUCKMYDICK, fyi.)
I opened it up and as I read the cruel words that were meant solely to hurt my son, I could feel the rage rise up within me. I was pretty sure I knew who it was, but hard to know for sure because blogger does not note IP’s. (HATE YOU, Blogger!) I was so angry that I started to cry. I can take all of the assholery in the world directed at me. Call me whatever names you want, but my kids? Aw Hellz Naw.
I panicked because I did not want my son to see it. I deleted it as quickly as I could and immediately turned on comment moderation.
I’m still angry about it. I don’t understand that kind of behavior directed at an innocent child. What is so bad about that person’s life that drives her to do such a thing? And I don’t mean to be all “YOU’RE JUST JEALOUS, HATER!” But to stoop that low, to be that cruel, there has to be something sad about your life. There just has to be.
I’ve wanted to write about this before, to hear the different perspectives on the subject and I feel like what happened on my son’s post is the perfect time to bring this up.
Deleting comments.
I’ve never thought twice about deleting negative comments directed at my children. They come down immediately and the commenter is automatically blocked. But when it comes to comments directed at me? I leave them up. I’ve had friends email me and ask me why I allow such comments up on my site. My answer usually is as follows: I don’t really care if complete strangers think I’m fat or ugly or *insert insult here* It’s meaningless to me. With the exception of a very, very few Asshole Comments (And when I say “asshole comments.” I don’t mean “negative comments” or “disagree with me” type comments. I mean “crazy, obsessive, cruel, has absolutely nothing to do with the discussion” comments.) I don’t delete comments.
I’ve always felt like removing the comments is dishonest. I don’t want it to appear as though I only allow the kind comments and shut out any and all negative feedback. Not everyone appreciates, likes or tolerates my writing and I’ve always been okay allowing people to express their dislike. (Again, with the exception of the extreme assholes and by “extreme assoles” I mean “Christine in Alabama.”)
I have friends who don’t agree with the fact that I leave shitty comments up. Stefanie, for example. “It’s YOUR blog. You don’t have to allow people to be disrespectful or cruel in your comments.” She once said to me.
And I really couldn’t come up with a good response to that. Because it’s true.
Except that I can’t seem to get past the idea that deleting negative comments is dishonest. And please understand I’m not talking about dissenting/different opinions. Let me give an example.
I write a post about marriage and how it can be difficult at times. What I write makes some people upset.
Jessica writes: I think you are being incredibly selfish by not giving your husband blow jobs every night. Maybe if you tried that, he may be more willing to help you around the house.
POOP ON YOUR FACE writes: Your husband is so ugly and so is your stomach. No wonder he likes to have sex with you because your both SO UGLY. P.S. PUT THE BEAN DIP DOWN YOU FAT COW.
One comment is not very supportive, but appropriate in that NOT EVERYONE LOVES THE WAY YOU DO MARRIAGE WITH YOUR HUSBAND. Also? if you put it out there, people are going to have an opinion! And those opinions may not always be something you want to hear! The other one is just… assholery. The other one shouldn’t be allowed to stay, but if it were a real comment on a real post, I’d leave it up.
I’m not afraid of The Hate. The Hate doesn’t control me or effect my life. Like my good friend Jenny once said while drunk and wearing a wig “Celebrate The Hate!” (And trust me, The Hate can be HILARIOUS. See: WINNERS DO THE MATH!)
But the more I think about it the more I wonder. WHY? Why do I allow that kind of negativity here on this blog (that I pay for)? Not sure if I’m doing the right thing by allowing and condoning that kind of ugliness here.
What say you? How do you handle hateful comments on your blog?

59 thoughts on “This Really is a Post About Blog Comments

  1. Daddy Geek Boy

    I haven’t gotten any real negative comments on my blog. I got one that was mildly creepy when I wrote a funny blog with the word “penis” in it. I deleted that one.
    I agree…call me what you will, I can take it. I think you did the right thing in deleting that comment.

  2. Nina the slackmistress

    Hateful comments toward me I almost always leave up. I figure I put myself out there, and I’m interested in what everyone has to say provided they make a point and I don’t take a lot personally. (Some I do. But again, I feel like i’t my choice to put myself out there. No one’s forcing me to blog.)
    If it’s just HA HA YOU SUCK, or NICE TITS well, that’s just a troll and I delete.
    Directed at anyone else – who I’m writing about, other commenters – and it comes down.
    However, I don’t take issue with how anyone else runs their blog (although there are some bloggers who will delete comments that disagree with them. I do take issue with that – and I don’t comment on – or read – those blogs!)

