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Why Do People Post Negative Comments?

Updated on January 15, 2014
Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannie has been writing online for over eight years. She covers a wide variety of topics—anything from hamsters to office work.


Excuse Me?

How many times have you been reading a perfectly harmless article online only to find some of the nastiest, rudest comments posted after it? How often do you watch a video on YouTube and see some of the meanest posts and comments in response to it? I'll bet this type of thing is pretty common in your life if you use the internet on a regular basis. By why do people post such negative comments?

Misery Loves Company

I hate to say this, but some people posting these comments are honestly miserable. Sometimes I read an extremely negative comment on someone else's work and I think, "No one can be this unhappy." But yes, some people really are that miserable.

I've met some of these people. I have customers and co-workers I deal with regularly that indeed are the people that make negative comments. They are proud to talk about it. I am not full of sunshine and smiles all the time either, and we all have a bad day here and there, but there are folks that never see the bright side to anything. If someone gives them a rose, they are upset about the thorns.

The only thing that gives some of these guys a momentarily thrill is posting an obnoxious response to someone else's hard work. The fact is, there are other miserable saps (or internet trolls) out there that want to join in on the party. This is because none of these people actually get invited to real parties because they are such downers. Misery loves company and it is alive and well in many comment sections on sites like Yahoo and YouTube.

Those Who Can, Do. Those Who Can't... Post Mean Comments

Sometimes you are not just dealing with a troll that is totally miserable. There is another level to their animosity they have towards other internet users. It is jealousy.

I absolutely can't stand the comments that obviously have no merit that just reek of jealousy. If a firefighter saves 3 children from a burning building, a person comments about how the firefighter did not save them fast enough. When a person posts a comment about video with a simple, "This sucks," what did that really contribute to the conversation?

That firefighter and director of the video are actually doing something with their lives. Many people posting overly critical comments are just jealous. They could be doing something, but instead, they are taking time out of their day to post comments all over the internet. Since that is clearly not productive, obviously they are not living the life they'd like to be living. What better way to feel good about yourself than tearing into someone with a more successful life than your own?

When it comes to jealousy, I have not even touched on the subject of celebrities. The nastiest of the comments always seem to be posted under celebrity articles, blogs, and videos. What I find most amusing about the negative posts is no one is being forced to read this stuff.

When a person clicks on a Kim Kardashian article only to bash her, what is going on in his or her head? I don't have the time and energy to spend reading articles about someone I don't like. On some level, the reader has some fascination with her, even if it is only fueled by hatred... and a whole bunch of jealousy!


People Crave Attention

If you can't get attention for doing something positive or actually contributing in a beneficial way to society, why not just get attention for all the wrong reasons? Studies have shown, many people just simply want attention and it does not matter how they get it. Even a child that does not get praise from a parent eventually learns misbehaving will get attention. Sure it is negative, but attention is still attention.

Not only can a person get attention from other readers by stirring the pot with negative comments, the person posting can often get even more attention by other readers' replies. Obviously arguing with other readers is not a productive use of time, but hey, the internet troll gets a kick out of it. Half the time I don't even believe the person posting the comment believes what he or she is saying. The more controversial the statement, the angrier the responses. People that crave attention love that type of thing.

Even I Have To Respond...

Every now and then, even I can't help but get fired up about a Yahoo article. Instead of writing a nasty comment, I prefer to write a hub about it giving my own reasons for my opinion. Check it out:

Why Every Adult Should Live Alone at Some Point in Life

OK, Sometimes The Critics Are Right

I would like to be clear that not all negative comments are totally ridiculous. I've read some pretty horrible articles on Yahoo that are worthy of some unpleasant comments. However, most of the articles do not deserve miserable, hate-filled posts.

Sometimes people do genuinely have a valid point. If incorrect information is listed, the grammar is terrible, or the writer is being a total jerk, then maybe a comment with constructive criticism or some helpful hints is the best action. However, really useful comments are few and far between.

Opinions Are Like ***holes... We've All Got One

If you have an opinion, it is great to express it. Sometimes an article is posted that is more of an opinion piece than anything else. In this case, it makes sense to post an opinionated comment back. In some cases, if you see someone bashing a celebrity you like, it is normal to attempt to defend that person. It is easy to get caught up in these online fights, so people should really proceed with caution.

The amazing aspect to the internet is the anonymity of it. After all, anyone can post anything, and it is likely people can't figure out who you are based on a screen name. It gives people this incredible sense of freedom to be able to unleash any opinion, no matter how unpopular, on a group of readers. After all, that is what I am doing. I am certainly not putting my real name on this... you internet trolls reading this might hunt me down!

