I recently got slammed for my Abercrombie blog, for being “misogynist” and “slut-shaming little girls.” Ouch. Not exactly, my interpretation, but apparently I incited some angry feminist Abercrombie shoppers.
They call it trolling in the blog-world. And while I’d like to be all bad ass about it, it freaked me out. A lot.
Like 7th grade lunch room freak out when the popular girls all wear overalls and I’m still wearing purple toughskins with reinforced knees and suddenly realize not only am I not-cool, but I’ve broken some rule and there’s hell to be paid.
But here’s the difference: people out there have got my back. Invisible people. I’m their cyber groupie: reading their words, laughing at their tweets without them even knowing I exist. Which is creepy, but that’s what we do here: creep, until we make ourselves known.
I put it out there, not knowing what to expect. I reached out to the anonymous world of bloggers and tweeters and these pros came to my aid. Immediately.
They pretty much told me like it is: real world advice I preach to my kids about internet use, but failed to implement myself. My bad.
- Remove ability to post anonymously. People will be far nicer when they have to own their words.
- Find your voice and make no apologies.
- Not everyone is going to love you. Dissent is okay; hate and personal attacks are not.
- Don’t ever let blog commenters know your address, email, or phone number. Those who hate you will relentlessly torment you. Create new email solely for blog correspondence.
- Ask for help. Bloggers are friendly, inherently helpful and authentic. There’s room for all, with endless possibilities.
- Decide whether to keep or remove the comments. (I’m deleting, as soon I figure out how; while I love dissent, I hate hate.)
So this is why you can’t post anonymously. Make an account. And while I’m not screening comments before they’re posted, I am kicking out the party crashers. Because this blog is my party, and now I’m wearing the overalls.