Image by kennymatic
Negative commentors, trolls, stalkers represent the dark side of blogging.
As fashion bloggers, often we're putting pictures of ourselves out to the public leaving ourselves vulnerable to criticism…. and sometimes harassment. From the famously documented negative comments of Fashion Toast to that one person who won't stop commenting mean comments about my disorganized closet. It seems that we're on our own when dealing with negative commentors, with ranging emotions from ‘whatever… delete' to ‘ouch that really hurts.'
While dealing with trolls is relatively simple, “Ignore them.” You can delete the comments and that's that. Sometimes however, trolls can persist, sometimes at a level where it's scary, at that point what do you do? Post about it? Give them more attention? Suffer in silence alone? Is it enough to simply develop thicker skin?
In some cases yes, thicker skin helps, because everyone agrees with everything. Disagreement should be allowed, but destructive negative comments don't have to be tolerated, especially under the guise of ‘free speech.' I think of my blog like I would my home. I wouldn't kick someone out for saying my shoes don't really go with my outfit, but I may kick someone out who calls me old, fat and tell me my shoes suck.
I think of my blog like I would my home. I wouldn't kick someone out for saying my shoes don't really go with my outfit, but I may kick someone out who calls me old, fat and tell me my shoes suck.
I have been lucky enough to have only experienced a rare dose of anonymous negative commentors in my two and a half years of blogging. But I do know that it has affected many bloggers once they start getting a fair amount of traffic. It breaks my heart to see bloggers posting about recent slews of negative comments, and often times I wonder if the negative commentors are the same person… and since we are on our own, we're often left dealing in silence.
Wait, we can make a place to report trolls
One thing we can do is start a members-only thread in IFB and report trolls by IP address, email or by comment. That way we can recognize repeat offenders and not feel so alone if your blog gets hit, then you can make a more informed decision on how you want to deal with this situation.
This thread will only be open to IFB members, which hopefully none of us are trolls, so it should be safe from their eyes. Please note that IFB cannot take action against trolls, we can only provide support for you in the event your blog gets hit.
Report a Troll Thread (you must be logged in to access this link)
Blocking persistent trolls
Blocking IP addresses can be done relatively easily in a WordPress Plugins, or in Blogger it's risky, you could accidentally block some of your lovely readers if they use a proxy. I would recommend doing this as a last resort, trolls can easily go to other computers, use IP masks if they really want to cause trouble for you. Also, if you use WordPress, you can mark users as spam so they don't make it to your moderation queue.
Still the best thing is to not interact with them, but that doesn't mean we have to suffer alone.