Friday, 11 November 2016

A Blogging Phenomenon


Much has been written about how  anonymity breeds trolling behaviour on the Internet. Like road rage which flourishes inside the confines of certain people's personal car spaces, bloggers who take shelter behind pseudonyms and fictional characters may often challenge, and bitch and argue and debate with their fellows where, if they met them socially, they would keep their mouths politely and very firmly shut.
It's an interesting phenomenon to be sure.
I've noticed certain bloggers seem to delight in sucking the life blood from any blog entry by consistently arguing the opposite point of view. You can almost set your watch by them .
Is it a case of familiarity breeding contempt ? Genuine irritation? or a sense of entitlement
I am not quite sure
Perhaps someone out there can enlighten me.
Part of the problem , I think, comes from the written word itself.  Like texts and particularly emails , it is easy to misconstrue the meanings and emotions behind a comment, especially one tapped out quickly three thousand miles away.
The answer, like most answers lie within a mash up of all of the points above.

I'll leave you with a morning photo of me and Mary..........


77 comments:

  1. John, I don't know much about blogger rage but I do know today is the feast of St. Martin in Burgenland Austria when millions of geese, will end up in the oven. It's like christmas dinner but worse. There's goose on offer in every conceivable form in every restaurant in the land. I don't know where the birds come from since I never see any apart from half dozen the nuns on the hill have in their garden.

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    1. " holds arms out and shakes head slowly"

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  2. Tom S. was brave and honest and told her what he thinks about it, every one should do so.What are other people afraid of?

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    1. Dog-shit and moving header photos - that's what I am scared of.

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    2. That does not make you less brave:) but may be i misunderstood Johne's post.

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    3. You are not alone Yael. I dont understand either.

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  3. awwww..you and mary are spooning.

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  4. I guess I have been lucky, it is rare that I get a rude comment, and I generally ignore them. One advantage of a tiny following - fewer trolls.

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    1. I am a produc of my own success then!

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  5. Any interesting point, John. I just read an article saying that certain white supremacist/neo-Nazi groups in America are being urged to troll Clinton supporters to suicide. I was slowly getting over my fear of the results of the presidential election, but now I'm back to being very, very scared for my country.

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    1. Those neo whatever groups you refer to must number in the less than three. I think you'll be safe. As far as Clinton supporters being driven to suicide...I think they are doing that to themselves in a very fashionable, of the moment way.

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  6. Over my years of blogging, I've only occasionally had a really disruptive commenter. One, though, who found my blog through something else I wrote (to which he took, apparently, strong exception) was a real horror show, including figuring out who I "really" am (I blog under a pseudonym) and trying to harass me at work along with a steady stream of other abuse. There is, as you note, something about being online that takes people far beyond what they would do (I would hope) face-to-face.

    But the good friends I've made through the blog far outweigh the occasional need to delete and block the naysayers. It's to my advantage that I've got a small but steady audience - just enough to warrant continuing, but not so much as to be of interest to the trolls...

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    1. Good point too.....the good outweighing the bad

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    2. I've never had much contrary commentary (or any sort of commentary, for the most part) except once about five years ago. This particular poster & I had a short exchange where we disagreed on a certain point, then I never heard from him again.

      If I should ever be met again with someone who didn't care for what I wrote, then I would hope that the experience could be as easy as it was those few years ago.

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  7. I've always had a problem with those who hide behind anonymity, often wondering what ever happened to their balls.

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    1. Stand up and be counted eh! The Spirit that WON us the war!

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  8. I only argue offline. I like to see the whites of their eyes.
    Sx

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    1. I got such a visual with that that it made me smile!

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    2. A woman to be admired!

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  9. I think another important point is that you have a lot of American readers and the problem is they think we all speak the same language, while the truth is somewhat different. I notice that particularly in some of the responses to your ironic sense of humour and also in some of the shocked responses to comments from people like Tom and Yorkshire Pudding, who are simply being funny (as in that mention last week him hitting you in ABO).
    Same language? Not a chance.

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    1. A good and balanced response mr ami!

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  10. I have never been trolled; I am not interesting enough. When I have read rude comments on other's, I can't understand why someone would take time out of their life to be cruel and nasty. What do they gain? Mean people hurt my heart.

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    1. Don't get me wrong, I actually love a good debate on things, it's when some people associate your argument with you and cannot separate the two, I. Cannot understand

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  11. I agree with how you really cannot convey emotions or sentiment in an email. Sometimes even a post or response is hard. I think people need to consider their words carefully when responding to blogger's posts. There are words that will explain your state of mind and even emojis, but lots of people get lost in the argument and may come across as brash or snarky. When really it was seriousness or humor instead.
    And yes, if someone is unaccustomed to dry humor, that can also be misinterpreted. I myself, love the hell out of it and get amused on a daily basis by your story telling and the comments that follow.

