‘It Takes One to Know One’ Department

Do you read the comments that come after Internet news articles? Some commenters (usually anonymous) are extremely mean and abusive! Their attacks seem like the online version of a school yard bully.
The Quippery

Here  are a few comments I read at the end of just one Canadian news story this morning:

…You are a fool.
…Hope you idiots are pleased with yourselves.
…You don’t have a clue yourself.
…BS… espoused by utter MORONS
…And we still have an idiot at the helm.
…One by one the poor saps who were taken in
…greasy, sleazy, slimy selfie king
…Nuth’n finer than a far left nutter sputtering
…another leftwing(confused) doofus of questionable mental acuity
…The big, stammering idiot with the dumb expression

When we were kids, we would respond to a verbal bully by saying, “Sticks and stones will break our bones, but names will never hurt us.” (But the names still hurt…) Or we would taunt back, “It takes one to know one!

These responses have no effect on the cyberbully. They carry a shield of anonymity‘you don’t know me’; ‘you can’t see me’; and ‘I won’t be there to hear what your response is’! Freedom of speech without fear of consequence!

Have you ever had a cyberbully leave comments on your blog?

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17 thoughts on “‘It Takes One to Know One’ Department

  1. Once . . . and he was Canadian:
    https://dispersertracks.com/2012/03/07/opinion-holocaust-deniers-petitions-and-censorship/

    My approach is to edit their comments and translate them into gibberish (as I did for the comments in that post — see the last of the comments).

    Usually, I see trolls as an opportunity to have fun. If they ever get real nasty, I’ll just moderate the crap out of them and report them.

    On social media, I limit who can comment on anything I post. On the blog, because of the small readership, I’ve not had recurring problems. If it happens, I’ll switch on comments approval for new users and if it gets really bad, I’ll moderate every comment.

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    • Your very own troll! I’ve never had one of those. There have been a few argumentative types who disagreed with something I said, but they were polite about it.

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  2. I moderate my comments for that very reason. I’ve only had one ‘abusive’ comment (and it was from someone I knew, who clearly wanted to ‘out’ me for something I’d said that she didn’t agree with) and I didn’t accept it. However, I’ve had my share of strange comments that are obviously posted in the hopes that they’ll garner ‘follows’, so I like to keep an eye on things (and edit if I can or simply not accept ones I don’t want to post); no one is obligated to accept every comment submitted. I occasionally read comments left by people below news (and weather) articles and just shake my head at the inanity of some of them – do these people have nothing better to do with their time than to leave hateful (or utterly ridiculous/nonsensical) comments on public sites? What’s the point (especially since they’re anonymous – if garnering attention for yourself is the endgame, why disguise your identity?) It’s the one major downside to allowing comments, I suppose (and I’ve noticed a lot of sites/articles don’t do it anymore!) JK Rowling is a master at putting down ‘trolls’ (although I’m not sure her approach doesn’t just encourage them!)

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    • I’ve set my comments so that new commenters have to be approved, but people like you can just open the door and walk right in.
      I’ve heard it said that people really just want some attention. If they don’t get it by being nice, they will try to get it by being awful. Most of them are anonymous, but they usually have a ‘web name’ – their alter ego, perhaps!

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  3. About a decade ago I had a different blog about crafts and writing, it got hit. I was paying for the site it was hosted on, when my time was up I didn’t renew it.
    So far, I’ve been fortunate with this blog and haven’t had any negative experiences.
    Have you ever had a cyberbully on any of your blogs?

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    • Never mind. I read your comment to above. I agree moderating and monitoring comments is very useful in helping to handle the situation as best you can.

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      • You are certainly an ‘old hand’ at blogging!
        While I haven’t had any trolls, I have lost quite a few Democrat readers as a result of my comments during your recent election. I suggested that it was not fair to suggest all Republicans are (use whatever horrible adjectives you like) just because they voted Trump or Republican.
        Of course, I quit going to their blogs (unfollowed some of them) because their vitriole went on week after week after week!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I was a cyber bully once without meaning to be. I had made a negative comment on someone’s blog and came onto the receiving end of another commenter’s ire. Since then. if I don’t have anything positive to say, I don’t say anything. And I have never returned to that particular person’s site.

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  5. I’ve never had a troll, but I did have someone leave a comment that seemed mean – as well as he completely missed the point. I almost replied back, explaining how he had misunderstood, but I decided to just delete him. Life is too short for grumpy people.

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  6. I did write a blog post on the relationship between feminism and cycling….which relates to freedom of independent travel. I did get some strange visits from what appeared to me..some guys saying certain things in their language. I doubt it was complimentary… their avatars looked tough-avante garde. It was a highly read and appreciated blog post by other readers, meaning female readers.

    It’s too bad this is how you feel about some Canadians who spoke up …when Trump just got elected.

    His actions, have now proved it. I’m just really impressed by Americans who are so willing to self critique their current politics and Trump’s action.

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    • I don’t respect people who mock, deride, bully and tear down people who disagree with them. We can support what we believe is good and right, without attacking the ideals of people who disagree with us.
      There are a great many Americans who support the new President and the Republican party, and there are a great many Americans who believe that it is time to bury the hatchet and work together to make the country better.

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