I was raised with the belief that if you can’t say anything nice, then it was better to say nothing at all. It’s ok to disagree with someone, as long as you do it respectfully. Unfortunately for many of those who comment on blogs, that rule seems to have completely disappeared.
While I believe that most people who comment on blogs do so with respect and good intentions, there is a growing trend that people think it’s ok to say hateful things in comments to bloggers. There are apparently entire websites dedicated to tearing down bloggers. I have seen several bloggers mention this phenomenon lately and have witnessed it myself in two ways.
The first and most noticeable way (at least from my perspective), is the poster who comments on a post attacking the blogger and their point of view. While as I stated earlier, it is ok to respectfully disagree, attacking the blogger is not respectful. While I have not experienced it personally, I’ve seen a lot of this lately on some of my favorite blogs, one in particular.
Then there are the more direct attacks, not on a specific post, but on the blogger themselves. I have personally received one of these myself recently. I have no idea who the person who left the comment is, I have no idea how they found my blog. (But the good news is they did find my blog!) They hid behind anonymity to leave their hateful attack. While my first instinct was to just delete the hurtful comments, I decided to share them with my readers to raise awareness. Because something like this is not ok! (Please excuse the swearing, this is the actual comment I received.)
“This is a very depressing display of needing friends. No body gives a flying fuck about your cats, or you journey to get “fit”. If you want to live a better life, please, stop with your cat, enjoy it to yourself and not share how you “are getting fit”. Just fucking do it yourself, theres over 10 million people doing the same thing. I NEVER post comments or troll, but I could not resist. Its just so pathetically depressing that I had to. Sorry, Wake up call” It was from “This is sad” and the email was “firstname.lastname@example.org”
Obviously this person doesn’t know me and hasn’t read my blog, most likely just my about me and “fit kitties” pages. The comment itself was left on my contact page. Obviously this person also knows nothing about the healthy living blog community and the thousands of bloggers who do share their journey to lose weight and get fit (and for that matter share pictures of the cats and dogs). I am not letting their words affect me or the way that I choose to share my life on the blog.
But I am angry. I’m angry that there are people in the world that feel that it’s ok to say things like this to people and hide behind the anonymity of the internet. If you are going to be hateful, at least own up to it. Don’t be a coward. Give the person you’re attacking the opportunity to respond. We, as bloggers, aren’t hurting anyone and are simply sharing our stories. No one is under any obligation to read them. It is a sad state of affairs that our society allows people to tear others down when we should be lifting them up. We should be helping others, not making them feel like they are somehow less. And we, as bloggers, should stand up against the hateful comments that we receive.
I realize that I may have just opened myself up to more comments like the one I received with this post, but I cannot sit by and not speak out about this.
Have you ever received comments attacking you or one of your posts? How did you respond?