14 September 2010

The nasty side of blogging

There is a blog out there that I lurk about sometimes.  I like the author.  She doesn't always agree with my thoughts on various topics, and sometimes she posts and picture or a story that makes me think, "Well, I wouldn't have done it / seen it that way, but I think it's interesting that she does."  And then after a pause, I often think, "I hope there aren't any unkind people out there who would give her trouble about it."

The other night, she alluded to negative comments on her previous post.  That post had caused me to think, "Wow that was brave," but I moved on.  Perhaps other readers hadn't been so accommodating?  I decided to check her comments on that previous post.

They were ignorant, selfish, petty and unkind.  One commenter used pious, holier-than-thou wording and finished with the information that she had "cross-posted" at a different site.

Curiouser and curiouser.  I did a search for this other site, and what I found shocked and disgusted me.

It was an entire blog devoted to the mockery and humiliation of that poor blogger.  Everything she blogged about was treated as a dangerous catalogue of poor parenting, a greedy grab for more "clicks" on her pages, or a conspiracy full of lies waiting to be researched and blown apart.

It was mean, it was nasty, it was vitriolic.  It sided with Christian organisations who had a beef with the blogger, pretending to be close to them, while other blog posts were filled with foul language and excessively un-Christianlike behaviour.  It claimed to be worried about the welfare of her children despite having called them derogatory names.

The hate blog is evidence of hours and hours of careful research, attempting to unearth dirt and inconsistencies while tearing down any opinions held by the original blogger herself.

For a day after reading it, I felt a little ill.  That I live in the same world as people like the hate blogger is nearly unbearable.

I've never felt the need to hide our complete identities on my blog (just enough so that we can't be tracked down easily) but I have felt the need to hide from hateful people who could dish out the same vitriol onto the happy chronicles of my life.

So what will I do about the potential for nasty people to tear me down?  Stop blogging about life?  Where would that finish - should I stop writing about life?  Stop telling people about life?  Stop living life?

No way, I won't stop.  But I don't feel the need to advertise my blog or grow my readership either.  The small, loyal, kind readership I currently have is just fine, thankyou!


Heather said...

I feel the same way about my blog.

Along with the out-and-out hate blogs like the one you talk about, I've also shuddered when I've seen bloggers court controversy just for the sake of getting more hits on their site. There is one blogger in particular whom I used to read (and enjoy - she's funny in a very sarcastic sort of way) regularly who has seemed to be making a pitch for the big leagues of Mommy Blogging (ala Dooce) in recent months. Now her blog posts are much more intentionally controversial and when she does get inflammatory comments, she tweets and facebooks about the comments to drive more folks to her site and generate further comments. Ugh. I rarely read her anymore.

I like your blog just the way it is, my dear! :-)

John Ross said...

Cyber-land, blogosphere, out-here...

Here there be monsters.

But, here also there be people, myself included, who like you although we've not physically met you. We know you by your words.
We think you're just fine as you are. Even from half a world away.

Hot Tub Lizzy said...

Makes me feel kind of sorry for those people... what kind of lives must they have that they want to waste that much time and energy being mean????

Joy said...

Keeping my blogger world small is just fine with me too. I can't get in the middle of all that mess either. There are tons of controversial subjects out there and we could all probably spend our entire day commenting and blogging on our personal beliefs and agenda, but some thrive on that.
Can't we all just sing Kum Ba Ya and get along...no I guess we can't.
♥ Joy

Mamma has spoken said...

A blogger that I enjoyed reading has given up blogging. Not because of what has happen here (yes she has had the same thing happen to her too, she has just learned to blog about their rudeness to no extreme) but because she has so many followers, she can't keep up with all the comments and visits that it takes to have that many followers.
I was a little envious of her following, almost 700. Each post would have min. of 50 comments. But then school started back up, I don't have the time to sit and read all the blogs that I followed in recipication.
Yes, smaller is better when it comes to followers and someone is going to find offense in whatever you write about and take the cowardly way out by talking behind you back in cyber space. It's life, get over it, go on. And thank the heavens above that you have nice readers that comment.
(sorry for the book)

Hippomanic Jen said...

That just seems mean. I guess in the "real world" people aren't as brave, but they exist.

Crazy Sister said...

Doesn't it make you sick to come across hate-filled "Christians"?

Yuck. How horrible. Smaller is better.

flask said...

hello. i came in here at random.

well, the blog world is a lot like the real world, only it's more anonymous and people feel like they can use that as a good excuse to strip off their veneer of civility.

it's interesting to see what people turn into when they think they're all anonymous.

as a species, we are just not pretty.

The Accidental Housewife said...

I think that perhaps most people blog to feel part of a community, and usually it is the small interconnected-ness (is that a word?) of a community and the group expectations that keeps people in line. The interwebs is big enough to hide just enough hate filled anonymous people to make it a risky place to hang out. We want it to be a small town but instead we are all in the biggest city in the world. But I'm very glad I stumbled across you in that city!

Swift Jan said...

It makes me the most mad that they try to justify their actions with the "christian" point of view, But God is LOVE not hate!!!

BGSydneyside said...

It's terrible isn't it :( Makes me so sad. It's amazing how people will say things in technology that they would never say to your face. I've never had problems with my blog (too few people read it!) but I've received emails that have made me think- you would never have the guts to say that to my face! Can be really hard to read though, particularly when people claiming to be Christians can be so hurtful. Grrrrr...
Thanks for having such a wonderfully positive blog! It is such a pleasure to read :)
love B

Sassy Britches said...

Wow. Just wow. What's with all the hating these days? I mean, really, what kind of person would waste their time DOING all that work for the purpose of dragging someone else's name down? Get a life, right?

Smaller is definitely better. Hear, hear.

jen said...

seriously wow.
i've never seen that side ... and probably don't want to.
i know i clicked on a much earlier post ... but your therapy session and your comment on my blog made me giggle uncontrollably.
probably because i've done the same thing. :)