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Controversy in the Comments

Over the last two months or so I haven’t been able to moderate comments like I have in the past because I’ve had my hands full with Jackson. But it’s come to my attention that things have been getting pretty heated in the comments section and while a healthy, respectful debate is certainly encouraged, I won’t tolerate name-calling. That’s not the kind of community I’m trying to foster here. As much as I appreciate a variety of opinion and viewpoint, I will have to start banning people from commenting if they continue to use derogatory language. Consider this a first warning. I really don’t want to “clean house” around here, but I’ve done it before and I’ll do it again, so.

Comments on this entry are closed.

avatar Painted_lady December 7, 2011, 2:08 pm

Thanks for addressing this, Wendy! I know you’ve got a lot going on, but yeah, some stuff has gotten out of control.

Jess Jess of CityGirlsWorld.com December 7, 2011, 2:18 pm

Maybe a personal message to a few offenders? I think, for the most part, things just got out of a hand and there was some in-fighting that escalated from some simple difference of opinion. But maybe a direct message to those involved would pull them back in line.

avatar ReginaRey December 7, 2011, 2:20 pm

And I hope this means name-calling all around. Not just between commenters, but when it comes to commenters resorting to name-calling with LWs. I think the vast majority of people are great about reining in their tough love and keeping it clean (or clean *enough*), but some name calling, whether it’s about the LW, some third party they’ve mentioned in their letter, whatever, goes too far in my opinion. If we’re a bunch of grown people, we should be able to express our distastes and our grievances without resorting to playground name-calling.

Jess Jess of CityGirlsWorld.com December 7, 2011, 2:24 pm

ReginaReyRachel, I’m hoping this site sticks around long enough that I can still read your comments when you’re in your 30s!! With the wisdom you have NOW, I am excited to see where you are at in 10 years. I hope that sounds flattering and not condescending. I mean that I think you have arrived at some great “truths” at a really early stage in life. Since that typically sharpens with age, I hope you will continue contributing and writing so we can all benefit.

(and I know this comment doesn’t really belong here! Just struck me in the moment and I wanted to say so!)

avatar ReginaRey December 7, 2011, 2:29 pm

Thanks, Jess, that really makes me smile. I’ve felt “old” for my age since I was a kid, and sometimes it manifests itself in a good way…and then sometimes it makes dating hard because you don’t share any of the interests of dudes in your demographic……but I digress. I’m planning on being a die-hard DW commenter until the end!

PS. I love “ReginaReyRachel.” I’d almost consider changing my username…but that significant of a change makes me anxious. Haha.

TaraMonster TaraMonster December 7, 2011, 2:25 pm

I’ll be honest, the hostility has kept me off the board as of late. It just seems like on some threads constructive conversation devolves so I just stay out of it altogether. Healthy disagreement is one of the things I’ve always loved about DW! Let’s be civil, people!

avatar lets_be_honest December 7, 2011, 2:30 pm

After the other day, I considered removing myself from DW too. I love the debates on here and learn a lot, but man, it got to the point where I found myself personally insulted and ridiculed. Admittedly, I did call someone a name, and while I think it was deserved and said in defense, its not necessary. I do hope the attacks end and we can all be civil. I promised myself that if something like that happens again, I’m calling it quits on here. (hope that doesn’t make too many of you happy)

avatar Splash December 7, 2011, 2:49 pm

But I like you!

avatar lets_be_honest December 7, 2011, 2:51 pm

Oh good! I was wincing (sp?) as I went to see if anyone had commented on my comment.

FireStar FireStar December 7, 2011, 3:08 pm

You have nothing to worry about – I know I always like your comments too – I’m sure even the people who were lashing out at you would be sad to see you go in the clear light of day.

avatar Eljay December 8, 2011, 9:15 am

lbh, you know I’m a fan! πŸ™‚

avatar lets_be_honest December 8, 2011, 9:25 am

ditto πŸ™‚

avatar over it December 7, 2011, 5:37 pm

That was why I quit reading The Frisky, the comments got too nasty among each other and especially slammed the writers, even after missing the point of the article. It’s sad to say I might have to abandon DW because of ugly comments too.

avatar applescruff December 7, 2011, 6:12 pm

What happened? I missed it.

avatar Addie Pray December 7, 2011, 6:43 pm

lbh, shut the hell up. if you left, i’d be sad. what happened??? i’m in jury trial all week in the Northern District of Georgia if anybody cares to stop by. it’s very hard Dear Wending from court. so pretty please everybody stop the bonding becaues i feel left out. see you next week (and who am i kidding, probably in a few hours too). thanks, mgmt.

avatar lets_be_honest December 8, 2011, 9:27 am

Ugh, sounds like fun Addie.
I was thinking how left out you were going to feel when I saw how riled up everyone was getting πŸ™‚

avatar LTC039 December 8, 2011, 8:57 am

I’ve been in your same position, I don’t believe I’ve ever used a nasty name at someone personally, bc it’s not my style (I could be wrong though, I’ve been here since the beginning), but I feel a lot of people on here like to “attack” when someone has a different opinion than the general consensus on the LW topic. I have felt that a lot of the times people don’t agree with my opinion & in the past it’s gotten really bad. It’s not fun anymore when it gets to that point. I think we should all be able to debate & offer opinions (whether in agreement or disagreement) in a respectful manner.I thought about leaving the site too, multiple times way back when. I felt that people that didn’t agree with me resorted to personal attacks on me & even though I know I can be “tough” on my opinions, I don’t feel I’m personally disrespectful to the LWs (correct me if I’m wrong).
We don’t really know each other on a personal level, even though we share personal experiences. We don’t know why someone believes in something, or disagrees with something.
I feel since Wendy “put her foot down” the first time it’s gotten better, however I haven’t been able to comment much due to a new job & school, etc…But I guess there’s still some issues, which I believe in the Internet world, will always be like that.
The reason I like this site so much is because our advice & opinions are held in almost the same regard as Wendy’s, it’s a completely interactive site & it’s meant to be for the benefit of those in need of third party un-biased outlooks.

