Friday, January 18, 2008

Poison Ivy.....

One of the things that matters a lot here is that people can come by and speak their minds openly, even if they disagree with me.

Disagreeing with me is really okay. I'm a big girl and I can process the idea that people might think or live differently than I do.

However, I wonder about the mentality of people who would come by here (or anyone's site) and leave nasty comments that are intended only to insult, not discuss. I'm not even sure I want to understand someone like that. They're not worth the energy.

I decided some time back that I would protect this site as best I can for people who want to come by and say something. That includes the comments section. It's a short skip from insulting me to insulting other commenters. I want people to know they will be received with kindness and consideration. The only conflict I've ever had with anyone on this site is because the individual was insulting one of my regular commenters.

And last night I had a conflict with someone who intentionally insulted me.

It won't be happening anymore.

I've decided to disallow anonymous comments. It seems to be a better option than that wretched word verification thing. I really don't want to have to place any limits of anyone's ability to comment freely but apparently this site has drawn a few people who don't have the maturity to handle freedom. They see the ability to post without accountability as an invitation to behave badly and to make demeaning and diminishing comments about other people or leave thinly veiled advertisements for some kind of money-making scheme. It's unfortunate since I am someone who values the ability to speak freely - but responsibly. "Responsibly" means having the courage and the integrity to own your words.

Hopefully this will only be a temporary measure until the poison ivy that has invaded this site dies off.

Please let me know if you have any problems. Don't just go away. Let me know what is wrong and I'll do my best to correct it. The setting should be open at this point to anyone who has an ID through any of the various blogging applications.



Mariposa said...

One of my fear is not being able to handle a nasty comments in my blog...and yet, I also want people to post comments real time as I may not have all the time in the world to approve them as they come in...yes, there is that feature that waits for our approval before a comment is posted, right?

Anyway, people who hides in anonymity are cowards. It's either you speak up or you don't...for whatever reason.

Pit Senyor!

Janet said...

I just don't *get* why some people feel the need to leave nasty comments. If you don't like the writing, keep on moving.

Anonymous said...

Lately I've also been contemplating about my 'public' blog. There's not much there, not a lot of traffic and comments either, but spammers and undesirables still found me... that I had to make 'changes.' I suppose we can't really help it, considering how our blogs are out there, so I think it's understandable that you have these feelings.

Can't articulate my thoughts well right now, but I just wanted to say I enjoy reading your entries from time to time, and I even like the discussion. You must be doing something really right that others want to get in on the action. :)

I would think that some of the best blogs get the snarkiest comments, so keep your chin up eh! There are people (like me) who just genuinely want to read. :D

WendyB said...

It's too bad you've been harassed by idiots. I think banning anonymous comments is a good idea. Bored people like to stir up trouble and act out things they could never do in real life. No one who has anything worthy to say will be posting anonymously anyway. I have both registration required AND word verification (and still some comment spams crept in recently, ugh).

Anonymous said...

I've never had any problem with sites that restrict anonymous comments.

newduck said...

I agree with WendyB. There are just some people out there who want to stir up trouble, then they're too cowardly to own up to their own words. Remember the post I wrote about having a hard time sleeping while pregnant? An "anonymous" person wrote, "How about this comment from a smug already-mother: suck it up and quit complaining. We all went through it. Wanna get more sleep? Don't have a baby."
You have to wonder what's wrong with these people that they want to spew ugliness into the world. Don't like my blog? Don't read it!

painted maypole said...

i'm sorry you had to deal with this. i've actually been pleasantly surprised by the lack of negative commenting on my blog, and in general around the blogs I read, although I do see it from time to time. and it really is just silly.

blocking anonymous comments makes sense, although I'm sorry you had to do it.

meno said...

Sorry about the jerk. Get a life!

And thank you THANK YOU for not doing word verification. I appreciate it.

Ian Lidster said...

I don't permit anonymous comments on my blog in much the same way as newspapers do not permit anonymous letters to the editor. They may not run the name, but the editor must know who sent it. Anonymous blog comments are cowardly and not to be regarded as worthy in any way.

Mary said...

Just yesterday, I received a comment on my blog that was intended to be "witty" but I didn't see any humor in it. I shot back (maybe I need hormone therapy).

Have a good trip!

Amy Y said...

I think you did the right thing, Chani. I also appreciate not having to do that word verification also...

I've been lucky enough not do have any mean commenters so far, but if I ever do, I'm sure I'll do the same thing you did.

hopefully this puts a stop to it!!

happy travels! :)

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

No one deserves to be harassed. I can't imagine coming on someone's blog and insulting them!

Blog Antagonist said...

