Mean Comments: Click Approve?

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.

“Your blog sucks. Your posts are too short. You spelt everything wrong. …Oh and remember your favourite aunt? She told me she hates you now.”

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.

“Ah ha ha ha! Bald jokes are hilarious! …..wait”
http://www.joroperphotography.co.uk/pages/photo-gallery/events.php?gall_id=45

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.

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42 thoughts on “Mean Comments: Click Approve?

  1. Well… this isn’t CNN, this is a personal blog. You have no requirement to be impartial. If you don’t like a comment, you don’t have to approve it. If someone is being a jerk, feel free to disapprove or block him.

    1. Unfortunately wordpress doesn’t offer a block feature, but not approving comments is awesome!
      To answer your question about the person leaving comments on my about me page, they weren’t offensive so much as they were the creepy, deluded ramblings of a mentally-ill, delusional, mean man who lives in the same town as me and who started a blog on here purely because I had one. He also believed everything I wrote I wrote for him. So it wasn’t as simple as just ignoring him. He is now in ‘love’ with another girl who has taken up his attention and time.
      I decided to keep posting, nothing personal, just topics, which was possibly stupid, but I don’t enjoy being bullied off a blog I really enjoy because 1 guy doesn’t understand ‘no’.

      Anyway that’s the story and I hope I didn’t just come across as either aggressive or nuts myself. Thanks for the comments 😀

  2. I’ve been lucky so far with mean comments. Maybe I just piss people off so bad they don’t even bother to comment. I would probably have no problem deleting them or maybe approve them if they’re so mean they make me laugh.

  3. Really interesting topic. I think that everyone needs to do what feels best to them on a ‘it’s your blog, it’s up to you’ basis. Well, within reason. I’m still trying to work out how I feel about a whole lot of social media things. I’m very, very grateful that so far people have been really nice to me… but I suppose there will be something negative sooner or later. 😦 I think I’ll make case-by-case judgements. If a comment is critical, but I think the writer has a point (even if I don’t agree) then I’ll probably click approve. If a comment is just offensive, especially if it is prejudiced or uses bad language, then I’ll get rid of it: I want my readers, including my teenage readers, to enjoy my blog. I don’t want them to stumble across things that will offend or upset them. So I suppose my position is broadly ‘criticism is fine but pure nastiness can go elsewhere: I’m not going to give it a home on my blog’. Anyway, that’s my thought process… I’m crossing fingers (especially with the book proofs nearly done and so early reviews on the horizon) to only have to contend with criticism… which is always a challenge, but can be a good one in the long run.

    1. It might not happen at all!
      But a case-by-case judgement call is the perfect idea, and I think that’s how most things in life should be dealt with.
      Good luck with contending with that criticism, and any reviews you get! Sorry this is a late reply, I seem to have not seen many comments on this particular post but thanks for commenting with your point of view, and of course for doing it kindly 🙂

  4. Great points, well done. I have had something like this before, just delete it. No audience is given. Criminals often return to the scene to see the results. Don’t give them satisfaction.

  5. I was thinking of that “edit” option myself as WordPress allows you to change comments before they are posted as diannegrey points out, but I wonder if ignoring them is even more frustrating for them, Like jessicamittens I cant bring myself to be nasty back but love this saying I just heard. “forgive people, it is the only way to truly annoy them” LOL

    1. I do love that saying! I wonder if I’d be able to bring myself to edit a comment… I know I would laugh a lot while doing it, but then I’d probably fear their reaction. I’ll just have to try it next time.

    1. Thank you for the lovely comment, my apologies that I haven’t written back until now – just decided to have a look at this post and found all these unanswered comments sitting here. Thanks 🙂

  6. I was reading a post recently where a woman was being cyber-bullied. Three or four women were doing it for ‘personal’ reasons (whatever that means). She received a great comment to her post about cyber-bulling from a guy who told her to ‘edit’ and approve the women’s comments.