avatar lets_be_honest December 8, 2011, 9:25 am

I feel like some people on here have changed my opinion of certain issues simply because they conveyed their’s in a good, nice and obviously convincing way. I could hear their side and see what they mean, not just be screamed at and belittled for having a different opinion. I enjoy when there is someone with an entirely different opinion than me on here, it gives me insight on things I didn’t see before or didn’t know much about.
Anyway, I hope it goes back to healthy, fun debates and not condescending anger. Its easy to feel foolish getting so worked up on here though, I know I do!

avatar ReginaRey December 7, 2011, 2:30 pm

Seconded. I love healthy disagreement and debate. It’s fun! But it becomes very un-fun when it’s just a lot of nasty, condescending closed-mindedness.

avatar Painted_lady December 7, 2011, 5:13 pm

I agree. I LOVE coming here, and especially after seven periods of whining tweens who all shriek “She started it!” the moment you spot them doing something they’re not supposed to. Its refreshing to remind myself, hey, people CAN be civil and mature…and then when I check the comments and everything’s disintegrated into the same game of “She started it!” I’m like, wait, why didn’t I just stay at school?

avatar Taylor December 7, 2011, 2:36 pm

A big cheer to Wendy for keeping things both open and civil – it’s a rarity on the internets! I do love the comments here for the most part – plus the consistent use of capitalization, apostrophes etc…

theattack theattack December 7, 2011, 2:40 pm

Nasty comments have been a huge problem for a while now. I personally think that name-calling is not the only issue. Sometimes it’s not specifically a name, but it’s still directed as a really nasty personal insult. I hope you’re looking out for that too, Wendy!

avatar Eljay December 7, 2011, 2:42 pm

Wow, I’ve been totally out of the loop. I had no idea things had taken a turn for the mean here. Glad I wasn’t around to see it first-hand.

avatar 6napkinburger December 8, 2011, 2:29 pm

Me too! I wonder what happened/who happened (though if I had one guess, I know who I’d guess caused the trouble)

avatar lets_be_honest December 8, 2011, 2:30 pm

“Who happened”…hehe

avatar MsMisery December 9, 2011, 11:00 am

Me as well. I must not scroll down far enough to see the carnage unfold.

Firegirl32 Firegirl32 December 7, 2011, 2:46 pm

She found her “mom voice”! πŸ™‚ That’s what I call lit when I have to moderate at home. I find myself telling my family, “don’t make me get out my mom voice.” That’s sort of their warning. Congrats on a very good “mom voice” Wendy!

Firegirl32 Firegirl32 December 7, 2011, 2:47 pm

…and does anyone know where spaceboy went?

avatar MissDre December 7, 2011, 2:54 pm

Yeah, I’ve been missing Spaceboy for a while!!

avatar cookiesandcream December 7, 2011, 3:14 pm

Yeah, whenever I look at a past letter and see a comment from spaceboy, I get all nostalgic.

avatar bethany December 7, 2011, 3:27 pm

Me too! I saw his comments the other day when I went back and re-read the letter from the update.

Dear Wendy Wendy December 7, 2011, 3:30 pm

I can’t remember why I think this, but I believe he got a new job around the time he stopped commenting. I bet he isn’t able to surf the net freely at his new gig and fell out of the habit of checking out DW. It happens. Too bad.

Firegirl32 Firegirl32 December 7, 2011, 5:37 pm

Thank you. Have a good night!

JK JK December 7, 2011, 5:53 pm

Several previously frequent commenters have disappeared, very ocassionally IΒ΄m away from DW for a few days, so I must miss out on stuff. The other day I was reading an old column, and I noticed some kerfuffle, and something about one of those commenters being blocked, but not sure about others, Spaceboy like you say, Quakergirl, and now I canΒ΄t remember who else.

avatar AKchic December 7, 2011, 7:15 pm

There are days when I don’t check either. I have a rule about not getting on the internet on the weekends. Period. If my kids have a day off from school, then I have a day off from the internet. Of course, I also avoid the internet on real busy workdays, and if I’m off work for other reasons (I had a tooth pulled on Monday and was real out of it and didn’t get online).

avatar SGMcG December 8, 2011, 12:15 am

I wouldn’t say that ALL the frequent commenters disappeared. I know that I only post comments when I feel that something that hasn’t been said needs to be voiced. Unfortunately, by the time I check the updates, I think everything that needs to be said, HAS been said – so I generally don’t comment.

avatar Carolynasaurus December 9, 2011, 7:48 pm

If there are other people out there like me, they may have just switched names. Not because Wendy blocked my old one, but because I finally figured out the idiotic gravatar system.

Carolynasaurus > justpeachy

avatar mcj2011 December 7, 2011, 2:47 pm

I’m with you!

