In case you didn’t notice, you can no longer comment on my website. That was a very purposeful, very directed decision I made recently. While I believe in free speech and I fully encourage debate, I will no longer allow vile commentary on my personal website. I’ve eliminated the comments section altogether.
The Comments Section Breeds Hatred
I started noticing a trend in a lot of media outlets’ handling of public comments. I’m guessing they’d encountered the same thing I had throughout the years of writing online: people creating fake profiles in order to verbally assault the writer, the outlet, or other commenters.
After very careful consideration, I’ve decided to follow suit. I’ve eliminated the option to comment on my website. (In doing so, I eliminated all previous comments as well.)
The trend toward only allowing public commentary via social media is one I’ll happily follow. While people can still create fake Facebook accounts and troll comments, they’re less likely to bother than they are for a media outlet or blog.
Some other bloggers take some of their most hateful comments and create a yearly round-up of them. It’s an effort to laugh in the face of trolls. But it’s also a sad commentary itself on the way we communicate with each other and the pure hatred that can be spouted all too easily.
No More Anonymity
From now on, if you’d like to comment on something I’ve written, you can do so on my Facebook page. Every post I write will be shared there, and you may feel free to add your opinion.
Of course, if you are hateful and/or dragging a conversation down, I reserve the right to delete your comments and also block you from my page, while reporting you to Facebook. Fair warning.
I will no longer tolerate the vitriol online. If you want to be a hateful person, go be hateful in your own real life. I don’t allow those types of people around me in reality, so I certainly won’t be allowing it online!
Trolls, consider your power taken away.
It’s time to raise the bar on public discourse again. It’s time to realize we are all human and we all have feelings – there is absolutely no need to spew hateful words if you disagree with someone. Be an adult. Be courteous. Be respectful. Disagree and offer counter-opinions and varied viewpoints – please! But do so in a manner that allows the conversation to continue, rather than break down into name-calling and yelling.
It is impossible to listen if you are yelling.
It’s time to rise up. I welcome a debate. But if you come at me with hate I will shut you down. Enough with the cyber-bullying and the trolling and the hiding behind a screen. Enough.
Do you agree with my decision? Then pin it to share!
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We can all be better global neighbors if we learn to listen, and to empathize, and to share.