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Go Ask The Pranksters: Should Site Masters Protect Their Writers?


I remember the first time it happened to me: I was recovering from surgery, stuck on the couch, hopped up on pain pills and crying because, well, that’s what pain pills do to me.

See also: abdominal muscles are ACTUALLY pretty important.

See also also: humiliation when you suddenly cannot pee by yourself because standing up hurts like a motherfucker.

I’d stupidly written a post about my struggles with weight and although I hadn’t titled the piece “Being Fat Made Me Invisible,” (which was what the site owner went with) the post was fairly heartfelt.

Now Pranksters, if you learn NOTHING from Your Aunt Becky (besides, “it’s always better not to be Aunt Becky.”) learn this: The Internet has lots of opinions about weight. And people can be cruel.

Anyway, someone got chocolate salty balls about my post – in which I was talking about my OWN struggles with weight, not telling the world to drop a couple LBS – and left a fairly hurtful comment. The pain pills exacerbated my hurt feelers and suddenly I was weeping about the comment. It was just so…mean.

And what’s worse? I couldn’t do shit about it.

On my own blog, I have no shame in deleting a particularly cruel comment. I don’t get them often, but you know what? I don’t need you to take a shit on my nicely swept porch. I know this is a hotly debated piece of the Internet (should you delete nasty comments?) but I, for one, have no shame in using the delete button. Go ahead and talk about how much I suck somewhere else, y’all. My front porch doesn’t need your shit slung on it.

It may surprise you, Pranksters, that I freelance around The Internet.

I also Site Master.

See: Band Back Together.

See also: Mushroom Printing.

The comments on either site are moderated, although, Band Back Together has a more strict set of moderation requirements, because people are pouring out their hearts; the least I can do is protect them from well-meaning-yet-unkind shit.

And recently, on my freelancing posts, the comments I’ve received have become particularly unkind. The sort that make you gasp and feel like you got punched in the gut. Because while you can laugh that shit off some of the time, sometimes, it really, really stings.

When you’re writing about your life – it’s still your life.

Being blasted for it sucks. Period. I don’t know how you’d handle it beyond doing what I do: ignore them. I do not read a single comment from those posts. I don’t need to know how badly I suck at life from Internet Mole People, especially considering my personal blog is an homage to my suckitude.

However, I got to thinking about it.

(shut UP)

(I can think sometimes)

And I genuinely believe that site owners – the sites that aren’t courting controversy – have a responsibility to their writers. Some sort of, “I got your back,” where negative comments are policed and removed. Because frankly, one less Internet Mole Person makes the world a better place.

How fair is it to let your staff get shit on so you can increase your comment count? Doesn’t the person who has the ability to write in non-text speak and know the difference between “there” and “they’re” matter a little bit more than someone flinging shit for the sole purpose of cruelty?

I say, yes.

Now, what do you say, Pranksters?

Should site owners protect their writers?

64 Comments to

“Go Ask The Pranksters: Should Site Masters Protect Their Writers?”

  1. On August 22nd, 2011 at 1:27 pm Devan @ Accustomed Chaos Says:

    i absolutely think that sites should protect their writers – it looks good on them & it shows the writers they wont tolerate any hate! & i also think that if all i see in the comment sections are hate comments – it shows worse for the website then if they received zero comments.

  2. On August 22nd, 2011 at 1:28 pm Rebecca Says:

    absolutely. let us at whoever slung crap on your doorstep!

  3. On August 22nd, 2011 at 1:29 pm Tracie Says:


    It seems to me that their writers will eventually get tired of being shit upon by internet moles and might decide to take their words elsewhere. Seems like an easy decision to me. Protect your writers from cruel comments.

  4. On August 22nd, 2011 at 1:34 pm Dayna Says:

    I agree with you…I feel I have a similar personality to yours…even the toughest of chicks can get their feelings hurt pills or no pills…Websites should moderate the content that people are posting to articles not only for their writers but to protect the comment bashing that occurs…People are real ‘Bad-ass’ behind a computer…Would they have the balls to say it to eloquently to your face? Likely Not…

  5. On August 22nd, 2011 at 1:35 pm twinmummy Says:

    Aunt Becky, not only should the Site Masters protect by deleting they should also REWRITE any nasty comments to make them really nice/flattering but leave the original name 🙂 No idea if that is actually allowed but since it is your site… My humble opinion… Oh and anybody actually writing those nasties should just SHUT THEIR WHORE MOUTHS and leave the potty fingers at home… or stick them somewhere else… You are ( insert whatever works best ) AB and we all <3 very very much….

