Tuesday, March 19, 2013

I Can't Believe You Said That

Over the last few days, I have seen several news reports and read a number articles on the subject of anonymous comments left on the Internet.  Nearly every web site has a comment section at the bottom so that the readers can weigh in on the subject being discussed.  The comment sections are meant to illicit open communication and the sharing of ideas.  Sounds like a good thing, doesn't it?

HHHMMMMM...maybe not.
First of all... there are all types of forums, blogs, and news outlets that offer spaces to leave comments.  I love ...yes LOVE comment sections.  Some of the best reading on any given web site are the comments.
Even if you are a person that prefers not to weigh in because you are uncomfortable writing your opinion down, by all means read the comments. Of those that DO comment, there seems to be a wide disparity in how they comment.

On my blog, for example, nearly every comment is polite and has a legitimate point of view.  Often your comments have swayed  my opinion on an issue.Of course, there would be times, I totally disagree with you as well. BUT...  Even when I don't agree with your viewpoint, I am always interested in your thoughts.  AND every once in a while there is some awful, hateful, obscene tidbit  that I just have to dump. (that is extremely rare)

Unfortunately, that brings us to why a lot of the major players on the Internet want to go to a system that requires you to name who you are. The thought is that people are more brazen with their commentary if they are hiding behind anonymity.    Would the people that leave the profanity-ridden comments if they had to attach an identifier to it?  

According to Leonard Pitts, Jr. a columnist for the  Miami Herald,  wrote that comment streams are "havens for a level of crudity, bigotry, meanness and plain nastiness that shocks the remnants of propriety."

William Geuseskin, dean of academic affairs at Columbia said "...a lot of comment boards turn into a barroom brawl, with most of the participants having blood-alcohol of 0.10 or higher."

Thought Number One:  Times are a changin'

Back in 1993, a New Yorker cartoon showed one dog talking to another:

Well, actually after reading some comments, we KNOW you are a dog.
Over the years that cartoon has stood as an emblem of the freedom on the Internet. It is the most reproduced New Yorker cartoon.

Now years after being able to digitally disguise ourselves there are some sites that are reviewing and revising how people can post comments.  In fact, according to Arianna Huffington, the founder of the Huffington Post,  "It's an accepted part of the Internet, but there's no question that people hide behind anonymity to make vile or controversial comments. As the rules of the road are changing and the Internet is growing up, the trend is away from anonymity."   It comes as no surprise that  Hufftington Post is also, planning on releasing changes.

The New York Times and the Washington Post are both in the process of  revising their comments sections. While neither have made the final decisions public yet.

A number of ways are being evaluated to reign in the inappropriate comments.

  • review each comment individually and delete anything that the owner of the site feels doesn't fit withing their forum.  (the worry here is that this is a form of censorship)
  • have a subscription only policy where anyone wanting to join in the discussion has to subscribe using a credible name and email address.  (while the name could be fabricated a real email address would have to be used.)
  • sign on with a name and email address that is verifiable for individual comments. (no subscription but on a comment to comment basis)
  • sign on with Facebook (this would link your comment to personal information)
  • create a rating system where people can rate comments. Both the Washington Post and Huffington Post are considering a system that ranks comments,  I am not entirely clear how this would work but you can click here to read a pdf of how it would work.

Thought Number Two:  To comment or not to comment, that is the question

According to Arianna Huffington, "There is a younger generation that doesn't feel the need for privacy.  Many people, when you give them the choice, they choose not to be anonymous"  I am not sure that is true of the majority of young people.  As I am not a young person, it seems there must be those that wouldn't  want their Facebook page linked to news forums or blog comments but maybe younger does equate to people being  more open to be...well... more open.

As previously stated, I love comments and I appreciate hearing alternative views.  It makes me think....but I also, like being somewhat anonymous....that is especially true on the larger news forums. Just living in Kansas (red state)  can get me some  %$^%&**^  and some @$*!$%!!! (BTW..there are varying opinions on politics even in the Midwest.)

While I try to never leave inappropriate  or offensive comments anywhere.... any opinion can offend someone if someone else's  opinion is the polar opposite.  I have lost several readers that didn't like what I had to say on a subject and actually, that makes me sad. I may not  always agree politically, or religiously and there is sometimes a  division caused by the age gap, that might have me on a different page than others. Just because we disagree doesn't mean we can't discuss.

 So my readers...do you read or write comments on the Internet?

Do you worry about your privacy?

If you comment, do you want the digital disguise of being anonymous or are you fine to put your actual name on things?

