About disagreements

I had this long post going about how disagreements work. How they get started. How they get out of hand. I was going to get all philosophical and stuff. And then I realized I'm no better at arguments than anyone else is - so why am I trying to give any advice to the Internets?

And then I knew. Because I hate to see it. I hate to see the temper, the accusations, the recriminations. I hate to see the trolls win; given any credence at all. I dislike seeing the exposed nerves of friends poked and prodded by the needles of inconsiderate people(?) who have no higher ambition than to spread hate and intolerance.

There are contrarians out there. People who enjoy little more than getting an argument started and then stepping back to watch the fur fly. People who will adopt a position in opposition just because it's there - and they can get the shit started. People who will look for a vulnerability just so they can exploit it.

Honest discourse is not what this is about. People can disagree about stuff and it doesn't have to result in the emotional pain and misery I have seen out here. Honest discourse doesn't lead to that. Mean, demeaning, spiteful argument does.

I suppose what I'm saying is - cut the trolls off. Delete their comments. If people say things that go beyond honest disagreement - if they call names or use hateful terms and adjectives, inappropriate to the topic, cut them off. Delete their comments. Do not respond to them. Don't give them the voice they don't deserve.

In that longer post that I deleted, I referenced the fact that, as a former tavern owner, I learned that public discussions of Politics and Religion almost never end well. That's why I don't, normally, talk about those things here. That's why I never allowed those things to get started in my tavern.

As blog owners, we are in control of our content. We know when what we want to talk about just might start an argument that doesn't want to end well. All I'm saying, is do so with caution, with care, and with the expectation of argument. Be prepared to keep argument within the bounds of polite discussion. Be prepared to delete comments which you know to be outside those limits. It's your blog. If you're going to put something out there that's going to, potentially, lead to argument, use Comment Moderation, so you can head off the issues before they get out of hand. It's your blog. You have control. You have final say. Don't let the trolls win.



Zoeyjane said...

If you were on Twitter more often, I'd think that you'd written this, aimed in my direction. But you're not, and I'm not really that vain, am I?

Completely true, blog-father.

Heather said...

I couldn't agree MORE with you. I think that too often times, people are like "Oh, if you delete it you look like a coward." WTF, I say. It's my blog, and if I don't like what you have to say (meaning, you get catty, you get mean, you get hurtful) I'm going to delete it.

xo, my friend!

Nan Sheppard said...

Comment Delete Rocks! It's sad how some people MUST sling mud. Makes the conversation all wonky. Ignore them and move on, I say.

Suzanne said...

Amen, my friend.

For that reason, I took away the ability to leave anonymous comments. The asian porn people are the reason for the moderation of comments.

Yours are words to live by.

Audubon Ron said...

NoW that's debatable - BUT NOT WITH ME!!! :)

Collette said...

It is unfortunate that some people live to start trouble & aren't happy unless everyone else is unhappy. I'm with you. Delete the Trolls!

Mrs F with 4 said...

I've never understood why anyone who is through the teenage years would want to say something deliberately nasty and hurtful. Now I sound all prim and prissy - I can enjoy a good cleansing b*tch as well as anyone - but really, to say something with the aim of inflicting pain? Why would you?

OHmommy said...

I wrote about looking into my daughter's eyes and someone commented that her eyes were possessed by the devil and nothing good will ever come from her.

I cried all night and deleted the comment. Imagine if my daughter would have read that? Geesh. Some people have no class.

moneythoughts said...

I like the spirit of what you say; however, as you said, "it is your blog" and as such we can do as we please. You know my blog, and at times, I use rough language. I am not above even calling public figures a few well chosen names. I am not interested in discussing religion on my blog, yet on the other hand, if someone comes at me about a historical fact, I will come right back at them. Economics is involved with politics. Some economists refer to the political-economy. In my opinion, there is nothing wrong with a good debate. Decent people can have honest differences, and yet show respect for the people they argue with.

Carol King said...

Well Said! Thank God for comment moderation. I know a few people who get up in the morning with the sole intention of insulting people and generally P!$$!#& people off. I love the fact that we have the ability to cut them off at the pass.

Jientje said...

Very well said. Don't let the trolls win.

Joyce-Anne said...

