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Cyberbullying / Abusive Comments - What Can a Blogger Do About Them?

There is a lot of discussion going around about cyberbullying and abusive commentators. Most of us have had experience with trolls who have nothing better to do than leave nasty comments, but some of them are now even making death threats.

Everyone it seems has an opinion about how to solve the problem — everything from just deleting the inflammatory comments to calls for a “Blogger Code of Conduct” and a Stop Cyberbullying Day.

Why I don’t think these will work:

Case in point. The Bloke has at least one troll that likes to periodically make ignorant comments under “anonymous“. Just recently there was another infraction by anonymous (hereby dubbed “chickenshit“) that I was able to nip in the bud once I tracked down the IP address

When their anonymous cover is blown the gutless cowards will usually disappear back into the cracks from whence they came.

A free tracking service that I use is StatCounter. Once you’ve isolated who the offender is, it has an option where you can add a memorable name to the IP address abusive-comments-what-can-bloggers-dofor future reference. You can also download the logs to your hard drive as well. Nice.

Another idea that is floating around the blogosphere is a ”Blogger Code of Conduct”. I myself once advocated the idea, but the problem is it will only work so long as everyone is forced to opt in. And I can’t see how that could even be made possible, enforced or even monitored for that matter.

There will always be rogues out there who will find ways to slip under the radar to do their dirty deeds.

Here’s What I Recommend:

You can’t leave it up to others to do it out for you. You have to take the initiative to protect yourself and your blog.

Make sure that your blog is set to automatically email you a copy of all your blog comments. Track down the perpetrator’s IP address and give it to the Police for investigation if it is a serious enough offense. Publishing the IP address of the perpetrator in the comments thread will also help deter further violations just like I did.

After you have their IP address and a copy of the comment on your hard drive, you can delete the unsavory comments off your blog. You could also decide to not allow anonymous commentators on your blog, but the problem with that idea is they can just create bogus accounts with false information.

Consider also blogging anonymously like I do. Most importantly, never (ever) give out your private information on the web such as your home street address, where you work, where you are going to hang out this evening, etc.

Transparency as a blogger can be a good thing but not with your personal information, and always assume there are lurkers out there who are up to no good.
What are your experiences dealing with abusive commentators?

Further Reading:

Written March 31st, 2007 by | 10 Comments | Filed under: Blog Tips, Blog Tips for Beginners, Security Tips

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There are 10 Comments so far to “Cyberbullying / Abusive Comments - What Can a Blogger Do About Them?”

  1. Hey, the stat counter is useless at my blogger account blog. You see, my nasty commenter can get away with actually visiting my blog to bully me. The comment page can be opened on its own window and it can be saved to the commenter’s fav. Then the commenter can start harassing me from there. Now since I have no stat counter on my comment page, anyone can attack me below the belt. I have had that happened recently and it saddens me that I can’t do what you did; esposing the IP address. I wish I can do that, but it is impossible with blogger. Blogspot/blogger used to disclose the commentators IP address but since google took over such feature is gone. Fortunately though, it took me to threaten my anonymous commenters that I will take actions against him/her/them to make them stop leaving nasty comments. After all, if ordered by a court, Google has no choice but to hand over the commenters’ IP address. If to say I had the money, I would be tempted to find out who bullied me so I have the chance to expose them…LOL.

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  2. I mean my nasty commenters can get away with leaving nasty comments because they don’t have to actually visit my blog to bully me. All they have to do is save my comment page to their favorites and start hitting me below the belt. That is exactly what happened to me for sure. My husband and I was bullied so badly and we could not even do anything about it. It’s awful. Slandering or defamtion of character is definitely not part of freedom of speech.

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    Reply by: Blog Bloke at 8:23 am said...

    Sounds awful Ana. In your case I would moderate all of your comments and hit the delete button with extreme prejudice. They will eventually disappear.

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  3. A friend of mine just had a really nasty case of abusive spammer, the IP address changed more than once as did the name and e-mail address of the spammer. My friend uses a self hosted wordpress blog and we added the IP’s to the WP blacklist in the back of the blog as well as to the block list in C panel. So far this has worked. The best thing my friend did was block them and not comment back, if they continue I am wondering…. should we contact their ISP with a complaint?

    For those of you who do encounter these nasty people there are several free web services that, using their IP, that will let you track down their location, down to their zip/postal code), give you their ISP details with contact information for moderators at their ISP. But if it’s worth taking further action if they are really persistent i don’t know.

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  4. Yup, encountered this abusive and nasty commentator in my blog. Finally, i remove it and set to moderate all my blog’s comment. These people are sick!

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  5. hello friends here is what i do, someone (using name “simple”) was regularly sending me nasty comments, in his last comment he used words like “nonsense” to me and used very abusive language. so i EDIT HIS comment typed: “i am extremely sorry mg, for sending you nasty and abusive comments. after reading ur books i changed my view about u, it was my mistake, i should not behave like dumb ass. somewhere there is deep rooted hatred inside me which wants to b expressed.” and publish it on my blog (using his name). u can view it under “who is mg” tab on my blog. he was irritating and intentionally criticizing me since last week. there was no way. he was trying to prove that he is extra smart.

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  6. i have found this blog on google and i am so happy to read that there is somebody who pointed this out that mostly people use abusive comments.
    The best way to deal with these comments is comment moderation…
    ;) thanks

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  7. […] Blog Tip - Abusive Comments, What Can a Blogger Do About Them? blogbloke.com/abusive-comments-what-can-bloggers-do/ – view page – cached This post is part of my blogging tips for beginners category. Be sure to click on the category link to read more of my blog tips for beginners. Tweets about this link […]

  8. RT @BLOGBlokeTips Blog Tip - Abusive Comments, What Can a Blogger Do About Them? http://bit.ly/4AlDDO

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