Is there a difference as far as if your willingness to sign your name to comments but not use your real name and information on your blog?  

For you bloggers, how important are your comments to you?   Do you feel like people would be less inclined to comment if they had to put their names and or email addresses  to their statements?

Do you ever get really nasty, mean spirited comments?

Do you ever leave nasty, mean spirited comments?

Note:  There are a number of ways to leave anonymous messages on my blog such as setting up an account with a screen name at Blogger or Disqus.  You can also leave anonymous comments but those typically don't show up immediately.  They require me to approve them.  I am glad to do that.   You can also, email me directly.

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Wendy said...

As a quiet introvert, I still do like to read comments, and often comment myself. I LOVE when someone comments on my blog because it means there is connection. I am not totally anonymous here, for there is my avatar, right beside this comment. But, is my 'real' name necessary? Maintaining privacy is getting tough in our world, and I do want to try to maintain what I can of it. I feel there should be freedom to be private, as unsavoury comments can easily be removed. Sometimes, i almost prefer this mode of communication over 'live and in person', although who I am remains the same. Although, perhaps some people appreciate being free to convey a side of themselves they never would reveal in public. Or do they? How likely is it that the quiet woman who keeps to herself goes on chat boards spouting off vile and abusive language? Hum...maybe i don't know people all that well, hum?

Cheryl P. said...

I am on the same level as you in terms of trying to protect my privacy to a degree. It wouldn't take a genius to track me down with information and links provided by my blog though. Our Interneted, wired world is making it very difficult to stay anonymous. In one breath we are being told to be careful who we give our information to...then 10 minutes later we go somewhere that needs our email address, phone number and contact information.

I could also be described as a quiet introvert, I suppose...in the big picture. My family and friends would disagree, I think.

I definitely prefer this form of communication when discussing current events as there is far more diversity than what I would find within my family and friends. There is also varying opinions due to geographical differences, socioeconomic differences, etc.

Not much of a debate happens in suburbia where we all live very similar lives.

It would be interesting to know if the person behind the "more graphic" comments are quiet types feeling liberated by their anonymity or if those comments are written by big blowhards that are exactly as they appear...jerks.

babs (beetle) said...

I am basically a private person, but my blog is very 'me'. I don't write posts about serious topics usually, so comments on my blog are harmless fun, mostly.

I do have a Facebook account, but generally keep personal information off. I only ever post silly photos or scenery shots. I'm of the generation that likes our privacy, unlike most younger people, who happily post family photos, for everyone to, not only see, but do whatever they wish with them too! Sadly, they don't stop to think that Facebook (and the like) can be a paedophile's playground, but that's another subject.

I do sometimes post comments. In fact, to my great surprise, one of my comments was read out on TV the other day. I also have no problem with giving my real name. Basically because I don't leave comments that could offend people. I choose my words carefully. Well, most of the time :)

Cheryl P. said...

You had a comment read on TV???...that must have been a really good comment.

I, like you, consider my blog very much "me". The problem with me is that I tend to be moderate on most topics. Important or not, I usually am not standing on a soap box nor am I cowering to avoid the issue. I am usually trying to find some common sense middle ground. So when I post about any subject it is looking at all angles and that drives the people on the extremes coo coo.

I, too, have a Facebook page and try to keep that separate from my blog. I agree with you that I am somewhat cautionary about family pictures. Although, I have posted a few of my grandboys because I just think they are so darling. Luckily for my their last names are far different from mine so there is that level of separation....even if someone figures out who I am.

I don't have a problem signing in on my real name on any of the news forums. I like sites like Newsvine which has a signing in process but on the actual forum it is my avatar. I try to always be respectful but find that often doesn't take care of problems. I was talking about something nondescript in Kansas...I think it was one of my weather related post and got a comment about it figures that it would suck because it's Kansas. Only they didn't say it nearly that politely. How someone can cuss you out for having tornadoes in your state is beyond me.

babs (beetle) said...

Yes, I've seen some of that and wonder why they would be abusive, because of where someone lives!

Riot Kitty said...

I wish they would moderate some of the online forums. The local newspaper here has trolls and people who are just hurtful and mean.

Cheryl P. said...

The newspaper forums are the VERY worst. I think that is why there is so much talk about these changes coming. The Washington Post and the New York Times have been an outlet for people to spew their meanness and it looks like that is going to go away...well unless they are willing to sign their name to the meanness.

Aleta said...

