What to do with disagreeable commenters?

A blogging friend sent me an email inquiring about a rather unwelcome visitor on his blog.  If you write a blog —no matter what it is— youre welcome to share your civil opinions on how you handle your farm and a little advice on what to do at Old MacDonald’s farm too.

Now, anyone who writes a blog is eventually going to have to confront the angry, profane commenter, who is hell bent on proving just how wrong you are about what you wrote.  While some bloggers thrive on such controversial exchange others are ill equipped to handle it.  Controversy is one thing, but does it have to be devoid of civility? Seems like civility has went the way of jheri curls and T-model Fords. No matter how passionate you are or how much you believe in what you wrote someone, somewhere is going to disagree. Sometimes VERY strongly. How do you handle them? Sometimes deletion and banning (the old d&b procedure) is appropriate and necessary, but what about just plain old grumpy, frumpy dissenters who just want to keep up “stank” as we used to say. Sometimes, as we have seen here, these individuals (trolls perhaps?) appear to be completely uninterested in what you wrote, rather their purpose is to make a “statement”. Do you allow it?  For how long?

If I can be honest,  I have read comments that have made my blood pressure rise rapidly. Some of it, the sheer ignorance is astonishing, others the invective so crass its stunning. Do you take a cooling off period and then answer them or d&b immediately? Are there any circumstance you think such comments should be allowed? 

So what do you do? Any advice or tips for other bloggers on how to handle unruly, angry or grandstanding commenters?


21 thoughts on “What to do with disagreeable commenters?

  1. I am not a big fan of offensive people, but sometimes if I look close I realize that in the midst of their anger they often have something legitimate to tell me, either about me or about them. Sometimes I need the whack on the head. If i feel the need to answer their comments, I try to cool off a little and I try to be polite. Since this is a free forum, we have no real control over others, be I can control myself and if people want to rail on me, I don’t have to do it back. I wish we all had some self control, but whether it is at the ball game or on a blog, I guess we just have to put up with people. Good thoughts, thanks.

  2. thanks for your comments schierling. Im with you on the cooling off period. Not to deny that we dont —or shouldnt— get angry but writing something purely out of that emotion is counterproductive.

    I dont like those seeking a platform to spout their views. I tend to be rather hard on them because its disrespectful imo. I feel they can start their own blog, work hard and build a readership and then say what they want to. The other thing that will get a delete from me is when someone is insulting of another in a gratuitous way. That’s uncalled for and shouldnt be tolerated.

  3. I think the sword can go both ways, IMHO.

    Though there have been many times where posters come on to a site to simply say their two cents, there have also been times when blog moderators have done the same and yet when they are in possible error and the commentor asks for clarification or brings up opposing points that he or she doesn’t believe have been justly considered (i.e. hearing a point and simply throwing it out the window, or then calling the person “Obstinate” because they don’t readily agree), that’s an issue.

    I’ve seen plenty of posts where the director was in clear error and yet anyone who didn’t agree or who asked questions that would take a long time was shut down…….which seems silly since some issues if one is to take a stance on will naturally take a GOOD WHILE BEFORE EVERYONE IS ON THE SAME PAGE.

    Consider the entire issue with PRESSUPOSITIONAL APOLEGTICS, where terms and definitions are not clarified and people respond without first INQUIRING or being open to the possibilty that they could be wrong.
    IMHO, if moderators/blog owners are not going to take the time to be gracious/humble, meek, long-suffering, and practice with GREAT TENACITY the characteristics called of us who claim the name of the Lord and ye have issue with commentators who are acting poorly, they are just as at fault as others.

    What do you do with these verses?

    (Ephesians 4)
    Colossians 3:12-14 I Peter 3:8-13 I Peter 4:7-11 Romans 12:10-12 II Timothy 2:23-27, James 3:12-18?? Not to mention PLENTY of the others found throughout Proverbs that deal with PATIENCE AND WISDOM IN DEALING WITH OTHERS?

  4. How do you handle them?

    I let it sit until i can calmly get the mind of Christ: then decide if im going to allow it to be posted or not…

    If the person is overly argumentative, or is just looking for a platform in which to attack the Word of God i won’t release the comment but instead have attempted to drop them a note explaining why….. sadly this has not worked.

    The couple times i’ve took the time to write a short letter of explanation, the commenters had used a bogus email address so my letters were returned.

  5. Of course it depends on the comment. If you don’t dump it and dump the person who made the comment at the door, do you put up with it endlessly? I say certainly not! Neither Jesus or His Apostles suffered in the middle of the same unbeliever endlessly. And with believers, even Paul and Barnabas knew when they needed a break from each other. Generally, if they are profane I might not let them in at all, although I’ve got S/W to filter the profanity.

    If someone is allowed on my blog that is about strife, I give them a couple comments, or perhaps one and then show them the door. Sometimes as I approve a comment I’m banning that person at the same time and letting them know why.

    Only unless I do D&B at the door I make it known what I did and why.

    Like Joe Brummer for example, he’s such a reprobate, I’d ban him the moment he came to my blog saying anything other than the fact homosexuals will NOT enter the kingdom of Heaven. Unless God grants him repentance, we know Joe Brummer won’t ever say that.

    Also, some cult members (which Joe is) are so entrenched in their cult, they come to uphold their cult, not to know the truth, or even try hearing the truth. So most cult members are not allowed in from the start. I don’t have endless time to work a blog and can’t allow a doctrine of Satan to flourish on my own blog unchallenged either.

    I’ve found when someone who is not about any good is allowed to hang around too long, they cause the otherwise good people in the group to get disagreeable with each other, over someone who is no good.

