I have a special treat for all my Simpletons today – a guest post from Fickle Cattle. He was one of the original bloggers I followed last August when I first opened up this joint. He is a great writer and is taking on a subject all bloggers have to deal with at some point in time – anonymous comments.
I’ve had a few anonymous comments on my blog (“I am Fickle Cattle”) before, some of which have been fairly decent folk who really just wanted to drop me a line. They simply had no social networking profile to identify themselves with, so they had no choice but to comment anonymously. Sometimes they put a name underneath their comment, or an e-mail address, just so I would know who they were, and maybe where they were coming from.
I welcome and enjoy comments like those, which is one of the reasons why I generally do not moderate my comment box. I have no issues with people disagreeing with me, only that if they do, it does not go below generally accepted standards of civility.
There are a few however, who use their anonymity as a shield from which they can hide after they leave nasty and personal insults against you. These are a sub group of readers I would rather do without. I have no patience for people who are unable to stand behind their own opinion.
I’ve been blogging for a decent while now, and though the overall experience has been fantastic, I must say that the practice of some commenters of insulting you without even having the balls to identify themselves is pretty frustrating, and, well, sad. It’s the role of the coward to fight from only a position of strength; in this case, when the person you direct particularly nasty jabs to do not even know how to start fighting back.
This is why I have a lot of respect for people who disagree with me and who do so openly and proudly. Sometimes it gives another dimension to a post since it allows for other points of view to come into light. Of course, the caveat is that if you express an opinion that disagrees with someone else’s, then you must also be willing to accept disagreement yourself.
Which brings me to my point, how do you fight cowards who hide in the shadows?
Well, you don’t. From my experience, the best way is to not fight at all. Most of these commenters are really just people trying to get a rise out of you, or who wants to grab some bit of attention for themselves. Why give them what they want? Better to ignore them.
In my case, I usually just delete the comment they wrote. I’ve since learned that trolls hate indifference more than anger. Indifference merely reflects the fact that these people aren’t important at all. To show your anger is to give them some significance. When you do not even try to acknowledge that they made a comment, then you emphasize the worthlessness of their words, which is perfectly okay since their words precisely are worthless.
Big thanks to Fickle Cattle – I completely agree with everything he wrote. If you have been blogging for any period of time you’ve had anonymous commenters, and some of them can be real assholes – those are the ones that bug me. If you come to my site and want to be a prick, at least show yourself. I haven’t had to deal with this very much, thankfully.
Be sure to take some time to go visit Fickle Cattle – he is always a great read.