One Way to Handle Aggressive, Mean-Spirited and Divisive Comments

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The Accidental Tourist vs. The Purposeful Hijacker


In just over twenty-two months at HubPages, I have come across several hubs and been disturbed by groups of lengthy comments posted by someone who clearly wanted to hijack a Hub and use it to support his/her own personal agenda and to gain attention. Some people like to make others angry and upset; psychologically, it a way to feel like one has power or control. But it is mean-spirited at best and downright malicious, at worst.

Recently a Hubber asked me what she should do because one of her Hubs had been taken over (hijacked) by two individuals who persisted in leaving very, very long, negative and inflammatory comments on her Hub. First, I went to the Hub in question, which was very well-written and addressed substantive and serious issues.


Author's Note: Please enjoy the photographs, but do not try to connect them to the Hub topic. I love planets, stars, and galaxies. They are infinitely amazing and mesmerizing all by themselves.

On second thought, if you detect an intellectual, spiritual, artistic, mythological, social, cultural, metaphorical, or political connection between the theme of this hub and the photographs ..... then yes, yes, you have discovered the deep connection and interpretation that I intended all along. (smile)


The Glory of the Heavens ~~ The Milky Way

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A Serious Author Under Relentless Attack


There were a number of constructive comments and a good discussion had developed. Then two individuals decided to steer the discussion off on a personal tangent and use her Hub to advance their own personal agenda. To say the least, their lengthy (pages and pages) comments were rude, angry, irrational, biased, accusatory, and totally inappropriate.

This Hubber made every effort to respond in a courteous and thoughtful manner. She ignored the accusatory and inflammatory material and simply tried to re-explain the intent of her Hub, the rationale behind it. This resulted in numerous additional off topic and angry responses. I believe what they have done is hijack her topic, use her Hub to generate attention, and in the process have harassed her off and on for weeks. Here is my response to the Hubber’s questions:


Mysterious and Quiet Planet

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Patience and Understanding for Genuine Inquiries


I have experienced similar “attacks,” several times and they are incredibly unpleasant and frustrating. They are mean-spirited, irrational, attention seeking “attacks.” They have reached the level of harassment. You and I both need to treat them for what they really are, even though that may seem hard to do.

I have infinite patience for someone who is confused, honestly seeking answers, or expresses a viewpoint from different perspective than mine. That always makes for a good discussion. Like you, I will spend a great deal of time and energy corresponding with those individuals. But after a few dreadful experiences, I have learned to handle these other attacks differently.


A Distant Color Enhanced Galaxy

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Managing Inappropriate Comments


The Effective 1-2-3 System. Using this approach is not mean and it does not destroy honest discussion and debate; however, it prevents those who want to rant and rave and destroy reasonable conversation on your Hubs, from being successful. They are attempting to hijack your Hub and broadcast their own personal agenda, which they are perfectly free to do by writing their own Hub, not by invading and co-opting yours.

First. I assume everyone is sincere and that questions and comments are legitimate (even if strange, intense, or over the top) and I respond warmly and kindly, as best I can, ignoring the rude and irrelevant parts of their comment. I repeat what my Hub was about and encourage them to respond to what I actually wrote.

Another View of the Rings of Saturn

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Sincere or Deliberately Off-Topic?


Second. When they comment again and continue with the same approach and even add crazy accusations and personal insults (to me or to another Hubber) or try to hold me personally responsible for everything America, Christians, or teachers have ever done wrong, I have had enough! I know they are not sincere and are determined to create conflict.

The real test of sincerity, which they fail, is that they have completely ignored whatever you wrote in your last response. They stay in irrational “attack and accuse” mode no matter what you say. They are not interested is a discussion, or fairness, or reasonable discourse. They want attention, they want to vent, and they want to use your Hub to do it! My reply is crisp and direct and I make it very clear what kinds of comments I will and will not tolerate on my Hub. I also encourage them to write their own Hub, since they are so passionate about their topic.

Scale is a Phenomenal Characteristic

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Personal Agendas, Inflammatory Accusations


Third. If and when the third inappropriate comment arrives, deep – deep - sigh, and often it does, I delete all their inflammatory, off topic posts. Then I send them a courteous, but very clear response, and briefly explain why their posts were deleted and make it exceedingly clear that any all future comments in the same vein will also be deleted immediately. Then I delete them and I am consistent; if they keep posting inappropriate or hateful comments, I immediately delete them.

However, you should be prepared for some pushback and lots of criticism and not just from the “rude and angry ranters.” After I had to do this a couple of times, what amazed me is that several other-wise sensible Hubbers protested my deletions on the grounds of "freedom of speech." I was “guilty” of denying the out-of-control Hubber their freedom of speech. This does not disturb me in the least, because they have misunderstood and misinterpreted what our freedoms really are.

The Ringed Planet as if at Sunset

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Defining and Understanding "Free Speech"


The “rude and angry ranter" has not been denied his or her “freedom of speech!” Although, they will claim they have and call you mean and unfair and afraid of the truth; best advice I can give you, ignore them. They can say what ever they want on their own hub, their own phone, or in their own house, or strolling through the local mall, if they want. That is the “freedom of speech” that we are guaranteed.

Nothing guarantees them the freedom to hijack another Hub and use it to broadcast their own agenda, their own biased opinions -- any more than they have the freedom to barge into your home uninvited and hijack the conversations there. They will attempt to guilt trip us into putting up with their nonsense. But it false guilt based on an illogical and twisted premise.

Although HubPages is a public platform, it is also a “private space” which is why we have individual Hubs. I am impervious to and ignore their false accusations. You should ignore them, too. You are not in the wrong, they are.

The Scarred Surface of an Empty Planet

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That Which We All Recognize ~~ Earth, Our Blue Marble

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The Lunar Surface

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Sol Sinking Into the West
Sol Sinking Into the West | Source

Earth's Glowing Satellite

Moon Between Georgia Pines
Moon Between Georgia Pines | Source

More by this Author


Your CIVIL and COGENT Comments Are Very Welcome 84 comments

JamiJay profile image

JamiJay 4 years ago from Somewhere amongst the trees in Vermont.

This is a great hub!

When publishing your work, there are always going to be people who you give criticism that is not necessarily constructive, and that can be hurtful to the author that has taken so much time in writing and publishing a piece they are so proud of.

I sometimes feel, that as on-line writers and bloggers, we rely so much on the written word and punctuation to determine voice, and sometimes we can become confused in what people mean (being facetious and sarcastic through written language is hard to portray, especially when read). But it is different for another author to deliberately attack person, just because they hold different views and beliefs.