Dear Wendy Wendy December 7, 2011, 2:54 pm

Here’s the thing, everyone: I can’t be solely responsible for the tone of the community. It has to be a community effort. That means, if someone pisses you off, DON’T ENGAGE HIM/HER. Not everyone is going to like or agree with everyone else. If you find that there are people with whom you simply can’t have a civil debate, don’t debate that person. Rarely do nasty comments just come out of nowhere β€” although that does happen and I’m pretty good about deleting those. There’s usually a build-up and then an explosion. So, if you find yourself in the midst of a blow-up and you don’t like where things are headed, back away. This is the internet. It’s not “real life.” We aren’t all stuck with each other in an office, forced to be around each other all day. Just close your browser, go about your business, and I bet in a few hours, the urge to lash out will have passed.

avatar lets_be_honest December 7, 2011, 3:01 pm

I think you meant “Here’s the thing, LBH.” πŸ™‚
As usual, good advice.

avatar Jessibel5 December 7, 2011, 3:42 pm

Wendy, this post made me smile, because you totally sound like a mom! Jackson’s a lucky kid πŸ™‚

avatar ladiejoy December 7, 2011, 3:47 pm

I think it’s kind of sad that an entire community needs to be scolded and reminded to be polite. As if we are grade schoolers. Seems the last time I really popped in this was an issue, too. And, sorry Wendy, but I think banning specific people is pretty silly unless there are SERIOUS breaches of boundaries. Being rude/mean is not cool, and should be dealt with – but I think a personal note would go a long way in the realm of a reality check. Sometimes people get caught up in the moment and speak out of turn. Mostly it’s because they are passionate about the topic at hand, but sometimes it’s because they’re just assholes. But banning people from commenting only fosters further negativity, IMHO, and even validates certain behaviors and attitudes.

avatar ladiejoy December 7, 2011, 3:51 pm

Oh and to clarify, I agree with the underlying message of what Wendy is saying here – which is pretty much “be an adult and be respectful and civil”. Kind of … duh.

avatar bethany December 7, 2011, 4:21 pm

In an ideal situation, I think you’re right, a personal message might be the way to go, but at the moment, with Wendy just having the baby and the holidays coming up, I can see how she might be lacking in the time department, and this might just be the best solution at the given moment.

Sorry for the run on sentance!

avatar ekoms December 7, 2011, 4:23 pm

I don’t see what miss joy’s comment has to do with Wendy’s moderating or lack thereof, but to do with the decency of the community at large.

avatar Bethany December 7, 2011, 10:17 pm

I was responding to this in particular “sorry Wendy, but I think banning specific people is pretty silly unless there are SERIOUS breaches of boundaries. Being rude/mean is not cool, and should be dealt with – but I think a personal note would go a long way in the realm of a reality check.”

avatar ekoms December 7, 2011, 4:22 pm

I think it’s not just the community, miss joy, but symptomatic of the world at large. Decency and common sense are disappearing faster than Pan Am.

Dear Wendy Wendy December 7, 2011, 4:40 pm

But what makes you think personal notes WEREN’T sent?

Budj Budj December 7, 2011, 4:42 pm

Boo yah. Slam dunk.

avatar ekoms December 7, 2011, 4:48 pm

How’s it a slam dunk? She never said personal notes were sent before this. It’s new information.

Budj Budj December 7, 2011, 4:48 pm

I was just making a joke – it’s the end of the day and I’m feeling goofy.

Budj Budj December 7, 2011, 4:49 pm

Not meant towards anyone in particular.

avatar ekoms December 7, 2011, 5:06 pm

Fair enough. Beer o’clock

Budj Budj December 7, 2011, 5:07 pm

haha totally.

avatar ladiejoy December 7, 2011, 4:54 pm

Maybe because it was never mentioned? But then I’m not here as often as I used to be so perhaps I missed that. And shame on these folks if they are not more conscious of their behavior once being approached if this is indeed the case.

I think if you set a precedent to ban the “problem children” it just sets a negative tone. Perhaps I’m expecting too much of our fellow commenters, but I think we need to hold ourselves accountable for how we interact in this community, and it shouldn’t be so different from how we interact with people in the real world. And part of being an adult is to learn how to deal with those people who can’t seem to filter their comments very well. Putting people in “time out” so to speak is not really fixing the problem, but allowing people to think that they can react with offense if they wish to have a certain commenter removed from the site. But that’s me, being cynical…

Dear Wendy Wendy December 7, 2011, 5:06 pm

I’ve gotten countless requests asking that particular people be banned. I am repeatedly and continually emailed about problems among commenters. Ladiejoy, I’d LOVE for people to fix their issues among themselves. Believe me. Moderating comments, writing posts like this, reading emails complaining about other readers, writing emails asking that people keep it in check is beyond tedious and annoying. Not only that, it takes precious time away from things I’d much rather be doing.

But this is my site. I pay for it, it’s in my name, and it’s a reflection first and foremost of ME. I don’t want a site full of nasty, hateful and mean comments to represent me. I don’t want people to associate a hateful community with me. So, if I have to, loathe as I am to do it, I will make posts like this, I will personally email people about their behavior here, and yes, I will continue to ban people who muddy up the thing I have spent so much time and effort trying to make good. Sorry if that offends you.

Firegirl32 Firegirl32 December 7, 2011, 5:08 pm

Do you know, being an adult, I would never, honestly, think to tattle on someone to you? I think that is sort of, kind of childish. That could just be me though. I’m sorry that you have that to deal with. …I’m also sorry for all of my commas all of a sudden. I must have an overabundance of them to use.

avatar ForeverYoung December 7, 2011, 5:16 pm

My thoughts exactly! I can’t believe people take time out of their day for such a silly request. If you don’t like someone or their comments…don’t engage.

avatar *HmC* December 7, 2011, 6:01 pm

Word. I remember when I first started commenting on internet sites and someone would really get under my skin, and I even tattled on a few. But you know, that was when I was a *teenager*. Unless someone is saying something totally defamatory and horrible, I wouldn’t bother reporting them. People who are lashing out want attention first and foremost… if you don’t want to feed their negativity, just ignore them. Other people’s opinion of you, however personal or informed, should not be enough to ruin your day, if you’re an emotionally healthy adult.