I hate that some people think the internet is for behaving like an asshat. And believe me, I have A LOT of experience with that. I put up with a lot that I shouldn't have, so I can't blame you for protecting yourself. Blogging is supposed to be fun and positive. If it isn't, then you are certainly within your rights to rectify that.

I'm sorry you've been a target. But know that it's not really about you. People who lash out like that are really angry and bitter and sad people who are desperately unhappy with themselves.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

The word verification letters wouldn't prevent anonymous comments anyway as long as they're not bot-generated.

It's impossible to say why you have attracted a couple of malevolent wackos when as we all agree, it's much simpler to stop reading than to deliberately insult the blog writer.

Anyway, the fault is not with you and hopefully, the poison ivy will die when it fails to receive the nourishment it needs.

thailandchani said...

Mariposa, the best thing, imo, is to block them at the pass. You know? I would never take a step like this based on one ugly comment. The individual last night has left multiple uglies.. so it was time to block him/her/it from doing it any further.

The comments gave me insight into that person's mindset.. and it's really just not welcome here.

If you start attracting nasties, you just have to stop them. That's all.. really.


Janet, I wish I understood. It just makes no sense to me. I've read some really offensive things on blogs and I might argue.. but just being nasty is uncalled for. (Not that I'm an angel. I've certainly been disagreeable but didn't do it anonymously.)


GN00B, you're right. The blogs are "out there" and we have to be prepared for nasties coming along occasionally. They don't bother me exactly.. but I'm concerned about the implications of their hanging out. They'll drive other people away. Who wants to hang out in a place where that kind of behavior is acceptable.

I owe the nasty who came here no explanations as to why I live as I do.. or why I make the choices I do. Likewise, I don't owe the nasty any entrance.


WendyB, there's probably no way to avoid them absolutely but at least we can make it difficult for them. :)

Word verification is just not going to happen on this site. I'll moderate comments first.


De, thanks. I feel like kind of a heel because not everyone wants to register but, truly, it's not very hard and it doesn't require any information that's inappropriate.


Newduck, that is someone who obviously has no sense of humor. I laughed my head off at that post! I wonder why some people find it so necessary to be harsh.


PM< thanks. Hopefully, it's just temporary and then I can set it back. People who leave nasty comments usually want fertile ground. When this is no longer a viable outlet, they'll move on. Then I can put it back.


Meno, thanks. Yeah.. no word verification here! I understand why some people find it useful but for people with vision problems like me, it is just hellish.


Ian, how very true. My attitude before was that someone might want to express an opinion and not have their employers find it... whatever.. but I apparently can't be that open-minded. That actually disappoints me.. a lot.


Mary, yeah.. it's weird what some people consider "witty". Glad you shot back. We shouldn't have to be offended on our own sites - not in an insulting way, at least.


Amy, thanks. :) I hope you never have a nasty show up at your site. If you do, let me know. I don't mind getting snarky with 'em. Bring my can of whoop-ass and have a time of it. :)


Jen, neither can I. It's just unnecessary.


BA, I know it's really not about me.. and I also know that I am not everyone's cup of tea. That's fine. If there's anything there's no shortage of in this world, it's blogs. There should be something for everyone.


Susan, from your mouth to God's ear. :) I'm sure La Nasty will find another outlet.


Thanks, everyone :)


ewe are here said...

I don't understand people who take the time to stop by some place they obviously don't like just to make nasty comments. Just don't get it.

slouching mom said...

I've come very, very close to doing what you just did -- and for the same reason. So you'll be hearing no dissension from me, LOL!

Anonymous said...

Sometimes if you cannot have anonymous comments, those without a google account cannot sign in, but you seem to have set it so we can. So, I see no reason not to set these kinds of limits. Hospitality does not mean letting others trash the place.

jen said...

mean people are so boring.

Julie Pippert said...

I don't personally use the anonymous option so it's no loss to me.

I have at times had to turn on comment moderation (my compromise instead of the HORRID HATE IT word verification) and that has worked fine. After a bit I test it without, and if need be it'll go back on again.

So I understand the need to make some changes.

Anonymous said...

First, I am so glad that you are "going home." I think it is such a wonderful, self-nurturing thing to do. What a great example you are for so many of us. Second, I struggle with the entire concept of anonymous commenting. Over the last year, I've come to believe in being very honest about who I am online...first name, last name, photo..the whole nine. I have a hard time fully trusting those who chose to remain "anonymous." And lastly, I really like sitemeter. No one has really been snarky on my site, but two twits were nasty on Laura's site. Sitemeter provided their IP address and the owner of their I sent everything along and got them busted. People shouldn't feel that they are invisible online..and they shouldn't feel they can get away with harrassing people.

