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Monday, September 21, 2015

How do you handle crazy people online?

A big part of successful blogging is community building. You put your thoughts, opinions and ideas out there and hope to start a discussion with like-minded individuals. A virtual salon, if you will.

My off-blog friends would probably tell you I'm just as unfiltered in real life but a lot less cranky than I appear online. There is a fine line between being sharp-tongued and being a loose cannon. My frankness sometimes attracts the mentally iffy who mistake a pointed discussion for an opportunity to unleash all of their pent-up crazy.

I have one long-time commenter who has always been more than a little "bless her heart." Not long ago she started attacking other commenters. I refused to publish those hateful little missives, because I'm very protective of my Dumplings. Recently, the crazy ratcheted up so high I didn't feel I could publish any of her comments, semi-lucid or otherwise.

Now, I receive delightful daily messages threatening to never comment again (please follow through on that):

Dated 9/16/15

I am trying one more time! I have left 7 posts....(Don't think they have been offensive; but not one has been posted! Maybe you don't want to hear from me!

Here is another try!
Your commenters are the funniest people EVER! They all belong o SaturdayNightLive!

that newspaper wallpapered bathroom is a new low in "ideas"! Just my opinion!

I am just glad you posted it so that those hilarious comments came forth! Maybe that is your goal? I thought so from the get-go!

But then nary one of my comments has ever been posted!

Are you "Decorno" reincarnated? She was hilarious....and she hated me. she had a GREAT blog! And then stopped!

If you are; just let me know; I will stop wasting my time commenting. Not one single comment is published! I didn't think any were offensive....but if you are "decor" every word I said was offensive!

Please let me know....I will stop wasting my time typing!!!! 

Dated 9/18/15

I don't even know why I bother commenting. Not one comment in 3 months has been published so far as I can tell! [Her last comment was published five weeks ago.]

this is my last foray!

I am a Grandma (they all call me Granny); and this border is beyond ugly.

I love wallpaper borders that go around the ceiling...around windows; even around ceilings and down walls in corners!! this one is a loser looks old and tired and pathetic!

If you didn't want me to post.....I wish you had written me and asked me not to! I have wasted time and ideals....and nary one single published! Oh well! Tah tah for now!
[I received two comments from her this morning even though I've not posted in three days.]

By any chance were you ever DECORNO????

She hated me so much! (I have no idea why!)

I love your blog; and I love your comments! They are the funniest!

*long exhale*

I often wonder what the crazy people did before the internet. Just drive their family and neighbors nuts? Did they feel unduly constrained by society's requirements for decorum, wanting to break free and let their personality disorders fly? Did they join their first online forum and shout to no one in particular "FINALLY!!!!!!!"? (They do enjoy their punctuation.)

Dumplings, a "Penny" for your thoughts. If you blog, have you run into commenters who could use their own personal pharmacist? How do you handle them?


Coulda shoulda woulda said...

Rite of blogging passage eh?

in the beginning, i was so unsure of everything and didn't have great footing and blogging spatial awareness so I was always so worried about offending. ( IRL i am a total bitch and my gay guys twitter bitch match me all the time for practice)

But as time goes on I realize I am publicly not so bad and in fact just last week I called someone on their needless bitchiness and rudeness on my FB blog page. i don't do this for money but as a hobby either. It's your page and you run it how you like!

Raina Cox said...

Coulda shoulda woulda - I struggle with everyone having a right to be heard - unless they're abusive. But, damn, the Crazy wears me out.

DaniBP said...

Oh man. Those constant exclamation points are a real sign of crazy. I always just delete everything I don't like from the comment section but I've never had to deal with that much material. Are you feeling totally hassled? It's enough to drive a person to daytime drinking. XO

Raina Cox said...

DaniBP - Dude, it's every day. If I don't post, she'll go back and make further comments on an old post.

Kimberly said...

Raina, I don't have a blog but I am an obsessive blog reader. I rarely comment and I'm not sure exactly why - probably because I get too invested in wanting conversation and it's too easy to get lost in the comments. I love that you called it a 'virtual salon' - that's so perfect - which means I really need to participate more.