I think if one doesn't share the same views, it is OK to generate a debate, but to say hurtful, rude, and to create malicious comments to someone trying to state their own voice and opinions is not.

Sometimes people need to remember what they were taught in pre-school, "if you don't have anything nice to say don't say it at all."

If one is unable to give constructive feedback, than they should refrain from commenting altogether.

HubPages is meant to be a community of writers and a creative portal for those who want their stories, articles, and art seen and read, and to be able to gain a respectable audience and following, and we should all be treating each other accordingly.

The written language is the most powerful weapon that humans possess, and it should be treated like one.

If necessary, any writer can delete or deny comments if they do not pertain to the content of their hub.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Thank you for your comments Jamie Jay. You are so right, there is quite a difference in spirited debate and malicious comments. I think it was wise of HP to give us deny and delete privileges with our own Hubs. That is what I encouraged the hubber in question to do.

Perhaps if we all did it fairly and consistently, some of this bad behavior would disappear. Children and adults sometimes act out just to get attention, gain an audience. On HP, I don't think we should reward bad behavior with an audience. Thanks, again.


aethelthryth profile image

aethelthryth 4 years ago from American Southwest

You don't have to go on assuming people have high motives when there is pretty good evidence to the contrary.

My generation was taught a lot about freedom and not much about responsibility. There really is still some concept of responsibility there, so even in school we were a bit surprised when we got away with acting awful. But we weren't going to say so.

If we could get out of something by claiming our right to freedom of speech, we'd do it, and then laugh at the teacher who was no doubt seriously trying to teach us the Constitution.


tammyswallow profile image

tammyswallow 4 years ago from North Carolina

I have seen many inappropriate comments and have recieved many as well. I think that some people get bored and start trolling to start an argument. For this reason I try not to write hubs on subjects that invite the trolls, especially hubs on politics or religion. Then there is the problem of hubbers making fake profiles just for the purpose of leaving hateful comments. Someone created a new sign in just to leave a nasty comment on my hub about being an Ugly Duckling just to tell me I was ugly. They didn't realize that you can tell when a hubber creates a fake sign in by the IP address. Team hub pages is really efficent in dealing with people who get out of control. It is a real problem and I hope it gets better for you.


rjbatty profile image

rjbatty 4 years ago from Irvine

I read your Hub with some surprise. I haven't yet encountered what you describe. I sometimes get blunt criticism but haven't received anything hateful or simply corrosive. My impression has been (as you suggest) that fellow Hubbers be professional and honest in their retorts -- if they choose to leave any. I do write about controversial material, so I guess I've just been lucky so far. Like yourself, if I were to receive a comment that was off the map, I wouldn't have any qualms about not allowing the postings to appear on my Hub. It is disconcerting to learn that there are some few individuals in this "community" who seem to have no higher purpose than to antagonize. Expressing a total lack of respect is intolerable. Perhaps the editors should also add a button that allows a Hubber to mark certain remarks as inappropriate. If the individual(s) sending such remarks receive a sufficient number of inappropriate notations, the editors ought to simply eliminate them from being contributors. Writing Hubs is a tough enough business (if we take it seriously), and we certainly do not need to be harassed by people who have no higher intention than to cause aggravation or to usurp a topic written with good intentions.


xstatic profile image

xstatic 4 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

Very well done! I have not personally experienced any ugliness on HP in the three or so months I have been around, but have seen a few simply wrongheaded comments here and there. I stay away from religion and politics. I can get in enough trouble here in town without looking for online debates.

If I did write something that generated the sort of hate and discontent the Hubber described to you, I would simply not approve it and ignore the trash talking author of it. I agree with your "free speech" on HP comment completely. Maybe with the appove button, we need an "ignore" button that would prevent further posts directed by those people at us. One of those "No Bozos" buttons comes to mind.


Davesworld profile image

Davesworld 4 years ago from Cottage Grove, MN 55016

When it happened to me I simply exercised my authority and pulled the comments off the Hub. I publicly stated I was doing that and monitored it for a while until the two antagonists realized I was serious.

This kind of thing is, unfortunately, unavoidable. But at least you can strike back.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Hi aethelthryth. I totally agree with your statement. "You don't have to go on assuming people have high motives when there is pretty good evidence to the contrary." And our generation and those before us were raised differently, with very different expectations and values.

I pretty quickly eliminate troublemakers from my Hubs (doesn't happen that often), but my concern and reason for the post is that some people are too kind or too gentle or think they are denying some "freedom." I have watched several people just being bashed over several days or even weeks and I want them to know they are in the right to resist. Thank you so much for your comments.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Thank you Tammy, I am doing just fine, but I was and am concerned by others who are harassed by hubbers who leave very inappropriate comments. And of course fake profiles is another whole dimension I hadn't even thought if. Thanks for your comments and suggestions.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Hi rj - It is kind of strange, I don't spend any real time in the forums and no one had gone after me until about two months ago (so 7+ months of peace and collegial community). It was quite disconcerting the first time it happened, until I realized that with no audience, no wounded or incensed reaction, they would wander off. It's no fun to bully someone if they seem unaware of your harassment. Glad you wouldn't have any qua;ms about deleting a nasty or inappropriate comment. But it was clear to me that a few kind-hearted people were overwhelmed by the onslaught ( 5, 6, 7 posts of several pages each in the comment box!!) and I wanted them to realize that the delete and deny buttons are there for a reason. Use them if you need to.

I really like your suggestion of some additional buttons. Let's hope it doesn't come to that. Thanks so much for your thoughtful comments.


ib radmasters profile image

ib radmasters 4 years ago from Southern California

/this sounds like a rant.

I really can't agree or disagree with your contentions because there are no examples to apply here to something that can be construed on an emotional basis. That is without the examples, it is purely subjective how they comments are treated by the author.

At what point does a discussion turn to a rant?


PWalker281 4 years ago

You've provided some excellent advice on how to deal with comments that are clearly, even without examples, harassing and offensive. In the two plus years I've been here, I've only had to delete one comment on a hub I wrote about perceived racism in the movie, Avatar. But then I typically write hubs about crochet and grammar, so that's probably why. From time to time, I'll also delete what I consider to be "spam comments" typically from non-HP members who comment just so they can post a link to their website.

What concerns me is that the HP moderators, who seem to be quick to flag a hub for duplicate content or pull ads on hubs about "sensitive" topics, don't seem to take a more aggressive stance against these comment bullies who are HP members. If they did, such behavior wouldn't be as rampant as it is.

