October 19, 2009

Comment capers

I was reading a post at The Wandering Hearth that spoke of two people being rude and hateful to each other, in commenting on a blog.

This is not the first time I have heard of this happening. Whether it be body image issues, as the above post seemed to be referring to, or religious issues, or any other topic that strikes your fancy, it seems that on occasion there are hateful and hurtful comments that one person bestows upon another, either directly or in reference to a certain "type" of person or belief. And then of course there is the retaliatory strike by someone with the "opposite" opinion.

The thing that strikes me the most is what normally ensues in these situations can only be described as DRAMA. Some people seem to live and thrive off of creating it, others by escalating it. Interesting phenomenon to observe.

Is it because a person feels somehow "personally" attacked by someone's words? Is there a feeling of insecurity there? One can argue that there was simply a difference of opinion, but what is it that makes this happen?

What I am TRYING to say is this.

Can't we all just get along?

I'm not trying to say that I never argue, but this kind of behavior really bothers me.

When commenting on someone's post, I leave whatever comments are already there alone, even if they say something I do not agree with. I personally believe that comments are to be reserved for the purpose of leaving thoughts on the post itself, not to agree or disagree with comments left by others. I think that most people practice that policy, out of respect for the person that has posted.

I don't know what else to say, but I felt the need to say my piece about it.

I have a question for you, my blog friends. How do you feel about this?

Am I alone feeling this way? Do you agree? Do you NOT agree? Are comments a forum for discussion? Or are they individual thoughts to be kept separate?

Comment to me on this, and we'll see together what the answer is.


Jenandollie said...


I tend to agree with you that the old adage "if you haven't anything nice to say then don't say anything at all" should be the most appropriate response.

However I feel that there may be the odd case where you have the right to, if not the obligation to, argue a point with the poster (all be it without rudeness). For example I saw on an English blog I used to follow some racism which I normally would have ignored but in this case felt that they just didn't have any reasonable excuse and were being so offensive, that therefore they should be pulled up on it and I can see how others might get very heated and did in fact respond a lot ruder than I would.

Also if the blogger is asking an opion or question in their post and they have open commenting I think they should expect a debate, again though politely.

Any how now I'm off my high horse thanks for adding my button!


Rue said...

Not to be flippant about this matter, but as Mojo on the podcast "The Wigglian Way" says - "it's all about the love."

I agree with Jen - if you can't say something nice -shut your pie hole. As a blogger, if someone is out of line, I'll delete their post - although I haven't run into it myself. I don't believe in fueling drama - there's enough in this world already.

Jupiter Greenmoone said...

I had someone leave a rude comment on my blog about how I practice my own spirituality. I was so put off by it. My immediate response was to leave her a comment on her blog with my defense. Although I felt I deserved to defend myself, I realized all I was doing was stooping to her level. I erased it, clarified my position in a new blog post and left it at that. While I feel everyone has a right to defend themselves if they're being attacked on their own blog, I don't think it's necessary to bring it over to the offender's space. I denied all her future comments and after a day or two she got it. End of story.

How do we prevent this from happening? I agree with the above posters--if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all. If I disagree with a post, I usually don't say anything or make a comment about something I liked or did agree with. Too easy.

Mother's Moon's Message said...

ummm I am somewhat mixed on this... where I do think that one should not attack one for a differing opinion, I also think that everyone has the right to their own opinion and view. I have not gotten any rude or offensive comments on my blog, at least none that I would consider so. I think if I did I would go ahead and post it as freedom of speech for the person who sent it. If it was something that persisted and appeared to only be malicious and done with an derogatory intention, I would decline from accepting their comment. It is a fine line to walk. Allowing all to have their say yet also protecting oneself from unwarrented negativity. It is a happy medium we must all find for ourselves.

moonwulf said...

I have to say that I believe that respectful debate is not only healthy, but necessary in the growth process. How else are we to expand our understanding of a subject if no one presents an alternative position? Yes, I to believe that one should keep one's mouth shut if they have nothing nice to say. But, disagreeing with someone and presenting an alternative view is something entirely different.

Unfortunately, there are people out there who choose to be unpleasant -- IMHO, they are not interested in a respectful dialogue and have given up their right to be part of the discussion. Ignore them, delete them, block them -- whatever. Just don't let them chase other participants away from the discussion. I have seen that happen more than once; a person who is a valued contributor to a site has enough of the sniping and announces that they are no longer going to follow the blog.

I find it both unfortunate and frustrating that a single disruptive person is given that power!