Anyway, I cannot imagine having to deal with the crazies on a blog and I'm sure that's why so many of my favorites have been so beat down by it they just stop. What amazes me are the comments on news sites - frankly I'm amazed at the level of vitriol that pours forth. What's scary is how the anonymity of the internet has turned so many 'normal' people into crazy trolls. Too bad there isn't a button that would send a small electric shock (for therapy purposes) back to the person every time they post something nasty/crazy/mean.

It takes an unholy level of courage to speak your authentic and unvarnished opinions on a blog in the face of so many trolls. Plus, I think many bloggers have to rely on the 'kindness' of advertisers to keep going and I feel like that stifles them a bit, but I understand why they have to do it.

I don't know how you do it, but I'm so glad you came back online. I hope my favorites (like you!) keep telling it like it is and if that means keeping the crazies from posting on your blog, I'm all for it! Every blogger that drops out because of the trolls means they win. Ugh!

Keep on speaking your mind, in your authentic voice, about whatever you want to talk about and know that I am delighted (and thankful) every time I see a new post from you.

Raina Cox said...

Kimberly - Thank you for stepping out and saying Hi. And for sharing such lovely comments. It's Dumplings like you who keep me going every day.

I adore your idea of an electric shock response button. Though perhaps I would adore it a bit too much if it really existed.

P.S. I don't accept advertisers on this blog. Everyone at the upper left is a friend I feature because of their sheer awesomeness.

Kerry Steele- Design du Monde said...

Oh Gawd! You poor dear. I have been uninteresting enough to avoid such crazies. Wear it as a badge of success and keep hitting delete.

Don Richards said...

Well, hopefully this post makes your point loud and clear, Raina. I always thought she was a little dotty, but wowsa.

Stephanie said...

My eyes bugged out of my head when I got to "Dated 9/18/15" because it was then that I realized all the comments I had just read were from a two-day span. Holy insanity, Batman! The exclamation points alone are enough to get this chick committed.
If she responds to this PLEASE POST IT.

Jools said...

I promise these crazies walk among us - commenting on your smile, clothes... the weather. I'm a magnet for "Grocery Aisle Needless Commentary Wanks". Yes, cheese IS smaller. You're right, the milk fridge IS very cold. Cheetos are MOST CERTAINLY not good for you.

I sometimes lack the fortitude to simply not engage. As I get older, I realize it's not my job to hold the hand of every socially dysfunctional adult who comes into my personal orbit. I'm not an asshole for not taking this on.

It's your right to tend your blog garden. Let the happy flowers bloom and cut off the weeds before they set seed.

Robin said...

It takes a special kind of narcissism to demand to be published on someone else's blog like that. It is our privilege that you choose to share your design sense and hilarious attitude online. We missed you terribly when you last took a break, and hope the crazy won't drive you into hiding.

Linda Pakravan said...

I totally agree with Kerry Steele.

Debra Phillips said...

no crazies on my blog......i must be too "safe", then again having a public business i am a bit careful. i have however met many bloggers in person some who are NOT the charming person they appear to be on their blog, one very popular blogger was a vindictive bitch, eddie ross was hysterical.

waiting for part 2, 'raina's crazy'....think of what she will do now!!

loving YOU

eddielicious said...

I am so glad you are back online so this person better not ruin it for us! But if you do figure out the secret to deal with crazy on or offline, do share!

Jana C. said...

I don't know--it's the ugly, mean comments that would bother me more. I may be in the minority here, but to me, this poster just sounds lonely (albeit a bit high-strung). You never know what people are going through, what their lives are like...

That said, it's your blog (which I love, btw), and if it bothers you, that is what's important. Perhaps just block her comments from even reaching you?...

Naz said...

Someone once told me that the crazy strangers in stores come talk to me because they feel I'm a kind hearted person. Actually I just feel that I'm a magnet for them. Recently it seems I've inherited a crazy cousin who now calls. It must be just loneliness when they attach themselves to other people. The problem is getting rid of them.