You Don't Have To Be Mean!

Stop The Negativity Now

Of course, you can't ever completely stop Negative Nelly or Gloomy Gus, but you can take the wind out of their negative sails. (Wow, so many terrible clichés in this hub... some troll is bound to come down on me for that!) If you see a mean response to someone's work, you can always reply with the opposite statement.

One time, I read a perfectly nice article on Yahoo. I enjoyed reading it, thought it was funny, and shared it with others. I looked at the comments and every single one was an insult. People complained about the quality of writing, the examples in the articles... even the way the writer was dressed in the photo! I posted a comment like: "I enjoyed this article! I thought it was funny and I totally got the joke even if other readers did not. I shared it with others."

I hope that if the writer of the article was sitting at his computer weeping at all the negativity, he at least found his one supporter in the comments. If you see a person being bashed online and you don't feel he or she deserves it, go ahead and post a positive comment. Eventually if we all help each other out, maybe the trolls will go on to do something constructive with their free time. Perhaps they will take up knitting or something.

Copyright ©2014 Jeannieinabottle


Submit a Comment
  • Jeannieinabottle profile imageAUTHOR

    Jeannie Marie 

    11 months ago from Baltimore, MD

    You are right. Some people just love to stir the pot. Thanks for dropping by.

  • Rodric29 profile image

    Rodric Anthony 

    12 months ago from Surprise, Arizona

    I enjoyed this article. I really loved the part about people seeking attention by negative comments. I believe that some of us seek validation by the amount of controversy we can stir

  • profile image


    18 months ago

    humanity is sweetness and light

  • Jeannieinabottle profile imageAUTHOR

    Jeannie Marie 

    6 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    You are right... it is best not to encourage a dialog with nasty people. I have to admit, I do confront them sometimes though. It depends on the situation. Thank you for checking out my hub!

  • cecileportilla profile image

    Cecile Portilla 

    6 years ago from West Orange, New Jersey

    Great hub! I also responded to the last inappropriate comment that I received by thanking the individual for his or her comment. I realized that becoming argumentative and defending my position encourages a dialogue. I want to discourage dialogues with nasty people who refuse to go away!

  • Jeannieinabottle profile imageAUTHOR

    Jeannie Marie 

    7 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    Yeah, I guess a lot of people have free time and a bad attitude. Thanks for your comment.

  • Suzanne Day profile image

    Suzanne Day 

    7 years ago from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

    Have to admit there are quite a number of uptight idiots on the internet who have nothing better to do than troll stuff. Voted interesting!

  • beckisgiftguides profile image

    Becki Rizzuti 

    7 years ago from Indianapolis, Indiana

    I've always hated deleting them, even when they're cruel. Most of the time I just ignore them. (:

  • Jeannieinabottle profile imageAUTHOR

    Jeannie Marie 

    7 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    Good for you for responding with kindness. I must admit, I am not always nice when it comes to mean comments on my own hubs... depends on my mood. Sometimes I opt to delete it, too. :-)

    Thanks for checking out my hub!

  • beckisgiftguides profile image

    Becki Rizzuti 

    7 years ago from Indianapolis, Indiana

    I got one on one of my hubs earlier today and chose to respond with kindness. I'm guessing that mine was from one of the "miserable" types.

    Great hub!

  • Jeannieinabottle profile imageAUTHOR

    Jeannie Marie 

    7 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    Lately I feel like I am seeing such nasty, unhappy comments everywhere I look. I just had to say something. It really takes a lot to anger me enough to post a comment on an article; for others, I think it gives them a thrill. Thanks so much for your comment!

  • randomcreative profile image

    Rose Clearfield 

    7 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

    Great job with this topic! It never fails to amaze me how many people write really negative comments on every given outlet. I can't imagine ever taking the time to complain about a minor customer service via an online review, let alone writing "that sucks" in a comment on a perfectly harmless video. I don't have enough time to do all of the things that I want to do online. Why would I waste time writing nasty messages? It's really sad that so many people have such miserable lives that they engage in this kind of behavior so often.

  • Jeannieinabottle profile imageAUTHOR

    Jeannie Marie 

    7 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    Thanks so much. I am glad you found the hub useful. I can't believe so many people are that miserable. No wonder this society has problems.

  • Pamela99 profile image

    Pamela Oglesby 

    7 years ago from Sunny Florida

    It is a shame to have to write this type of hub, but it is the truth. I think you are right about some of the reasons write this horrid commits. I have had a nasty commit occasionally, but it does not upset me as I just consider the souce. I think people who find it necessary to write those commits are unhappy, probably have poor self esteem and may not have a good suppost system in their family. Very useful hub.

