The Blog Meanies (Or: If You Don't Have Anything Nice to Say, Go Punch Yourself in the Face.)


That pretty much sums up my feelings about the trolls I keep encountering this week. Not on my blog specifically, although "anonymous" from Surrey, Prince Edward Island with isp did take the time out of his busy day to tell me that my new mom haiku was "gay."

I don't quite understand why the anonymity of the internet brings out the dark, shadowy side of people, and in particular, the dark, shadowy side of mothers. Are mothers even supposed to have a dark, shadowy side? Man, I keep telling the government that they need to institute some NCLB-type standardized tests to determine the qualifications of potential moms:
1) Do you like to hurt small woodland creatures?
2) Has Jesus come to you at night and told you to give all your money to televangelists?
3) Do you post cruel and hurtful things to other mothers under the name anonymous on the internet?

If you have answered yes to any of these questions, proceed directly to therapy. Do not pass go, do not collect sperm anywhere near your cervix.
I'm confounded at what sort of personal fulfillment people get from attacking strangers online; and yes, I do think there is a level of satisfaction, some sort of power that some people derive from inflicting cruelty on perfectly nice people. I used to see it on message boards all the time and it's part of the reason I stopped going on them. It was unproductive at best, at worst it was contemptible.

The catalyst for my departure from one of the snarkier urban message boards was an incident where a woman posted about having suddenly lost her young child. Shocked, numb, and at a loss for words, she came to the board to ask for help writing the obituary. A few women, unable to give her the benefit of the doubt, chimed in with comments like "fake post" and "yeah right." With that, the bandwagon went careening down a hill with no driver, as the comments escalated into attacks like, "if you were for real, you would never be on a message board right now, and if you are then you're a complete f*king idiot."

The next morning the little girl's obituary was in the paper.

I still wonder whether it haunts the women who participated in the flaming that night. I would love to know whether they learned a lesson (one at someone else's expense no less) or whether they're just soulless enough to shrug it off. Or, worse, to place the blame back on the victim with "well if you can't stand the heat, stay off the message boards."

I see that same rationale now in blog comments all the time--don't blame me, you're the one who put yourself out there for criticism. I especially see it on the so-called bigger blogs. The Dooces, the Amalahs. As if those writers are just SO superhuman, SO emotionally impenetrable, that you can say whatever you want and they'll just have to take it so poop on them. It's throwing soda cans at the monkeys in the zoo.

Except we're not disfunctional pre-adolescent boys, we're moms. And we're supposed to be better than that.

I know I sound completely pollyanna-ish but is it so hard to think about how you make someone feel when you post a comment to them? There's a person behind those words. Someone's mother, someone's wife, someone's daughter. Maybe even someone you know but don't know you know.

Now wouldn't that be a kick.

Sometimes, when I'm having a crappy day and I get into the elevator at work ready to snarl at someone who asks me to hold the elevator for them for a whole three seconds, I stop and think, what if I get up to my office, this person follows me in, and it's actually a new client? Or our new receptionist? Or the boss's mother? It's a pretty good way to preempt any sort of bad behavior. Try it sometime.

Maybe there's a kind of twisted silver lining to the meanness. Like women are letting their bad selves fly in anonymous forums so that they don't do it to people in their "real" lives. Perhaps the women that post comments like the ones discussed here or here or here are just one cathartic, cruel comment away from beating their kid with a belt strap. Maybe we should all be pleased they're wounding with their words and not something that draws actual blood. I don't know. I'm open to other theories. This one has me stumped.

In the meanwhile, I'd like to propose coming up with a new term for troll. Troll connotes something powerful and mythic, the kind of thing you might be proud to sport on a tee-shirt for irony's sake. We need an expression with a little more stigma attached to it; a label people would rather not wear. I'm thinking NetHitler. Or StillPeesInPants.


Blogger Sharon L. Holland said...

Good post. I think the problem is both the anonymity and the lack of another person's facial expressions telling us how hurtful we've been. I don't think the meanness as catharsis idea works out in real life, though. Dehumanizing one person tends to lead to dehumanizing even more people.