While I definitely think that mature adults should be able to engage in invigorating debates without getting personal and attacking, I also think they should be capable of recognizing blatant trash talk and ignoring it.

avatar Splash December 8, 2011, 9:25 am

I’m not sure what being an adult has to do with anything or why that makes commenting on the situation as “tattling”. I see it as wanting to see Dear Wendy continuing in the vein of which it was started – a sense of respectful community. I know that everyone has an off day or might have a particular attachment to a topic that may lead to a snippy post here and there – and I know I make them here and there too. That’s not a problem and is easily brushed off. It’s when a tone becomes so pervasive that it makes people want to leave that there is a problem – when it is literally every other comment that needs to be “ignored”. When it gets to that point there are more posts to “ignore” than there are to read, and then what is the point in reading at all?

Personally, I would rather bring something up as a pervasive issue instead of just leaving and not posting or reading the website anymore! Obviously by the comments on this topic there are a lot of people who agree that there is an issue. To me (and I would guess, to Wendy), it is sad that they would feel like their only recourse to avoiding the negativity is just to leave!

Budj Budj December 7, 2011, 5:08 pm

I feel surprised, but yet, not surprised to hear so much goes on behind the scenes.

avatar ladiejoy December 7, 2011, 5:10 pm

Fair enough. And I’m not offended.

avatar lets_be_honest December 7, 2011, 5:11 pm

Wow! I can’t believe you receive any, let alone countless, requests for bans.
I wish there was a way of knowing who asks or even a tally of how many times each commenter has received a ban-request from another commenter. Or maybe I don’t wish that, ha.

avatar PFG-SCR December 7, 2011, 8:16 pm

Why is that anyone’s business to know besides Wendy?

avatar lets_be_honest December 7, 2011, 8:29 pm

Seriously? I was trying to joke that Wendy probably gets a lot of ban requests for me.

avatar PFG-SCR December 7, 2011, 8:38 pm

Hm…I just remembered when Wendy banned people some time back, you asked if she’d post a list of the people who were banned, so I wasn’t sure how to take this comment. I guess I’m still not really sure.

avatar lets_be_honest December 7, 2011, 8:44 pm

I thought the “maybe I dont wish that, ha” made it obvious I was joking. But I guess even me actually saying it was a joke doesn’t make it obvious?

avatar PFG-SCR December 7, 2011, 9:01 pm

To be completely honest, it seemed like you were trying to pass it off as a joke, but you were reveling in the misfortune of others. Again, I’m basing that on the fact that you asked for a list of those people who were banned before, and your first comment here was a “joke” questioning if another commenter’s “middle-aged boyfriend has tons of child support and credit card debt?” (which was deleted for being too rude).

avatar lets_be_honest December 7, 2011, 9:44 pm

It really was a joke. I don’t know how else I could’ve made that obvious or why you seem to take issue with me. The debt thing-not a clue what you’re referencing so can’t defend that.
Really not trying to start anything, but I guess you thought I was bc of my joke, so I’ll take it back (but no delete option).

avatar Addie Pray December 7, 2011, 9:57 pm

It would be kind of (slash, a lot) funny if you two started name-calling.

I kid, I kid, geez. Listen, people, I’ve said this already two or three times this week but I obviously have to say it again: cool it with all the heated discussions because I’m out of town this week and can’t keep up with my Dear Wendying. And I am feeling excluded. Next week you can resume. Geez.

katie katie December 8, 2011, 12:53 am

ironic… haha…

bittergaymark bittergaymark December 7, 2011, 9:59 pm

Frankly, I can’t believe it either. Numerous requests? I mean, seriously, who does that? For the record, everyone, I have never requested anybody be banned. Neither from here or any other site. It’s just not my style. Yeah, that would be a little too jr. high…

avatar LTC039 December 8, 2011, 3:13 pm

I’ve gotten upset with certain commentors when being attacked but it would never occur to me to e-mail Wendy to ban someone. I always thought she had more than enough traffic in her inbox…

avatar Pinky December 8, 2011, 4:14 pm

Maybe there could be a ban on bans.

Dear Wendy,
Please do not ban bittergaymark. He is hilarious.


bittergaymark bittergaymark December 8, 2011, 8:12 pm

Ha ha. Hilarious!!

avatar Addie Pray December 8, 2011, 2:45 pm

I email Wendy from time to time but I promise it’s only, more or less, to send her funny videos of cats or babies! And of course to bitch about lets_be_honest. I kid, I kid.

avatar lets_be_honest December 8, 2011, 2:50 pm

ahahaha! Suuure.

avatar Addie Pray December 8, 2011, 2:54 pm

Muah! I love your comments. Even the ones I disagree with because we get good debates going.

avatar ekoms December 8, 2011, 10:11 am

Wendy: “Sorry if that offends you” is not an apology. It’s a snide comment in the guise of an apology.

avatar amber December 8, 2011, 10:27 am

i’m very confused as to why Wendy owes anyone an apology in the first place. But, in this case you must have missed the entire paragraph that precedes that line. Where she not only apologized but explain why she was taking the actions she is. Which I think is much more than she needed to explain to us. You don’t need to know how she’s taking care of issues behind the scenes. If she wants to ban someone she shouldn’t need to explain that to this community. This is her site and I believe she’s doing a great job of fostering a community here, which by the way is a personal choice to be a part of. There’s no way to make every person here happy. Someone will always have something nasty to say, potentially be offended by someone else’s opinion, etc. Our job as adults is to deal with those things with tact and maturity.

avatar ekoms December 8, 2011, 10:48 am

I didn’t miss it. I chose to only respond to the part I had an issue with. Jumping to conclusions is bad for your health, amber.

avatar amber December 8, 2011, 10:52 am

well i’ll just repeat my first line. Wendy doesn’t owe you nor any other commenter an apology. And thanks for thinking of my health.