  6. On August 22nd, 2011 at 1:36 pm Bodaciousboomer Says:

    I got a lovely comment recently from a guy who said he wanted to punch my face in. I stayed up all night, freaked out, waiting for someone to show up at my door, then I emailed the Blogess, who helped me get through it.

    Just delete them and never give it another thought was her advice. Good advice I thought.

  7. On August 22nd, 2011 at 1:37 pm twinmummy Says:

    shoot, why didn’t my heart work on this!!!!!!!!!!

  8. On August 22nd, 2011 at 1:39 pm TheBeerLady Says:

    Absolutely, positively, totally and completely – YES. I don’t mean going all comment-Nazi and removing anything by anyone that even slightly smacks of disagreement. Discussion of opposing points of view in a reasonable, rational and (at least mostly) respectful way amongst adults is what makes the world go ’round. Or should be, anyway.

    It’s one thing to read “I think you’re wrong, and this is why.” Or “Well, to me your idea sounds a little nutty.” Or even “Hun, you probably mean well, but maybe you should have your medication checked” if you think someone has totally lost their ever-loving little marbles (like a post I read from someone extolling the virtues of peeing on your sex partner as a healthy alternative to actually having sex).

    But there are some – maybe too many – people who seem to delight in totally devastating other people online. Yes, part of me says “if you write for public consumption, sometimes you have to put on your big girl panties and deal with it,” but there should be limits to what you have to deal with. If you’re taking the emotional leap to put it all out there, then someone should have your back, whether it’s deleting obviously out-of-line comments, or at least publicly admonishing said troll….

    Incidentally, I love the way things are done at the Band. I hope I handle things even half as well when I get my little project up and running!

  9. On August 22nd, 2011 at 1:43 pm thepsychobabble Says:

    um, maybe? I think yes, to a point, the sitemasters need to be policing and protecting. But on the other hand (and I don’t tihnk this applies to you, FTR) I’ve seen writers who have a “Anything that disagrees with me is MEAN” attitude. And I don’t think sitemasters are obligated to protect a writer from someone having a different opinion.
    Like I said, I don’t think that applies to you, being as you are more or less S-M-R-T, and I think flat-out name-calling and nasty behaviour should be kept to a minimum, for sure.

  10. On August 22nd, 2011 at 1:48 pm Maria Says:

    I just have to say that if you’re at ALL talking about the stir, people on Cafemom have to be some of the bitchiest, most horrible women EVAR. Yes, there are some good ones, but OMG, srlsly!!

  11. On August 22nd, 2011 at 6:36 pm steph Says:

    I have GOT to address the CafeMom thing before I chime in with my opinion….

    What happened to CafeMom? I was there for years…and it was a really cool place to hang out. I belonged to about 4 groups that I adored and met a few local people in person.

    And then one lady concocted a crazy story about her husband dying, created another account as a “friend” who was collecting money via PayPal for the bereaved widow, and then all hell REALLY broke loose.

    I stayed away for a few months and when I went back? It seemed as though only the most horrible women were left. I tried…I tried hard to stay. And then I finally had to send a message to CafeMom asking to have my account deleted because the quality of the site had deteriorated so badly.

    Which leads to my opinion on the whole delete/don’t delete question:

    Disagreeing is fine. Threatening and hateful for the sake of threats and hating is not. If I were the site master, I would make sure there was a warning that no anonymous comments would be allowed (CafeMom should really practice that) and anything that would prompt an order of protection if said to the writer’s face would be deleted.

    Just my two bits. Feel free to moderate the hell out of it. 😀

  12. On August 23rd, 2011 at 1:49 pm Cristina Says:

    Agreed. Cafemom is horrible and it freaks me out to think that there are women out there who think that way.