  3. Issa

    It depends on my mood honestly. Sometimes I want to fight, or let others at the asshat, so I leave it there.. Sometimes it’s so hurtful that I just can’t leave it there, because it’s like a poison. Other times, I just delete because I am not in the mood. I had one today that told me that I overuse the words I love you. They went on to say I’m an attention whore ad blah, blah, hate, hate, blah. I deleted it. However, the first line kinda cracks me up and I may use it as my post title tomorrow.
    In the end, I guess my point is this: it’s your blog. You can do it however you want. But I’d continue to delete anything directed at your kids. I always wonder about people like that. I mean, shit, their mama’s must be so proud of them. Snort.

  4. PrincessJenn

    I think a lot of people leave all comments in the interest of transparency.
    Personally? I delete. I want my blog to be a place of discussion not a troll haven. Go ahead and disagree with me. Insult my kid and I delete and block. People like that are a waste of my time, energy, and bandwidth.

  5. Headless Mom

    I’m dealing with that right now. for now, I’m leaving it up. Mostly because it’s funny. Also because it will be buried in my archives and no one will see it. It doesn’t bother me so I’ll let it stay. Although I’m with you about crap about my kids. Don’t go there, mister.

  6. Y

    Nina, I also take issue with people who delete any comment that isn’t 100% in agreement or favorable. I think that’s what I’m trying to avoid and why I leave all comments up. Or something?

  7. Y

    I do understand where you’re coming from. Those type of comments are completely distracting and not at all useful to the conversation.
    Which is why I wrote this– I really do want to hear different perspectives on this.

  8. laprimera

    I’ve yet to “arrive” at the assholery of trolls on my blog. I got one hate email that I just ignored. I guess if that day should ever come, I’d decide then. I did delete a hateful comment on my fb though.

  9. MimiRuse

    I’ve never received a truly hateful comment on my blog, because I’m so awesome. Wait. That’s not why. It’s because so few people read my blog … whoops! And I don’t write about topics that are too controversial (except tonight’s post pushed the envelope a little for me … about gender roles and how to woo a man). Anhwho, I have no tolerance for outright cruelty. There is no need to be mean to another human being just because you can. It’s wrong. On the other hand, someone suggesting you may need to give your husband more head could actually be helping you out. Perhaps you didn’t think of that. It’s not a mean comment, just an honest one. What man doesn’t want to see the top of his wife’s head more? I think one of the main points of blogging is to open yourself up and let others form their own opinions of what you’ve said. You shouldn’t be blogging if you can’t be vulnerable. You’re a mom and a wife … you’re going to be defensive on behalf of your family. But you’ve also developed some amazing coping skills in that role. Apply them to blogging and you’ll be fine.

  10. Kat

    I almost always leave up the negative comments about me, negative comments about my sons get deleted on the spot and their ip banned.
    The only times that I delete comments is when they are about my sons, and when someone is obviously trolling looking to stir up the drama.
    I delete those and block the ip addies.
    People can call me whatever they want all the live long day, it just shows me and anyone else reading the comments, what an asshat that person is.
    I let them post trash to their hearts content, but say something assholish about my sons?
    Aww hell no!
    Y, this is your blog, you pay for it, the trolls don’t pay for it.
    Do what you want to, say what you want to, delete what you want to.
    If the day ever comes that some troll wants to pay my yearly hosting bill in full, I’ll let them dictate some of the comment policies.
    But that day will never come, no troll is ever going to offer it or pay it..LoL
    But I want to say how absolutely cool for Ethan?!?
    That is SO awesome!
    He’s not my kid and I’m all gushing proud of him for writing a great review and getting Tony Hawk’s approval. That is really just super awesome.

  11. Jess

    I’ve never gotten a negative comment because no one but my mom reads my blog. Sometimes it makes me a bit weepy, “Nobody loves me enough to leave me mean commmmeeentss.” But mostly I’m okay with it. If I did get a trollish comment I think I’d go the bean dip route because, Y? I still pee my pants a little bit every time I remember your “Winners Do the Math” post. You’re my hero.

  12. rain

    Everybody’s a critic (can’t remember who said that)
    Most people are assholes ( Me, probably stolen from someone else).
    I don’t have kids but I’ll get a black eye for a friend in a heartbeat from a comment that, if it was directed at me, might get a middle finger.
    I’m pretty sure I was no help at all either. I’ve been tippling.