I have found the anonymity of blogging has made me a little nicer in real life. I think, "I mustn't growl at that person. For all I know, she may be a wonderful woman whose blog I read everyday." And how could I snarl at some lady who could secretly be Mom101 or Pieces or Melissa ?

And a new name for trolls? I would suggest a name taken from my father's sage advice on why you should never get into arguments with unpleasant people:

"You can't out-piss a skunk."

5/5/06, 9:58 PM  
Blogger toyfoto said...

Great post. And YAY! YAY! YAY! on the sentiment. One idea, though: Wouldn't it be much better if we didn't have ANY name for the trolls? Treat them like Japanese curse words. Just hit delete and let it roll off your back. (I know, easier said than done). But man, wouldn't it be so much better if we could extract ourselves from the blind mad arguments and spend the bulk of our time spreading the love.

5/5/06, 10:23 PM  
Blogger Robin said...

You know, I think anonymity simply throws the spotlight on what kind of a person you *really* are.

Just about everybody is trying, in one way or another, to make themselves feel better. Some of us do that by being friendly, helpful, or even funny... others do that by trying to pull others down.

Whenever I see a downright mean-spirited, cruel, or just plain idiotic comment, I try hard to pity the person, and that sort of helps me not be too angry. Usually. ;)

5/5/06, 10:32 PM  
Blogger nonlineargirl said...

Reading about how people treated that mom felt like a kick to the gut. It is hard to believe how mean people can be when they think there are no consequences.

As for names for trolls, how about "wormeater" (as in, nobody likes me, everybody hates me, guess I'll eat some worms...).

5/5/06, 10:42 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

May I suggest "Smells like Poop"?

Something I used to say to staff when I was Director? Everyone HAS to own their words. There shall be no Anonymous comments. I, myself, believe that if you can't put your name to it, don't put it out there - but if you do, stand behind it.

There are those in the world who will also fight with the teacher when she tells them that their child did something hurtful or wrong. It can't be THEIR kid. So they fight the adult. And let their kid get away with some rotten shit.

Then those kids grow up to be date rapists on college campuses, or the one who gets drunk and takes out an innocent bystander. But it's never their fault, right?

The danger of no consequences is the allure of Anonymous.

5/5/06, 10:42 PM  
Blogger Blog Antagonist said...

I used to run a message board site with several thousand active members. I have a stories that would curl your toes. Mean people suck, and people who feel they have carte blanche to harass someone on the internet because they are relatively anonymous are the worst kinds of cowards. And I have to think they are probably wretched and terribly unhappy people.

A name? I kind of like Tinfoil Asshat, but that's probably too general.

5/5/06, 10:52 PM  
Blogger Julie Marsh said...

SPIP...still pees in pants. I like it.

I do like what Dawn said. Own your words. We don't have to agree - in fact, learning from people who are different from me is one of the reasons I love blogging - but we should treat each other civilly.

5/5/06, 10:59 PM  
Blogger GIRL'S GONE CHILD said...

I'm afraid it's a female thing. men beat each other up and women talk shit and make up names and call other women out on their own insecurities. sadly, some never grow up. i feel sorry for "the trolls" more than anything. they are sad and lonely and hurting and insecure. owning their words? no way, jose. they don't even own themselves.

5/5/06, 11:04 PM  
Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

I've been using 'blogtards.' But after getting hit full-on in the face with the blogtardage, I've been using stronger language, if only in my head. But that's how they get you. Get under your skin. All that can be done, should be done: ignore.

GGC is right - end of the day, they're just sad and lonely and hurting and insecure and desperate for attention. My blogtard started her own blog just to spread her anti-'mommy-blogger' hate further; what kind of sad and freakish basement-dweller do you have to be to devote that much energy to being a petty meanie?

They could be called Gollums... slobbery, desperate, petty, sad Gollums.

5/5/06, 11:21 PM  
Blogger Catherine said...

There should be a LAW: you can't blog or comment on other people's blogs if 1. Your eleven year old acts more mature than you do or 2. You've been called histrionic, passive-agressive, or just plain mean.

I'm with Toyfoto...DELETE. Karma will take care of the rest.