The HP terms of use specifically state, "As a Service User or Author, You may not Harass, threaten or intimidate Authors or others who use the Service. ... Each of Your screen name/username/subdomain names must comply fully with all HubPages content rules and restrictions."

I'm assuming that if a HubPages member breaks this rule, their account would be banned, although I couldn't find a clear statement in the terms of use that spells out any consequences for committing this kind of behavior. Harassment from non-members is another story, and I agree that the best way to stop it is to delete the comment and ignore the harasser.

Thanks for sharing you 1-2-3 system. Voted up, useful, and interesting.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Hello ib. Point taken. It is a sort of well-intentioned "rant" encouraging other Hubbers not to tolerate mean spirited or malicious rants. You are right I did not give any examples. There were two reasons.

One, I did not feel like it was my place to expose or publicly embarrass the Hubber who was being harassed. Her privacy is her own. Two, I guess I assumed, and perhaps I should not have, that most of us know the difference in spirited debate - where the facts and issues are argued, and comments that insult the person, their intelligence, their customs, their religion and so on.

And as you know if it is my hub I may make subjective decisions about the comments and if it is your hub you have the right to make subjective comments as well. I don't think there is any way around that...we are all emotional beings, none of us can claim to be complete objectivity.

But for the sake of clarity, let me provide some generic examples using my self and Hubber Q as examples. What if I wrote a Hub about the need for congressional term limits. And in the hub I listed what I thought were the pros and cons of the no term limits position and the term limits position. Hubber comments might include:

We should keep the system the way it is; don't fix what isn't broke.

You are probably a democrat; most democrats think this way.

You make some valid points, but we will never get the votes to change this.

Aren't you concerned about how the people in the Senator's state feel?

I think you are wasting your time, because they are all corrupt.

Kind of interesting discussion, but I have much more important political, social, economic, or cultural concerns to worry about.

To Be Continued.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Hi ib. Those comments are all fine, but these are not:

You obviously despise the citizens of America if you want term limits.

Our politicians aren’t corrupt, but you are a criminal.

Only a dirty communist would support stupid socialist ideas.

Why do you hate all politicians? Were you abused as a child?

And then there are the sweeping “ALL” statements -------------

All Americans want to fire rockets and murder Cuban communists.

All independents are selfish, egotistical, and bigoted.

All Germans are still racists and still hate all Slavic people.

All Christians are happy that all non-Christians are going to hell.

All Muslims want to kill all non-Muslims for being infidels.

There are also wild and inaccurate “accusations,” which I find problematic. Hubber Q refuses to discuss what is in the Hub; he/she has their own agenda (which is fine), but rather than write their own Hub, they try to hijack and control the conversation in someone else’s Hub.

Example. The Hub is on term limits in America and Q comments about problems with India ‘s Congress. I respond that that is interesting, but I don’t know enough to discuss India’s government. Q responds saying (what I refer to as a rant), “You obviously want all the untouchables to die. You don’t care what rules their congress makes to mistreat them… Like all Americans you are selfish and cruel and hate the rest of the world.”

OK. At that point, I politely explain that I will not continue that discussion and I will not let my comments section fill up with 4, 6, 8 comments like that that go on and on.

I can’t explain it any better than this.

I have a pretty tough hide, but not everyone does and it bothers me to see someone with an agenda hassle someone who is too polite to put an end to it. That was really the reason for my Hub. We may still disagree and that is OK.


Sueswan 4 years ago

Hi Theresa,

I haven't received any inappropriate comments but if I did I would just delete them.

My sister use to write on hubpages but quit after receiving a very nasty comment on a comment that she wrote on another's hub. It is one thing to disagree with someone's comments but to attack the person is wrong. I pointed this out to the writer of the hub. I didn't ask him to delete the malicious comment but he did.

Hope you are doing well.

Have a good evening. :)


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 4 years ago from California

Well thought out plan for dealing with this difficult topic. I am just sorry that you have had to deal with it at all.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Xstatic - I love your No Bozo Button! What a great idea. I think most of us act civil most of the time, but every now and then somebody goes after somebody else. I just hate to see quieter, gentler people leave or go into hiding because some body is making them miserable.

Its only happened to me twice in 9+ months and a good bit of what I write WW II, Nazis, can be political -- but it was extraordinaril depressing to see a lengthy rant from this on man every time I turned the computer on. He sent one a day, for five days, getting more and more strident.

He finally called me a racist liar and deceiver because I would not include his version of the Armenian tragedy ni every one of my hubs. I had had enough. I deleted all his messages and sent a polite email saying that our conversation was through, I wished him well, but explained that all future comments of that type would be deleted. So far, so good. :)

Thank you for your thoughtful comments. :) Theresa


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Good for you Davesworld. And that is what you should have done. I worry because some people, especially some women - maybe its a cultural thing,don't feel like they cab be firm, say no, that's enough...that somehow that is rude or "denies another person's freedom." I wrote the Hub hoping to encourage those people and to set the record straight on the frequent misuse of the "freedom of speech" clause/

Fortunately, you and I have no trouble, drawing the line in a healthy place. :) Thank you so much for your comments. :)


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon

Haven't had one yet, but, when I do, I will visit their hub and vote everything down, or I might go find them and delete their head! Just kidding. Well, you are more patient than I. I would delete the first comment because my comment capsule is so pretty and I will keep it that way. (:


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Hi PW - Let’s hope that hubs on crochet and grammar are safe. :) I think I have deleted a handful of spam comments. It does seem to me that the moderators are not or are not supposed to keep tabs on this sort of thing, although I think they should.

As you mentioned HP is quick to jump on some things, but my impression is that they respond to alerts from software algorithms quite a bit (in which case they need to do some algorithm tweaking.

On the other hand I have twice come across (first commenter) hubs by new hubbers who were pushing the envelope, the hub was clearly pornography. I flagged it and within two hours the hub was gone. Go figure.

It doesn’t seem like hubbers or HP moderators pay much attention to the terms of use in some respects. Maybe because I spoke up and shared my 1-2-3, other hubbers will be less inclined to put up with such behavior.

Thank you for your thoughtful and knowledgeable (I never even thought to go back and look at the Terms of Use) comments. :) Theresa


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Hello Sue - I do remember that your sister wrote. I am so sorry that a bad experience drove her away. That is so unfortunate. Well, at least he deleted it. I do think deleting anything too extreme or inappropriate really is the right thing to do. But I have watched a few people try over and over to continue a discussion with someone one who was obviously just messing with them and they can't seem to shut it down or delete the offensive comments. And it does seem certain topics draw more of that kind of fire than others.