  13. On August 22nd, 2011 at 1:51 pm Jaci Says:

    As much as hateful, just plain stupid comments hurt, I think Free Speech should trump protecting the writer. *ducks quickly to avoid tomatoes*

    A complaint I’ve been hearing recently is that blogs (especially mommy blogs) are nothing but echo chambers; lots of “You’re so right!” and “Absolutely!” comments. If someone dares to disagree–even respectfully–the loyal “fans” will start flaming that person or the blogger never lets negative comments slip through.

    On my own blog, hell yeah I turned anonymous off. It got to be ridiculous and was sucking the joy out of my space. But another site? Hmm. If I put it out there, then I need to prepare myself for all kinds of reactions to it–good and bad.

    It’s kind of a joke not to read the comments on a big site, because they are usually nothing but idiots spewing venom. Ever read the comments on Yahoo articles? Bwahahaha!

  14. On August 22nd, 2011 at 4:03 pm Kimmy Says:

    I don’t think anonymous comments should ever be allowed. I mean, really, how often does anyone BUT a troll use it?

  15. On August 24th, 2011 at 2:10 pm SherryH Says:

    Well, I use Anonymous sometimes, and I don’t think I’m a troll. I try not to be.

    I don’t mind picking a user name (I just hope I remember it if I come back to the same site later…) and leaving the site owner my email address – but if my choices are to register on a site (Blogger, I’m looking at you) or not comment at all, I have to be highly motivated or a regular reader or I’ll just surf on by. (Which the site owner or writer might not mind, fair enough.)

    I tend to be a bit of an outlier, though, so it’s possible most Anonymous users are trolls.

  16. On August 22nd, 2011 at 1:53 pm Dawnie Says:

    Fuck yes. If site admin allow their writers to be shit on, the writers won’t come back. And internet trolls who only want to shit on people shouldn’t be rewarded by allowing their shit to stay up. They’re the same as spam (and not the kind in a can that sits on your shelf all lovingly). So I’m happy that you delete the crappy comments. You deserve better than what the internet trolls have to say,

  17. On August 22nd, 2011 at 1:54 pm Ryan Says:

    AB, Yes!! Protect!! wipe them motherfuckers off the face of the earth.
    I mean, being mean just to be mean is fucked.. and most likely they didnt grow enough of a set to say anything remotely like what they write in anonimity on the net in person… sounds like a bus full of alligators need to be dumped on their porch! Delete away my good woman!

  18. On August 22nd, 2011 at 1:56 pm Melisa Says:

    I think people have the right to have a differing opinion, but I don’t see anything wrong with a site owner/ manager deleting comments that become personally hateful. Unfortunately, the real trolls love that kind of thing and it only encourages them to post MORE hateful things. We should figure out a way to send all the trolls away to some island as a group.

  19. On August 22nd, 2011 at 2:04 pm Ewokmama Says:

    Yes, writers should be protected to some extent. If someone just posted a comment that said, “you’re a sloppy whore who only eats butter and needs to jump off a cliff” – that is just plain abusive. If a person can’t disagree without being insulting, then they have no right to have their comments published on that website. Kind of like “no shirt, no service” except, “If you’re an asshole with no redeeming qualities, you will get DENIED.”

    Let me repeat – disagreement is more than okay. Verbal abuse? NOT OKAY. That’s called slander (or maybe libel? Does the internet count as a printed medium?).

  20. On August 22nd, 2011 at 2:11 pm Erin Says:

    I totally think that site owners/moderators should protect their writers. People can really act nasty behind the cover and anonymity of the internet… It’s one thing if the writer is intentionally being offensive by stirring the pot and people are standing up for what they feel by commenting about their opposition to the ideas presented. It is completely inappropriate, however, to coment-attack and be a judgmental jerk to someone based on something personal that was written. I hate the “I-know-better-than-you-and-am-all-around-perfect” nasty attitude that some commenters often take.

  21. On August 22nd, 2011 at 2:12 pm erin m Says:

    when i was editing / modding other sites, i ALWAYS had my writers backs. If the comment was not thought provoking or discussion opening and only served to be assy, it was deleted without a second thought. My comment count numbers were far less important then my writers

  22. On August 22nd, 2011 at 2:14 pm Jayme (RandomBlogette) Says:

    I definitely agree that site masters should protect their writers. Now if it is just a comment that disagrees with the wrtier’s thoughts and isn’t hurtful I don’t see that as a problem. Now if it is someone who is being mean, nasty and just straight up rude I would definitely delete it and block their troll ass’s IP address.

