Wednesday, September 28, 2005

[comments] to delete or not to delete?

i know we've covered this topic before but wanted to bring it up again because, well, i am still undecided and need some help.

in the last few days, an anonymous reader has left a few comments on my blog that aren't very nice. i don't expect comments to always be sweet and lovely and agreeable. in fact, disagreements and intelligent discussion are things i like to see. however, these comments are just mean. here are a few:

"You are so full of "I should have" You should have a brain if you want to be a food critic."

"Why don't you get a real job?You taste food with your ass.Try your mouth, thats where the taste buds are. "

"Might I suggest you not go out to eat when you are on the rag.You aspire to be a food critic?!!First learn how to spell.Swining door? Or did you mean your swine like ass?!Half a dozen means six. There are more than six tables at Fioretto.I guess math was not one of your strong points either.I was born in Florence and Fioretto is about the best trattoria in Los Angeles bar none.You would have to venture into Beverly Hills and pay a kings ransom to get close to the quality.I am curious to see if you have the balls to post this.I wonder how many of the following posts will be put up by you, pretending to be someone else.Get a life! And find a job that you can do competently."

i am not sure that they are the same person, but that doesn't matter, i guess.

now i wonder: should i delete these comments? so far, i don't delete ANY comments, only the obvious spam ones (viagra, mortgages, etc.) because i want people to feel like they can say what they want, since i certainly do. but i am not sure how i feel about comments about me specifically, and i also wonder if i am just being overly sensitive.

any thoughts?

thanks guys.

This post was written by Sarah from the delicious life


SaltShaker said...

Sarah, I don't think you're being overly sensitive at all. It's YOUR blog, and while I understand your concern about people feeling comfortable being able to leave commentary, it doesn't have to be wide open. The purpose of commentary is to create discussion. This person isn't out to create any form of discussion, he or she is merely being nasty, and no doubt any response to him or her will end up either being ignored or just ignite more of the same directed at your other readers. And readers who get slammed like that are certainly not going to feel comfortable leaving comments. Not to mention, you need to feel comfortable expressing your own opinions without having to be treated to crap like that.

kitchenmage said...

you're talking about the cheesedude, right? google him and it comes up troll... i'd delete/ban him, perhaps send your most prolific posters private "please don't feed the troll" mail...

i also notice his blogger blog is nonexistent, maybe blogger would like to boot his butt til he decides to play nice...

Andrew said...

I agree with saltshaker - the comments are designed to garner a response but are basically rude. Delete them, he/she will soon get bored with no responses and move on.

Guy said...

Egads, that is some nasty stuff.

I've received some critical comments, some not so nice. But yours takes the cake. I did not delete the comments.

How I would handle it, if they left a name, not necessarily any contact information, I would leave it. It's a permanent record of their assholery and be a recorded mark against them, not you.
If they chose not to leave a name, I'd be more inclined to remove it. If they didn't have the balls/ovaries to leave a name, to hell with them. For me? I would leave it. If they were threatening anyone, that's a fer sure removal.

You could track his IP address and find out what ISP he/she is using and send a letter with the date/time and IP number and let them know this person is posting inappropriate comments on your web site. Prolly won't come of anything, but you'd feel like you were able to do something about it.


Ed said...

A few years ago I was editing a business magazine and my approach was to polarize people rather than create something that everbody agreed with. If somebody had something nasty to say I always published it although the anonymous letters were annoying. I would always fight fire with fire which often sparked an intersting debate. Readers loved it and the more readers became involved the better fro circulation. So I guess if you left comments haranguing the haraguer then it could become prettyinteresting and could drive up traffic to your site – if that's what you want. On the other hand not everybody likes that combatative approach and what do I know about blog etiquette? very little. I'll certainly be over for a look anyway!

Anonymous said...

actually, i don't mind the long posts from the cheesedude, lol! they are never nasty - pretty informative, etc.

no, the nasty comments are ANONYMOUS, which irks me.

i know for sure i wouldn't respond in a nasty way, but i thought about replying with something neutral, or even try to make light of it, but i just don't know. i mean seriously, i have no problems whatsoever with criticism, but yeah, i think this is a little bit beyond criticism. i keep wondering if it's someone related to those restaurants, lol!


Amy Sherman said...