5/5/06, 11:27 PM  
Blogger Sharon L. Holland said...

Oooh, wormeater. That's good.

5/5/06, 11:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to disagree with GGC-- trollish behavior is by no means a female bailiwick. Men are just as capable of saying cruel, demeaning, or simply inconsiderate things as women are. And in a realm where the primary means of interaction is text-based, words become an even more potent weapon.

Honestly, I hate the whole "mean girls" paradigm. The idea that women are categorically inclined to be cruel to each other, ostensibly out of a sublimated desire to compete for male attention, is in itself a means to denigrate women. After all, trying to hurt others for no reason other than to make oneself feel more important is pathetic. Are women as a group pathetic?

Assholes come in all shapes and sizes. And becoming an asshole is decidedly equal opportunity.

5/5/06, 11:54 PM  
Blogger Binky said...

The good news is that it can go either way. Meaning, I have actually become a nicer, more positive person since I started frequenting message boards and blogs. By and large, the people in both of those spheres are incredibly good hearted people, and their enthusiasm has rubbed off on me. By my nature I'm a glass-half-empty kinda person, and though I am not mean spirited, I don't think anyone would consider me particurly sweet. But I'm definitely getting sweeter. And it's because all of you are so darn nice that it's hard not to get swallowed up in the camaraderie of it all. The downside is that I've become far too reliant on the smiley face and the excessive use of exclamation points.

5/6/06, 12:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well and truly said. If there is a downside to the blogiverse, it's the complete lack of civility. F-bombs are not a substitute for reason.


5/6/06, 12:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had a terrible comment that I deleted. It was all name-calling. Then I got the string of hateful emails. I used them for a bashing post and felt a whole lot better. Internet=courage for losers.

How about amoebafeces? I can't think of anything smaller or more insignificant.

5/6/06, 12:55 AM  
Blogger Sandra said...

I like your "stillpeesinpants" personally. I wonder if these anonymous bullies would be so mean if they were not hiding on the internet. Maybe but in some cases I doubt it.

But it makes me flaming mad. Sticks and stones and all that. Its abusive and unnecessary and if you are a pollyanna then I am even more square because if I steal the words from my mother "it has no place here".

Thanks for writing this post!

5/6/06, 7:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't have any creative names for them (maybe b/c I'm a little fry and haven't had to deal with them).

I'm still in the phase where I've seen so much good come from people who encourage one another and discuss issues rationally and thoughtfully.

Many times when I'm reading a post it occurs to me that I don't agree with the blogger's thoughts. I've always felt comfortable to respectfully disagree. People have been very receptive, many times even thanking me for my POV.

The Meanies are only fooling themselves. At best they are cowards who try to hide behind anonymity, at worst they are evil, non-thinking jerks who don't understand civiiity.

5/6/06, 7:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post. Great comment. I agree with toyfoto and say, just delete horrible, nasty comments. What these people (and I use the term loosely) are looking for is attention. I also agree that people take huge license in a public genre...when they feel that the recipient of the meanness is an icon - like the mega-bloggers you mentioned. Perhaps I won't wish I had more readers and commenters after all. Mine are so nice!!!! :-)

5/6/06, 8:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had never thought about the semantics of the word "troll" You are right, the word does connote power. Ick. I'm with Her Bad Mother on the blogtards thing. I like discussion, and I like livliness in comments sections, but when it gets to be malacious personal attacking for the sake of spite, that is not cool.

5/6/06, 9:15 AM  
Blogger The Domesticator said...

I myself have been so upset about some of the trollish behavior going on....the worst example was on Her Bad Mother's blog...just disgraceful...gutless...someone who never grew up....a BLOGTARD.
All I have to say is Karma is a *itch...it all comes back around to bite those in the butt that hurt others.

5/6/06, 9:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I got a couple of those just recently - and shocker - it was on my Mississippi post.

Obviously, they have never left this state.

I try not to make a post out of it to give them more attention - however, chances are they just stopped by and won't be coming back anytime soon.

Of course, they could be like the person at HBM's place and start a blog of their own...

And I like NetHitler, for sure.