I try to leave comments as often as possible. Time is a limited commodity with a new born though. I don't leave nasty comments but I will be honest in my thoughts even if its not what the blogger agrees with but I will always remain respectful. That's just common courtesy.

I've had ugly comments from an ex on my blog. Hence the comment approval before comments get posted. And also an ugly comment from someone who was anti American and I'm pretty sure it was a relative by marriage who posted that. Oh and another blogger tried to ruffle feathers on a slightly political post. But that's all and given how long I've blogged that's not too bad.

I love comments too :). I appreciate the Internet for opening a world of friendships.

luvbeingagrandpa said...

To comment or not to comment...that is the question.....I've been in Canada (Maritimes) for a job related stint....and I can tell you that the people here are the nicest, freindliest, and most polite people I have come across in some time. The time spent here (I hope) will allow their approach to rub off on me.....You can have a civil disccussion with most all. The listen, value your opinion, give me theirs and we either form the change or agree to disagree. But at the end of the day, we are not calling each other a---holes, cussing up a streak or flipping people off.....not even in the car...heck, they let you in when you made a lane mistake and no horn honking either.......don't get me wrong, they have opinions, they just share them without crude, rude and slanderous comments.... Thank you. (oh and by the way, I have a FB page that I love to brag about my grandkids too)..so far everyone else thinks mine are as cute as I do....

oldereyes said...

I could probably write a post of my own on this. I kept Oldereyes - Bud's Blog anonymous for a long time but eventually added my full name in the copyright statement ... and by linking to my Facebook account. That has rarely limited what I write and I figure if I was an author (you know, a real author) people would know who I was. Most often, my blog comments are often of the "nice post - I was here" sort unless it raises a topic that I've been thinking about, like this one. I used to post reasonable comments on message boards to counteract the hysteria but I decided it's a waste of time. I am known to tweak fans of rival sports teams on message boards but I' never crude of vulgar. I would say that younger people don't know the value of privacy (rahter than don't care about it) which is why they end up surprised to lose a job over something they post. As part of my security training, I just took two course on cyber awareness and Personal Identity Information. Suffice it to say that unless someone takes exceptional steps, no one is as anonymous as they seem. They just know that no ones going to track them down for saying ***&%*&^*. The problem with message board trolls who simply post vulgar, mindless comments is that they preclude any real dialog. Then again, there are plenty of people who politely refuse to listen to anyone else's opinion.

I moderate all comments on Bud's Blog except for those by repeat commenters. I've never had a vulgar one but I have had one or two I found insulting.

Cheryl P. said...

I am not far behind you in your level of anonymity. I probably won't actually put my name on my blog, though...not because I write anything of a "hot button" nature but because there is so much accessibility through the Internet, I feel a certain amount of exposure if people had my last name. Plus the fact, my last name is really unique. Just a hand full with that surname in the U.S. and the only one with my first name attached. If my name was Cheryl Johnson or Cheryl Smith there is a certain level of blending in to the masses.

As for message boards, I am always polite but I have had some rude (beyond rude really) responses. That's where I do appreciate that no one knows me personally.

I don't moderate my comments, although my spam filters throw just about anything of question into the spam folder. Nearly all anonymous land there and I give them a quick once over to make sure they are really spam.

I have had a couple of really vulgar comments left and they were left by people that had been following me. I am still not sure if they thought they were being funny and maybe that is the case. I have a very high tolerance for crude humor and even I wasn't laughing at one of the comments.

Cheryl P. said...

A lot of the blogs I follow happen to be Canadian writers and they seem to be very easy and fun to communicate with. With that being said, I think a lot of my followers and those that I follow are just nice people from all over the world and aren't the type of over-reactionaries that would go nutso on comments.

I am not sure about the driving courtesy in other parts of the world but there are plenty of really rageful drivers in the US. If that same anger response is used on a forum that would explain why they are as the one professor said, a barroom brawl.

Tricky thing about posting information on Facebook about grandkids. By the time your friend's friends see it and their friend's friends see it...it's bound to be seen by someone that you wouldn't want looking at your cuties. Facebook makes me nervous.

Trina said...

I don't worry about privacy, but I am careful about what I share on the internet (facebook included)

When I comment I put my name on everything. If I'm confident enough to leave a comment, you (and everyone else) is free to know I said it. I am who I am and I normally say or comment what I mean, it's not always pretty but it's from me.

As a blogger, comments are a bonus. I love when people read something I wrote and share their opinion. If commenting is difficult, I apologize, it has to be sometimes to avoid spammers. However, I don't think that anything more than a name and/or website should be shared with the general population, can you imagine how many emails you could end up with if people really didn't like your comments (or if they really liked them..)