    An example of this is if they say ‘I hate you – you’re writing stinks’ you can actually edit it (WP gives you this option) to say ‘Great post – I love your writing’! I don’t think I’ve laughed so much over a comment than I did with that one. What a brilliant idea – the bullies would never get the last word in and I could imagine it would be really frustrating for them 😀

    I’ve had the odd couple of comments where I’ve thought wtf does that mean… But never nothing nasty (touch wood) but I’m sure now if I do get something nasty, I’m going to try the ‘edit’ trick!

    It’s really difficult to express yourself in writing – sometimes I say LOL, but I’m laughing WITH someone, not AT them and it’s important to realize this. I also think the smiley face helps because it’s kind of an ‘I come in peace and love’ picture 🙂

    BTW – Great post

    1. A smiley face always help you convey a pleasant tone, because sometimes what you’re saying just doesn’t sound as nice as you mean it to on its own.
      That would be amazingly frustrating for them. If they have a serious problem with the woman – maybe the personal reasons were that she had done something wrong by them – then they could take it up in a more adult way, even just for themselves because if the woman was the bad guy they’ve just inadvertently made themselves look like the mean ones.

      Thanks for commenting and I’m sorry I didn’t reply until now! Thanks 🙂

  7. Its weird, after reading this post and commenting, i actually recieved my first ‘mean comment’ from someone pretending to be me… It wasnt really mean per say… They just tried to say I was basically lying about things that happened to me over 4 years ago. It went straight to my spam folder, I would have to say that although the person was trying to shut me down or convince my readers I am a liar, the best thing about wordpress is the comment moderation system 🙂 it allows you to be able to view comments before you make the desicion to aprove them

    1. Perhaps this post is cursed.
      Now everyone who reads / comments will receive some sort of bullying via comments.
      What have I done D:

      Haha no, that is weird. And weird that they pretended to be you… How did they manage that? You’d think with it being your blog they’d know they couldn’t really get away with it.
      The spam box is wonderful, though I checked mine once and had all these normal comments in there from nice people. Whoops.

        1. haha i tried that, it just said their ip adress was from victoria, so i don’t think they went to my school, if they did they wouldnt have called me a liar. But who knows, not even my fellow school students managed to spell my name right. But it doesnt matter at all. just some child being a child ha ha

        2. Interesting… Then again my IP address says I’m from NSW when I use my wireless. Which made me at first think my internet was being hacked by someone a state away haha but no, that might be clutching at straws.
          Looks like a Victorian wanted to say something :S

          Yes indeed, you can forget about it now it’s spam 🙂

  8. With a shiny new blog that’s all of six weeks old, I haven’t had that issue yet, but when it happens (and I know it will), I’ll just delete slash ignore anything I find needlessly derogatory. Olivia summed it up above — it’s your blog, your rules. Post what you like, moderate responses as you deem fit. End of story.

    I appreciate honest constructive criticism, and I’m not one to shy away from a spirited, intelligent debate of a topic with someone of a different opinion than mine, but trolls are a different story altogether. They’re just bullies who use the pseudo-anonymity of the internet to compensate for something that’s lacking in their sad lives.

    As hard as it might be at times, I think the rule should be “click, block their IP, move on and find something positive to focus on to help you forget about it, rinse and repeat as necessary.”

    1. Aww you guys, you smart followers, saying everything I wanna say so much better and shorter than me. haha.
      You’re right about being open to a good debate, I have no problem changing my opinion / argument if I’ve been proven wrong. Sometimes some people feel the need to stick to their argument to the bloody death despite being wrong. It doesn’t make them look noble / dedicated / strong, it makes them look conceited, narrow minded and stupid. There’s no shame in saying ‘hey you’re right, I didn’t see it that way / know about that other aspect. Thanks man!” This I’m fine with.
      Trolls and bullies I’m not fine with.
      You said it.