5/6/06, 10:02 AM  
Blogger macboudica said...

You know, the terrible thing about these "trolls" or whatever they are is that their behavior is so adolescent. My daughter (age 13) and her friends talk to each other that way on the web. I see it with lots of girls that age--so catty. The research I have done indicates it is becasue they lack the maturity to realize that they are talking to real people. One source recommended telling girls to think before writing anything, "Would I say this to her face?" Unfortunately, these NetTrolls are grown women, supposedly mature adults, in the position to teach their own children civility. I find that frightening.

5/6/06, 10:35 AM  
Blogger Wendy Boucher said...

How about PILLs. (Posts invectives, lacks logic). Or turds. (Not an acronym. Just a juvenile taunt.)

5/6/06, 10:37 AM  
Blogger kim said...

I had a bad moment yesterday. I did not exercise good judgment. I left a comment that in writing came across harsher than intended. I apologized. I am not excusing what I did, but I do think the same rules should apply to bloggers. I think that mean spirited attacks on people are just wrong whether in post or comment. People think they are so above because they do not conform to the norm, but when you ridicule and demean those who do you become no better.

You are one of the few that keeps it real.

5/6/06, 10:49 AM  
Blogger Erin M said...

This sort of behavior is EXACTLY why my comments are moderated. If someone is going to sling poo at me I dont need to gove them the satisfaction of ruffling my readers, nor do i need to give the the power to gather support. Sure i publish comments that copntain different opinions but if someone can not do that without dropping the F-bomb 56 times and inserting 3 references to my mama and calling my kids ugly toads then no it wont get published. My Sweepstakes website has just suffered a troll of the highest calliber and it tookmucho detective work. Ive actually been sitting around waiting for the axe to fall on this memeber for days. It gives me great satisfaction to see a troll dragged out from teh anonymous darkness and given a public flogging

5/6/06, 11:05 AM  
Blogger wordgirl said...

Amen! Even though my own critics haven't been as vocal as they have been with the bloggers you've mentioned, I still find that "Anonymous" manages to bring his/her own brand of criticism to my neck of the woods, too.

Today I received an admonition/challenge from Anonymous to write a post that did not exceed 50 words...as my last post was a little wordy. Unfortunately, my Stat Counter did not record any visits for the last two days (WTF??) so I can't trace the visitor. Either way, one wonders how much pleasure these "drive by shooters" get. Surely they display extraordinary cowardice by dishing out what they obviously can't take, should their criticism be met with scorn.

I would have heled that woman write an obituary. I've done it before and it's a hard gig. A pox on those bitches who busted her chops for reaching out.

5/6/06, 11:59 AM  
Blogger wordgirl said...

Last graph should say, "helped"...not heled. I need to type with my contacts in.

5/6/06, 12:00 PM  
Blogger J said...

Amen, sister. I personally like stillpeesinpants. Idiots.

5/6/06, 12:09 PM  
Blogger Redneck Mommy said...

What about NetNazi?

I don't get this either. When I read your example about the mom who lost her daughter, my blood ran cold. Everyone who reads me knows that is the reason I started blogging. Trying to cope with my sudden loss. And to know there are people out there who use the net to spread their venom, well, that just sucks.

I get freedom of speech, but isn't it much easier to just click on the little x at the top of the screen if you don't like something you have read? Do these people really think they are changing the world by spreading their crap around?

I am glad you have addressed this. I hope the NetNazi's avoid you.

5/6/06, 12:41 PM  
Blogger Jess Riley said...

Well-said!!! Maybe I'm naive, but it always amazes me how the anonymity of the net can embolden such malicious behavior.

I like netscab. Or maybe pustule.

5/6/06, 1:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a fan of NetHitler. But Netscab is running a very close second. It's gross, but not tshirt-emblazon-worthy. It just might make the grade. Hmmm. Tough call.

I often barely prevent myself from making obscene gestures at other drivers, simply b/c I wonder whether they'll be turning into the same parking lot I'm headed toward, and parking next to me. Awk-ward! Not that it's ever happened. I would never *actually* make an obscene gesture at another driver. No. Never.