I am doing well, teaching two days a week, kids and/or grandchildren every weekend,. a new roof and paint job on an old exhausted garage, four cats who adore me...well three out of four cats who adore me...life is pretty good. :)

Hope you are having a great week. :)


Pavlo Badovskyy profile image

Pavlo Badovskyy 4 years ago from Kyiv, Ukraine

Dear Theresa, I read your article at a time it was published, but at first reading it did not touch me, probably because I an a newbee here and had no such a deliberate attack. But then I imagined what would i feel if I faced a very negative or a rude comment. I also saw hubs with more then 600 comments to it and most of them were an argue between two hubbers which went already off topic. So I re-read the hub again and i think you give a good and a very practical advise how not to fall into a long and useless argument with an other person who does not share your vision of things.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Hello Audrey - Thank you, but I am fine. It really worries me though, when someone just stomps all over another hubber and they can't seem to shut it down.

One hubber emailed me ( we both write on the Holocaust which can draw out some "crazies) saying she felt sick and so discouraged and no matter how hard she tried, it never got any better. And it doesn't when dealing with an intellectual bully.

Thanks for reading and commenting. I do hope you are having a wonderful week. :) Theresa


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 4 years ago from Shelton

Phdast it happens so I too try to stay away from direct quotes.. they should express their opinion about the hub.. not the comment.. and the usage of the photos actually worked because it gave me that breathe moment as I was reading... good idea .. now I want you to know that I wrote this comment in the NUDE! Hows that for Inappropriate? LOL joking or am I? LOL naw I'm really not kidding


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

I know you were kidding, but I rather liked the sound of "delete their head." I guess I am my father's daughter - he was career Air Force, a small weapons specialist, then he ran the rifle range and trained new guys in M-14s and M-16s -so "physical" solutions were certainly part of his go to tool kit.

A colleague once read a paper of mine and asked me if I was aware of how many "battle - force - violent" words and images I used? I reassured him that I was not a serial killer in the making, but that years and years on military bases,around military people, raising three sons, and studying National Socialism had left me comfortable with that kind of language. He was not reassured.:) I think secretly I was pleased at his discomfort, well...not so secretly. :)

I will bear in mind that one of your aims at HP is a pretty comment capsule. :) Theresa


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Dear Pavlo - It is astonishing isn't it? I am always surprised and disappointed when I see that commenters have taken over a discussion, as you mentioned their comment s are off-topic, and they just keep attacking each other. It has only happened to me twice, but I feel so sorry for other hubbers who don't seem to know how to handle it when it happens to them. I really appreciate your understanding and your comments. Have a great day. Theresa


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Exactly, Frank. What is up for discusion and comment is the actual content of the Hub, not the author, their politics, their family, their religion. I am glad the pictures worked for you, you are the first person to comment on them. :)

Here we go again...reading in the nude and then bragging about it? So inappropriate, not doing it, but telling! :) Oh, when will the harassment ever end? :)

Off to teach history to a group of barbarians, I mean students. Hope you are having a wonderful week. Theresa


Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 4 years ago from Riga, Latvia

Thanks for this interesting hub. I've felt quite comfortable on hubpages and have not had any negative or rude comments. I do my best just to comment of the hub itself and perhaps add an additional thing or two if appropriate. However I'm glad you made me aware of such things and to be careful. I'm not sure if the best way would be just to deny them but maybe that's the best thing to do.


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 4 years ago from Deep South, USA

Great advice, Theresa (and I, too, enjoyed the galaxy photos--they're very relaxing, appropriate in a hub about comments that create stress). Even after you delete those "hijackers'" comments, it's a lot of trouble to monitor your hub for return attacks. There's also the possibility they'll visit your other hubs in an effort to cause trouble, so that requires monitoring them as well.

I couldn't help but laugh at arb's statement about voting DOWN on all the hubs of the person who made the rude comments! That'll show 'em!


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Hi Gypsy - I think most of us have positive experiences on HP 98% of th time, but every once in a while someone gets caught in one of these difficult situations. Your approach is the right one, comment on the content of the hub. Probably some people have felt like they had to deny someone. Thanks for reading and commenting. :)


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Thanks Jaye - You are right there are return visits and attacks. There was a young man I had trouble with about two months and I finally deleted all his posts. Two weeks later he posted them all again, I di not take the bait and simply deleted everything. So far, so good, but I am keeping my fingers crossed. :) Is your construction still ongoing?


Pamela Kinnaird W profile image

Pamela Kinnaird W 4 years ago from Maui and Arizona

This is so well-written. Such good advice. And I didn't realize we could delete some comments and leave the others intact. I had never thought of the Comments capsule as a place to go back into. I thought it was just for deciding -- before publishing the hub -- whether we allow comments to be published with or without our approval.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Hi Pamela. Thank you for reading and commenting. I didn't rea;oze myself for a long time that there were other things we could do with the comments capsule. And I could be wrong, but I believe without approval means you can see it, nut nobody else can, its not posted. (I could be wrong about this, but I think that is what it means. Have a great weekend. :)


dmop profile image

dmop 4 years ago from Cambridge City, IN

Theresa, this is a well written Hub, and the subject matter is of importance to those of us here on HubPages. Fortunately I haven't had this problem on any of my Hubs so far, but if I do I will deal with it in much the same manner as you have laid out in your writing. I am open minded and accept all views and opinions on my comments, but I wouldn't allow continued attempts at being argumentative, or down right disrespectful. I respect your willingness to stand your ground even if it means facing criticism and persecution by your peers. To me that is a real strength that many seem to lack in this day and age. I just thought I'd point out that I love the forth picture in this Hub, the one that looks like an eye. I gave this a vote up, useful, awesome, and shared.


J.S.Matthew profile image

J.S.Matthew 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

Luckily for me, I have not encountered this problem, other than the occasional Spam campaigns that come and go. I have to say that I like your response on how to handle such situations. If a Hubber feels targeted and harassed they can contact HubPages who will review the offenses and take proper action if and when necessary. (Contact HP: http://hubpages.com/contact_us/)

Personally, I choose to not allow comments until I have approved them. This is great if you tend to get spam comments that have links and nothing to do with the Hub at all. I do believe in free speech but we own our Hubs and the content in them (which includes the comments) and we reserve the right to allow or deny anything we desire. Some Hubbers don't even allow comments on their Hubs, but that is not something that I would recommend!

