Question: if you don’t allow a mean comment to be visible on your blog, are you hiding something or just looking out for yourself?
The thing about the internet, and having any sort of public platform on the internet, is that you’re going to attract a snarky remark at some point. It’s inevitable. There are too many people of differing viewpoints, experiences, feelings and knowledge for there to ever be perfect harmony. Which is a good thing, of course, I don’t need to rattle off the whole ‘because if we were all the same life would be boring” spiel again, do I?
It turns into a bad thing however, when people cast off all their humanity in order to just go to town on someone. Which is where our right to unapprove comments like that comes into affect. There’s a lot of talk about twitter trolls here in Australia at the moment, after an incident with a famous person attempting suicide after the abuse she received. But on twitter you have no choice in whether somebody sends you an insulting tweet or not, it’ll just show up in your ‘connect’ tab and be on their twitter page until they decide to remove it.
Whereas wordpress gives us a choice in how we tackle these little weasels.
Evil weasel up there is more of a worst case scenario, I’m sure your trolls aren’t involved in starting family feuds with your great aunts, but we’ve all had that moment of sweaty palms, light headedness, hot blood pushing through constricted veins as we clumsily try to re-read that thing that just popped up in our notifications that surely can’t be right? Can it??
I’ve been lucky so far. Only three less-than-pleasant comments. Nobody mentioned any aunts, or anything personal. The first one of these comments was from a disgruntled reader, who’d never stopped by my blog before but who now felt the need to point out that I’d written my post wrong. She even got all passive aggressive on me, “I find it interesting that…” Oh! You find it interesting? Forgive me because I thought you found me stupid!
The thing was, though, she must have only read the top half, or else was just not very bright. She said that I had only tackled one half of my argument which was “No audience: freeing or disheartening?”, when I had actually dedicated the second half to it being freeing after writing about the disheartening side. Yeah. I ended up deleting the entire post. I wanted to make it private anyway, on second thought, but after I logged back in to see her comment, I felt really crappy about the entire thing: myself for even thinking up the post, and my blog entirely.
The next time I got a mean comment was just flat out rude. At first they’d been pleasant, then all of sudden they’d written “LOL!” (in capitals no less) before actually mocking me over something I did. Something which, mind you, wasn’t even anything embarrassing or mockable. Wasn’t like I was shacking up with a stuffed toy or anything.
So those 2 comments and the third, which I won’t mention, were never approved. They were irrelevant to the post itself. In fact, it seems most mean comments are irrelevant to the posts themselves. The only time you really need to point out to someone if they’re being a bit of a douche, is if they’re being a complete, insensitive bigot about something, or if they’ve stated something completely false. Even then, you don’t need to get into name calling. As much as it feels good to call insensitive bigots swear words.
I read on somebody else’s blog a comment saying “This wasn’t even funny”. I was surprised that they’d decided to keep it there, a little blip of hatred pulling your eyes towards it like a beacon, so it was the only comment you remembered. I also wondered why the person had felt the need to write it in the first place – guess what buddy, on the internet, there’s every kind of humour imaginable and you won’t find them all hilarious, deal.
I say don’t approve mean or pointless comments. They take away from the post, turning it negative, and you’ll always dwell on that one comment every time you see that post. If somebody tells you you’re wrong about something you’ve stated – check the facts, if it’s true, thank them for being kind enough to point it out (even if they weren’t being nice) and change the wrong fact. If someone is just commenting to be a piece of poop, don’t even look twice at it. If you want to permanently cement that time that person was an arsehole for no reason, then click approve. Don’t even work up a sweat over it. Like I said, it’s the internet – you cannot please everyone here, and by not choosing to approve a comment you’re not hiding something (unless… you are, you shifty eyed creeper) you’re keeping your blog friendly. Having a public profile on any site means you have to accept that one day someone will be mean to you, which is perhaps crappy, but unavoidable all the same.
Side note: have you ever stopped to think that the person writing the blog you’re reading might actually be a shitty person in real life? It would make sense that at least some of them are, especially if you know a shitty person who blogs. Look at me, I could be a clown murderer for all you know. I think I’m getting off topic. You probably don’t need to know that I wonder if I’m reading the blog of a serial killer, or a wife beater, or a real life bully when perusing wordpress. Let’s all go back to pretending every blogger here is lovely.