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    1. Dry and sarcastic humour is something I am " blessed " with
      I have learnt THAT lesion to my cost on many occasion

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  12. I had to increase "security" on my blog because of trolls and people who have nothing good to say. In my opinion, we (bloggers) don't generally blog for the benefit of others .. we might enjoy entertaining readers with our blogs but we don't all need constant approval.
    I found that I was getting way too much unasked for advice so I now read the comments before posting them. . or not.
    I totally agree with Starting Over ... why do people spend time .. minutes that they will never get back ! ... trolling blogs and being ugly ? They are obviously needy in some way ..

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    1. Some are manipulative certainly , some just like to argue for arguments sake

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    2. Yes and too many think they know us because they read our blogs , giving them the right to advise us .. Unless asked, I hate it when someone comments, telling me what I should do/how I should manage.
      I am also cranky lately.
      :)

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    3. NotesFromAbroad...I think in your case your readers are probably very fond of you and are just dying for you to take a wonderful vacation to BA and revisit all those wonderful places, and tell us all what it was like. Why would that be hard for you to accept that affection ?

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  13. I think it is called bad manners. Or maybe mental illness. Who knows?

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    1. A bad case of superiority ( knowing better than us ) combined with big mouth syndrome ( not knowing when to keep it shut)

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  14. I don't know what you speak of, but perhaps, they don't see it in themselves. I've been reading Oliver Sack's last biography which is really good; the reason why I thought of that. Nothing feels better than snuggling up next to your dog. I know all is well then.

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    1. Googling mr sacks as I type this

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    2. It's called ON THE MOVE - A LIFE. I love it and him. They don't make them like him anymore. You would really enjoy it in your field of work.

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    3. Oliver Sacks was brilliant .. really.

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  15. Sometimes when I read comments on my blog I wonder if the author actually read the post...

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    1. Lol I get that sense sometimes.....

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    2. I have that happen, too.

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  16. Sometimes there is a fuzzy line that gets lost between debating and trolling

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  17. I have few problems with oddballs, but I have a small following. I have moderation after 3 days - it has stopped those just cruising to advertise their 'whatever.'

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  18. If I get a comment like that, I delete it and then wonder. My blog is milk-toast to angry people who get riled up, are unlikely to check me out.

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  19. Nothing better than being spooned by humans best friend.

    I am of the opinion that there are people who feel weak and invisible in the world. Like a naughty child, it's a pathetic grab at attention. Bad is better than nothing at all.

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  20. I blog and read blogs to find pleasure and enlightenment. So I don't argue with bloggers. If someone really offends my sensibilities or repeatedly says things I find difficult to take, as has recently happened, I will either simply stop following them or, if I feel it's important enough, state my case and then say good-bye. I promise to not suck the life blood out of your blog entries, especially since your blog is often what makes the days in my life so much better.

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    1. Mitchell, I admire your resolve. Unfortunately, I never ever give up on anyone. Particularly not those whose stubborn reasoning is full of more holes than a piece of Venetian lace. Though am in training.

      Wish me luck.

      U

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  21. Dear John, you are a peacemaker. That doesn't mean that those more combative are trouble makers. The term "troll" so overused it has little meaning and even less value.

    Of course, one may argue - and I have done so - that the opposite to the argumentative is the sycophant. I don't follow many blogs but there are one or two I'd say their owners are in dire need of "stroking" - you know, like your dogs and Albert. Anyone who doesn't fit the bill, who dares to question their reasoning is dismissed, deleted. That's not discussion. That's a cop out. And lazy.

    Anyway, your blog is a daily soothing band aid to many of your readers' woes. Long may it last. And please, John, don't let other people's squabbles upset you. If in doubt just ask the Prof what he thinks. Though dare say he has little patience for some ilk.

    U

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    1. I love saying my piece, I guess it's all about HOW you say it

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  22. They would not behave that way in person. It is easy to be 'courageous' when you hide behind your computer screen.

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  23. I tried once to comment on your blog about how I felt being called a fucking American by someone on your blog who didn't know me. But in my messy mind (I have some brain damage ) my written response was read and not the tone of what I was trying to say and then I was angry and couldn't write what I wanted to, I flubbed and messed it. So I caught grief from your gang of 6 (?)very vocal followers.
    Bel-Ami said it perfect for me. Sometimes comments sound cruel but I think it is sarcastic ? ? ?
    I am sure I just didn't get that fucking American was a nice term.
    So with my trouble typing and wonky brain I have learned since then to write simple comments from now, on the blogs I love.
    (Except for today)
    Even then I have to go back and remove the extra letters and words I type in.
    I must say again I adore your blog and read it first every morning or Weavers who ever is first on my reader.
    I am not sure who argues with you just to argue but goodness stop ! the world is too mean and fractured right now.

    I just timed this comment it took me 25 minutes to write this.
    le sigh
    Love the photo today!

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. I try to always remember that the "tone" in my head that I write with, is not always the "tone" that people will read.
      I also try not to Classify people according to where they live etc.
      I so completely agree with Plowing Through Life (Martha) .. people hide behind those computer screens and feel a freedom they must not have in "real life" to say whatever they think, regardless of how rude or stupid it is.
      Oh well, that is the internet, no ? :o)

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    2. Never be put off from commenting never!