Anonymous said...

First, I am so glad that you are "going home." I think it is such a wonderful, self-nurturing thing to do. What a great example you are for so many of us. Second, I struggle with the entire concept of anonymous commenting. Over the last year, I've come to believe in being very honest about who I am online...first name, last name, photo..the whole nine. I have a hard time fully trusting those who chose to remain "anonymous." And lastly, I really like sitemeter. No one has really been snarky on my site, but two twits were nasty on Laura's site. Sitemeter provided their IP address and the owner of their I sent everything along and got them busted. People shouldn't feel that they are invisible online..and they shouldn't feel they can get away with harrassing people.

Journey Through Life said...

Wow, what wonderful support you have received here, Chani. It makes up for the other a trillion times! Good for you for taking action against poison ivy invaders and taking care of yourself.

flutter said...

I am sorry you had to deal with an idiot, Chani.

hele said...

I'm lucky the only comments I got was

"god, you people are such hippies"

and about a hundred junk mails before I switched the word thingy on.

I'm so excited about your trip.

Jodi said...

we're not going anywhere! hopefully the jerk will go away soon. love your blog... can't wait to hear about your trip -- i spent five or six days in thailand about seven years ago. it was incredible. now i'm living vicariously through your blog.

thailandchani said...

Ewe, it must be that they have no other outlet.

Interestingly, my Nasty returned a few times yesterday but didn't try to comment.


SM, I'm glad. :) I'm not trying to tick anyone off. Just trying to protect this site from people who don't belong here.


Emily, that's a really good point. I do want to be open.. but not so open that there's just complete lawlessness.


Jen, yes.. they are. They're just thorns.


Julie, I'll use the moderation, too, if the nasties start setting up "post offices" and continuing on that way. It would be the same. I'd do it for a while and then take it back off.


Angela, I think anonymous to a degree is okay. People have employers and other factors that enter in to their ability to be totally honest and open with real feelings and experiences.

If I wasn't retired, I know the kind of openness and cultural criticism I offer wouldn't be acceptable. And if I can't say what I really believe, what's the sense of blogging at all?


Annie, yes.. the people who hang out here are generally very positive and supportive. The occasional butthole who shows up is an anomaly.


Flutter, thanks. :)


Hele, there are some people who have a real problem with the way I live. They seem to feel a need to voice that. It's okay.. as long as they are respectful and polite.


Jodi, thanks. :) Thailand is just home and occasionally I need to touch base. I feel in exile so often and so much. Then the exile really starts to hurt me.. at a soul level. That's why I'm going back.



Anonymous said...

Nasty comments made me feel sad for the commenter who left it.

Still, nasty is NASTY.

Chani, you have a wonderful blog and don't let those kind of people get to you...

QT said...

Chani - as you know, I've had some issues with this as well. Hopefully, the steps you have taken put an end to it. People apparently have WAY too much time on their hands...

Carla said...

Sorry you had to endure nasty comments. There just is no reason to be mean or disrespectful. Do what you have to do. I'll still come by and visit.

blooming desertpea said...

Too sad that you have to do this but it seems necessary at this point. I like coming here, thank you for having me.

Anonymous said...

Just a note of solidarity (don't sweat maroons, they're everywhere) and another bon voyage.

I am so happy you're going!!!!!

JCK said...

I'm horribly allergic to poison ivy.

Anonymous said...

This post is really well written and I admire your attitude towards the "trolls".
It all goes back to the old adage, "if you don't have anything nice to say, then don't say anything."
I can't imagine the mindset of some people who feel compelled to leave nasty comments. Are they just bored? Seriously, they should find something more postitve and more constructive to do with their time. (and their keyboards).

crazymumma said...

Ach. I hate having to make decisions based on the negative actions of others.

Angela said...


I dealt with this a while back, too. But I decided to leave the comments because my blog is of a contraversial nature anyway. I know it's going to draw some negativity. Lucikly, it hasn't in a long time. Sorry that you got attacked. I know how it feels. It sucks.

Anonymous said...

Chani, I wasn't commenting on YOUR anonymity. I feel that you are very honest about who you are...your blog helps everyone trust that you are "for real." I was merely referring to anonymous commenting. I would disallow it absolutely--because people shouldn't have the right to hide behind that curtain to harrass people. Hope I didn't offend ; )

Jan said...

I haven't been around for awhile, and I am so sorry that you've had insulting comments. I don't understand that.

Rebecca said...

I've awarded you the "You Make My Day" award. Check my blog for details. You inspire on a daily basis.

Blessed be! Life is good.

Catherine said...

I too do not mind disagreement, but do not like insults. I'm sorry this happened to you....