Dear Wendy Wendy December 8, 2011, 10:49 am

Yeah, I’m completely baffled why you think I owe anyone an apology.

avatar ekoms December 8, 2011, 11:13 am

I never said I did think you owe anyone an apology. Nor am I asking for one. I’m confused as to why the line was there in the first place – it’s a line designed to make the reader think you’re offering an apology, when in reality you’re just being condescending to them.

Dear Wendy Wendy December 8, 2011, 11:37 am

What about this: “sorry Wendy, but I think banning specific people is pretty silly…” Is that “sorry” meant to be a true apology? Or was it meant to be condescending? I was only replying in kind.

avatar ladiejoy December 8, 2011, 11:56 am

Whoa, whoa, here folks. Hopefully I can (respectfully) set this straight. I have to somewhat agree with ekoms, in that when I read your response, Wendy, I was with you up until that last line. It honestly seemed to me as if it was an unnecessary comment and one that I read as having a snotty tone. Your message would have been much stronger without that one single sentence. I totally wasn’t offended in any case, and certainly didn’t take it personally.
Also, I don’t need an apology for anything, as I think we are essentially in agreement about this topic (that we should be civil and friendly and it’s ridiculous that you feel as if you have to actually remind people to be respectful).
As for throwing MY quote back in my face (when I haven’t even participated in this most recent thread since my “fair enough”)… it actually was sincere: I knew that what I was about to say might ruffle some feathers and I meant no disrespect. I was NOT being condescending and my (sincere) apologies if it came off as such. I was simply voicing my opinion that banning people seems to almost further fan these flames. Negativity is part of discussion, whether we like it or not, and even some of the more flame-worthy comments end up sparking some really good discussion – not to mention, making the positive comments seem that much more positive. I think it undermines the flow of conversation to ban certain people which, sure, may be bitter and hateful sometimes, but also can actually give some really great advice and offer a different side of the discussion.

I have no solution for people that just want to be idiots. Except to reiterate my previous statement that we should hold ourselves accountable for our actions, and treat people (even online) as we would wish to be treated: with respect and an open mind.

avatar Splash December 8, 2011, 12:14 pm

Okay…and what happens when people DON’T hold themselves accountable for their actions, or treat people as we would wish to be treated? It’s all very well to hope people behave that way but what happens when they don’t? This is the situation we are in now. People were expected to behave in a certain way and obviously they did not. So then what? I don’t think that a temporary vacation for someone is necessarily a bad thing if multiple people are having a justifiable issue, and after someone has been given multiple warnings. Maybe it will do what “expecting” does not.

IMO, “flameworthy” comments are different from disdainful, condescending and always negative comments.

avatar ladiejoy December 8, 2011, 12:29 pm

What happens when you encounter such people in real life? In your workplace? Can you ban them from existing? No. You learn to deal with them. You use them as an example of how NOT to be. And you learn to be a better person.

As I said – I have no solution for these people that can’t seem to be civil. And if Wendy wants to ban people then of course she can – it’s her site, and her prerogative. If she feels that’s the best solution for these issues then that’s totally fine and I support her right to do so.

However, I don’t have to agree that it’s the best approach – just as you don’t have to agree with me that it isn’t. Also, I would assume that in most cases, said banishment would not be temporary, but permanent.

Anyway I’m just one person, voicing an opinion. And hoping (perhaps in vain) that people will simply wake up and realize that there are people behind these screen-names, and to act accordingly.

avatar Splash December 8, 2011, 12:39 pm

I understand what you are saying, but as you also said, I just don’t agree. Especially since this site simply is not real life. It is controlled and the site is owned by someone – Wendy – as a business. It is obviously in Wendy’s own best personal interests, and business interests, to maintain a site where people enjoy coming. Not to tell them to suck it up and ignore the condescension and attacks. Unlike real life there is a choice here as to whether visitors leave and never come back or whether they stay and enjoy visiting. They do not have to just deal with an issue and tolerate it. They can choose to take their time (and thus their business) elsewhere.

There are many posts in this topic about people getting tired of the negativity and just leaving or not posting. As a business, if many people choose to avoid the site because they don’t like the tone, that is very bad business. If people who have been here since the beginning are going to avoid it, what is the likelihood of new visitors coming here and staying? Not very high.

If it can be avoided, I’m not sure why a handful of pervasively rude people should get to continue their behavior at the expense of ALL those who are not.