  23. On August 22nd, 2011 at 2:16 pm Penbleth Says:

    Yes. If you’re able to ask someone to write on your site you should be able to protect them from those being deliberately mean or hurtful, or ignorantly so. It seems only right to me. If a site master’s ENTIRE view is JUST to get site visitors then they are unnecessarily exploiting those who write for them, unless they know well in advance that they are walking in to a shit storm and are willing to take it.

  24. On August 22nd, 2011 at 2:21 pm Brandi Says:

    Oh hells yes.

    I’ve had a few guest bloggers on my blog (and I realize that’s different than being a Site Master, but the principle is the same), and I police the comments on those posts like you wouldn’t believe.

    One guest post was particularly controversial. My gay friend, who is married to a lesbian, wrote about how that works for them. 90% of the comments never saw the light of day because they were cruel and bigoted. I allow negative comments on my own posts, but I’m not letting people harass my friends.

  25. On August 22nd, 2011 at 2:26 pm Kizz Says:

    I wrote on a community blog run by a woman who also freelanced on the site of a very bigshot blogger. All of the authors on our little blog talked a lot about what level of protection we thought was fair and, I think, finally came to an agreement that we expected to feel supported, even when the other writers and/or the site manager didn’t agree with us. Sort of an “I may not share your opinion but I will fight to the death to protect your right to express it” sort of thing. About the time we worked that out the site manager fell into a shitstorm in her freelance gig and got slammed so hard she got phoned death threats. It was awful, truly terrifying and hateful. The blogger she worked for? Didn’t delete comments, even though she routinely deletes comments that slander or even disagree with her. She didn’t post a message of support for the writer (OK, she did, finally, 2 days into the controversy and as a a plain old comment amongst the hundreds on the post), and didn’t personally apologize to the writer. That’s fucking hateful. Site managers absolutely have a responsibility to protect their own. I think it may not always include deleting comments but it should always, always, ALWAYS include speaking up loud and proud about commenting policy and standing as a back stop for the writers so they feel protected and supported. If your site manager didn’t speak right up about personal attacks then that’s bullshit.

  26. On August 22nd, 2011 at 2:27 pm Amber LaShell Says:

    Yes they absolutely should protect the writers.. More people might be a more forthcoming on their struggles in like if they knew they wouldn’t be shit on…

  27. On August 22nd, 2011 at 2:30 pm Kizz Says:

    Ok, and apparently I’m not finished with my rant.

    If you hire people to write for you then there’s something about their voice and opinion that you value, even if it’s the click throughs they bring. So it is in your best interest to make the writers feel safe enough to continue writing the stuff you think is valuable. If you hang them out to dry they will quickly become gunshy and write safe words and opinions and that just goes against the whole purpose of hiring them. If you won’t protect them then they must protect themselves and that won’t be valuable to anyone.

    Which is to say nothing of the fact that it’s just common human decency.

  28. On August 22nd, 2011 at 2:36 pm Jenn Says:

    I say delete them. Cause if you dont have anything nice to say, and you run your big mouth off anyway. Then I have every right to put my foot in your big mouth. : ) Also if you pick on someone whos cool and I like them, said foot will be inserted in said mouth as well. So in conclusiton YEP Delete them. : )

  29. On August 22nd, 2011 at 2:45 pm Heather Meyers Says:

    Someone who would make fun of a fat person is what I would refer to as a bully. And I would think that a site master would be somewhat like a business owner who would need to protect employees from bullying customers to some extent. At least give me a little moral support behind the scenes. Unfortunately for the non bullies (or recovering bullies) of the world, there are still many more bullies out there. And they seem to gain a lot of momentum from the faceless, nameless aspect of commenting on the internet. (Like how my mother will say mean things to me on the phone that she won’t say to my face. Same thing.) In the end though, these moles that don’t seem to have anything better to do with their free time but put nasty things up on blogs and articles-well, you just can’t control what they do. Apparently, they can’t even control themselves. We can should this and should that, but sometimes we have to take the matter into our own hands and deal with it in our own way, and not wait around for someone else to do it for us. And while sometimes we have to break down and freak out because someone hurt our feelings, we can’t-we just can’t- let them change who we are. And we can’t let them change our view of the First Amendment, or change what we think or what we are going to say, or how we are going to live. I ask you only if you think you should hold site masters accountable for the behavior of the people who visit their site. And if so, to what extent? I guess I’m not sure what the answer is. Of course, site masters should be responsible for what goes on at their site, but moles should be responsible for what they say as well. Perhaps if it could be done so that no one can leave an “anonymous” comment.