      I also think that if you’re someone whose posted a mean comment and you’ve subsequently been blocked, just take a breath and move on. Don’t create a new account to repeat the same insults, it’s just… it doesn’t achieve anything at all. And look at ALL the people out there on the internet that you could be blocked by next, ooh it’s exciting isn’t it? A whole ocean to fish in…

      I hope that your coming insult doesn’t come for a long time. 🙂

  9. Thankfully I’ve never received any mean comments, but I think I may be hesitant about keeping them. I’d keep thinking, “What if someone else sees it and decide to jump on the bandwagon? Oh god so many people would end up being mean to me!”

    … but I’m just paranoid like that, haha.

    1. – I’m too much of a scaredy cat to write a nasty ‘put them in their place’ rebuttle, and believe it or not, no matter how mean some people are to me I just bring myself to be nasty! Even if I have a whole arsenal of insults.

      That said, I don’t let people walk over me. But I don’t be too nasty about not letting them haha.

  10. I think you have to take the comments as they come. I used to get death threats (more often than you might think) over blogs back on MySpace. What distressed me most about them was that by the end, they were all kind of perfunctory and generic “You suck and I hope you die in a fire” type comments – no one really took the time to work up a good death threat any more. No one took any pride in their work.

    1. People stopped being creative, stopped wanting to show up – nobody could muster the energy to really dedicate themselves to a good, solid death threat.
      Didn’t even believe in their own work any more. It’s like the world had ended – but not how they’d hoped or for WHO they’d hoped.

      Anyway hahaha, that’s terrible, I’m sorry you had death threats. Ahh myspace, such a lovely place full of kind, selfless people.

  11. Delete them. Send them back from whence they came. Isn’t it astonishing how we can receive 50 positive comments and yet that one negative one will be the one we remember as we go to sleep? I am with Ryan, small minded, negative criticizers suck out the fun. Delete them I say!! Delete them at once!!!

  12. How…DARE THEY!? I am a total psycho in real life. I would like to take care of these meanies for you. I’ll just get out my psycho kit and you point me in the right direction. Don’t worry, I’m no killer. I just make sure they never do it again.

    (I don’t really have a psycho kit.)

    1. It really does. Reading lovely, complimentary comments makes me smile (on other people’s blogs) and then you come across a mean one and the whole post goes dry as aaaall the fun gets sucked right into that shitty comment.

  13. Me brave? You’re the one with a photo of her face right there at the top of her blog. I’m too scardy cat to do that.
    I read a book about Stephanie Meyers. She wrote Twilight over a summer then sent it off to agents and was accepted straight away. No rejection or anything.
    I think I hate her 😉

    1. Exactly. I like how you summed up my post in 2 sentences haha I better work on being more succinct.

      I always just feel weirdly guilty if I don’t approve them, like I’m pretending that the post is better than what it is. Guess I better work on my self esteem as well! Lol

      1. I’ve had some bad comments on here and my Youtube channel and they made me want to give up. I ended up deleting one of my channels and turning the comments off on the other.
        I have the moderation filter on here, so its better now.
        I felt guilty for a while, but don’t worry about it. Its just like getting rejected by a publisher, which has happened to me a lot 😉

        1. Very true! Eeek, I’m a little frightened by publishers but I’ve been told so many times about how often they reject people that I think I understand it’s not always personal.

          And youtube – that has to be the biggest place for mean comments and trolls, I could never do it! So well done to you for being brave enough.

          Thanks 🙂

  14. I think you should be confident in your post no matter what mean comments you get, stick to your guns, i am very suirtain there are many people that read my posts, then sit there and pick them apart, say i am wasting my time or will never be a famous or good writer and laugh about it over tea or coffee, in a group or amoungst themselves and not post it on here, but i ignore it and stick to what i have said in my post. No matter how wrong sombody else thinks you are it does not mean you are not right at all, no matter how poorly written someone thinks your writing is it does not mean is is actually poorly written.

    1. Oh, I know whose laughing and criticising my posts…
      I don’t strive to be a famous writer per se, I just strive to get better at writing.
      And mean comments or unwarrantably spiteful people don’t matter to that.

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