  13. Edie

    I’ve never left a blog up long enough to get trolls, heh. If I ever do though, I’d leave the hateful comments up as long as they weren’t directed towards someone other than myself or the topic of the post. I know if I make my life public there will be people who behave like assholes so I feel it’s all just part of the game. When it comes to certain human beings, the internet is like giving a bully the keys to the world and an invisibility cloak.
    Pisses me off that some dumb ass said something negative about Ethans review. #1. He’s a kid! #2. He did a seriously awesome job on the review! The stupidity and cruelty of so many human beings makes me feel sick.
    BTW, I see you use statcounter. You could figure out the IP of the person who wrote the f’ed up comment by matching up the date/time with the hit on statcounter.

  14. Aunt Becky

    I take The Hate as a case by case thing. When someone comes by and attacks me when I’m feeling down (“no wonder your mother hates you”), after I’ve posted something that was close to my heart and got beaten for it, sometimes I delete.
    If it’s stupid, or the person is just attacking to be a jerk (“you’re a fucking bitch”), I’ll leave it.
    Disagreeing with me is fine. Having a different opinion is fine. Being mean for the sake of meanness is not really always necessary. Depends, I guess.

  15. Heather

    It’s so evil for anyone to hate on the kids 🙁 I generally delete mean comments right away, because honestly, some of them really hurt – even if I laugh off 95% of it, some of it just seems to stick.

  16. Lena

    I think the only hateful comments I get on my blog are from you when I haven’t returned your messages.
    And by hateful, I mean hilarious.

  17. baseballmom

    I don’t really have much traffic at all, and lately I’ve been too busy and pathetic to write much, but if there was a comment about either one of my kids…it would come down right away. No one has any right to talk about anyone else’s kids…unless they are being annoying little assholes in the store or something…seriously, though, that’s off limits. Sometimes I think it’s just high school or middle school kids making those kinds of comments and trying to get a reaction. Either that, or it’s someone who is reallly bored with the mentality of a middle school kid. scary.

  18. Nicki

    Hmm. I think I’m too new to have picked up any haters. I’ve only had my blog since the end of June. I only have a handful of regular commenters…that I’m not related to. 😉
    However, I aspire to be big enough to attract hateful people…in which case, I plan to leave the moderately hateful comments and delete the truly offensive ones. (It’s good to have a plan…)

  19. sassymonkey

    The way I see it, I am my own community manager. If someone left a comment on my blog that would violate the TOS of most sites, eg. anything that a moderator would remove because it’s so hateful, it’s going to be deleted. If it’s something I wouldn’t want directed at anyone else (such as the other commenters on the post), it’s deleted.
    There’s a difference between “negative” and “hateful” in my opinion. Negative comments can be good, they can disagree, but they can still be made in a way that isn’t hateful. Hate is just hate and I don’t need it on my blogs. If they want to spread hate they can get their own blog.
    Because I’m boring I don’t really have to deal with it on my own blogs (at least not often). But that’s still my policy.

  20. ali

    I only ever once blocked someone’s IP address and it was only because this person obviously knew me in real life and was saying inappropriate things about members of my family and talking about things that I don’t share on my blog…so I just blocked her right the shit up.
    but, eh, I don’t get too many nasty comments. differing opinions…all the time..but I leave those ones up.

  21. Susan

    I’ve deleted some before and once blocked several consecutive IP addresses because I could and that person was pissing me off. Of course, I was blogging daily about my husband’s infidelity and the slut he did it with. Apparently her only friend didn’t have a problem spending a lot of time on my blog. I’m with you when it comes to my kids – no assholery allowed. Fuck you, Christine in Alabama. And the slut attorney in Little Rock.

  22. Overflowing Brain (Katie)

    I don’t delete them either, unless they are spam. I still have mine set to where I have to approve each person’s first comment, so I’ve not only not deleted some negative ones, I’ve approved them.
    And Heather Spohr was asking me why and I think if it’s not some incredible douchebaggery, then it’s something that the people who’re reading my blog believe and maybe I need to take a step back and consider it. Except for the one comment about the fact that we deserved to be robbed on our honeymoon. That one I kept up so that people could see there was evil in the world.
    Or, OR, sometimes I need to take a step back and openly mock it. That is also, occasionally, why I don’t delete.