Free speech is great as an American. On HubPages, we are a business and so we are free to censor (ya, I said the "C" word) what does not benefit our articles. We are here trying to share what we believe or know and we have a right to protect our image and our reputation. I try not to delete comments, but when I do, I don't look back; it is an executive decision and I move forward!

This is a very well written and executed Hub. I shall vote it up and share it. Nice job! Ignore the trolls!

JSMatthew~


peoplepower73 profile image

peoplepower73 4 years ago from Placentia California

I am currently reading a book called The Righteous Mind...Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion. I'm beginning to learn that their is a deeply rooted difference between the Liberal mind and Conservative mind. I think that is what causes all this vitriolic discourse. Voting up, Useful, and sharing.


RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

You've addressed this admirably--no surprise.

Thanks for stepping up to bat on the topic. This should be required reading when joining HP.

The photos you've included are a good reminder for us not to take ourselves too seriously. :)


whonunuwho profile image

whonunuwho 4 years ago from United States

There are some who would jump at the chance to belittle freckles on kid's noses. I have come to assume over the last few months, that these rascals who would distort and harass: they are very upset in their own lives, they are wronged by some religious entity, they want to be contrary to the norm and rebellious, and/or, they are most assuredly in need of psychiatric counseling. In fact, many "Shrinks" have gotten wealthy off these kind of poor souls.


Levertis Steele profile image

Levertis Steele 4 years ago from Southern Clime

This is a very useful hub and a great reminder to hubbers to stay on topic and mind P's and Q's. I must say that I have crossed topics that stirred my emotions, but I have never intentionally tried to hijack or cause conflict. Nevertheless, it is a good idea to bring this kind of problem to the attention of hubbers.

The author of such a hub should delete unfit comments.

Thanks for sharing.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Thank you dmop. I really appreciate your comment about "open-mindedness, because we are, and that is not what this is about. You are correct too, in that it is the repeatedly argumentative or disrespectful that is a problem. I think we all have opportunities to stand our ground every now and then. Sometimes I fail or let an opportunity slip by, but I try not to. Thank you for noticing and your very thoughtful and positive feedback. And thank you for sharing. :)


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Hi JS - Very glad you weighed in on this topic. And thank you for the contact. I have suggested to a couple of people that they should contact somebody at HP, but I don't know if they ever did. Now I will know exactly where to send them should it happen again.

You may be right that some of us might want to consider not allowing comments until we have approved them. That certainly could eliminate a lot of stuff. I thought we as individuals or HP or both owned the content. Glad to hear you say that because I did not think this was a "freedom of speech" issue.

I am so pleased you said the C word, because some times and in some instances, censoring is the "right" thing to do. And I like that you make an executive decision and move forward.

Thank you for your encouraging comments and I shall ignore the trolls. :)


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 4 years ago

Sorry you had to experience such harassment and rudeness in writing. People just want attention and it's always at the expense of hurting someone in the process. I agree with others that deleting the comments would be the best option in silencing the attacks.


lovedoctor926 4 years ago

This is plain rude. I can understand the anger and frustration you are feeling. I don't know if you are aware, but there if you go to your account settings, there are a couple of features. The first one gives hubbers the right to approve the comments before someone can actually post them. Secondly, there is also a feature where you can click and it stops guests from leaving comments. I know you probably want the views, but personally if someone was attacking me like that repeatedly, I could care less for their comments especially when it's irrelevant to the issue. And third, you have the right to delete a comment forever and follow the person. I hope this problem gets resolved, then report it to Hubpages. Anyone that violates the terms and conditions can get banned.


lovedoctor926 4 years ago

You have the right to delete a comment forever and unfollow the person is what I meant.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Thank you peoplepower. Sounds like an interesting and useful book. I may check it out. With all the conflict between the parties and people, we need to understand each other's point of view as best we can. Have a great weekend. :)


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Why thank yiuu, RT. That was a kind and generous compliment. :) I love what you said about the pictures being a reminder - the world, the universe is immense, we are small, and we try not to live in petty and small ways. Wow! That never occurred to me when I was putting it together. I really like it. You are good! :)


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Great comment. These people do have serious problems of their own as you say, and I am sorry for that and it is very unfortunate, but I guess I worry about people who then think it is OK to let these types beat up on them verbally. You are probably right, thy may well be keeping the shrinks in business. :)


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Thank you Levertis. As you say, many of us are passionate about a wide variety of topics, but we don't and shouldn't deliberatley cause conflict or hijack someone else's hub. I am with you, that is what the delete button is for. Thanks for commenting.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Thank you teaches. It is an attention getting thing, which is why I advised the other hubber to stop entertaining their comments...it was just adding fuel to the fire. They were getting what they wanted, attention. Deleting does seem to be the right thing to do. Hope you are having a wonderful weekend. :)


billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

I'm sorry, Theresa, but I missed this one when it was posted. What a great hub and I applaud you for your stance. I have had this happen twice in six months; I tried the nice approach and then finally gave up and deleted, which of course prompted more attacks. It is irrational and it is not welcomed on my hubs. My site is not a platform for diatribes of hatred. With one Hubber I finally had to report him to the Hub gods and let them deal with him.

Great hub and viewpoint. Well done!


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Thank you Bill. Apparently, these troublemakers go from Hub to Hub trying to wreak havoc. Well said, none of out sites are intended to be a platform for somebody else's diatribe. They truly are irrational and often quite persistent. If they should return, I will certainly report them.

I trust you and Bev are having a great weekend. Theresa


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Hi Pamela - Thank you for reading and commenting on my hub. I think a lot of us didn't realize that we could selectively make changes inside the comments capsule. Sad that we would ever need to delete a comment, but sometimes there seems to be no other way to preserve civility. Hope you are having a great weekend. Theresa


TIMETRAVELER2 profile image

TIMETRAVELER2 4 years ago

I know exactly what you're talking about, and even wrote a hub about it quite awhile back. I used to let everybody comment, but no more. If I sense a problem or see one growing, I simply refuse to allow the offending comment to be published. I have my settings arranged to allow me to deny comments before they get published.I don't explain, I just cut them off. Discussion is one thing, but continual argument is quite another, and I don't have time for it. I have noticed that there is one particular group that really likes to bash anybody who doesn't agree with their views. I don't read their hubs and don't allow them to respond to mine. It works out great and I no longer get upset. Excellent hub, by the way.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Hello lovedoctor - Sorry it has taken me so long to respond to your thoughtful and helpful comment. I think a lot of us hubbers don't fully understand how to use all the features. I agree with your sentiments and will quickly delete destructive and hateful comments; I am hoping that other people will too. The fairly consistent degree of courtesy and civility is one of the more admirable qualities of HP. I would hate to see that disappear. Thanks for a great comment. :)


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

I thought that was what you meant. :)


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Thank you timetraveler, for your compliment and for your balanced and healthy approach to this problem. I will have to go back and read your hub (one of the delights and frustration of HP is that there is soooo much to read, but what a great problem to have. :) If this sort of harassment continues, I think more and more of us will need to implement the practices that you have adopted. Not getting upset really is important, life is too short. Excellent point. Thanks again for your comments. :)


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada

Theresa,

There is a chance I already sent you one half of a posting due to aggressive, inflammatory, and inappropriate fingers...I hit some button or another??