  30. On August 22nd, 2011 at 3:10 pm penny Says:

    My mama always said, if you can’t say something nice, then don’t say anything at all. And any commentors that do not follow that should be removed.

  31. On August 22nd, 2011 at 3:35 pm Very Rusty Brown Says:

    AB, you know I love you dearly. On this subject, however, I must admit ambivalence. I’m all for the “got your back” concept of site masters (editorial approval, etc.) but I also believe that the idjits that post hurtful comments on those sites have the right to be heard. No matter how stupid they prove themselves to be.

    When it comes to you, my dearest Aunt Becky, I love seeing hateful comments following something you’ve written because of the way your Pranksters humiliate the poster so quickly. Nothing reminds us of how much you are appreciated as the vitriolic responses are to the occasional foolish bowling-league poster. 😀

  32. On August 22nd, 2011 at 3:38 pm Amy W Says:

    Yes. I’m fairly sure I know what prompted this big question being thrown out & I sent you a twitter message when I saw it on that site. If you were to come write a post at my site, I would be doing this because I liked your writing, felt you had something meaningful to say (be it for laughs, reflection or whatever) for my readers & obviously thought you’d bring readers to my site. To then crap on a writer by allowing a shitty comment to hang around is especially heinous. Though a few people came to your defense in the instance that I’m taking about, I can also tell you that my very polished & swear-free response in your defense was not published by the site. I don’t know if it’s because I’m not a member of the site, or what but I thought that was total bullshit. So, yes, I think out of respect for their contributing writers, they should take down hateful remarks. Especially if they don’t plan to post ALL of the comments in your defense. Plus, it’s one thing to say something hateful about the writer, it’s another thing to drag her kids into the comment. Sorry AB. You deserve better than that for sure!

  33. On August 22nd, 2011 at 3:45 pm Reese Says:

    Comments that disagree with a writer in a respectful manner are perfectly okay. Comments that are written by people with obvious mean streaks should absolutely be monitored and even removed by site managers. It’s true what you say: you don’t need someone to shit on your freshly-swept porch! My mama always said, “If you can’t say anything nice (or at least say it in a way that isn’t meaner then they are being to you) don’t say anything at all.” Not bad advice.

  34. On August 22nd, 2011 at 4:01 pm Angie Uncovered Says:

    I believe whether you’re bringing on additional freelance bloggers to your site or you’re simply monitoring the comment flow of your own blog, it is the responsibility of the site owner to make sure that their writers and readers are not attacked. I’ve seen blogs where one reader has attacked another reader in the comment section and it was allowed to stand. While I believe in the freedom of speech, I also believe that we all have the right to be treated with kindness and respect. If a person cannot express themselves in a mature manner without being hateful, you should not feel obliged to let it stand!

  35. On August 22nd, 2011 at 4:05 pm Kimmy Says:

    Umm, do all the people without a picture assigned get random monsters?? That’s COOL!

  36. On August 22nd, 2011 at 9:39 pm Pete In Az Says:

    I think the first time you post, you get your monster assigned to you. I’m an angry green triangle. I think you’re a vampire with brains, or weird hair.

  37. On August 22nd, 2011 at 4:14 pm Veracity Says:

    I wouldn’t know. I have zero comments on my blog, and just as many followers.

    Besides that, your intentions are good ones and the nasty comment ones aren’t. Delete them bitches. They don’t deserve a second glance.