Gray said...

dayum...maybe i don't want a blog?! geez. well eventually she will go away. i follow a handful of famous people on instagram, and some of the turns that their comments take are insane. it is a curious thing. i think it has to do with the anonymous thing...things that you would never say to someone in person..anyhoo, carry on girlfriend - you are so so funny.

Pigtown*Design said...

My commenters are generally very nice, but i have one or two anons who feel that they can lecture me about things, or who ramble on and on about some obscure point that catches their eye. only a few times have i had super snarky people on my blog and i just leave them there for everyone to see the crazy.

Price Style & Design said...

I was raised in the time when parents would say "if you don't have anything nice to say, then don't say it". And I subscribe to the theory that being negative, rude or mean, actually takes more physical energy to produce.
I enjoy your blog the most out of all the blogs I follow. I can't tell you the amount of times I've choked with laughter while drinking my coffee and reading your morning posts. I keep a chamois cloth close by now to quickly wipe off the spewed beverage from my iPad.
Don't let crazy get under your skin.

La Contessa said...

GOOD DAY.........
I am NEW to your blog because I WAS SENT!
I too use the !!! A LOT.I once had a subscriber write to ask me WHY.
I did a POST on it!I explained I write the way I speak.......I get excited about things.....I want YOU to FEEL what I am saying!
Something tells me you are BRITISH????
I get that YOU are taking this the wrong way.
YOUR LOSS...........
SHE isNOT a NUT CASE........ she is a beautiful woman INSIDE & OUT.I have had the PLEASURE of meeting HER through this "VIRTUAL SALON".Everyone has an mayNOT be the same as YOURS but that is why we have conversations and a place to leave comments!!!!

Raina Cox said...

Jana C. - I've gone back and forth for months on this commenter, publishing the semi-lucid stuff and deleting the really mean or incredibly bonker comments. It's my personal policy to publish any comment as long as it's not nasty or rude. You can disagree with me all day every day in a funny or thoughtful manner, and I'll be the first to shake your hand and buy you a drink (virtually, at least).

And I get the lonely bit. I started this blog back in 2008, when I was living on top of an extinct volcano in an inhospitable country with an infant who wouldn't sleep more than four hours at a stretch. I just needed to talk to someone. Anyone.

When this commenter, who already came off loopier than Gary Busey on a Nyquil bender, began accusing me of secretly being another blogger I threw up my hands.

The funny thing is I think if she were properly medicated, she and I would probably get along like a house on fire.

Raina Cox said...

Price Style & Design - "If you can't say something good about someone, sit right here by me." - Alice Roosevelt Longworth

And my apologies to your computer. ;-)

Desert Diva said...

I enjoy your blog immensely and some of the comments left make me laugh out loud...I have posted a comment on your blog once in a while, but your comment section sets the bar VERY high for wittiness.......that said, you don't need a crazy obsessed person to continuously leave comments. I think Cote de Texas blog addressed this very problem (extremely nasty comments, probably someone who was insanely jealous) and the comments numbered into the hundreds about the situation.....

Price Style & Design said...

Okay, truth be first thought was ...."holy s**t! my crazy Aunt has found Raina's blog!"

Sharon Brown said...

Are you British?! hahahahha. That is making me laugh for some reason. Random.

Too bad there isn't a way to block crazy person like you can do a phone number or someone on Facebook or Twitter.

gmjl said...

Someone's been hitting way too much of the Franzia...

Jana C. said...

Um, ok--I stand corrected. Considerably more than a bit "high strung".....!

Hang in there, Raina. I love what you do.

Laurel Bern said...

Yes, I have nasty commenters.

I used to have a plugin called wordfence where I could block people's IP addresses. Then, I would go an unsubscribe them. Yes, they can still get on their cell phone, but it does help.

My new server doesn't allow wordfence, so I just put in a ticket to decimate the cretins.

I can't put my blog in the url because it is wordpress (and the W does not work, nor does open ID - gave up years ago) but you can find it from my G+ account.