Anyways, this is an excellent, reasoned, and balanced approach to the nuts on the internet...turns out...they will give just about anyone access to the internet it seems.

Happily, I have never been hijacked because, I assume, my stuff's so weird...where the hell they going to hijack it to? Needless to say, I will be adopting your approach if it happens.

As always, I am amused when ignorant people demand their rights and yet have no idea what those rights might be and how they are applied. Freedom of speech? Yeah...it would be an issue if you were the federal government maybe.

A very nice job that puts a light on the dark underbelly that is the internet.

Thomas

PS...I like that third picture. Is that an albino Jupiter or something?


mollymeadows profile image

mollymeadows 4 years ago from The Shire

I agree with everything you've written here, Theresa. It's your hub and your decision whether or not to allow comments. I've denied a few comments and had a few of mine denied, as well. That's just life in the big city; but dealing with a troll is different. If it becomes a harassment issue, I'd just report it to the moderators.


Teresa Coppens profile image

Teresa Coppens 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

Wonderful advice, Theresa for those being cyberbullied on HP. It is so sad that it happens. I have had rude comments from non-HP commenters that I have had to delete due to innappropriate language but again, my topics don't tend to stir up that much controversy. If I ever fall victim, however, I know where to turn for advice! Thank-you!


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 4 years ago from Taos, NM

Theresa: I'm so sorry to hear this has happened to you as you are an excellent writer, very thoughtful and you write well thoughtout hubs. You give your sources for every hub and you always give a logical and well thoughtout arguments for your opinions. I agree with you - just delete the offensive comment. I agree in freedom of speech, but as one of our Supreme court justices said, it does not give us the freedom to yell "fire" in a crowded theatre. If commenters are hijacking a hub and coming back two, three and more times with offensive comments, then free speech ends right there. I have only had one or two people leave inappropriate comments and I have immediately deleted the comments. I won't even go there. I think this is a great hub and I really had no idea this was happening on HP. I wish you the best in the future.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Good evening, Thomas.

No, I didn't get half a post due to "aggressive, inflammatory, and inappropriate fingers..." :) Clever man, to co-opt my words. :)

Your response made me laugh several times, and that is saying something considering this is so "unfunny" a topic. The ignorant among us who demand freedom and don't even understand it, are both amusing and infuriating.

Guess I need to work on seeing them as as pathetic and amusing...less stress that way. What a cool sentence. "A very nice job that puts a light on the dark underbelly that is the internet." I especially like the "dark underbelly." How wonderfully morose and seedy that makes it all sound. :)

You have nailed it. When I got to the third picture slot I thought, "What should go here is an albino photograph of Jupiter." And. I found one! :) Thanks for the comments. Hope you are having a wonderful week.

Theresa


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Hi Molly. Trolls do deserve to be reported to the moderators. A couple of inappropriate comments, well, we can just deny them. Repeated attacks are another thing. Thanks for your comments and support. Theresa


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

Free speech? I thought your freedom stopped at the point it infringed on mine. Of course, as of this week, we now live in a country where a political candidate can lie about the military awards he has received and not be liable under his right to free speech, so who knows what defines free speech anymore?

In the spirit of full disclosure, as a hubber, I don't like to censor the comments on my hubs. But if I ever encountered the kind of abuse you are writing about, I would not hestitate of activate that option. This may be why HP has made it available to us.


Beth Pipe profile image

Beth Pipe 4 years ago from Cumbria, UK

Great hub and good for you. I've not experienced the negative comments but I did discover, by accident, that someone has written an entire hub ranting about me. I took it as a compliment. :-)

If I did get negative/ranting posts like the ones you've described I'd treat them the same way I would any bully. Ignore them or report them. I also feel genuinely sorry for them that their life is so empty that this is the only constructive way they can fill it.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

He Teresa - Thanks for your comments and encouragement. It is sad and unfortunate that we have to be concerned about such behavior. But I also believe if we are firm and consistent it will diminish. Bullies don't like it when their victims find effective ways to resist them. Have a great Fourth. :) Theresa


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Thank you Suzette - I do try to be a thorough and civil writer. I do think the right thing is to delete the truly offensive stuff and I am glad you think so as well. As you said, there is a limit to free speech. Take care and have a great fourth of July. :) Theresa


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 4 years ago from Taos, NM

You, too, Theresa, Happy 4th! Enjoy.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Thanks for your comments Kathleen. You are right on target both about the limits of free speech and our right, perhaps responsibility to deny or delete comments that are truly injurious to the open and healthy discussion of the community.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

An entire Hub, Beth? I think I am jealous....that is pretty cool. I have always told my students that I would prefer that they vehemently dislike me or my teaching style rather than be indifferent. They usually laugh, but I really mean it. Like me or dislike me...they will be much more engaged with the course and might learn something along the way.

You are right of course, although we should feel sorry for bullies (and that is what they are), we should not encourage or tolerate their behavior. Thanks for commenting.


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada

"I have infinite patience for someone who is confused, honestly seeking answers, or expresses a viewpoint from different perspective than mine." I am certainly glad You are a professor with such qualities! : )

"They want attention, they want to vent, and they want to use your Hub to do it!" - Here I have mixed feelings. People seeking attention or wanting to vent can do that on my articles/blogs/hubs all they wish. We all need an avenue to manifest ourselves. Here, I would like to quote from one of my texts on sorcery and magic. Bear with me please, it is relevant.