Which sort of totally makes your point, Mom101. It's so easy to pop off at someone who is 'anonymous,' or while being the anon. person, b/c the someone that is being fired at isn't three-dimensional. Maybe not even two-dimensional. Just flat. An image. No person to identify with. Just a screen and some words (or in my case, a head inside a car). Hence the simplicity of the attack. It's like my friend, who was being pushed back-back-back by a policeman at a peace rally, said about the experience - she was trying to connect with him as a person, explain that she was being cut off from her mom in the crowd and that she simply wanted to get back to find her mom, and he refused to acknowledge her. She said that they're obviously trained to ignore conversation, because to participate in it is to connect, and to connect is to allow the face in front of you to take on three dimensions. It's easier to attack the "enemy" that way.

That's sad and really off-topic. But you get the gist. Oh, and grrrreat post. It (obviously) hit a nerve, here.

5/6/06, 4:28 PM  
Blogger ms blue said...

I'll sign your petition for the government to institute some NCLB-type standardized tests. You need a license to fish but anyone can raise a child.

Seems that anyone with a computer and a mean streak can attack others for no reason. I'm all for deleting the comments and moving on.

5/6/06, 5:32 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

While I have yet to have my own trolls (guess I haven't made it big yet), I prefer to call them "tiny penis". It's based on my favorite curse: "May your children have tiny penises - even the girls."

I agree with what was said above that posting as an anonymous really shows the true nature of the person. A person who is mean-spirited at heart will gladly show their true colors when they are anonymous. It honestly makes me pity them, for they are so full of negativity their lives must be miserable.

But I do wish they wouldn't unleash their negativity on good people who don't need to deal with crap like that. They're being anonymous internet bullies.

5/6/06, 7:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

People feel that they can hide behind their computer monitor and therefore what they do online is not real. A new personality comes through and they say or do things that they would never do in "real life".

5/6/06, 8:00 PM  
Blogger Mel said...

Hmmm. How about "blog molester"? And that one can even be shortened down to "BM."
As for the anecdote about the forum people ganging up on that poor bereaved mother, my heart just broke for her. How awful.
I've been a forum-dweller off and on for about five years, and I have found that the shitbirds will find you no matter where you go.
I have one private forum that a few friends from other sites and I formed after a particularly messy and ugly forum war; it's the only way you can guarantee you'll be talking with people who get you.
As for blogs, well, I guess in a sense we have to take the risk of dealing with the human BMs out there, and just deleting their venom as soon as we can.
But they still suck.

5/6/06, 9:22 PM  
Blogger doggerelblogger said...

The question is, how many of these people would say the things you've discussed in person? Probably none.

Maybe "gutless wonders" would be an apt term.

5/6/06, 10:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love it. When I ran an employment department years ago I used to have an extra desk in the front office and applicants would confuse me for the receptionist. It cracked me up to see the looks on their faces when they realized the woman they were so snotty to was going to decide whether or not they got the job.

Karma's a bitch.


5/6/06, 11:37 PM  
Blogger Krisco said...

I like StillPeesInPants.

Or even - PoopsInPants. That's a good one. I think there was a kid in my class who was still called that SIX YEARS after his sad little incident. (sadly)

That one works for me.

Or just, you know, poopy.

5/7/06, 1:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love both of those suggestions. I am cracking up that you published the IP adress. I think you are completly right in this post. It's also that thing of walk a mile in somone elses shoes. I think it is easy for some to judge easily on the internet, because you can't see how you hurt the person you spew at. I also think people assume that we as bloggers are putting ourselves out there, so we deserve their attacks. And it's just wrong. I tend to leave and not come back id I find someone who I don't like. But some people can't so that. They just keep coming back to spew their hatred. And it sucks. The mom who lost the little girl, was probably looking for support. And I hope she found it in others.

5/7/06, 1:43 AM  
Blogger Romancing Simplicity said...

I'm amazed the yellow-livered pansies didn't hit up this post too. I vote for NetHitler.

5/7/06, 4:19 AM  
Blogger mamatulip said...

Amen, sista.

5/7/06, 6:37 AM  
Blogger josetteplank.com said...