  23. Jen

    I’m lucky (or just unknown) enough that I’ve never gotten really awful, hateful comments. I have gotten the occasional random nasty comment though and I’ve always deleted them. The way I see it is that my blog is MY space. If someone does something to that space that makes me feel bad or upset then I take care of it.

  24. stephanie

    I don’t get enough comments/readers to have hateful comments which I guess is the positive side of that!), so I don’t know how I’d handle it. I think automatically deleting and blocking anyone who says anything negative about your children is absolutely the right thing to do. As far as negative comments towards you, well, I see both sides… it is YOUR blog, so if you wanted to delete them, you’d have every right to, but at the same time, you’re right that it sort of keeps the conversation honest. Comments that are just flat out cruel and have zero input on the discussion… well, keeping those around doesn’t do anyone any good.
    I cannot believe someone is such a lowlife that they’d right any mean thing about Ethan’s review. Not only because he is a child, but because it really was an AWESOME review!

  25. Sarah @ TM2TS

    I delete any comments I want. It’s my prerogative as a blog owner. I pay for the hosting. I do all the work. I do the writing. I decide what stays and what goes.
    For the most part, though, I don’t get any comments that are extremely negative. The ones that I have deleted have been the anonymous ones who are just out to start stuff. Or from one who has made my life a living hell and has finally gotten a life and left me alone.

  26. Tina

    I stumbled across your blog and love to read it. I created my own, and no one reads it…except for my husband. I’m not a very good writer, and that’s not why I started one. I did it because I was really inspired by the voices of others, and kind of lonely. So, I thought it would be fun and a way to connect to people from all over. That being said the angry troll commenters make me mad. It’s like someone defacing a book or a painting. It ruins it for everyone. And because I see the blogs as a way to connect to others and hear the perspective of others, I don’t really understand why folks waste so much energy on the hateful stuff. I have to agree with the friend you quoted. It’s your blog…shouldn’t it be a place of support and connection? Friendly debate is one thing, but hateful acts are another. I think they enjoy seeing their posts up and getting a reaction, so if it were me…and anyone actually read my blog…I would delete it. Thanks for the great reads! Congrats to your son. That is so exciting. I kind of crush on Tony Hawk! 🙂

  27. Backpacking Dad

    The really nasty comments that amount to “you suck” I like to edit, Mad Libs style, so that they suddenly come off as loving. It’s what I assume the troll will hate the most.
    People who disagree with me, stupidly, get disagreed with right back until they run away.
    People who disagree with me, smartly, get disagreed with right back, but gently. Or I take their criticism as valid.
    If a discussion ever looked like it was going to devolve among the commenters themselves, tossing “you suck” comments back and forth at each other then I might engage in what Patricia Neilsen Hayden at Making Light calls “disemvoweling”: take any troll comment and remove all the vowels from it. It leaves the comment up, for transparency, but somehow has the effect of discouraging follow up troll-type comments. Trolls don’t like when people have to break a code to read their hate, and people are less likely to flame trolls if the comment has been gelded like that first. Calms the board down. But I’ve never had a post that was that controversial that I felt like the board needed calming.

  28. Cheryl

    I don’t have a blog, Y, but I think I would feel like I were cheating too, if I took down the negative or hateful comments. Those kinds of comments are intended to spread the HATE, but I think they do the opposite. When I read the 2 examples you provided I laughed. I laughed at their miserable little lives! Imagine that being one of their weapons to spread HATE. How pathetic.

  29. Lauraldawn

    So I have a small personal blog, and also I run our work one.
    My personal blog I sometimes get mean stuff (but like I said it’s small) and one time I wrote a post and got some mean stuff. And I kept it up. Because it was about me, and I feel like if you’re going to put yourself out there then you should probably accept it.
    I wrote a little about my son and some of his issues (adhd & odd) and I got some mean comments which I deleted because they were about him. not cool. My parenting – whatever.
    Similar at work – except that it’s a much larger readership. I feel that I stood up for the fact that we needed a blog, so if I can’t accept the negatives directed at me (I moderate wrong, I chose the wrong topic, etc) then I’m not standing for what I believe.
    However, bash someone else and I won’t post it. Period.
    The best advice I ever got about blogging/internet/media stuff is that you have to develop a thick skin. I repeat that to myself every time I get a mean comment.
    I’m sure I’ll be a better person for it.
    As for someone being mean to your son – offside. Totally.