As Air governs my Being, I found the following very helpful:

"If air fosters quarrels, it's because people harbor differences which need to be openly discussed or "aired". Few people like to quarrel; most of us prefer to sweep differences under the rug and hope for the best. Unfortunately, the rug techniques doesn't work. Suppressed feeling fester and then explode at inappropriate times and inappropriate places ... But an explosion, however inappropriate, is infinitely preferable to suppression, which cuts off communication altogether. If there is no communication concerning differences, there is no way to "clear the air" and there is little hope for peace.

Air is a moveable element. It demands that we move with the times; we must "bend with the wind" or break."

With that in mind, I play along - whichever game needs to be played. I know that many times heated conversations tend to shift topics but if the topic needs to be shifted in order to talk about manners, attitudes and such - I am fine with it. I do see though, how negativity can spread through people with a few not so nice comments. Many people seem to suffer from their egos being hurt. I personally do not mind. I am comfortable with myself and weak words/thoughts do not affect me.

"Then I send them a courteous, but very clear response, and briefly explain why their posts were deleted and make it exceedingly clear that any all future comments in the same vein will also be deleted immediately." - I think this is far. Anyone can do whatever they wish with their articles/blogs/hubs. I have seen people who write articles and do not leave an option for comments at all. That is fine too, I guess. To each their own.

"Nothing guarantees them the freedom to hijack another Hub and use it to broadcast their own agenda, their own biased opinions -- any more than they have the freedom to barge into your home uninvited and hijack the conversations there." - I have heard this opinion before and I have my own thoughts here. From what I understand freedom of speech is only free so far ... I guess if I think in this manner, there is no freedom of speech - I suppose, what I am thinking is that speech is either free or not. Otherwise, we perhaps can say that we have "somewhat a freedom of speech" and not generalize by saying that speech is altogether free. (I like being specific lol.) This is honestly a tricky topic to which I have not fully come to a complete understanding. I also do not believe that someone's profile page can be seen as someone's home. I am of the opinion that social writing websites are fully out in the open for conversations to take place - be they good or bad or whatever. Shunning the rude or thoughtless guy away is not going to solve anything but sweeping the dirt under the carpet. I try to take the time to talk about the issues which may arise during a heated discussion, even if that means doing a detour from the topic which the article may be focused on.

Alrighty, I am going to cut myself off here because I think I should . Haha!! Great piece of writing - lots to think about!

I wish everyone well! : )


John Sarkis profile image

John Sarkis 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

Hi Theresa, and what a wonderful hub you're written!

What an insightful and intuitive hub. I love it!!!

I've seeing a few individuals at HP that are always looking for trouble; most hubbers are respectful towards other writers, but there's always that one!

Well, enjoy your weekend!

John


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Good Morning White Wolf.

"They want attention, they want to vent, and they want to use your Hub to do it!"

-- Here I have mixed feelings. People seeking attention or wanting to vent can do that on my articles/blogs/hubs all they wish.

***Actually, I did not make myself very clear…If what they need to do is vent, then I am fine with that, even vying for attention is OK up to a point and I am willing to be patent and tolerant.

***What I had in mind goes far beyond that. I watched for two weeks while two guys viciously and hatefully pummeled another hubber. They did not discuss the contents of the hub, they went off on extreme, militant tangents (sometimes tangents can be very good, personally, I use them all the time, and find that most tangents are educational and enjoyable.)

***She responded graciously and timidly, but did not bow down and worship at their feet. When she did not convert to Islam, forsaking all allegiance to her “stupid and wicked” family, country, and religion they became even more hateful, hysterical, and began attacking her personally. I am not kidding. The length of their posts make yours and mine look short; they took over the comments section of her hub.

***The ferocity of and accusations in their attacks were so unrelenting that soon no one else dared comment. Their non-stop aggression made her emotionally and physically ill. She and I have emailed about this situation, but she doesn’t have the stomach to go on. She eventually deleted everything and moved to another platform where she can write in relative peace. I am sorry to see her go, but I also understand that some people are not fighters and non-stop vilification and harassment is too much for them.

***HP is for the most part a civil and safe forum where widely divergent and opposing ideas can be discussed, but personal attacks are minimal. But I was very disturbed by what I was seeing happen and with less intensity it has happened to me a couple of times, although I was better able to handle it, I think.

--With that in mind, I play along - whichever game needs to be played. I know that many times heated conversations tend to shift topics but if the topic needs to be shifted in order to talk about manners, attitudes and such - I am fine with it.

***I agree with your approach. I have been doing this for years with family, friends, and especially with students. And it can be a very constructive approach.

"Then I send them a courteous, but very clear response, and briefly explain why their posts were deleted and make it exceedingly clear that any all future comments in the same vein will also be deleted immediately."

-- I think this is fair. Anyone can do whatever they wish with their articles/blogs/hubs. I have seen people who write articles and do not leave an option for comments at all.

***That always surprises me, too. I can’t imagine not wanting to have some exchange or interaction with other people. Although, Spirit Whisperer advocates eliminating the comment box as a way to gain control of and minimize one’s ego. Hmmmm. However, most of his hubs have comment boxes, so it is not an “absolute” even for him.

"Nothing guarantees them the freedom to hijack another Hub and use it to broadcast their own agenda, their own biased opinions -- any more than they have the freedom to barge into your home uninvited and hijack the conversations there."

-- I have heard this opinion before and I have my own thoughts here. From what I understand freedom of speech is only free so far ... I guess if I think in this manner, there is no freedom of speech - I suppose, what I am thinking is that speech is either free or not.

***I would disagree with this…Speech is free (which is very important to me) based on the context and intent. When someone’s “free speech” causes harm or injury to another, then a limit can and should be imposed. It’s the oldest example in the book, but we are not “Free” to shout “FIRE” in a crowded theater when there is no fire. People are often trampled to death in such situations. So which freedom takes precedence? Someone who does that will be and should be held responsible.

***Freedom of speech or freedom of life.? It is an extreme example, but there are others that follow in this vein. I am free to own and use a gun, but I am most definitely nor free to fire it in a crowded mall. Other people’s safety – their lives, are more important than my desire to practice shooting.

--I am of the opinion that social writing websites are fully out in the open for conversations to take place - be they good or bad or whatever. Shunning the rude or thoughtless guy away is not going to solve anything but sweeping the dirt under the carpet

***I agree and I do not shun the rude or thoughtless guy or woman (and there are some). Nothing is accomplished by shunning.

***Got to go now, two men are rebuilding an old garage on my property and I need to go select a paint color. :) I am very grateful that we can have thoughtful and constructive discussions even if we strongly divergent beliefs. :) Be well.