Fueling every mean, hurtful comment or act, is insecurity and, even more basic, fear. Of something. Being alone. Not being good enough. Fear of death. Fear of not being noticed.

As with children and (mis)behavior, there are needs: if the child's needs are not being through positive means, they will be met through negative. A little simplistic and more complicated when we get to adults and all that Samsonite they carry around; and the understanding does not excuse the behavior, but maybe it helps to know that this is more about them than about you.

I'm not always so understanding. But when it gets to the point of me physically clenching and unclenching my fists in my "real life", knowing that I'm most likely dealing with a wounded human can help...a bit.

Anyway, I like "booger flingers". How's that for dishing out my own mean? ;-)

5/7/06, 9:02 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Yes. Yes. Yes. I have been especially disturbed the last few days by some of the comments on the personal blogs that I've been reading. I think hostile rhetoric might be more expected on a political issue blog or something. But on a personal blog. Why, why, why? I've been tempted to chime in here and there but I've seen the "conversation" disintegrate quickly and I just can't get into that. Your post today reminds me that I am not alone in this.

I guess I wouldn't want to give negative commenters any name. It falls along the lines of not dignifying a rude comment with a response. And, for me, it may go against "blog comment etiquette," for I'm newish to blogging and don't know, but, if and when I get something upsetting on my blog, I'm deleting it. I liken it to cleaning up grafitti. (sp?)

P.S. Here via some blog hopping. I think it was Her Bad Mother to Redneck Mommy to you!

5/7/06, 11:25 AM  
Blogger gingajoy said...

like GGC and Bad Lady, my overwhelming sense is that these people are utterly sad and devoid of real relationships or experiences that provided for them some fricking social graces.

The best tactic is to utterly ignore them (says the woman who trounced tearfree several times via B.L. *and* at her new "blog." because I have too much time on my hands, evidently).

it saddens/angers me, but then the swell of support from others always counters that and then some.

5/7/06, 11:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

my all-time favorite term to describe the true jerks of the world (including, but not limited to, a truly annoying TV critic in Chicago...)?


5/7/06, 11:45 AM  
Blogger ninepounddictator said...

Hi, I came her from her bad mother (2badladies) I'm glad I did.

Man, it's amazing the mean people out there (However, I really do beleive the people who take the time to read other people's blogs and then write something mean, are really insecure, lonely, people, who have way too much time on their hands - and therefore are bitter. I actually feel quite sorry for them.)

When I first started blogging, maybe two months ago, I was so naive. I thought, "Why does anyone need comment moderation. Isn't the point of blogging to start a discussion - whether people agree or not?"

Well, that lasted a whole two weeks! I had to moderate my comments, because their were so many meanies. I don't care if people attack my opinions. I do care that people attack ME personally.

I couldn't believe some annoynmous commenters - everything from "Your fiance is so ugly" (Can you believe that?) to "I'm going to tell your boss about this and get you fired1" (As if!)

Anyway, I guess my point is, is that there will always be mean people - and these are the people who usually are not successful at all, so must come down hard on others.

I always think, "You don't like it, don't read it."

And that should be it.

5/7/06, 1:47 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

You are very right... I like NetHitler...

5/7/06, 2:22 PM  
Blogger josetteplank.com said...

I agree with ninepounddictator.

"I don't care if people attack my opinions. I do care that people attack ME personally."

I'd rather they not attack at all, although I know some quarters where any level of disagreement is seen as a "attack". But I do value and admire those bloggers who do put themselves out there and do allow for some intelligent, thoughtful, back-and-forth discussion and even disagreement in their comments *on topic*.

I don't think all blogs need to to this, but again, where discussion is allowed or even encouraged, I've learned me quite a bit.

But out-and-out ad hominem (is that the right Latin?) attacks? Not cool.

5/7/06, 2:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Um, could you NOT do 'still pees in pants'? You see, after pushing two rather large children through my hoo-ha, my ability to keep pee in my body was severely compromised for a l-o-n-g time after childbirth. I know my sister had the same experience--she couldn't even run down the driveway without having an 'uh oh' moment! So, for all of the 'just had a baby' mamas, I will vote for NetHitler or one of the other great ideas above. Loved this post, btw. It is sickening how cowardly and mean people can be.

