You’ve just written the best blog post in the world. You scoured the Internet and discovered yours was the only post like it in existence. You’ve edited it a thousand times and whittled it down to perfection. You post it, and shortly comes an email proclaiming you have a comment! Oh happy day!
You click on the link and what do you see?
Doink3298 says: “LMOA UR IDEAS R FING STOPID YO LOL WHO REEDS THIS CARP”
Your day is now ruined.
What to Do?
Rude, mean, and plain ol’ ignorant comments (otherwise known as “trolling”) are firmly intertwined with the Internet. They’re part of its history. Give a regular person anonymity and they take it as a free pass to spout off inanities like the above. Despite all the praise and love you can get throughout a day, often that one idiot is all you can think about!
As I see it, there are three routes to take when dealing with ignoramuses:
Set your comments to where you must approve or deny them via e-mail. This way, you can weed out the obvious clowns like Doink3298 while still approving people that have very real things to contribute.
Our tendencies, of course, are to only let in the comments we feel are favorable to our blog post (and our egos). Make sure to keep this in check! Not everyone is trying to tear you down, and some negative comments can spark healthy debate.
Approving or denying every single post that comes through your site can get very aggravating. Instead, keep an eagle eye out on your posts and delete trolls with extreme prejudice!
Of course, your major problem here is timing. If you wait until a comment goes up on the site before killing it, you risk the chance of people seeing it and worse, commenting on it. Then, you have to delete THEIR comment as well, and the cycle continues.
Let common sense and human decency prevail and let all the garbage through! The vast majority of Internet users are (though hard to believe) regular, decent people who have just as much interest in weeding out trolls as you do. Most people can be expected to know an ignorant comment when they see it and will either scroll past while rolling their eyes or will attack the person for you (the term for this is “white knighting”).
So in the interest of free speech, try and let the flow of conversation occur naturally and see what happens! Try to remember that moronic comments aren’t the end of the world and that their presence might even raise some sympathy from your readers.
What’s your policy for rude blog comments?