  6. What do you do with disagreeable responders? Love them, pray for them and send to them me. I’ll debate anybody who can intelligently carry on an argument.


  7. Rik, lol, that may be part of the problem.

    The inability to carry on an intelligent conversation.

    But I will keep you on the short list for any GCM Watch rejects.

  8. IC, I think Joe is an atheist at least the last time I heard him say so, he was. I believe thats different from a cult.

    If he will admit it he does ask a awful lot of questions which can tend to spark endless back and forths. Sometimes unnecessarily. But as long as he is civil and keeps it on track, he can comment here.

    Im trying to integrate that as a basic rule… as least towards unbelievers. I dont think I would be so cordial to a person claiming to be a Christian but still acting a fool on my blog.

  9. What about those who are apparently very civil, yet seem to have an agenda or an axe to grind with you e.g. they seem to be very “persistent” with just ONE issue? Well, sometimes they bring out some issues which deserve to be answered, and I may reply with a blog post or a comment. But what if … what if the battle is long drawn? I may not have the time to play along 😉

    I generally find cooling down and thinking the issues through a little bit longer a good and effective method to get my thoughts together.

    What would some of you do with these “axe to grind” albeit “civil” personnels?

  10. IC, I think Joe is an atheist at least the last time I heard him say so, he was. I believe thats different from a cult.

    To me that’s the cult of Psalm 14:1 😉 .

    You have to admit though, Joe has not shown any desire to repent and only comes around to spread junk, to convince people of his point of view, to proselytize on behalf of sin. That’s his real objective. He’d love to say the word that he hopes might convince you to cease all operations.

    To me Joe is not like an unbeliever who is actually seeking. While being civil Joe a troll in his own way.

    Christ told His disciples to share the message and if rejected shake the dust and leave, so with me it’s just a time thing. I’m not going to give time to someone still trying their best to roll in junk continually.

    And for some cases I find Titus 3:8-11 is the best rule to apply.

    And then there is Matthew 7:6 that must be considered at times also.

    Sometimes love and patience involve telling someone you won’t endure their folly. But each case must be handled as the Lord leads.

    I guess the question for each of us is, what authority do we use as the guide for how we manage our blogs? I think scripture has plenty of insight on how to deal with people who enjoy stirring up strife.

  11. These comments are funny. You write them like I am not reading them. It is much like talking about someone while they are standing in the room with no regard for their humanity or feelings. Nice.

    For the record. I was raised a strict Catholic. I am now, as DL stated, an atheist. Atheism is not a cult. It is a lack of belief in god. I just no longer believe in god. I sometimes wish that I did, but I just don’t.

    I come to blogs like DL’s not to stir up “strife” but to question and challenge. One thing I have learned about religion is that it discourages you from challenging what it says. Hence the word reprobate, I have no interest in changing your beliefs, but I do try to minimize the damage I think it does to gays and lesbians.

    After reading th Independent Conservatives notes, he seems to speak of me as a thing. I can assure you sir, I am not a thing. I am a real and human person with feelings and beliefs.

  12. Just remember who you are Joe and what you defend.

    It’s in that Word of God you feel is fake.

    Psalm 14:1 (New American Standard Bible)

    1 The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God ”
    They are corrupt, they have committed abominable deeds;
    There is no one who does good.

    I can’t help you were brought up in the cult of Mary, but you have seen enough truth from Pastor Foster over the YEARS, that you WILL be held accountable for the TRUTH that you heard from him and continually reject.

  13. Do you really believe that I will accept god out of fear and threats? Wouldn’t an all knowing being know that I don’t truly believe?

    The funny think about the whole “reject” god thing is that people cannot make themselves believe in anything. Try it, make yourself belief in Horus or Thor? Cant do it, well neither can I.

    So your threats of being accountable are empty and meaningless to me, but I am sure that make you feel powerful.

  14. I don’t attempt to convince anyone with any flattering speeches. I only offer what is true and as usual those who are not the Lord’s reject it.

    God calls those who are to be His children to His Son, it’s not something any human does of themselves.

    John 6:44 (New American Standard Bible)

    44 “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day.

    And yes a fool will be held accountable as a fool, for denying God.

    The unbeliever might ask, how can this be?
    Well how can one who is not drawn to the Son understand? Only if the Lord wills might they come to know the truth.

    I’ll leave it there and allow Joe to retort with his empty words.

  15. The myth you are working off about me is that I reject god. I don’t. In order to reject god, I would have to believe he exists and I do not. Even if I did begin to believe there is a god, it is unlikely it would be the god of the Christian bible anymore than John Frum (goggle it).

    GCMW: Ok, thanks for clarifying that you do not believe in God, gods, or any religious diety of any tradition. Let’s move on to more productive discussion.

  16. Hi,

    I get quite a few that disagree and I don’t have any problem with that…..as long as they’re civil.

    Generally, I let them have their say and leave it at that. If they are IMO way off, I attempt to correct them or sometimes leave them alone and they usually leave.

  17. Good and timely question! I have had to block several people. I gave them lots of chances.

    If people are civil then I have no problem with disagreement. It livens things up a bit. When I “catch” people debating civilly I like to acknowledge and encourage it.

    I banned one guy who was really “nice” but I couldn’t stand how he was slippery with his theology. He would use phrases that indicated he believed the Bible was all God’s word, then he’d work overtime discounting it or denying it. I thought it was disingenuous and finally had enough of it. If someone is honest about their liberal views that is one thing, but I don’t like fake orthodoxy.

    One thing I’ve gotten better at is not chasing the critics. If they want to go on their blog and criticize me I usually just ignore it.

    Good luck! I’m sure you get even more hostility than I do.

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