Theresa


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada

I think You are right Mrs. Theresa: if we begin to be dealing with just plain verbal abuse then, I guess measures have to be taken to put a stop to that. I have yet to encounter such a situation on Hub-pages.

I get a lot of misunderstandings, emotional comments, smart-ass comments and such; nothing genuinly vile though. I am thankful for that.

Regarding free speeech, I think I am looking at this issue from a philosophical/linguistic perspective. If speech was plainly free, then anyone can say anything anytime. If we put conditions, then I no longer see it as free. Therefore, no I do not think speech is free or should be completely free. I think we all need to be responsible for what we say considering the circumstances/situations in which we find ourselves in.

We must act/speek accordingly and in different manners if we are at a bar or at a funeral, for example. And as You well said, one cannot scream "Fire!" just about anywhere one feels like. So, we are not free to say anything anywhere lol

I think that "free speech" is a myth and it would be very damaging if it was indeed free anywhere and at all times. Restrictions in some cases are not only good but also necessary, in my opinion.

With that in mind, I am certainly grateful that even with differing opinions we can have an honest and respectful discussion.

Wish the weather cools down on your end. Cheers!


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Good morning John. Thank you for your kind and enthusiastic words. It just seemed like a Hub that was overdue and needed to be written. And you are quite right thankfully, most hubbers are reasonable, polite people. It is just the minority who like to stir up trouble. It continues to be very hot here, so the cats and I are staying inside as much as possible. Take care. Therea


John-Rose profile image

John-Rose 4 years ago from USA

phdast7, first of all. I love the pictures. When it comes to Hub hijakers wouldn't it be easier to just not aprove the comments in th efirst place.

I'm still new here, but I have made it so that peoples comments are only visable after I approve them. For the reason that you spoke of in your Hun and to fight spam. Do you let people just post freely?

John


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Hi John -- Thank you for commenting on the pictures, not very many people do. (There are artists in my family, I am not one of them, but late in life I have discovered that I am quite visual). :) Good question. Sometimes when I first get an "off comment" I cannot tell at first if the commenter intends to act destructively, sabotage the discussion or if perhaps he or she is misunderstanding the conversation (and the best hubs and comments are just like a conversation) or just has a very hard time expressing themselves. So initially I hope for the best and try to give them the benefit of the doubt.

The other reason I will occasionally (and temporarily) tolerate a string of wrong-headed, spiteful , inappropriate comments is because I am aware that there are other people reading and listening --- and perhaps I can be an example of rational and fair-minded discussion for them, maybe even sway them away from the destructive ideas of the other commenter.

Now I certainly don't think I am influencing hundreds or even tens of people. But if I can provide one person with a better way to think about the world, with the ability to discern between a rational argument and hateful, self-serving propaganda, then I feel I have accomplished a good thing. And then when I have had my say and it is clear the other commenter just gets off on hassling people and being the enter of attention. I hit the delete button and do not lose any sleep over it. :)

I do let them post freely with my teaching schedule sometimes I can't get back to HP for 7 or 8 days. Everyone is different. I know a lot of hubbers who approve each comment individually and a lot who never review and never delete, no matter what. I am somewhere in the middle. Have a great week. :)


RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

First, does this hub hold a record for comments? :) In checking them out I think I would like to come back with a chunk of time and read them all!

I was reminded of that old quote, "Freedom for one ends where harm to another begins." Now that I've remembered that quote I'm thinking about how changing the definition of what is wrong (calling good evil and evil good) makes people think they have freedom/permission/a right to say or do anything they want. A stressful thought, so, I think I'll go back up and peruse your delightful photos while I think about the vastness of creation!


lovedoctor926 4 years ago

I like your approach. You handle the situation very well.


lovedoctor926 4 years ago

I wanted to add something else, but I hit enter by mistake. I can't stand those lengthy comments either. On a writing site, comments should be kept strictly professional.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Thank you lovedoctor. So very nice to hear from you. I certainly "tried" to handle the situation well. :) Take Care.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

ld - I have hit the wrong key so many times...or one of my cats has gleefully run across the keyboard and put an end to my comment. :) Some cats are dainty, but mine are chunky and kind of stomp around -- I can't always move the keyboard out of their way. :)

I know exactly what you mean. Hopefully, comments should be reasonably short (not longer than the original hub!!), focused on the topic of the actual hub, and I like your word choice, "professional." :) Have a great day.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Good Morning - It definitely holds the record for most comments to any of my hubs! :) I love that quote and it is so appropriate. "Freedom for one ends where harm to another begins." And you are right, changing definitions and expectations (of ourselves and of others) has a lot to do with the permissive and self-indulgent attitudes that so many people seem to have. Glad that somebody else found the pictures of the universe a bit soothing like I did. Have a great week. :) ~~Theresa


Thomas Swan profile image

Thomas Swan 3 years ago from New Zealand

Thanks for this informative hub phdast7. I've had to deal with a few hubbers this way recently. I've learnt to avoid conflict at all costs now on hubpages. Recently, a number of people were trying to bait me into an argument on the usual suspects (politics and religion), so I just thanked them for their comment and found something in it that I could agree with while ignoring the rest of the foaming diatribe. Fulfilling their will for an argument seems to go nowhere. After 2 previous arguments, the irrational crazy person in question went as far as to write an entire hub about me. In both cases I've had those hubs taken down as personal attacks. This angered one of them so much that he published it again without the attacks, though he'd quoted my work a number of times... so I had it taken down for copyright infringement! Despite the amusement this gave me, this tactic seems to annoy them even more, making their strange obsession even worse. He even wants to write about me in his self-published amazon book now. I'm flattered in a weird way, but it shows the depths that some of these people will go to for the purpose of annoying someone. Sorry for the rant, I hope I'm not hijacking your hub! Anyway, I'm going to stick to simply not engaging them, or deleting their comments. Thanks for your advice on how best to do that.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 3 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Hello Thomas - Sorry you have had such difficulties with the HP troublemakers - who only want to argue, provoke and attack. They seldom write Hubs of their own and seem to derive their energy and pleasure from harassing others. Very sad and quite infuriating at the same time. Their determination to pick a fight (which they call objective discussions -- HA!) is amazing.

Funny, I would probably be a little flattered if someone wrote a whole hub about.against me and my ideas. :) I don't think you are ranting at all. I certainly understand and empathize with your frustration. I hope things have settled down now. Thanks for your comments and comment whenever and however you wish. Hope you have had a good summer. mine has been incredibly busy, more so than usual. :) Take care. Theresa

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