  38. On August 22nd, 2011 at 4:19 pm melanie Says:

    absolutely they should (but I am not a blogger so take whatever I say with that in mind)…. but I also think writers have the responsibility of asking how the particular site deals with such things before allowing them to publish your work

  39. On August 22nd, 2011 at 5:14 pm Optimistic Mom Says:

    If a comment is derogatory or offensive, I would think the owner would remove it. Especially if the writer requested it. My blog is small time, but if I had a guest writer and a comment was not nice, I would not hesitate to remove it.
    I think this is why many people don’t share information that would be very beneficial to others. It is sad.
    You definitely made some good points.

  40. On August 22nd, 2011 at 5:48 pm Metta (the letter m) Says:

    The problem with internet mole people is they breed. You delete a comment by an internet mole person about something they feel important about, and it’ll end up like the territory between rabbit holes, just full of little internet turdlettes about free speech and censorship and the like.

    If it’s a blog about personal issues and such, then comments should be moderated. It’s less inflamatory to the mole people army to have a comment not appear than to have one be there and vanish.

    Internet feelers are more intense and easy to upset than real world feelers. Also, mole people are far more aggressive sitting behind their little screens typing their little mole fingers raw stomping around being important about, well, nothing.

    Threaten to eat them. Even though they’d taste gross, I imagine mole people would be kind of muddy flavoured with a hint of bile.

  41. On August 22nd, 2011 at 6:57 pm Carol Says:

    Hmmm, really wishy washy on this one. I hate for anyone’s feelings to be hurt so I would totally kick a trolls ass for you Aunt Becky but on the other hand when I’m reading those type of comments they make me laugh,. It’s very sad that someone sits at a computer all day looking for strangers to throw verbal darts at. Sad little life isn’t it?

  42. On August 22nd, 2011 at 7:15 pm Melissa Says:

    All I have to say is YES! They should protect the writers.

    PS, I have met you in person, you are NOT a porker by any means. You are one of the most beautiful woman I have ever met.

  43. On August 22nd, 2011 at 7:17 pm Tara R. Says:

    I think when comments get personal and attack writers and not ideas, then it’s not furthering the conversation in any meaningful way. A judicious use of the ‘delete’ button is called for. Anonymous comments are also a pet peeve of mine. If you want to throw shit, have the balls to put your real name on it. Otherwise you’re just being a middle school Mean Girl.

    I have no problem deleting mean comments made for meanness sake. Site Master should be the first line of defense for the site writers. You are not sacrificing integrity if you guard against trolls.

  44. On August 22nd, 2011 at 7:42 pm Jaci Says:

    Thought a little more about this…

    You know those hate sites that mock blogs? Or celebrities? Or really, anything? They usually start because a bigger site (like the blog or message boards) heavily moderated comments and didn’t put up with the mean shit. So, the moles get fed up and decide to create their own site where they can slam someone all they want–and then it just gets a million times worse.

    It looks like censorship if an administrator (site master) deletes comments–and it just pisses people off–but what if it were left up to the members/readers?

    Most people can see the CRAZY seeping out of those kinds of comments, so maybe the answer is a “Hide Comment” option? If 10 people click it, the comment disappears.

  45. On August 22nd, 2011 at 8:54 pm Kelly Says:

    This is the good and the bad thing about the blogging medium, right? It connects you so intimately with your audience, and then there they are – all up in your kitchen.

    Maybe site masters should give the author the option, and make it their choice.

    And since I followed a hit on my blog back to a message board where there was a not hateful, but not flattering, thread about me which made me hot faced and weepy for three days – I know what my choice would be.

  46. On August 22nd, 2011 at 9:42 pm Tara Says:

    Hi Aunt Becky. I remember that post, and the comment in question. It was nasty, no doubt about it. I even felt a bit like I’d been punched in the stomach after reading it. At the time I never thought that the moderator should have deleted the comment, and I’m still not convinced she should have. I do think, though, that she should have posted her own response to it, saying that she had created the title, and that your intent was obviously not to tell overweight people how they should feel about themselves. And I think she should have made a plea for respectful discourse rather than resorting to personal attacks. That would have made me feel better about that site. I don’t like spending my time on sites that seem to have a not-nice community. And allowing comments like that to go unchallenged creates an atmosphere that I find very unpleasant. Which is why I mostly just read your blog because you’ve created such a nice community. (I’m such a suck-up.)

