It amazes me sometimes just how many jerks there are online!
You work hard to build your blog, fan page or YouTube channel and offer your content to the world - whatever the topic...
But [tweet_dis]there are always those people (you know the ones - the blog bullies) that think it is perfectly acceptable to hide behind their computers and say nasty things on your blog or in emails![/tweet_dis]
How would you describe people like that...
Rude, Nasty, Trolls, Spiteful, Vicious, Flamers, Meanies, Unkind, Bitchy, Not Very Nice, Jerks, Knobs, Bastards!
Okay, I think you get the picture... I'm sure you can come up with a few more!
Seriously you may think you have the most non-controversial blog on the planet but you can guarantee at some point you are going to upset somebody. Now that's fine because firstly it means you have people READING your blog and secondly, a discussion is good - right?
Right! DISCUSSION is good and that is what most sane minded people will do if they read something they disagree with - they will offer up a constructive comment or criticism or point out another opinion.
Those people aren't the problem. In fact, we love those people. That's the whole point of writing our blog posts and putting our videos out there on YouTube - to stimulate a conversation.
The problem is the MEANIES who leave a snide comment on your blog just to rattle your cage. Or maybe they respond to a Facebook status with a snarky retort. Or better still they respond to one of your emails (that they invited) with a tirade of nastiness that would have your grandmother rushing for the soap bar to cleanse their mouth out!!!
This post is not going to get into why people do that stuff - War & Peace wouldn't hold enough pages to figure out why there are jerks in the world!
Let's just say that bullies have been around for a long time. They are not new to the internet. This is just another form of bullying.
These people get a thrill out of being purposefully mean. Their 'keep your trap shut' filter is broken!
But since there will always be mean people as long as there are humans you should expect at some point to see a mean comment on your blog!
Seriously, you should take it as a compliment - it means they are jealous of your success and at least you have readers.....
But if you've ever received a mean comment on your blog you'll know it still stings and can even take the shine off your blogging. Some of them can be downright upsetting!
Just how should you handle it?
How To Respond To An Unkind Comment On Your Blog
Well, you could write a song about it just like British comedian Isabel Fay did...
[WARNING: Video is NOT work-friendly and contains bad, bad words (lots of them). DO NOT watch if you get easily offended - don't say I didn't warn you!!]
[See link below]
But I'm not sure that's going to work for the average Joe - after all - DON'T FEED THE TROLLS!
Really you have two choices - you can ignore them or you can respond! There is no right or wrong answer - both are risky!
If your gut reaction is to respond to them, apply the 24 Hour Rule adopted by sport's coaches the world over. That is to wait for 24 hours before saying anything. This will give you the chance to calm down and be less emotional. You may well decide, after 24 hours, to ignore the comment after all.
Don't let your initial reaction take over and control your decision.
Take charge of the comment and don't let it control you!
At this point, I am making the assumption that everyone has their comments set to be moderated by you before they are publicly posted. Unless you are the most famous blogger in the world you are probably only getting a manageable number of comments per day and you can check them before publishing them.
You have the option to DELETE the comment completely and forget about it as if it never happened.
Okay, I know that nasty comments sometimes get under your skin and you feel the need to strike back. That nasty comment can eat away at you and cause distress and sleepless nights.
But if you can manage to take the 'high ground' and ignore the comments enough times, eventually you will build a pair of 'Big Girl Panties' as tough as any suit of armour.
Just because someone posted a comment on your blog does not mean you need to respond. It's your blog so if your head tells you to Delete then delete away!
If however, after applying the 24-hour rule, you decide to respond to the 'nasty', again you have choices. You can respond publicly or privately!
You can send them a private email answering their comment - sometimes people don't realize what they said can be taken as hurtful and they may well apologize. Often with blog bullies, you confront them - they will back down and disappear never to be mean-spirited on your blog ever again.
If the person is truly just a mean person they will usually reply to your email with an equally stinging comment. Don't fall into the trap of responding again - as much as you might want to have the last say this isn't a game to see who can hold out the longest and have the last word!
Blog Bullies AKA DON'T FEED THE TROLL!
Now suppose you decide to publish the comment and reply on your blog - you can shoot them down in flames or you can answer their comment in a matter of fact way! If you can be bothered you can research them and their blog and see if they are usually a ________(insert name of choice for the troll, flamer, dickwad, jerk....) or just stepping up for your benefit!
But remember most Trolls want to see you meltdown in public and go right back at them - it makes their day! And if you respond be prepared for them to come right back at you.
Again - it's not a game and just because you responded once doesn't mean you need to keep responding - you still have the option to DELETE the comment!
You also have the option of visiting their blog (assuming they have one) and responding there but remember they have the same option to respond or delete that you have.
I leave you with the following thoughts on this subject.
- Don't take it personally. Unless the Troll knows you - it IS NOT PERSONAL!
- Observe the 24-hour rule! Take your time to respond - there are no rules that say you should respond immediately or at all!
- Don't let the comment (blog bullies) control your action - it's YOUR blog!
- DO NOT FEED THE TROLLS!
If you would like to read more on this topic check out the book by Andrea Weckerle Civility in the Digital Age
So, have you had problems with Trolls? Leave me a comment (at your own risk) below...
BTW I do not respond well to bullies - you have been warned 🙂