Abusive Messages and Commenting Policy

Thursday, August 23, 2007 20:56 | Filed in Blogging, Language, The Pickards

I just thought I’d write a few thoughts about some of the abusive messages I’ve been receiving on my site recently, let you know what was behind them, how I feel about them, and what my thoughts are regarding different sorts of comments on my site.

…If I was you I would climb down off your very high horse and get a life.Elaine Corcoran

What sparked all this off, you may wonder?

Well, it seems that I had the temerity to voice my thoughts about Madeleine McCann, pointing out that we didn’t need, on every news bulletin to be told that there were no further developments in the story. If there are no further developments, it isn’t actually ‘news’!

you are the most callus person i have ever read about,i hope your children never read your comments,you turn my stomachPam

Hmm. And I hope my children learn how to capitalise words and spell the word ‘callous’ better than you! Although I’ve got no doubt that Elaine would say you’ve got nothing to worry about there:

I cannot believe your insensitive comments.I also don,t believe you have children of your ownElaine Corcoran

Yeah, yeah, Elaine. So the pictures of them on my site, the stories about them on my site, and the fact that a good number of the commenters on my site have actually met my children is just some kind of elaborate hoax? Merely so I can later, should I choose to make comments about someone else with children, claim to be a parent myself?

Seems a bit unlikely to me. But then again I think a plane crashed into the twin towers, Princess Diana was killed in a car crash, men did land on the moon, we aren’t being visited regularly by flying saucers and that Lee Harvey Oswald didn’t shoot JFK. Oh, and that Elvis is dead.

Now where was I? Oh yes, I made it clear that I hoped Madeleine was returned safe and well. I merely suggest that I thought it likely that she had been killed early on (something which I note the papers now are seeming to suggest is a possibility) and that I didn’t really think sticking up posters in my local supermarket was going to help, since I don’t live in Portugal anway.

You disgust me, using this [to] launch yourself on your soap box…why are you using her to get people to look at your pathetic self loving site. I cant help think alot of people laugh about your self-importance behind your backBarbara Edge

And for the temerity of having an opinion, of saying that the death of the writer Isaac Asimov meant more to me personally, that I’d never bought into the whole “outpouring of grief over Diana” thing either, and that I thought the hundreds of Iraqis been killed every month were possibly more newsworthy than a story about a missing girl constantly being reported with no new information, I get this level of abuse.

Frequently from people who seem to have their finger stuck on the ‘shift’ key…


But don’t worry, those are just some excerpts from some of the comments that I actually allowed to be published on my site. If you think those were out of proportion, then take a look at this one:

is your last name hitler by any chance?Pam

Right, so because I have an opinion that is different to your own and is formed from my own ideas, opinons and values, rather than from whatever is on the front page of the Daily Express that morning, I’m to be equated to the person who was ultimately responsible for one of the worst acts of organised genocide the world is likely to see? I’m not convinced the analogy holds water, myself. Maybe if I had one of them little moustaches…

But I obviously upset Pam by not publishing her comments immediately (her previous one having by then been held in my moderation queue for nine minutes) she felt the need to jump in again…

whats wrong touched a nerve,you havent got one in your body,truth hurts doesnt itPam

Well, duh, no you didn’t, yes I have, and it probably would if I had anything to feel bad about.

I was initially in two minds about writing this post — partly because the tirade of abuse was getting, well… boring, and I didn’t really want any more — and partly because in this case I wondered whether this post would fall into the class of using this “to get people to look at [my] pathetic self loving site”.

So what tipped me over the edge into thinking that it was legitimate comment?

I’m being cheeky really your comments are now closed on madeliene so iam sneaking one on here [an entirely unrelated post] what a poor excuse for a human being you are jpPam

Well, that as well as a couple of other reasons. I think it shows something about the character of some people that they can’t tolerate anyone who seems to hold a different opinion (although I must say that there were a number of comments written in support of me too), and particularly those people who feel that they need to express these poisonous sentiments repeatedly.

Also, if I’m going to continue to get comments even after I’ve attempted to close the conversation, I’m entitled to think that this in itself is sufficiently interesting to warrant a post.

Finally, because it gives me a chance to explicitly codify my long-used if unofficial ‘comments policy’.

And it’s really quite simple.