I'd delete them! What is the argument for leaving them up there, especially when they are hurtful? It's your blog, not a democracy.

SaltShaker said...

Oh, one other thing, I hadn't even thought about. I don't even allow anonymous comments on my blog. I could, but after thinking about it, I decided that if someone wanted to have a "conversation," on a site that I'm paying for, they could at the very least identify themselves to me. I'm not sure if your blog has that option.

Banlieue Blog said...

The comments are rude! Delete!

Cate said...

I'd go with deleting them. Here's another side to view it from: you're doing the blog because it's something you obviously enjoy, right? It makes you happy to write for it, visit it, happy to receive an e-mail that you have a new "comment," etc. You're not getting paid to do the blog, so if anything gets in the way of that "happy," it doesn't have a place there. Delete away.

As an aside, there are certainly ways to constructively say something and make a valid point without being nasty or rude, and "anonymous" isn't aware of how to do it. It's like cursing. I virtually never do it because I feel like it's a lazy way to express myself and it takes much more thought to vent an opinion without resorting to expletives, you know what I mean?

sylvie1950 said...

Sarah, I agree that anyone who makes negative anonymous comments is a coward who deserves no further attention. I would delete the comments which to me is a slap in his/her face.

I hope that those hurtful remarks do not sway you from posting as you always have. After all it is your blog and you have a right to voice your opionion.

Rachael Narins said...

No way, that is SO lame!

Whats super crazy is that I came to this site just now to make a comment about LACheesemongers insanely long and annoying comments (I have been deleting them, which has incurred his wrath) and what a next step could be. I think I will stick with deleting.

I HAVE found, there is a tricky way to find out who anonymous posters are can roll over the "anon said..." and sometimes at the bottom of the screen a profile number will show up, then you can just copy and paste that into blogger and find their site. I did it with someone who kept harrassing me and it stopped him cold.

Tana Butler said...

Delete hateful anonymous comments, absolutely. They will get bored and stop. What uncreative garbage. Hateful comments contribute nothing to the well-being of anyone alive, and there is no reason to keep the evidence of the failure of our species to evolve hanging up to see.

You can use to track IP addresses, and to find where to report the noxious posts. (Both services are free; SpamCop requires registration.)

One good thing about Typepad is that you can moderate the comments: they aren't published until you approve them. I don't know if that option is available at your blog site, but it's something to consider when choosing where to host your blog.

Amy is exactly correct: it's your blog, not a democracy. And witless fools don't deserve a vote, regardless.

Rock on.

Anonymous said...

Whoah. That's some nasty stuff there!

I agree with everyone else. Hit 'delete' and savour that sweet satisfaction. The comment function on blogs are a privilege, not an entitlement. All other forms of mass media filter the letters/phone calls and emails they publish/broadcast.

All bloggers graciously accept the posting of feedback, but there is no obligation for you to help publicise and/or condone bitter schoolyard twitterings.

eat stuff said...

They are just jealous Sarah, forget them and delete his nasty behind!

Shauna said...

Absolutely delete him. Who needs comments like that in the world?

He sounds like a sad sack who desperately needs some attention. Don't give it to him. Let him harass himself instead.

And don't listen to him.

ChiefFamilyOfficer said...

I'm sorry you're having to deal with this. It happened to me too, a couple of months ago - "Anonymous" left several nasty/vicious comments on different posts, clearly intended just to offend. If they had been intended simply to disagree, I would not only have left them up, I would have responded. But since they were by someone who clearly wanted to be mean, I deleted them. I was very upset/hurt at the time, but I haven't heard a peep since ...

Cindy said...

I agree with everyone else too, you really should delete them.
Nasty comments don't have their place there, disagreement yes but nastiness no.
Discovered your blog a couple of days ago, like it a lot.

cucina testa rossa said...

hi sarah -- i'm in the "delete" camp and i agree completely with Amy. i've had some really nasty comments as well, esp in response to my "French Women Don't Get Fat" rants. If someone disagrees with me or if I've made an error, say so in an intelligent comprehensive way and start a discussion, don't just tell me I must have a fat ass if I don't like a diet book. No one is forcing them to read your website. if they don't like it they can simply not read it. it's called the first amendment. don't get discouraged! my 2 cents.... laura