5/7/06, 8:09 PM  
Blogger Antique Mommy said...

The web is just a microcosm of the larger world - most people are good, but those that are not really seem to need attention.

Regarding your elevator story -- One time in college, I was trying to get to the first day of class and I was running late and someone cut me off in the parking lot and I got all not very nice, lets just say it that way, and when I walked into the class room -- it was my teacher. Wanted to disappear. That was the best lesson of the entire semester.

5/7/06, 9:56 PM  
Blogger Perstephone said...

Amen, sista! Again, fab post.

Recently I posted about returning to work full-time and expected a lot of haters to turn up. I was shocked and oh-so-pleased to find that only support was shared in my comments section. I'm not all that widely read, so I see how it could have been bad if people just couldn't stop tuning in.

And for those of you who just hate- why not just remove links to the people you hate from your own site and call it a day?

5/7/06, 10:03 PM  
Blogger Bobita said...


Seriously, I am going to post a "disclaimer" on my blog...NO TROLLS ALLOWED! (and link to this post...if that is okay?)

I have a thing that I say frequently...people should not be allowed to leave their house until they have passed some kind of test on compassion. Perhaps, they should not be allowed to enter Blogsphere either?!

5/7/06, 10:20 PM  
Blogger Stu said...

As a newly regular reader, thanks for sharing what you share. I'm a fulltime husband and father and homemaker and I appreciate your candor.

As for comments, bummer about the ugly side. Good luck in dealing with it, as it comes with the territory. It's unfair, but I don't know of a way to keep them out without keeping out the timid-but-nice people.

As for being nice to others, we Jews are taught that you should be nice to the person next to you, as they may be the Messiah. Not sure if that helps, but it does keep me on the straight and narrow.

5/7/06, 10:31 PM  
Blogger Kristi said...

You are so right!

5/8/06, 12:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I feel like an old person when I say this (I'm only 31! Really!) But in the entire 12 years I've been in online message forums and communities, trolls have been ever-present. I don't know what it is. I don't know why they do it (though I did find a fascinating article once about how there are troll communities where you get points for how many flame wars you can start with the same post on widely different forums--now that's a worthy passtime).

But there's a mob mentality about it, isn't there? It's so easy to be cruel when someone else does it first. Sad.

5/8/06, 9:19 AM  
Blogger DaniGirl said...

I blogged for over a year before I got my first troll, and it was on a comment about having to put my husband's cat to sleep, of all things, and trying to explain the concept of a dead pet to my preschoolers.

The best revenge, as they say, is living well. What comes around goes around. Yadda yadda yadda. But wouldn't it be nice, just every now and then, to see the shit disturbers and other trolls being splashed by buses passing through karmic mud puddles or something??

5/8/06, 9:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I loved the part of "Do not collect sperm anywhere near your cervix." I'm still loving that humor! Great blog!

5/8/06, 11:13 AM  
Blogger Liz said...

Wow, I just posted about this on my blog on Thursday. I don't know how I did it, but later that day I somehow managed to make frieds with the troll from my blog and turns out, she was just having a bad day and apologized for her behavior.

5/8/06, 12:01 PM  
Blogger Teacher lady said...

I think NetHitler connotes too much power as well (even more than Troll.) I love Tinfoil Asshat, as well as PILL, pustule, oh, what creative readers you have, Mom101! Does anyone read Teacher Kerri? This post in particular illustrates the rage simmering below the surface thing quite well, I think. Then these kids are growing up to become bloggers with rage simmering just below the surface. My questions: Why so angry? (Not arguing that people don't have millions of reasons to be angry) And why take it out on nice people who are just blogging on their pretty blogs, trying to answer the big questions of life and have some fun? Party poopers.

5/8/06, 12:31 PM  
Blogger Teacher lady said...