  • You’re positively encouraged to:
    • Comment
    • Disagree with me — particularly if you provide a reason
    • Poke light-hearted fun at my expense where it’s relevant or related to the post
  • You’re not welcome to:
    • Spam
    • Post comments that aren’t relevant to that particular post
    • Use ad hominem arguments
    • Be downright rude or offensive

There you go: simple. Bear that in mind and you’ll not go wrong. If you’re repeatedly offensive or libellous, then I will reserve the right to take further action. If you’re a spammer, I’ll just blacklist you…

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11 Comments to Abusive Messages and Commenting Policy

  1. mickyboy says:

    August 23rd, 2007 at 10:10 pm

    I’m surprised you waste you fine words on these idiots… where do they come from? Maybe the Daily Express forums were down for day…

  2. Joe Dolson says:

    August 23rd, 2007 at 10:55 pm

    Well, I’d like to go firmly on record that I have never laughed at your self-importance. Giggled, yes. Chuckled — possibly. Laughed? Never! That would be callus.

    Frustrating stuff to be dealing with, to be sure…

  3. mark fairlamb says:

    August 24th, 2007 at 10:04 am

    i bet these people watch late night tv programmes containing violence / swearing / sex from start to finish and then write letters complaining about the content.

  4. Rob Mason says:

    August 24th, 2007 at 12:15 pm

    Can people not read (on top of not being able to type)? Or are they just incapable of grasping concepts set out in the written word? You are entitled to your opinions…last time I looked we lived in a (pseudo-)democracy. I suppose they are also entitled to their opinions, but slagging someone off on their own blog without any reasoned counter-argument or evidence is just lame.

    Wankers the lot of them.

  5. mark fairlamb says:

    August 24th, 2007 at 1:04 pm

    i really do envy these people.
    they obviously have no larger problems in their lives than worrying about other peoples opinions

  6. Steve Small says:

    August 25th, 2007 at 8:14 am

    You have a lot more patience than I, a simple two word phrase with the second word being “off” would have been my response

  7. Mike Cherim says:

    August 29th, 2007 at 1:34 pm

    Holy crap man. These people need to be deleted.

  8. JackP says:

    September 2nd, 2007 at 8:28 am

    Here’s another couple of good ones; again demonstrating that failing to read or understand what someone has written is no reason not to send them abusive messages:

    Why on earth would you put this shite on internet?? Even if you do believe it.. it is in no way helpful or useful. Would it have hurt you to keep your self obsessive opinion to yourself or at least not put it on the internet. I actually think its quite warped of you“Teresa Greeb”

    I’m presuming that “Greeb” is a spelling mistake and it’s meant to be that joke name “Teresa Green”, so I doubt their email address is valid either.

    i really think you are a cold blooded son of a bitch. i hope you one day regret what you have put on this site regarding madeleine mccann. that poor family are going through hell and god only knows what poor madeleine is going through.Michelle Whellans

    Well Michelle, I think poor Madeleine is probably dead. Which, if you’ll remember I described as an unpleasant thing and something I’d be glad to be wrong about.

    I’m not sure what I’ve got to regret; after all I’ve already said I’d love to see her returned to her family. But of course you either didn’t read that bit or conveniently ignored it, didn’t you?

    However, I must apologise: it wasn’t my intention to offend emotional cripples who are unable to face facts; if you do fall into this category then please accept my humble apologies. I was simply trying to make comment about the media frenzy.

  9. ThePickards » Blog Archive » I Can’t Help Find Madeleine, So Stop Asking says:

    September 2nd, 2007 at 8:36 am

    [...] would advise you to read my post on abusive messages and commenting policy before [...]

  10. Marie says:

    September 10th, 2007 at 11:20 am

    Well, I for for one appreciated your reasonable viewpoint but I didn’t know there were so many biased, nasty people out there. It’s a scary world we live in. Keep up your interesting comments etc.

  11. Helena says:

    September 10th, 2007 at 11:33 am

    I wonder how all the idiots who abused you feel after the latest news with the child’s parents named as suspects. I know – the police are wrong, “callus” and ignorant too. You never said a truer word than when you commented on the media frenzy. I am still waiting for some one, anyone to tell me why this child is given so much media attention and there is none for other children who are missing. Also why Diana’s death was worth the media frenzy and Mother Teresa a much, much lesser reporting. When I think of the good that Mother Teresa did compared to Diana, I just don’t understand it. But then Mother Teresa did not seek out media attention and glory. Is there anyone out there who knows how the media select the stories they are going to “run with”?