  • Jeannieinabottle profile imageAUTHOR

    Jeannie Marie 

    7 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    Mr. Happy, you are right. They are really misguided people. On some level, I even feel sorry for them.... sometimes. I have better things to do than poke around on the internet all day posting mean things on pages people have worked hard to create. It is sad... unless someone posts something negative on my page. Then they are just mean. :-) Thanks for your comment!

  • Mr. Happy profile image

    Mr. Happy 

    7 years ago from Toronto, Canada

    Nice article. : )

    A lot of the nay-sayers in my opinion are just trolls. They want attention and post nonsensical comments, that way they can get a reaction out of people. I responded to a negative comment last week and I just asked: "Does it feel good to be a negative troll?" ... Haha, You can imagine where that conversation went.

    It's the truth though: many people have too much time on their hands and lacking morals, ethics and intelligence, they just limit themselves to trolling negative comments. Misguided people, that's all.


  • Jeannieinabottle profile imageAUTHOR

    Jeannie Marie 

    7 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    Glimmer Twin Fan - You are so right. Even if you delete a nasty comment, you have no idea who saved it or if it stored permanently somewhere.

    April Garner - I get so frustrated with "this sucks" comments or just a few words that barely make sense posted on a page. If a person really wanted to make a point, a few sentences are needed. Most of the time, they are just unhappy and bored.

    sheilamyers - Constructive criticism is a good way for anyone to get away with a negative comment. Also, a little constructive criticism can go a long way if a person is clueless about why their articles are not doing well. I sure know I've needed it a time or two.

    Thanks for the positive comments! :-)

  • profile image


    7 years ago

    I think you probably covered every reason why people leave nasty comments. I like how you point out it's ok to leave constructive criticism and useful comments. I'd also add commenting with your disagreement, but doing so in a nice and polite manner. I love your idea about leaving a positive comment especially if there are a lot of nasty comments.

  • April Garner profile image

    April Garner 

    7 years ago from Austin, Texas

    I like your point about posting a positive comment after people have posted negative ones, if you like the article - good idea. I am all for constructive criticism. If anyone has suggestions about how to make my writing better or a counterpoint to the content of an article I've written, I want to hear it. But, posting things like, "this sucks," as you said, is completely worthless.

  • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

    Claudia Mitchell 

    7 years ago

    There really are some nasty people out there. I think that some people forget that once something is written on the internet, it stays there forever and can come back to haunt someone. I just stay away from all of that stuff.

  • Jeannieinabottle profile imageAUTHOR

    Jeannie Marie 

    7 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    FlourishAnyway - Oh yes, spam... that is a whole other annoying aspect to comments. At least some of those comments are positive though. ;-) I mean, I never realized how much a love spell could help me out in life or how easy it would be to find a mail order bride. Hehehe. Thanks for your (non-spam) comment!

  • FlourishAnyway profile image


    7 years ago from USA

    Haters will always find something to be negative about. This and spam are two good reasons not to automatically permit comments to show without approval. Jealousy is probably a big motivating factor.

  • Jeannieinabottle profile imageAUTHOR

    Jeannie Marie 

    7 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    lambservant - Thank you! No worries... I know the first paragraph was a joke. :-) You are right, there are a lot of people that need to feel superior to others. It is sad they don't realize it makes them look inferior to insult people for no reason. Maybe one day they will learn!

    ologsinquito - Thanks so much! Sometimes I can't believe how many negative comments a simple article will get.

  • ologsinquito profile image


    7 years ago from USA

    Very good article. I've never understood these negative comments that frequently pop up no matter where there's a comment box.

  • lambservant profile image

    Lori Colbo 

    7 years ago from United States

    How dare you you little blankety blank blank. Who the blankety blank blank do you think you are? Did it ever occur to you that you are just jealous that our negative comments are right?

    Okay Jeannie. Tongue out of cheek, this is an excellent hub and very well written. I like the comment that if they are given a rose they complain about a rose. I think another reason these people do this is that it makes them feel superior. Anytime we look down on and put down others it elevates ourselves in our own estimation. I'm guessing these are very broken, unhappy people who have very little joy in life, which boils down to your first point, they are just miserable. That's what bully's are, unhappy cowards.

    These kinds of people seldom care about the topic at hand, I think. They are going in looking for a fight. They are looking for an opportunity to be right and prove it. It makes them feel powerful, something they are missing in life.

    Very nice job Jeannie. I hope you know I was kidding in the first paragraph.


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