Crap. I don't know why that link doesn't work. Sorry any potential lurking trolls: I'll say it for you: I'm an idiot. Please just paste this into your browser. I should really be studying for finals anyway. http://www.teacherkerri.squarespace.com/7-nov-05/2006/4/28/why-i-couldnt-quite-make-it-to-school-today.html

5/8/06, 12:34 PM  
Blogger Teacher lady said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

5/8/06, 12:35 PM  
Blogger zinalasvegas said...

Hey--you hit (another) nerve.

I had someone write a few mean comments to my blog--same commenter, different mean comments--and franky I was SO hurt--even tho it wasn't even that bad!!

And I know as we ALL do what we're opening ourselves up to, but you're right, ain't no thing we can do to make ourselves nonhuman for the day.

It hurts, period, when someone is mean and when someone takes what you have said and skews it into something ugly. It also hurts when someone doubts the foundation that you build your self esteem on.


But I always try and remember that the good people do surpass the bad, in numbers, emotions and empathy.

5/8/06, 1:11 PM  
Blogger Miguelita said...

Great post. I dont get much traffic so I havent been smacked down yet, but I feel sick when I read some of the crappy comments I have seen on other blogs. I would be hurt.
I have respectfully disagreed with bloggers, and hope they would do the same with me when the situation warrants. If I dont agree with someone and have nothing to add, I just click on the next blog. I dont understand the urge to lash out unless one has already been lashed out AT.

5/8/06, 1:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My friend Charlotte, a very cool woman from Detroit, where they don't take this kind of stuff lightly, gave me this advice: Imagine Still Pees in Her Pants gives you a shopping bag. A big Bloomingdales' shopping bag. Filled with her shit. You've got to say to her, "No thanks. This belongs to you." Give it back.

The Buddha says that if we do not accept one's 'gift' it goes back to them. Socrates writes that when people don't think they will be caught they are capable of awful things ( later, Jung talked about our Shadow Side). So this has gone on longer than Mom101. That's why we need blogs like yours. Blogs that remind us about ethics and morals and ways of behaving when no one is looking (as if you are 'no one').

And, by the way, who told you that Pollyana is a synonym for doing right? You keep going, Mom.

5/9/06, 7:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been a little wrapped up in my own troll-like issue and missed this until today.

Dealing with my ex-husband's current girlfriend hanging around on my blog under a pseud. She knows it's my blog. She's met me and been in my house several times. And she's sending me email saying how nice it is to meet new friends on the internet.

How weird is THAT? I don't know if she's spying for him or has issues of her own...but, WTF, people????

BTW, Mom-101, if you're interested, drop me a line, I have a little info I'd like to share. Or...if not, da nada.

5/10/06, 1:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not meaning to pimp the troll but has anyone been to Reject's site lately? It's up it's down it's up again.

So the question is... Which one of you lovely ladies has gotten their 10-year-old kid to hack her blog?

Cos I'll give the little wonder-child my hubbies X-Box360 as a thank you...

5/15/06, 2:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dad poisoned the minds of his children with his irresponsible television viewing choices.
Among other things.
Dad is liked, so expect the intent was not there. However, I suspect the same cannot be said for his wife.
Case in point:::Neighbor's driveway sidewalk chalk art consisted of a girl's name, a smiley face, other innocent, child-like offerings.
In our driveway our kids drew body outlines, like those one would find at a murder scene.
And all his son spoke of was guns, hunting and killing.
The father's irresponsibility was manifested in the monsterous things the son said when he was younger. Just ask his former teachers.
Her family's extreme evil is manifested in the son who is attracted to wicked imagry at his young age.
Satanists start by hurting small animals. I wonder if this ultimately is his path?
Accept loss.

11/20/09, 4:02 PM  
Blogger Jenny Grace said...

I've somehow dodged troll comments in favor of straight-to-the-inbox troll emails from fudged addresses.

I assume it's all one person, but it's a campaign of emails telling me how ugly my son is.

Which is odd on many levels.

It particularly baffles me because I would think that someone who is trying to hurt you would pick on an insecurity, and Gabriel's relative beauty is not something that keeps me up at night.

Telling me he's ugly is like telling me that the sun orbits the earth. It's not true, and I don't care.

11/20/09, 6:42 PM  

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