    I should probably note that I’m not a blogger myself, and that I might feel differently if I was. I know I’d certainly be happiest never having to read mean things about myself, whether or not they were followed by responses in my defence. So maybe deleting mean comments is the best way. I don’t know. If only people would just be civil…

  47. On August 22nd, 2011 at 9:45 pm Pete In Az Says:

    Your house… Your rules.

    If I don’t like the rules… I can always leave.


    “The Internet has lots of opinions about weight. And people can be cruel.”

    The Internet has lots of opinions about EVERYTHING.

    Most of which are wrong, In My Opinion.

  48. On August 22nd, 2011 at 10:50 pm Dana Says:

    Hmmmm …

    *puts on my devil’s advocate hat*

    The views spewed here are not necessarily that of the author’s

    I’m not so sure the site master has a responsibility to the writer. It seems the writer assumes risk when they agree to post to a site they have no control over. The writer benefits from the exposure on another site – the site master benefits from the additional site traffic.

    That said?

    Mole trolls suck donkey balls.

  49. On August 22nd, 2011 at 10:59 pm Meg Says:

    I think that all views should be expressed, that being said, I don’t believe that people being outright ignorant assholes is acceptable. I think the moderator has the responsibility to at least get rid of those comments that are just downright rude. Even if you did put yourself out there by posting something you at least deserve to be respected.

  50. On August 23rd, 2011 at 7:32 am Caroline Says:

    Yes definitly. Some people are just out there to be mean little pricks (it makes them feel good about their sucky life). Why would you be obligated to take their crap in your face without doing anything? Death to the haters!

  51. On August 23rd, 2011 at 7:40 am John Says:

    I took a two week vacation and had guest posters fill in for me while I was gone. Before I left, I very nearly made the decision to turn off comment moderation at my blog. I knew that I probably wouldn’t be able to check in too often, and I was worried about comments “going stale,” becuase I know I’m hitting refresh like a motherfucker when I guest post for another blog, wanting to see what was added.

    The thought of the unkind comment coming in, however unlikely (my blog has like, 20 regular readers, all of them know my phone number, and most people know, if they’re posting on my blog, even if they think they’re anonymous, I can at least figure out where they came from, more likely figure out who they are), left me leave the possibility of “stale comments.” I absolutely didn’t want my guest-posters to have to deal with the bullshit that is someone just coming in & being a jerk, because they could.

    And you better believe I’m liberal with the DELETE button for unkind comments. If it’s a criticism of what I’ve written, I’ll almost always leave it – but if the comment is about me, or a previous commenter? It’s gone.

  52. On August 23rd, 2011 at 8:56 am Tom Says:

    Fuck the haters, Aunt Becky. I agree with you, they most certainly have a responsibility to their writers. Anonymous comments really cheese me off, too.

  53. On August 23rd, 2011 at 9:00 am SherryH Says:

    Shut ’em down. Dissenting opinion – okay, fine. Nastiness and personal attacks have no place in the comments. And I think that goes double if the post/article is by a guest writer who cannot moderate the comments personally. (I include “concern trolls” in the roster of hateful comments, so feel free to delete their “but your heeeeaaalllth” “for your own gooooooddd” comments too.)

    All of the blogs/news sites I have read with excellent comment sections have comment moderation. May be strict, may be loose, but there are boundaries and they are enforced.

    As for freedom of speech? The only freedom of speech a person is guaranteed is not to be shut down BY THE GOVERNMENT without compelling reason to override that right. On someone else’s private website, commenters don’t have freedom of speech. They are free to get their own little blogs and (as long as they abide by the TOS and avoid libel and copyright infringement) vent their nastiness there. Feel free to shoo them along.

  54. On August 23rd, 2011 at 11:01 am Polish Mama on the Prairie Says:

    Completely agree!

  55. On August 23rd, 2011 at 12:00 pm Marian Allen Says:

    YES, delete any mean comments. Anybody who can’t express his opinion courteously needs to just go to a soccer game and root for the team opposite where he’s sitting. I’ve been lucky–I’ve only had one negative comment on my blog: A guy took exception to my post about The Book of Job, but I just told him, SHUT THY WHORE MOUTH and forgot about it. I had one way harsh comment on somebody else’s post on a different blog, but I emailed the guy and, one-on-one, he came off it.