I have never gotten, nor have I left nasty comments. Direct, yes. Meant nicely but came out wrong, on occasion. But I never purposely leave a nasty comment and bash another person in a cruel way - that's not who I am.
Great thoughts!

momto8blog said...

the anonymous comments left on my blog are very mean! they deliberately aim to attack and upset me...it used to upset me, then I realized it is their problem...I love the comments too from opposing views as mine...I too have leaned ALOT from blogging.
and I have been told and now believe that privacy is so 80's...

Cheryl P. said...

I have become increasingly cautious with privacy as I had a problem last year with some Identity theft. The laws are so lax on ID theft and it is a royal PITA to get it corrected.

I don't mind signing in on forums that ask for my contact info but I prefer to have a screen name or an avatar for the general readers and forum participants to see. Again, some of this has to do with having a very unique last name that sets me up to be easily found. Which leads the the problem, if someone did disagree with a point of view, I don't think I want them having my home address.

Cheryl P. said...

Good for you to realize that the problem is theirs not yours. I, like you, don't mind opposing views but to criticize my point of view can sometimes hurt my feelings. (depending how they approach it)

Yes, not much is private any more. It really is a slippery slope though. More places want more information yet there is more identity theft than ever.

Wolfbenz said...

Hi Cheryl,

I have to agree, most of the larger sites that have a comment section can get down right nasty and ugly.

I too have lost readers on one of my blogs because I voiced my opinion on a subject. It is sad to loose a reader , but isn't that why we all Blog? To voice our opinions and share our thoughts?

I think if you are going to leave a comment on someone's website or blog, you should be a standup person and use your name. If you don't believe in what you're saying or are just being spiteful or hateful you shouldn't hide behind anonymity - you shouldn't leave the comment.

Cheryl P. said...

I wouldn't hesitate to put my name to a comment as I try not to never write anything that would be mean or offensive...it's more that I worry about if a person puts their actual name that it opens up a layer of exposure. A person can google a name, get the persons address and phone number. I am not comfortable having too much information "out there" for the sake of expressing an opinion on a forum. That is what the Washington Post rep said in an interview. They are concerned that the people that really would be interested in talking on their forums won't because they don't want their real names appearing on the site.

I am totally fine with sites like Wordpress or Disqus that ask for your name and email address. If there would be a problem the web administrators can track a person down but the general public just sees a screen name.

I think it is sad that we constantly have to be on our guard but in today's world there is a certain amount of caution that needs to be taken.

Jo-Anne said...

I have been known to leave comments on different sites and not just blogging sites but news sites but I am not one to leave nasty comments and don't think I have recieved any or many not sure which................yes I have read some bloody nasty comments on some of the news sites and really at times I think some people have to much time on their hands to be able to sit and leave such comments then go back and argue the point over and over again............bloody hell I know I don't have that much time............

Robyn Engel said...

I'm not sure if there's a good answer to this problem, Cheryl. You raise a lot of valid points and questions. I like being completely "out" with my identity, but that's my choice and I respect others' choices to remain anonymous - unless they're doing so to be completely "out" as an a-hole.

Thank you for raising the issue. Look at all the hearty conversation you've ignited.


lisleman said...

Oh it's so tempting to write a nasty comment right now. I never do but not that you asked. Oh never mind, I would need to do a few shots first and I don't need a hangover.
I love comments and the comment sections. Of course I enjoy using "Lisleman" and would recommend everyone to use an alias on the web. I helps to protect you from the scammers. Most people have multiple email addresses too.
I would not comment if I was forced to use FB. I don't like too many things tied to my FB account. I don't even link pinterest stuff to FB. It's not like I'm naked on FB but it is much more personal. (oh you'll be glad to know there are no Lisleman naked pictures anywhere - sigh of relief)
One more thing - we have a rating system on Disqus - ever noticed those little up/down arrows under the comment? I'll give your replies my vote in a minute.
I don't see nasty comments on blogs. I only notice them on youtube. Not sure what is going with youtube comments but they are typically nasty.

Cheryl P. said...

You right as there isn't a a definitive answer to how much anonymity or exposure is the right amount as far as the Internet goes. I appreciate the people that have blogs that let us know them more as people. It usually makes for a more engaging blog. I have a couple of blogs that I follow that I worry about how much information they are putting out into cyberspace. As with everything it's about balance.

I think that blogs don't tend to illicit the nastiness that is so prevalent on the newspaper forums. Thank goodness!!