Dear Wendy Wendy December 8, 2011, 12:50 pm

Well said, thank you.

theattack theattack December 7, 2011, 5:00 pm

So how would we know about these personal notes? Is there a personal message feature on here I’m unaware of??? Is it possible for us to send messages to other people? I AM SO CONFUSED!!!!!!!!!!

avatar lets_be_honest December 7, 2011, 5:05 pm

We wouldn’t know. That’s the whole point. I think personal = private, like she may have sent a private e-mail to commenters acting out of line. An e-mail she wouldn’t share with all of us I’m guessing.
She tried to install a private messenger thing a while back, but I don’t think it ever worked.
Confession: checked e-mail as soon as I saw she wrote that. phew, none.

theattack theattack December 7, 2011, 5:35 pm

What I meant was how would we know if we got one ourselves, not how would we know who got one? If we don’t have a personal message feature, would we get those messages through the email account we signed up with? I was mostly asking because some people’s names are a different color than mine, and I don’t know how to change that, and I didn’t know if the different color came with different features like personal messages.

Dear Wendy Wendy December 7, 2011, 5:38 pm

I can see everyone’s email address because you have to include that in the comments field when you first leave a comment. Also, I have people’s email addresses because… people email me a lot.

avatar MissDre December 7, 2011, 5:40 pm

Beat me to it Wendy!

theattack theattack December 7, 2011, 5:49 pm

Thanks, Wendy!

avatar MissDre December 7, 2011, 5:39 pm

When you leave a comment, you have to enter your email address. So, I assume Wendy has a record of those email addresses and has sent personal emails.

As for the different colour, it’s because some people include a Website URL and so if you click their name it takes you to their website.

theattack theattack December 7, 2011, 5:49 pm

Ahhh, thank you for explaining that! I could not figure out why I was less special.

Firegirl32 Firegirl32 December 7, 2011, 5:06 pm

What movie did that make me just think of? I had just a flash of a movie scene in my head. OH! I am so bad at this!

landygirl Landygirl December 7, 2011, 4:40 pm

I save all of my nasty comments for the trolls on Huffington Post.

Firegirl32 Firegirl32 December 7, 2011, 5:05 pm

…that made me laugh…

LadyinPurpleNotRed ChicagoWoman December 7, 2011, 5:07 pm

in a completely unrelated note…the dog in your picture is adorable. There *may* have been loud squealing of adorableness…

landygirl Landygirl December 7, 2011, 5:58 pm

Thanks!! He is even more adorable in real life!!! He is just a big, furry bundle of joy. He’s also a ladies’ man and would probably sidle up to you for some pets.

LadyinPurpleNotRed ChicagoWoman December 7, 2011, 6:02 pm

I’m cuddling with my dog as we speak…er-type! I love big, furry bundles of joy! And I’m alllllll about giving some pets…especially for lady man doggies!

avatar Greebo December 7, 2011, 5:26 pm

I’m really glad to see this, especially after that LW who said she was driven to mental collapse after some of the comments on her letter. I suspect many of the people who write DW are in a pretty dark place, and a modicum of compassion would go a long way.

avatar delilahgem December 7, 2011, 7:24 pm

totally missed that letter. wth?

avatar Greebo December 7, 2011, 10:02 pm

It was a DW update. I won’t rehash it for fear of reigniting a rather heated debated.
Anyway, my point is that people reaching out to strangers for help are likely to be fragile. The point isn’t whether she “over reacted”; it’s that a civil, compassionate tone (without the R rated language) overall is more likely to (1) lead to advice that’s actually heard by the LW and (2) could ease someone who really needs it towards available, immediate help, counseling or therapy.

avatar ladiejoy December 8, 2011, 8:43 am

If you read through those comments, you’ll notice that the original letter writer clarified that it was NOT the comments that drove her to collapse, but a combination of other personal issues. It’s just that the comments were hurtful to her at a time when she was already in the dumps. Please get your facts straight. πŸ™‚

bittergaymark bittergaymark December 7, 2011, 9:15 pm

Okay, for the record, I recently read through those comments and didn’t think they were all that out of line. (I didn’t comment on that question, must have missed it that day…) But I really thought that the LW was overreacting…

katie katie December 7, 2011, 10:25 pm

i also went and re-read all the comments, and honestly none of them were very bad. i have read worse on here… i think that her including that in the update was just kind of a way to get more sympathy, personally…

avatar LTC039 December 8, 2011, 3:41 pm

I’m out of the loop… Which letter was this? I didn’t know there was another problem…

JK JK December 7, 2011, 6:07 pm

I love how people can get so worked up over things, and being totally pro or against things, when we never have enough information to form at least such a strong opinion!!!
Of course to comment we have to pretty much make up our mind what our opinion is, but getting so worked up as to insult a fellow commenter because they think the other person is right??

avatar AKchic December 7, 2011, 7:20 pm

I think my day is wasted if I haven’t made one person want to complain about me to someone.

*laugh* I enjoy living rent free in some people’s heads that I allow them to continue thinking that I do some very, very naughty, devious things with some very improbable items that would probably get me banned in many countries – just so they have something to complain about.

If I stopped, what would these poor folks have to complain about? I perform a very important community function, people.

bittergaymark bittergaymark December 7, 2011, 7:36 pm

Well, I’m sorry if I offended anybody. People out here in LA are VERY hard to offend and the colorful language I often use may still shock some, I guess. That said, I must admit that perhaps I, and others, were rightfully left confused as it seems that the language floodgates were left wide open. I mean, once one employs the word “cunt” on their very own site while dispensing advice — they might not be so surprised that other such words soon follow. I know that is when I thought it was cool to stop being so g-rated in my language.