    YES, we have a responsibility to make the internet a more civil place.

  56. On August 23rd, 2011 at 12:06 pm Tessier Ashpoole Says:


    Moderation for trolls, threats, or keeping things on topic are one thing. Moderation for the sake of a writer’s self esteem is a symptom of a much larger problem. (That being said, I don’t think it applies to 100% anonymous or guest posts.) Actions and words particularly in a public venue such as a blog, news, or online community generate activity. Some will be positive and gung-ho…..while others may be negative or downright critical. How can a writer or artist view their work honestly if they insist on only being surrounded by ‘yes men’?

    True self esteem and self worth cannot be nurtured in a culture of pure positivity where there are no consequences to one’s actions. Anyone responsible for employing people in the US job market is well aware of the real world results of this philosophy.

  57. On August 23rd, 2011 at 12:34 pm karen Says:

    As a reader of (most) comments in addition to any article posted, I really feel sullied when I read something that is nasty, and well-sharpened. I think that someone who brings in an author to publish something and does not use fair judgement on the more ignorant comments does the READERS a disservice, as much as the writer. I *want* to think about the flip side of things, to be challenged, but I do not want to wade through the nastiness.

    And so. I say delete the stuff that is sharpened like darts because they do not benefit the author NOR the readers. But keep the stuff that challenges an opinion with all due respect and kindness in evidence.

  58. On August 23rd, 2011 at 1:46 pm Cristina Says:

    I used to love going to the comments section of an article or blog piece and read what others had to say about the topic, but now I find that I can’t because some of the comments make me angry. There is definitely a huge difference between constructive criticism, a well-argued counterpoint, and plain nastiness. And there are some people who get off on being that nasty person that everyone else hates. Those people should be deleted and, if possible, banned.

  59. On August 23rd, 2011 at 2:01 pm Working Mommy Says:

    I absolutely agree with you!!! We all, as bloggers, have a duty to each other to monitor comments that are posted – especially when someone comes over to our porches to give their thoughts and opinions on something – because none of us should have shit all over our yards…it just decreases the value of everyone’s property!!


  60. On August 24th, 2011 at 11:08 am Lori Says:

    When I first saw that you were posting there I admit I was concerned. The comments on that site are just awful and make women look so stupid! Not only the comments, but the other authors there write the most controversial topics they can find and then let the comments fly. It’s like they are purposely pitting people against each other for the sole purpose of creating arguments. Like, “Why SAHM’s Are Better Than Working Moms” or “The Shoes You Wear Are A Clear Indication That You Hate Babies!”.. and other shocking titles. You don’t belong there Aunt Becky, you are so much better than that place.

  61. On August 24th, 2011 at 12:31 pm Christy Says:

    Yes, they should protect their writers. Better yet, they should send a comment back to the commenter’s blog telling her to Shut her Whore Mouth! So sick of reading shitty comments (especially from “Anonymous”, aka “Pussy”). Didn’t their mothers teach them that if they have nothing nice to say, they shouldn’t say anything at all???

  62. On August 27th, 2011 at 10:14 am Kristi Says:

    Okay, so I have no experience with this. My blog is private and posted so that I can write about our life, post pictures and my mother in law doesn’t call. That being said…

    Should Master protect their writers? Yes.
    Should they delete every unkind comment? No.
    Should they delete every “You suck and are stupid.” comment? Yes.
    Should they delete every provocative comment that doesn’t agree? Depends on the tone. Is the comment disagreeing and asking questions? Do they have a different opinion or are they just being snarky?
    But it goes back to your word “protect”. If you are having a discussion, that’s one thing. If you’re being attacked- the Site Master should have your back and delete the comment.

    Because what my Cousin and Sister in Law said about my dog one day was just mean. And I deleted their asses.

  63. On August 28th, 2011 at 2:41 am Satan Says:

    absolutely they should. they’re policing that corner of the internet, and it’s always better to not feed the damn trolls!

  64. On September 1st, 2011 at 7:22 am Sage Says:

    I have guest bloggers on my site and I would never allow anything hurtful to be posted. Most of the posts are extremely personal and about their pain. I would definitely delete anything that compounded their struggle.

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