Cheryl P. said...

That would of been funny, lisleman, to have you write a nasty comment. I would have totally gotten the joke...and I know that isn't your MO.

After reading all the articles on the subject of the big newspapers going to "name only" comments, I think the big news forums have a different problem with the amount of nastiness going on. I see little of the really mean stuff and more of just spam from anonymous on blogs.

I had never noticed the comments...good or bad...on You tube. Funny that I read the comments on about everything else but I never have on YT.

I am like you about FB. I don't like to sign onto things using FB. I have an overt suspicion about a program that's very purpose is to track people and their interests/buying habits/preferences. I appreciate the keeping track of friends component but less than thrilled with the someone tracking me component.

I had noticed the number under the comments on Disqus and hadn't ever thought about it. Lisleman, you are just a wealth of information this morning. I should of been rating comments all this time and haven't due to my ignorance. Story of my life...being totally unaware of things.

Cheryl P. said...

I agree...life is too short to sit around writing mean and nasty comments. I hate fighting with people in life or on the Internet. One of the commenters made mention of that maybe those nasty comments come from nice little old ladies that just want to stir things up. Maybe we would be shocked if we knew who was behind the comments.

Bodaciousboomer said...

Hiya kiddo. Long time no see.

As for me I've never left a "nasty" comment; although I have left some rather pointed ones, but not without proof to back them up.

Someone did however once threaten to punch me in the face on Bodacious. They never showed up though.

Cheryl P. said...

I have left a couple of pointed ones as well that I thought were quite polite. It still got me in trouble. (they unfollowed my blog)

Someone actually made a threat on your blog??? Even if they thought they were being funny, that is just wrong. I have had a couple of messages that I think the person thinks they were being clever but it came across as mean spirited.

Jayne said...

I never leave anonymous comments, and rarely have them left for me. With as free with I am with my opinions, I would have thought I would have gotten some hate-comments, but no. Nor any spam. I'm beginning to feel a little left out. Also, I don't bomb others with my opinion if it's clear it will start a war. Except maybe on Facebook. But that's just for fun. ;)

cardiogirl said...

I'm not clear on how a rating system would help things. Is it to shame the person who left the nasty comment?

When I first started blogging I felt compelled to let the people speak no matter what they said. Don't know why and then I replied to them using my own logic and then a I'm sorry you feel that way.

Eventually I set up my comment section to require an email address -- which can definitely be duped by throwing an @ and .com on it like yourblogblows@gmail.com -- and then the first comment has to be approved by me before it will show. That weeds almost all of them out.

I swear I do not understand why people cannot disagree respectfully.

Nicky said...

The ranking system basically is where readers on the site can rank a comment so that any comment that gets a rank below a certain level will no longer be seen in the comment section. The problem with that is that people can work the system to have valid comments removed and crap left behind.

The thing with the negative, vile comments is that a large amount of them are deliberate. There are groups that have turned "comment degeneration" into a game where they try to have threads shut down by starting brawls in comment sections. It's where the expression "Don't feed the trolls" came from. They troll sites looking for a place to start fights with inflammatory comments that they don't necessarily even believe. I think efforts to make them stop might only end up being like a red flag... a challenge.

We've been pretty lucky on our blog. I think we've only ever had one slightly nasty comment in nearly four years. But that could just be because we only have 15 readers :-)

Cheryl P. said...

I don't understand the rating thing either. I consider that a comment or two over a two year period of time that is an angry response to something the writer "perceives". that I meant isn't going to make or break my blog.

I think Disqus or Comment Luv does away with some of the really rude comments because they filter out comments not linked to email addresses. But you are right, that it could be Iknowmyblogblows@gmail.com

That is the point isn't it. Why can't adults just agree to disagree...especially about political views. That's the one that seems to be the hot button.

Cheryl P. said...

I am not all that surprised that you don't get angry or rude comments as most of your loyal followers understand and appreciate your point of view. However, I don't know how you are escaping spam. There isn't a day that I don't delete a lot of spam out of both the Blogger spam file and a much lesser amount out of the Disqus spam file. The robo-spammers send thousands of blind spam messages to all blogs. Where are yours going?

I am more likely to take a stand on a blog over Facebook. Facebook shows my family members that may on certain days wish they weren't associated with me.

abeerfortheshower said...

I recently slammed a commenter that was being a dick on our blog, and I gladly signed my name to it. However, you won't find me creeping on sites, leaving rude anonymous comments. I guess I just have too much self esteem for that. And really, people are going to say what they're going to say, but we don't let it get to us. Most of our comments are good, respectful ones anyway. But the rude ones, or the hateful ones (we recently had a racist comment from someone called Lil N*****)... we just ignore those. Not worth getting upset over.