PS — Personally, I loved the use of the C word and it definitely fit the situation at hand. That said…

bittergaymark bittergaymark December 7, 2011, 7:52 pm

No, no, no. I am not doing this to be a pain. All I know is that, seriously, that was when I personally went R-rated. (And I thoroughly enjoyed the freedom to do so.) That said, I will NOT go above PG again. But I genuinely do feel that you may have unintentionally sent the wrong message to people here. Or perhaps, we just foolishly misinterpreted it. Personally, I am a big fan of colorful language. But if it is out of control, then by all means lets stop it. I am all for that. So sorry, if I offended you. That was not my intention….

bittergaymark bittergaymark December 7, 2011, 7:57 pm

No, no, no. I don’t mean to be snarky here. Personally, I loved the use of that word there. It really WAS fitting… I am just trying to clarify that that was when I felt free to go R-rated myself. Hey, I am all for PG. And will be that or even G rated from now on. Again, my apologies if this needlessly irked you…

Dear Wendy Wendy December 7, 2011, 8:35 pm

You can be r-rated. You can use the f-word and the b-word, and yes, even the c-word. Just don’t start throwing those names AT other commenters. I may have used the c-word, but it wasn’t directed at anyone here. That’s the difference, and frankly, I would think that’s just common sense and good manners.

avatar Addie Pray December 7, 2011, 10:27 pm

And don’t forget you can also call someone a bag of dicks. You forgot that one, Wendy. Also, little shits, my personal favorite. You know, “bag of little shits” also makes me smile.

bittergaymark bittergaymark December 7, 2011, 8:39 pm

Sorry, about the double posts. I am at a cafe and the first one didn’t appear to post.

bittergaymark bittergaymark December 7, 2011, 8:43 pm

For the record, I never directly called anybody a bitch on here. I may have said “try not acting like a reactionary bitch” — yes, I did say that. But that was only after that person who shall remain nameless called me an asshole. That said, I remain baffled people would even bother you about this. It’s all a bit too much of running to tell mom for my taste… But to each their own, I guess.

avatar AKchic December 7, 2011, 9:02 pm

*laugh* That’s the same for many Alaskans. Not much shocks us. Of course, you can tell the newbies – they keep trying to turn us into Seattle Light, or New California. We actually got heated sidewalks downtown, and then they broke (after they fired the ONLY guy who knew how to fix ’em to save money after they spent too much money putting the damned things in!). So, the heated sidewalks don’t work. And cobblestoned crosswalks? Where we get frostheaves every year? Ridiculous. And then the newbie democrats voted the Mayor wondurkin to become our frickin’ US senator. Fan-freakin’-tastic. I tell you, these transplants are killing us politically. If it was only the old-timers around here, he never would have made it past assembly. If that. The cuts we’ve had to make just to fix his union spending sprees to buy his senate seat during his mayoral term – not pleasant.

Anyhoo – I won’t be on tomorrow morning AK time (around lunchish for some of you folks). I have a police dept dedication to go to. New RX Disposal public drop-off box. 1st one in the city πŸ˜€ Big deal, and I’m going both as a representative for my company, and for the AK Safe Medicine Alliance/RX Safe Disposal Committee. Who knows – maybe a pic or two in the paper. If so – I’ll send a link.

bittergaymark bittergaymark December 7, 2011, 9:10 pm

So, are there as many eligible men in Alaska as various Cosmoesque mags would have us believe? Sometimes I have half a mind to make the trip and land me a hot boy in flannel. I think running away to the woods with a lumberjack for a year or two would be a fine idea.

Firegirl32 Firegirl32 December 8, 2011, 11:12 am

Ok. Personal story here that seems fitting…I have a gay friend (in Wis.) and he thought that maybe he would have a better chance at landing men if he was a little more redneck, manly. He wanted lessons. So I had my brother (who is seriously redneck and manly) take my friend out one Friday night. Just to hang out. They hit all of the small, hole in the wall bars. They came back to my place later to tell me of their tales. My brother says Dan had guys at these bars buying him beers all night! He couldn’t believe it. After my brother left, Dan told me there is no way in HELL he would ever do that again! “Those people” scared him! …and if he was gonna carry a gun and wear flannel it would have to be while singing in a musical called the Hybrid Redneck. I never laughed so hard. Poor guy was scarred for life. πŸ™‚

theattack theattack December 8, 2011, 12:02 pm

hahaha! I find that pretty funny as someone else in the middle of a bunch of rednecks!

avatar AKchic December 8, 2011, 12:45 pm

*laugh* The Alaskan dating motto is “The odds are good, but the goods are odd”. And it holds true.

Yes, there are some pretty decent-looking guys up here. Then again, it’s just like any other place, and there are some terrible-looking folks up here.
Alaska is still considered “the end of the road”, and a great place to hide “off the grid” for anyone looking to escape their past. So, we end up with criminals and other weirdos. Sometimes, multiple generations. We have a high concentration of military folk. Past and present (and future, really). High retire retention rate. Military folk retire and STAY in Alaska because they love it here and the tax rate is low.
Then, the rough jobs. Slope-work, lumber, fishing, construction, etc – it’s all damaging. Add to that the weather (hey, when the daily high is -40, and frostbite is considered an “occupational inevitability”). People do end up looking a bit… rugged. If not outright haggard. Especially as they age.
Alcoholism is rampant in some areas. Drug abuse as well. Not to mention some with the psychiatric issues, DV issues, etc.

Then the issue of transplants. Newbies who WANT to give the impression of being long-time Alaskans, so they work out to get the muscles, but have never swung an ax in their lives, or never gone camping/fishing/hunting, etc. “Cheechakos”.

avatar Painted_lady December 7, 2011, 11:55 pm

What are frostheaves? I’m from Texas. You’d think it’s cute what we call cold (I type this with numb fingers as it’s 30 degrees and my irresponsible roommate hasn’t paid the gas bill since July).

bittergaymark bittergaymark December 8, 2011, 1:35 am

Frostheaves are when the ground lurches or shifts due to it freezing. It has a tendency to push up bricks and the like…

avatar SpaceySteph December 8, 2011, 9:58 am

Holy crap the north is terrifying.