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  24. That dog has definitely fallen on her feet.

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  25. oh and John - reading Parsnip above my comment - she is a darling - don't ever be hard on her.

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    1. No, never John just some of his followers that is why I try to respond very simple or not at all. I have learned my lesson.

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    2. Never pull your punches Gayle,
      You have deserved your place here x

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    3. Yes! Thank you John. X

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    4. Yes! Thank you John. X

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  26. You both look so comfortable - just don't roll over, John !

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  27. That pic is cozyness personified.

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  28. Ps my husband just ask me to find out what you thought of the first new walking dead episode. What a palavar scrolling back, je suis fatigue, my poor wee fingers. Since I detest excercise, could you please consider a blog index?

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    1. you can use the search bar at the top of the page to help find things

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  29. You and Mary look quite comfy. I think if people's emotions could somehow come across in their words it might help. For example, a sarcasm key would be awesome. But even if they solved that problem, there are still going to be internet bullies because that is just the way things are. And I think they are going to feel even more strengthened because a bully just got elected president.

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    1. I think when I get sarcastic in future I shall signify the fact with this 🦃 Emoji

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  30. Brilliant, John!!!
    You are right on target!!!

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  31. I am a big fan of emoticons to help giving the correct feeling to text. As to people who like to argue, I do think it is easier when you aren't face to face with people and try hard to control that inclination in myself and remember that there are real people behind that screen or windscreen (though am very prone to a good, "asshollllle!" in 'Fish Called Wanda' style, to myself when driving. I came across a post on Fb the other day about Joystealers, and passed it on to my sis for her kids because I felt that knowing that term would help them heading into their teen years. I think there is an element of this involved in some commenting online. Some people aren't very happy and just want to take the shine off what you are doing or feeling. I think it helps to just tell yourself, "That's a joystealer," and let it go instead of trying to work out if their outright mean or seemingly offhand but hurtful comment has validity.

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  32. I'm glad that I have plenty of company when I sleep with my animals. What's the point of having a pet if you don't share your life with it?
    I think the behavior you are describing stems from cowardice. If you can't say it to my face, keep your mouth shut.

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  35. Ha, John - you'll be pushed right out of bed by Mary some day soon! Troll must be sad people - to find being so destructive a source of pleasure indicates sickness or personality disorder ... and thus needs removing from the web ASAP for the troller's own sake!

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  36. I think that some people just lack manners. They feel the need to be pushy and rude and online is the perfect way for them to be obnoxious. I am a bit more old fashioned and feel if you have nothing nice to say or would not say it to their face don't say it. And if you don't like what a blogger is saying - stop reading.

    We love your bed buddy. I don't know how you cope when they all climb on, I struggle with one large pussy cat pushing me out of my bed - let alone your gang.

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  37. It just shows how nasty people can be if left unchecked by a face to face encounter. The shocking thing is to discover how nasty so many people are without that check. The potential for unpleasantness in the human race is quite unsettling.

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  38. I just had the one comment after Blogging that we'd had a bonfire ( perhaps the only bonfire in twenty years ) that I was having fun at the world's expense. I replied that I don't drive, I recycle heaps, compost my veg, kept hens etc etc so my carbon footprint wasn't so huge. They never commented again.

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  39. Hell. I hope you don't roll over onto Mary in your sleep. You would crush the poor little mite - like a jumbo jet landing on a raspberry pavlova.

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  40. I just can't seem to get this posting down. It always seem to double up. Anyway, i was trying to note that the meaness some vomit up as a comment anonymously is nothing compared to the meaness many dogooders think they have the right to say to you in person. I am referring to my sister who is disabled, since she looks "normal" and not DOWNS syndrome, some of the most cruel comments come spewing forth.
    I have tried to pass my philosophy on to her:Take it as a compliment and move on. My sis is the least judgmental person I know. So when things get bad and people say cruel things...take it as compliment and move on.That being said, hurt my sisters heart, i will make clean their clock.

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  41. I just can't seem to get this posting down. It always seem to double up. Anyway, i was trying to note that the meaness some vomit up as a comment anonymously is nothing compared to the meaness many dogooders think they have the right to say to you in person. I am referring to my sister who is disabled, since she looks "normal" and not DOWNS syndrome, some of the most cruel comments come spewing forth.
    I have tried to pass my philosophy on to her:Take it as a compliment and move on. My sis is the least judgmental person I know. So when things get bad and people say cruel things...take it as compliment and move on.That being said, hurt my sisters heart, i will make clean their clock.

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  42. There is enough nastiness and unpleasantness in the world without adding to it via blogs I think..and sometimes I have read a blog post from someone and been cross or annoyed or thought 'What a bastard!'..but then I just dip out of reading for a while until my mood is better! It's not compulsory to engage in everything all the time.....and I have so few readers and have so few comments that it doesn't really affect me.....

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