  30. Carrisa

    The more popular you are, the more negative comments you will get. This is why I’ve only had about one ever.
    I read the comment that Poop left and it was downright cruel. I really do feel that those people who dedicate entire sites to bashing on other bloggers, or doing nothing but leaving negative comments are quite unhappy and miserable in their own lives. If you are happy in your life and happy with who you are, you don’t have to run around trying to knock others down. It’s a classic bully story.
    I think you have it right. Delete the ones about your kids. Delete the utter crap or spam. Leave up the negative comments about yourself. Sure they might say mean things about you, but it’s also kind of fun when the people who love you tear them a new one.
    It reminds us that there are always people out there who suck more than we do.

  31. Jenn

    I think I pretty much agree with the general sentiment here and what you’re already doing.
    First and foremost, you can do whatever the hell you want, it’s your blog.
    However, I also see the pointlessness of only allowing comments you agree with. I too will leave a “disagreeing” type comment or even comments that maybe say something a little bit mean about me or whatever, if they think they are trying to make a point. However yeah, if it’s just something stupid like “suck my cock” or something, then delete. There’s no point in that.
    Finally, I don’t have kids but if I did I sure as hell would not be allowing any nasty comments about them. Sorry, wrong answer, fuckers. No way. You’re the mom, it’s your right to protect your kids whatever the hell way you want.

  32. Heather

    Congratulations to Ethan!! That’s so cool.
    I never got negative comments on my blog, but I did get spam. The way I handled it was to change it to something more appropriate. “Buy Viagra!” became “I’m a waste of oxygen,” etc.

  33. Rebecca

    I agree with you, in that comments and opinions of all sorts are welcome, but that ends when nasty, off-topic attacks begin. That’s what email is for, if commenters need to express themselves so hatefully.
    There’s this other blog I used to read, that is a hotbed of drama, deleted comments, deleted posts, and threats to stop writing altogether because of negative comments. Cry me a fucking river, right? All respect I had for her as a writer was lost when she couldn’t take how her stories were being negatively perceived by some of her readers.
    I do think a blogger loses integrity when he/she deletes all comments that express a different opinion or belief. It’s kind of like signing up for a reality show…what you put out is there for all to see. The only difference is, the writer is in *complete* control of what is viewed. I commend you on taking the good with the bad.

  34. anne nahm

    Congrats to Ethan!!
    I do leave the majority of comments up. I figure there are probably ten people who feel ‘X’ for every one person who says so, and so if the ten people feel they got representation on the hate when they read a mean comment , I don’t have to deal with the rest of them feeling like they’ve got to pony up a comment.
    However, a while ago, my blog had a spike in popularity, and I definitely noticed that there were a greater influx of drive-by assholery once the stats got above a certain number.
    I’m kind of embarrassed to say, but I avoid getting up to X numbers in my stats, because I figure I don’t want to deal with that level of hateration. It’s probably been about 18 months since that happened, but I still notice that when my stats go up, I find reasons to drop my posting until the numbers go back to what I’m used to.

  35. jennster

    for the most part, i leave them. i mean, the comments section is for open dialogue, right? and i figure that it makes the anon commenter who writes mean or stupid shit, look like the asshole- NOT ME. because normally, the anon comments are so blazingly ridiculous, it’s like a normal person would never say these things.
    and i think along the same lines of you- that deleting the mean comments is sort of dishonest.. like the only comments you get are “you rock!” and “you’re right”.. and that’s so fucking not realistic.
    if they were saying things about my kid though, i would immediately take it down. cause that’s crossing a line and he can’t defend himself, and i would NEVER want him to read such hurtful things- he wouldn’t understand why someone would talk that way about him without knowing him. or probably why would they talk that way even if they did know him.. there is enough cruelty in the world.

  36. cindy w

    I’ve been lucky in that I’ve only had one real troll (hi, Jojo in Belleville, Illinois!), and most of her comments up to a point were just eyeroll-worthy. But one time when I mentioned something about my political beliefs (specifically, that I’m pro-choice), she left a vile comment in which she said that my mother should’ve had a partial-birth abortion with me. So, um, NO. I deleted that one. Generally, though, meh. I just leave them up so other people can read & mock along with me.

  37. mouthy_broad (michele)

    it takes a truly bad and pathetic person to knock on a kid. i can only hope karma gets them.
    on comments, i think there is no right answer. yes, it is yours and non-flattering comments that hurt your can certainly be taken down, but i think you leave them up to be honest and say hey, other people don’t always agree, but we can talk about it. your readers aren’t your yesmen, stepford wives, etc.
    it is tricky. but i don’t get why people are so awful on the internet. never have. if you don’t agree or hate that much just move on already!

