Cowards Behind Keyboards: the Blogger Bullies

Lately there seems to have been a surge in the bullying of  bloggers.  Apparently a few of my colleagues (one in particular) have been experiencing some serious verbal attacks from people hiding behind a keyboard.

When I first started writing, I got a lot of negative comments from someone who not only called the Catholic Church the “whore of Babylon” (how original!), but literally wrote pages and pages in the comment box which included numerous links to sites that “proved” I was wrong to believe in my faith.

I actually got the nerve to click on one of those sites and my mouth dropped open when I got there.  I can’t even begin to explain what was on that site.  All I knew for sure was that the FBI was now following me around on the internet!

After about the third time the person spewed their hatred on my post, I got nervous.  I copied everything and emailed it to the “boss” here at ChicagoNow.  He emailed me back and told me it was all spam and I should delete it.  I can do that?  Suddenly, I had the power!  I deleted the comment and when my Catholic-hating friend irately returned for more (how dare I delete their post from MY blog?), I not only deleted their comment, I banned them.  I have not had to do that since.

I don’t think anyone minds if you disagree with them, but when you use words to threaten people by telling them you know where they live and how many kids they have while you sit safely behind your computer, well you have lowered yourself beyond belief.  You are a coward behind a keyboard.




Leave a comment
  • AMEN. The leader of the hate group who attacked me literally has a file on me. Scary stuff.

  • I thought what they did to you Jenna was outrageous! Despicable!

  • In reply to siblingless:

    They are STILL pounding me, nearly two weeks later. I just wrote a new post about it. They even found a new target: a blogger who advocates the cutting off of penises when women get mad. They gave a few yawns about her and went right back to me.

    IN. SANE.

  • Are you frickin' serious? So sorry!

  • I like to say that everyone is tough online and in person not so much . this applies here .

  • In reply to Evan Moore:

    I agree with you. They wouldn't dare say or do those things if you were face to face. Thanks for the comment.

  • When I started by blog earlier this year, I knew I had to be willing to put up with some mean comments. There's the angry posts (I've gotten those) and there's the crazy's posts (luckily, I haven't gotten any of those). The best thing I've found is #1 not to be surprised by them. I expect these posts. #2 I need to forcefully, intelligently respond to the angry ones. Usually it's just calling them out on their fallacies and re-asserting my opinion. I haven't gotten repeat offenders. I know people are reading my blog because of the reports I get and I know that people who agree are less likely to post.

    The other thing that's helped me is predicting which statements might generate hate responses. I may modify these so they're less volatile--as long as I don't sacrifice my original idea. Or I leave them and anticipate the response.

    Bottom line: this is what we have to prepare for as bloggers. Supporters are reader our blogs. We have to remind ourselves of this.

  • In reply to Ray Salazar:

    Sometimes I still get rattled by a comment, but then I let it go. I am so fortunate to have regular readers and supporters who remind me of my calling in writing this blog. Thanks for YOUR comment!

  • Being a political blogger I get all sorts of hate spewed in my comments section. I routinely delete the worst of them. Don't feel bad abut deleting. After all, you have not stomped their freedom of speech as they can spew their garbage in whatever way they can, but YOU are under no compunction to allow them to do it on YOUR blog! You have the corresponding freedom to ignore them and delete them from your blog. They have the freedom to start their own blog and blather away.

  • I often wonder why the hell they don't start their own blog. I have become territorial and I don't allow the hate and the crazies anymore. Thanks so much for your comment!

  • Well, one of the guys in the right panel threatened to go after me. At least it appears that Chicago Now has a policy that people who blog have to identify themselves.

    As I told him, there is a First Amendment right to post anonymously, and also the blogger's right to take it down. I guess someone finally told you that you had that right.

    Also, I have enough understanding, from the Chris Benoit Wikipedia episode, that if some anonymous poster breaks some law, law enforcement will eventually trace their IP address, and then them. Cyberbullying is a crime in Illinois, although disparaging one's religion is not cyberbullying.

    I also assume that most people on the Internet are not real. This includes, besides the spam artists who say to click on the link to meet hotties in your neighborhood (apparently using IP location technology to say which neighborhood), an 80 year old who lives above me who keeps sending me e-mails to friend him on Facebook. I can see him in the garage or on the stairway without having to give identifying information to Zuckerberg.

    Cynical, yes, but one needs it.

Leave a comment