Thursday, December 01, 2005

what to do with a heckler?

Hey everyone, I'm wondering what you would suggest I do with someone who's leaving insulting comments on my blog. It started yesterday, with a post I put up about beets. He critiqued my cooking method, then my writing, and then questioned whether or not I have celiac disease at all. I probably made a mistake in responding to that comment, given that it goaded him, but what he was saying was medically inaccurate. And my readers need to know that. Now, he has come back twice more, saying that my site is indecent (with all these hungry people in the world, I shouldn't be posting about all these "feasts" I have). And now, he's making comments about a typo I made. (As a writer, he says, I "...obviously care more about quantity than quality.")

I suppose this happens to all of us, doesn't it? If so, what do you do?

I have to say, as well, I sort of think it's a hoax. I think someone is hiding behind this persona of someone with celiac disease. It doesn't ring true, and now it's so ridiculous. Do I delete the comments? Never answer him? What do you think?


This post was written by Shauna from Gluten-free Girl


33 comments:

SaltShaker said...

This isn't really any different than the post awhile back about someone leaving nasty comments.

What it comes down to is that this is your blog. Nothing says you have to have it wide open to public commentary, that's a personal choice, it's not a rule in the blogging world. That's why some folks make all commentary moderated, so they can review it first. Your blog is a place for you to express yourself, to enjoy yourself, and to share what you want - if someone is making it unpleasant for you, you have every right in the world to eliminate their comments and/or to just simply block them from commenting. Otherwise, at some point, it will become unpleasant enough for you that either you'll stop blogging or your other readers will stop coming - and that isn't an outcome you want.

paul said...

Think of your blog as your home. You have the right to throw people out who don't respect your home.

Unfortunately, many people don't act like there in someone's home, they act like they're in a bar, itching for a fight.

Whatever you do with him, try not to take it personal.

Mona said...

Wow, I've got your back sister...that's ridiculous and upsetting...

Andrew said...

delete and block.

kitchenmage said...

Andrew is sooo nice. I am down with "reference and ridicule" and being the bad grrrl that I am I'm posting a comment right now. (After which he'll probably come hassle me)

Elise said...

Hi Shauna,
Life is too short to put up with jerks like this. I get these things all the time. I used to stress about it, now I hit the delete key and don't give it another thought. My blog is my living room, thank you, and I don't allow mean and nasty behavior in my home. Note that if you do respond, either privately or publicly, I have found that it does nothing but feed them more. These jerks want attention. The best thing to do is delete and ignore.

sarah said...

hi shauna - i feel your pain/stress. i was getting pretty nasty comments on some of the negative restaurant experiences i had posted. i responded to some, but then eventually just realized that it's better to just ignore them. it eventually stops.

whether you want to delete the comments or not is totally up to you. i ended up leaving mine on the post. i don't know, i guess when i go back and read them, it just makes me laugh. LOL!

Alicat said...

I would block the ass bag. He is obviously an idiot who needs to take his frustrations out on you.

Derrick said...

I just ignore them. Deleting comments sometimes makes people go even more ballistic. A troll is looking for attention; ignoring them is the best weapon.

I also don't respond to the hate mail I get (usually about foie gras, naturally), unless the person seems willing to think about the topic. The ones that start "Dear fatass" do not usually fall into this category :)

Rachael said...

Delete, delete, delete. Phffft on them.

I got rid of a heckler by repeatedly deleting his/her comments. They finally realized my blog was not a forum for their blabblings.

Nic said...

I would be irritated, but I have to agree with Andrew: delete and block.

Shauna said...

Hey y'all:

Once again, I'm so in love with this community.

Thanks for all your comments. Of course, I felt like deleting the guy immediately, but I had vague notions of free speech and all. But now that he's left me six comments, most of them directly attacking me, I'm fairly well convinced he's a troll, instead of a real reader. So I'm going to delete them all.

I love this forum. It's so good to hear all of your thoughts. (And thanks to all of you who left comments on my blog about this, as well.)

(Oh, and saltshaker, thanks for directing me there. I found out the discussion was in May, long before I had a blog. Thank goodness that's no longer true!)

Sheri said...

I have to agree with all the recommendations to "delete and block". It's your blog. There's no reason you should have to host nastiness.

Silverbrow said...

First off, I fully agree with the point many people have said that it's your blog so you do as you have to feel comfortable with what people say on it and therefore you can do as you wish. And if you don't like what he has to say, you absolutely have the right to delete and block him - and should go ahead and do so.