  38. Jenera

    First, how awesome for Tony Hawk to recognize your son’s review. That is way too cool!
    Second, I leave all comments up, nasty or not. Mainly because I’m not going to hide behind the wall of moderation. I haven’t had anyone attack my kids via comments but I would delete those. I have had them attack me as a mother but I knew who they were and took care of it.
    The only thing with leaving up negative comments is that it can tend to take over a blog. I haven’t seen that here but have on others where it’s like a contest to see who can outdo the other.

  39. DJ

    Personally, I have a thing about people who do not have the ability to self-censor and feel they need help. I delete any comment that is intended to be hurtful.
    I even go so far to delete any comment that minimizes my feelings. My blog is where I want to feel safe to say what I want – to bitch, rant, and whine – I won’t let anyone take that away from me.

  40. Tracie

    My take on it is that the people who leave those types of comments are actually trolls. And you know the saying, “Don’t feed the trolls”. Allowing their comments to be published is feeding them in my opinion.
    I agree there must be something wrong in their life, but they can go find therapy elsewhere. They’re not taking it out on my blog, or about me, or my family.

  41. Adrienne

    It’s not my expectation that my blog would be Happy Flowery Kitty Land full of unicorns pooping out rainbows, but on the other hand I do reserve the right to review comments on a case by case basis. The playing field changes completely when we’re talking about a child’s blog though. Comment moderation is a very good thing.

  42. chrissylas

    Some people are just jerks. I don’t blog but I think I would leave the good with the bad as well.
    Oh, and I got my copy of Tony Hawk Ride yesterday and he’s right, it’s quite fun. It’s way better than the professional reviews are saying it is.

  43. hdw

    People can be so bold on the internet. It’s easy to be mean when you don’t have to see someone face to face.

  44. ajnabi

    I have a weird and subjective method. I allow anonymous comments because I want to hear what others have to say even if they don’t want to take ten minutes to create a profile. And I allow disagreement, perverts and YOU STUPID WHITE GIRL comments, which btw are really rare but do happen occasionally. But if I can tell that one particular person is posting over and over again just to re-read their own comments and get all excited about seeing their words on my posts–and they’re being mean about it–then I’ll delete them. There’s no point in feeding their twisted ego from my point of view.

  45. Charon

    I’m in the camp of disagreement and differences of opinion being just fine, but I immediately delete personal attacks, easily identified by being COMPLETELY off topic and usually very bitter-sounding.
    Just dealt TODAY (on Thanksgiving! Imagine!) with a venomous attack leveled at my Best Beloved on our shared blog. We’re 99.9% sure we know who it’s from and we’re considering the source, but it’s made for some processing that would have been a little less unpleasant on a day that isn’t a family gathering day.
    I was SO pleased I remembered this post of yours, Y. It helped immeasurably. Many thanks!

  46. Jess

    I’ve never had to worry about negative comments because when I had a blog I didn’t have a lot of readers so I never received them BUT I think I would have left them just to show how stupid people can be. Some people can’t stand it when others are doing well so they feel then need to try and take them down a notch. For someone to attack your son like that makes me sick. Mean people just suck there is no other way to put it.

  47. Wacky Mommy

    well, it’s sort of new territory we’re breaking into here, isn’t it? The media has never had these kinds of possibilities and freedoms before. It can get ugly fast.
    I delete hateful comments, personal insults, ones that call out other people’s children by name, or name what school they go to. (My husband and I do political work and have come under attack a lot — they name our kids by name and have written notes naming their specific schools. Very creepy.)
    It’s especially tough when the topic is special ed — parents of SpEd kids have so much to offer, in educating others, but I am extra-protective of their kids and personal stories. I don’t want anyone left vulnerable. But they’re the community that most needs help and advocacy, so what to do?
    Ditto with non-white students, when it’s private info. But white parents often don’t know what non-white kids have to deal with, so it’s all about education and advocacy, again.
    our policy is it’s best to nip it in the bud right away, or things spin out quickly. (with readers jump in defending you, your family, your kid — we all know how respectful and protective we are of our friends.) There was a nasty comment a couple of years ago on my husband’s blog — Larry David nasty. Meaning, funny as hell but just mean as hell. I wish now that we had deleted it pronto, because now the comment thread is all woven so tight, we would have to edit about half of the comments that followed. (Some of them were just great, and on-topic, but would mention the “insult” quote.)
    Live and learn, don’t allow (or throw) hits below the belt, keep tinkering w/ your policy as needed. And I don’t have a problem w/ editing — we all can use an editor. Esp. me — this is way too long 🙂

