Monday, October 17, 2011

When to censor a blog

Nearly a year ago I wrote a carefully worded open letter to The Pioneer Woman after outgrowing her blog & finding others that were more interesting and/or relevant to our lifestyle.  A blog that is single-mindedly devoted to disliking her picked it up & linked to it.  To be honest, I don't even read that blog because I found that it could be really mean-spirited at times.

As a result of being linked from that other blog, my one post about the Pioneer Woman gets more hits & comments than all my others combined.  Some comments are supportive of my post, whose point was that I no longer found her relevant to my life and was moving on to blogs written by people I could identify with, while some comments are downright nasty.

The irony is that people have to go looking for the post to find it.  My blog isn't exactly set up with SEO terms, nor is it in the top 100 search results.

Lately some of the negative comments have gotten ugly and personal.  Commenters, many of them anonymous, have called me catty, jealous, insecure, a bully, a "hater", and more.  Most of the time I just roll my eyes and wonder if they actually even read the damn post.

Today I went back and read it. I hadn't revisited it for quite a while. A year later, I still agree with what I wrote. I also believe that my opinion was carefully written without making any low blows at a fellow blogger.

Just this past weekend someone called me mean & accused my children of being bullies... how ironic given that the opening paragraph clearly stated I was childless.  That commenter had on her personal profile that she works in education.  I'm guessing that she didn't read my post, her reading comprehension must not be very high, or that she was so angry by the time she started reading that she could do little more than skim it.

Truth be told, the snarky, bitchy comments get to me sometimes.  All comments are sent to my in-box, which helps me monitor them, and this morning I got a handful of Monday morning notifications about what a meanie head I am.  It was (sarcasm) an awesome way to start my work week.

I'm debating taking the post down.  I try hard to never "feed the trolls".  I've allowed all the negative comments to remain on the thread and have never responded.  Blogs are free speech both for me as the blogger, and for you as the reader, n'est-ce pas? 

Maybe I should ask that other blog to remove the link from their site. 

Maybe I should expound upon the caveat at the opening of the post (which starts "fans of the Pioneer Woman should stop reading now").

What advice do you have?


  1. Taking it down might stop the mean comments, but should you? It is your blog and your opinion, and quite frankly, many of us outdistanced the PW many many years ago, I've been canning since high school, and cooking full meals for longer than that. Maybe delete the original and repost it in a new post, would that sever the linking? Personally, I would leave it up, but I am an onery little person.

  2. I'm with Merry. These little snapshots in print are reflections of us... it's why we spend our free time, our nights (that time when Bean is kicking your spine 8 to the bar). You put an enormous amount into that post, and still it's one of the most entertaining posts I read. I would be damned if I would let some anonymous hayseed take that away.

  3. First off, like others have said, this is your blog. You can write whatever you want in it, it's another person's choice to read it. If they don't agree, that's their problem.

    Second, I'm a disillusioned PW fan myself, in part because of some of the things (facts, links to true information, etc.) that come from the negative blog you're linked to. Yeah, she can be really aggressively minded in her dislike but the facts are still there.

    If you're uncomfortable with the responses, you have every right to delete them. Remember, these are people coming from a blog that is crashing their image of this magical blog creature. It's like killing Santa and then need someone to take it out on.

    I've had to disconnect myself from other blogs where they make me feel bad about myself. It's okay.

  4. I would take it down. I'm sorry you're still getting so much flak when you were just trying to clearly express your opinion. Let's say that post has done what it needs to do and move on. Free yourself from all that unnecessary drama.

  5. I don't think you should have to take it down, but you might consider what mental health benefits there are to not getting those updates in your inbox from people's comments. Could you turn off anonymous comments? That may make people think twice about making a nasty remark?

  6. I would close the comments on that particular blog post and add a disclaimer to the end, perhaps with a link to this post. I read your post and visited the other blog this morning--neither seems horrendously out of line to me, but your post, especially, is level-headed and fair.

    I wrote a similar letter on my blog to a well-loved shelter blog and ultimately had to close comments because their fans were out for blood, so I know what a pain it is. Just goes to show many people never really made it out of high school, they still want to suck up to the popular kids.

  7. It is your blog and you have the right to write what you want. If it helps you should close the comments or get rid of the 'anonymous' option. It is sad how some people can be so defensive and out for blood when all you did was write a simple letter of how you feel. Have fun with 'the bean' when it comes and enjoy life.