However, I have to say, I read through the 2 comments I could see from him I don't think they're so bad. They may not be overly friendly but it is afterall a comments section, which implies both positive and negative. His initial post was quite curt but he did sign off with 'good luck', which seemed sincere enough.

You say that he wrote 6 comments, I can only see 2, so I'm guessing you deleted the more aggressive and negative ones. Which absolutely was the right thing to do if you felt strongly about it. Out of interest, has he tried reposting or contacting you be email?

MeBeth said...

I agree - delete away! Freedom of speech means protection from government censorship, it doesn't obligate you to provide a platform for speech with which you disagree.

Shauna said...

Silverbrow:

You guessed right. I left the first two. The first one took me by surprise, but I didn't find it offensive. Just medically inaccurate. The next was strange to me, because if he truly is a celiac, he wouldn't be making the comments he is. And he keeps making different points. But since people responded to those, I left them. I like discussion. But the last four were just carping and attacking, saying I couldn't be much of a teacher if I had typos, that I clearly cared more about quantity than quality, that I should write out words ten times in a row to learn how to spell, etc. He kept coming back, in such rapid succession, that I knew this was not a celiac patient with genuine concerns, but someone just trying to make trouble. Following the guide of people here, I decided those just weren't necessary.

Thanks for the question.

Sam said...

how do you block?
I am not sure you can do that on blogger

Tana said...

Free speech, my butt. Delete without hestitation: life's too short to put up with assholes.

Luisa said...

I would just ignore his comments, not necessarily delete them. Because he'll keep commenting, in the hopes that you might one day tire of deleting. If you just ignore him, it might be the fastest way for him to stop commenting altogether. It's a like a playground thing from elementary school.

Andrew said...

Ihave just read the comments - I am wondering if you were a little harsh on your first answer - he may be wrong but you did seem to jump to the attack a bit quick which may have got his heckles up. I did read his comment as a touch rude and the second one certianly is agressive - it can be difficult to judge peoples feelings in words sometimes; which may explain your first reply. Still if his comments got worse then delete away; if he doesnt like the length of your impassioned writings then I am sure he can find something else...

Kalyn said...

Since Shauna first posted this on FBS I have had someone start leaving weird comments on my blog too. The really strange thing is they leave the comments on recipes that are way back in my archives, once on a recipe that wasn't even in my recipe box because I had repeated it in a later post and put that one in the recipe box. They are really strange comments, talking about various body parts and medical procedures. Creepy. I delete them as soon as I discover them, but I wonder what motivates someone to leave a comment like that, especially in a place where the average blog reader won't ever discover it.

Shauna said...

Andrew:

I'm with you now. I realize I did jump fast. But food is more than just sensory pleasure for celiacs. It's such a touchy subject. We've all had friends, relatives, and strangers say, "Come on, a little flour won't hurt you. Just cheat and have that pastry. So you don't feel good after?" I think I was too aware of what dis-information he might be spreading. If I could do it over, I would be far more mild. Or even ignore it.

I still don't think he is who he says he is. He has jumped all around in what disgruntles him. I took off four comments that were downright rude. But I let the last one stand, hoping that will just mollify him. Like Luisa said, maybe if I ignore him, he'll go away.

Andrew said...

the problem with blogs is it gives the oddballs of the world such immediacy. in a normal world they would be stuck at home watching porn movies and writing to newspapers or doing soduku or whatever. the internet gives them an easy voice for whatever rubbish they want to sprout.

personally i was totally unaware of your condition until i read your blog - one of the countering positives for the internet - but i must say if friends try and force flour on you - i am assuming they know of the condition - i would get more sympathetic and understanding friends! must be difficult enough as it is.

ok i'll sush now.

Sam said...

what is wrong with suduko?

Andrew said...

what is wrong? where do I start... completely pointless, waste of time, boring, trival, shortlived fad, rubbish, mind-numingly dull, did i mention pointless...

Sam said...

it can save you on a 10 hour flight when your tv is broken.believe me.

Shauna said...

I can't imagine anyone is still paying attention to this post, because it's buried so deep, but if so.....

I figured out, through some detective work, that the person who was leaving me these original messages (and posing as a celiac) is also the person who has left me a succession of slightly snarky, always negative comments. I followed the isp address on my site meter referral page, and it's the same person, in Denver. He or she not only leaves anonymous comments, with different names every time, but then he or she comes back to my site at least twenty times a day.

I have no idea what this person is getting out of this.

However, I've switched my site to moderate comments, so I can delete comments from that isp. Thank goodness for time stamps on blogger.

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