Moneythoughts has a very good point. There is a way of disagreeing with people politely and respectfully.

Coal Miner's Granddaughter said...

Hey, Lou! I'm back! (Yeah, batten down the hatches!)

You are dead-on with this post. Sometimes, though? The most innocuous post will bring the trolls out of the woodwork. My one and only troll (bless the Heavens above) went off on my about my sick kids. It was crazy.

Typically, if I read a post that gets me upset, I don't even comment. As the old adage goes, "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all." That's me.

Shadow said...

oh gosh yes, it takes two to argue after all... i just don't bother...

calicobebop said...

Amen! Couldn't have said it better myself!

Hockeymandad said...

I'll never understand those who enjoy and seek out conflict and confrontation. Something in their lives has to be missing. Something very serious and that's how they fill the void. It's sad how some people enjoy feasting on others just because they can.

Online conflict is also silly until it affects the real world. That's when it's time to evaluate how we are using this great tool and or how we allow this great tool to use us.

Loraine said...

Thanks for this, Lou. I've recently had issues (not on my blog but on facebook) with people just being nasty for no good reason but that they want to get a reaction out of people. I didn't let on that I was upset, but maybe I should just let the bastards sputter by themselves. It's really not worth my time.

Tara R. said...

I've never been a comment purist who lets any and all say what they will. It's just like I wouldn't allow someone to disrespect me or other guests in my house, you get nasty in my comments, you're out. I could not agree more with you about trolls. Don't let 'em win.

Holly at Tropic of Mom said...

I don't like talking religion or politics either.

Trolls suck.

LceeL said...

Zoeyjane: My Dear and Lovely blog-daughter, You're right. It's not about you.

Heather: xo to you, too, Heather.

Nan: Absolutely, Nan.

Suzanne: Blogger is too restrictive when you take away "Anonymous". Otherwise, I would, too.

Audubon Ron: Thank you, Ron. I deleted my first spam comment today. Your time to comment here may be short.

Collette: Or at least their comments. I'm not sure actually deleting a troll would be legal. Laudable, perhaps, but not legal.

Mrs F with 4: Some people, I think, are really unhappy - and misery loves company.

OHmommy: That's a shame. Really. I for one, love you. Dearly.

Moneythoughts: I'm not saying 'don't argue'. There is always room for rational, intelligent argument.

Carol King: Yes, we do. And it is NOT cowardice to delete the comments from trolls.

Jientje: Right!! Never let them win.

Coal Miner's Granddaughter: Exactly. Be nice.

Shadow: Good for you, Shadow.

Calicobebop: Thank you, ma'am.

Hockeymandad: It takes two to have conflict. re-evaluation is not necessary.

Loraine: Exactly, Loraine. don't waste your time.

Tara R: Thank you, Tara. It's your blog - you are responsible for its content.

Michael said...

I get loads of advertising commenta and links to sites which offer magic solutions to sexual probs
I just put comment mods on for this so u can see the comments yourself before they are posted out to my millions (joking) of readers

Momisodes said...

Well said Lou.

I still remember how I felt when I received my first nasty comment. Not what they said, but how awful it made me feel.

Comment moderation is a beautiful thing. And you're right, this is our space.

Sandi said...

I feel the same way. If my kids read some of the stuff that's posted by my nasty readers, it would devastate them. I feel much better about my place with comment moderation on. Besides that, my other readers stand up for me and it becomes a war of words in my "HOME" and takes away from the actual post. I am all for moderating!

Texan Mama @ Who Put Me In Charge said...


PattiKen said...

Have you been spying on me?

Miss Ash said...

I sort of feel left out. I talk of both politics AND religion everywhere I can... and no one seems to have the desire to disagree with me. I _know_ I'm not that awesome that no one would ever disagree. *wink* Why's everyone gotta be so agreeable with me?

I agree with you, though, Lou. If someone isn't willing to "fight" reasonably, which means no personal attacks and no name calling, then I have nothing against deleting their comment. Hell, you know those spam comments some of us get? I totally edit them. And if it's someone really douchie, I WILL edit their name, etc. and make it into something I find hilarious.

Oh. Maybe that's why no one disagrees with me. HMPF!!!!