On another note, we actually disabled Anonymous commenting on our blog about 2-3 weeks ago, not because of rude comments (surprisingly, we've gotten VERY few of those for running such a politically incorrect site), but because Spam comments kept getting through the filter. Like 5-10 a day. It was annoying, so we ditched Anonymous commenting and now we don't have that problem.

Cheryl P. said...

Another problem that I see with the rating system is for people like me that get on a news site once in a blue moon because I am stirred up about an issue. I will leave a message...a polite message regarding my point of view BUT if I am not a regular commentor or if no one chooses to rate my comment then I don't even have a voice. My comment becomes invisible. So the rating system is only conducive to people that are on the forums all the time garnering ratings.
I do think that on big sites such as the Washington Post, people definitely get a thrill stirring up the discussion by being vile. I can't believe that a lot of that nonsense has anything to do with their real opinions.
Same here on the amount of rude or nasty comments...in the two years I have had less than 5 rude comments...really only two that were offensive. And I know you have a lot of readers, so it appears that your readers are among the polite readers that the rest of us want.

Cheryl P. said...

This post was my 321st post and out of those I have had only one really offensive comment and I deleted it. I would have to check to see if that person still is a follower...I doubt it. I don't let those kind of things bother me at all.

I am more irritated by people that have followed me from the beginning responding with a reply that is curt and has taken something out of context. I always respond to them...sometimes by email where we have a more direct communication. There are a number of my followers that I have a separate email correspondence with. I actually like that as I can be more direct depending on the subject with a person on a one-to-one. I don't think Lil N****** and I would be communicating.

I, too disabled the Anonymous commenting option on my settings and for the same reason. I was tired of having to delete all the spam. I still take a quick look-see to pull out any legit comments that people occasionally send anonymously. I also, closed the comments down on any post more than 30 days old. That takes care of most of the robo-spammers that target older posts,

Jayne said...

I've never even looked in those files. Maybe they're packed. I figure if it don't show up on my blog, I won't concern myself with it.

Cheryl P. said...

Right you are..if they are in the spam file and not bothering anything..might as well not worry about it. If your computer ever starts getting really slow and you have to start deleting things, though, that would be a place to start.

Jayne said...

Well, that was weird. I just checked my Blogger spam file, and there's nothing in it. I feel rejected now. So I'm not good enough for you spammers?!

Cheryl P. said...

I would consider that a good thing. You must have your settings set in such a way they all are not getting through.

Life, Laughter and Paris said...

Hi Cheryl. Good post especially for us bloggers. I like getting comments too and so far haven't had any real nasty ones (touch wood) which I would delete. Makes you wonder why people feel the need to leave negative comments. Why not just move on? Most my comments come in on Facebook - this is good to identify who is commenting, on the other hand, they don't show up on my blog!

Life, Laughter and Paris said...

BTW - love the bear photo! ha ha ha!

Cheryl P. said...

I think when someone is in total disagreement with whatever is being dicussed they use the nasty comment as a means to lash out. Such a waste of energy really as I would think most of us would just delete the comment and move on.
I tend not to participate as much on Facebook outside a few family members. I do feel more exposed as all the friends of friends are there by the way in which is is set up. I don't think my children who are my friends need to have their friends knowing what I am thinking today. When I do put on a comment, it's very generic.

Cheryl P. said...

I thought that was cute too. I wonder if it is photoshopped or if he really put his paw up like that.

Dexter Klemperer said...

If you truly want your comment to be taken seriously, you should sign your name and stand behind it. If not, it's irrelevant. And that goes for all communication. When we owned our restuarants, we once got a nasty, vitriolic letter talking about how awful our restaurant was and what terrible owners we were. It was anonymous so we just threw it away and never thought twice about it. That poor person totally wasted his/her time.
Having said that, Dexter Klemperer isn't my real name so I guess you can just ignore this.

Cheryl P. said...

I agree with you that if a person is writing a review or sending direct communication to a business it needs to have name and contact information. I don't see the point of contacting a business and not giving them an opportunity to respond. But I am like you as far at the blog goes. I am not prepared to use my entire name. This is more like letting people read your journal and having strangers let in on your thoughts. As I don't charge anyone for anything, I don't feel the need to be too approachable. It wouldn't take people to long to figure out who I am but I don't have to make it super apparent either.