  48. Katze

    Back when I was still blogging regularly, I got the occasional nasty comment, but really not too many since I don’t blog about controversial subjects and have/had an audience of mostly people I already know in real life. I don’t always agree with my friends and family, and sometimes we fight, so if someone is upset about something I write and wants to disagree with me, or even fight with me in comments, that’s okay. BUT, my theory is this: if you want to leave a *nasty* comment – not a comment that disagrees with me, a nasty comment – you’d better sign your name and leave an email. Otherwise, you’re using the anonymity of the internet to be a troll and I don’t harbor trolls in my house, so I’m certainly not going to harbor them on my blog. Or to think of it a different way, if you wouldn’t be willing to say it to my face, I’m not going to allow it on my blog.
    The argument that “it’s in public, so you have to accept any insults that come your way” doesn’t hold water for me. We do a lot of things in public everyday, and yet we don’t accept people screaming insults at us, or attacking us by sheer virtue of the fact that we all happen to be in public at the time. Of course, I think your own actions have to be in line with the same principle. If you walk down the street insulting the people on the sidewalk, you have to be willing to accept it if they scream back.
    Having said all of that, no one should be allowed to insult a child via the parent’s blog. An adult who screams abuse at a child in the street would be (I hope) reviled and shut down by the other adults in the area. Similarly, if someone visited your home and insulted your kids, you would (I hope) toss them on their ear and not invite them back. Mama Bear protects the cubs, that’s the way it is and should be.

  49. Jennifer, Playgroups are no place for children

    I love Tony Hawk even more now! How exciting for Ethan!
    This topic is so timely. I’ve recently had to make a decison about keeping or deleting negative, ugly comments. For the most part, I leave them up. Partly because I do want to be transparent and partly because I feel like if I leave it, then I’m showing the troll that their comment didn’t bother me.
    I definitely can see the point in deleting negative comments since it’s my space. I really don’t HAVE TO allow people to say mean things about me. But, I think I’ll continue to leave them just for the reasons I already mentioned. I never hesitate to delete if someone has said something negative against my kids or the other commenters, though.
    Also, I totally agree that deleting comments that disagree with you is dishonest and cowardly.

  50. statia

    (oh man. that was just painful to write, for reals yo, how can you spell like that and not get a brain cramp?)
    I used to take the approach of changing the comment to make it more amusing to me. I didn’t really care what they wrote, but like like you said, you pay for the space, so really, who the fuck cares what you do with that comment?
    Also, I really don’t understand people that attack an innocent child on a public forum, like a blog. I don’t know that I could get past the RAGE.

  51. Loralee

    I took a whole post down this week because of a comment.
    I’ve never done that before.
    BUT…It illustrated that I was not comfortable with the post being up (I had prepublished and thought I had moved it to drafts.)
    The person very politely told me I was profiting from the pain of another. And honestly…they could think differently then me till the cows come home and wrap that comment up in a nice , tidy bow but it would still be one of the most vile things ever flung at me.
    I will put that post back up when I am ready AND when I can find a way to state that the person who is soooooooooooooooooooooooo dissapointed in me is SO wrong without using mega swear words.
    I don’t think it’s dishonest to remove mean posts. For one…think about all of us here in the comments that get covered by the slime. It sucks. For another, it tends to turn your comment section into a war that usually ends up having nothing to do with the original post in the first place. I personally hate that more then the comment.
    And lastly…some people suck big hairy donkey balls and having a voice only encourages them, frankly.
    What you do about this is very personal and truly it doesn’t have to be a universal decision, frankly. I have deleted asshats and I have left them up…much of it hinges on my ability to handle it and the fallout on the day, you know?

  52. Heather, Queen of Shake Shake

    I know i am DAYS late but am just catching up on my reader after being tortured, I mean spending Thanksgiving with relatives.
    If it’s clearly a trollish type comment, I delete them. They add no value to anything whatsoever. But I guess there are some benefits to being a small potato blogger because I rarely get nasty comments. Like, SUCKMYDICK doesn’t even know I exist, which is kind of nice.

Comments are closed.