In other news, there was frost on my lawn today and I legitimately asked my boyfriend if my lawn was really frozen. But he thought I was kidding. I wasn’t, I have never had frozen grass before.

Jess Jess of CityGirlsWorld.com December 8, 2011, 10:43 am

As a northerner, I find this hilarious and appreciate you sharing it!

Reminds me of a time when a newly co-worker transplanted from South Texas and told me about a confusing shopping experience she had. She was out to buy a winter coat for the first time in her life. She found one that she thought looked fashionable, warm, and perfect for the winter. Then she asked a salesperson if this was a good coat for the season and the salesperson replied, “oh gosh no, that’s really more of a Spring coat.”

My co-worker was dumbfounded. In her wildest imagination, she told me, she could not understand why anyone would need a coat in the SPRING.

avatar SpaceySteph December 8, 2011, 11:00 am

I’m alot like your coworker. Raised in South Florida and now I live in Houston, I own one coat and one ski jacket (primary purpose is for actual skiing). When its too cold for my coat (aka below 40), I wear my ski jacket. I also have been known to wear tights under my jeans, and/or every long sleeved shirt I own at the same time (which is about 5) if I’m really cold.
I recently found out my beloved winter jacket is actually more of a “fall coat.” Whatever that means. We only have two seasons- Hot and Cold. Hot is above 80, cold is below 70.

avatar Taylor December 8, 2011, 11:18 am

Hee. So, my first real snow was when I was in grad school in CO. My AZ roommate woke me up, we watched it fall outside the window, and she said “we better dress warm, people die in this stuff”. So…after numerous layers including warm underwear, wool socks, jeans, boots, undershirt, t-shirt, sweat shirt, jacket, hat, scarf and gloves…I almost gave myself heatstroke. It was 50 degrees and the snow had melted by noon.

But then again, that was after years of living in Phoenix/Tucson – I know when it’s cold there bc I need both pants AND a jacket =)

avatar GatorGirl December 8, 2011, 10:53 am

I love this comment! I’m a northerner who recently moved to North Florida. The people down here crack me up. When it hits 60 people pull out their winter jackets, uggs, ect.

I’m ashamed to say in the 6 months I’ve lived here I’ve already adjusted to the weather. Two weeks in PA over Christmas is going to be tough!

Also, I don’t get why people call knit hats toboggans down here. It’s a sled!

Firegirl32 Firegirl32 December 8, 2011, 11:05 am

Oh this makes me laugh…I’m in Wisconsin. Our high today is 27. And I didn’t even wear mittens. πŸ™‚

Budj Budj December 8, 2011, 11:22 am

I never understood quick adjustments to weather. I spent two weeks in Acapulco for a training trip and when we flew back in to a blizzard in Toronto I couldn’t wait to stand outside and wait for the bus in a t-shirt. High 90’s – 100’s and 8,000,000% humidity is not for me.

avatar GatorGirl December 8, 2011, 11:34 am

Budj- I can’t figure out the weather down here. Yesterday it was 80 for the high and 36 for the low. And then the high today is only 68. It’s like a weather rollercoaster. And then add in that restaurants keep the air conditioning on ridiculously high all the time…

avatar Painted_lady December 8, 2011, 11:14 am

Yeah, that sounds unpleasant. Contextually
I knew it couldn’t be right, but it sounds like some sort of cold-induced dry heaves. Which I’m pretty sure I would have had last night.

avatar AKchic December 8, 2011, 12:49 pm

What Mark said. But it pushes up more than bricks. It can completely damage streets, as seen here

I haven’t taken any photos recently myself, and can’t remember which friends have. It’s such a common occurrance to us that we don’t think to take photos. Kind of like earthquakes. Unless something breaks, we just “ride the waves” and continue on.

Firegirl32 Firegirl32 December 8, 2011, 1:20 pm

Here too. We assume the pavement will heave. We will off of a sudden have “Bump” signs along the highway. Which is kind of funny, because I’m sure bump doesn’t mean giant crater that will ruin your suspension if you don’t slow down to a crawl. πŸ™‚

avatar AKchic December 8, 2011, 2:19 pm

Yep. Or, the giggle-inducing “road humps ahead” signs”.

Of course, this is a state where we have giant signs proclaiming “POT STORAGE”, and the signs saying “It is illegal to shoot road signs” are all shot up.
(***Pot storage signs are actually meant for crab pots, not actual marijuana***)

Firegirl32 Firegirl32 December 8, 2011, 2:24 pm

I would love to see those signs…I wish we had road humps ahead signs. That’s funny stuff.

avatar Splash December 8, 2011, 9:31 am

Totally off topic, but I visited my brother when he was stationed in Homer and I looooved it! Not sure if I would love the winter time when the population reduces by 2/3, or the high prices for produce (and everything else for that matter), but it was gorgeous. I’ve never seen a bald eagle so up close before!

avatar TheOtherMe December 8, 2011, 11:08 am

You see what happens when T.O.M. isn’t around ? people lose their manners…just kidding. work has been uber-busy… hi everyone, love ya!

avatar lets_be_honest December 8, 2011, 11:15 am

I’ve been wondering where you’ve been TOM…

avatar TheOtherMe December 8, 2011, 11:34 am

Aww…. I can always count on you LBH !! xox