Most bloggers go through similar stages in the early days of their blog. There’s excitement, anticipation and planning. There’s that first week or so of blogging and excitedly awaiting your first comments. Refreshing your stats page is a valid occupation. Updating your blogroll with related websites, and leaving comments on those blogs, helps build community.
At some point the inevitable happens. You get your first troll. Maybe it’s someone who actually knows you, but that’s rare. You can take precautions of course, but that doesn’t every eradicate the infestation for good. If you started your blog with unmoderated comments, your optimism about the human race, especially that represented by internet users, is dashed when the trolls show up. That’s when you realize that moderating comments is a good idea.
I’ve gone through many stages in the process of being a blogger with an infestation of trolls: disbelief, hurt feelings, outrage and public ranting, responses meant to open dialog, responses meant to expose the troll to the ridicule they so richly deserve.
Guess which stage I’m in right now.
Here we have an example of doubling up on the anonymous trolling by slamming both the blogger AND the person being blogged about. In one of the pictured comments, the troll offers insightful commentary indicating that not only am I a shit writer but so is Sassafras Lowery. The absurdity of that double-slam is obvious; I may be a shit writer but Sassafras certainly is not.
A key piece of this for me is the anonymity. The comments are offered by someone unwilling to be identified. They would like us to believe they are an authority on writing, how to write well, what good writing is and, clearly, what bad writing looks like, however, they are not willing to offer their own identity in order to validate their authority. And they sure as shit aren’t giving us samples of their writing to compare, contrast or shoot down like drone flying too close to an airport.
Though there are legitimate reasons for anonymous commenting, this is not one of them. In the examples above, anonymity is the refuge of the incompetent and cowardly. This is not someone who is willing to subject their writing to the scrutiny and criticism of others. They hide behind the shield of Anonymous and take pot shots at those who are willing to be vulnerable in public. You, anon, are a chicken-shit. Anybody who puts themselves out in a public forum is leagues ahead of you in authenticity and courage. It doesn’t matter at all what the quality of writing is, anyone who is putting themselves out there for whatever purpose is a superior human being to your sniveling, cowardly self.
I give no fucks and no shits about your opinion of my writing. I have plenty of qualified people giving me useful and informative feedback. Given that this is likely either a form of entertainment for you or a pathetic attempt to bolster your self-esteem, I won’t lose any sleep over your apparent contempt. When you have the guts to put your writing out there, you can link to it in a comment and accept the public critique that will surely follow… and that’s when I’ll give any shits at all about what you have to say.
I hope you get back to therapy or whatever it is that helps you cope. I wish you well in your search for meaning in your life. (Hint: don’t read and comment on blogs written by people you disdain, find something meaningful to do with your life like cleaning the funky cheese fuzz out of your bellybutton or volunteering to clean out shit in an animal shelter.)
Anon, if you think you’re such a hot writing expert, offer something more than your bullshit anonymous lobs and I might reconsider my opinion that your comments are as meaningful as a fart in a hurricane.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some substandard writing to do.
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