Posted by: Kate | July 18, 2009

Made Ya Look

OK, dear readers, I need some opinions.

I have a commenter here, who chooses to (unsuccessfully) attempt anonymity.  I don’t think this individual understands things like stats counters and IP addresses, so s/he may not realize just how little privacy there actually is out on these here Interwebs.

Even without this information, I would know who the writer was. But it’s never bad to have proof.

The comments are mildly sarcastic, usually inane, a little pitiable, and not particularly canny.  There’s an odd co-existing tendency to insult me, while at the same time showing an almost-obsequious effort to sound humorous – cutting me down while trying to look cute and personable.

The email address used is a fake one, and attempts to reply directly are bounced back as undeliverable.  I realize that one of my major shortcomings as a blogger is my tendency to underrespond to comments, and I feel badly about that.  When I do choose to respond to a visitor, it’s usually via backchanneled email instead of an ongoing conversation within the comments, and when someone chooses to post under a non-working email address, I’m left a bit bemused.  It’s an odd choice, to me, for someone to think that their words are worth sharing, and yet not be willing to stick around for a response.  Kind of like sneaking up from behind to tap someone on their left shoulder, and then ducking to the right – I guess maybe “made ya look” is enough, for some.

So, to you other bloggers out there, what would you do?  I could continue with the benign ignoring tactic I’ve been using, or I could post the long blurb I just pounded out as a public response.  I could attempt to engage in a public discourse within the comments, though I don’t think this person would be able to handle even that level of open communication.  I could ban the IP address from the site, or move the site altogether.  (This last option is merely to round out the list of possibilities; I’ve already decided that these comments and visits aren’t nearly important enough to cause me to make any real changes to this site.)

I’m sure there are other responses I could choose, too.  And I know some of you have experience with this; at least two have recently moved their blogs elsewhere to avoid an unpleasant commenter.  So, rain your wisdom down upon me, won’t you?  What would you do?


  1. Hi Kate,
    What I do with useless or nasty comments is ignore them- and it works. The comments stop.
    Now if you’re really getting agitated, spam or report them. It’s your right.
    In my case, I have spammed and taken out a lot more blogs that were senseless than comments.
    You can reverse what I do 🙂

  2. Don’t feed the troll. 😉

    Can you moderate comments for awhile and then just not accept the comment from that address? Or do they switch it up?

  3. I post critical comments when I get them, though I must say if they were truly horrible I admit I’m not sure I would.

    Unless the comments are abusive or profane I’d probably just post them, and respond or not as you see fit in whatever way you see fit. You know what they are, most of us will know what they are, and they really just don’t mean that much in the big scheme of things. I find such things amusing, and the back and forth in comments seem to amuse – or antagonize to the amusement of – everyone.

    I have great, great confidence in your ability to handle any public response you choose to make in a way that will leave me smiling for the entire day…

  4. And one more thing (hee) – the comments say much more about the commenter than they do about you. And we all know that, too.

  5. If they’re all coming from the same IP address, it’s easy to block it. I’ve blocked a couple on my site.
    Of course, you could always delete them, too. Eventually the commenter will become bored knowing the comment will be taken down.

  6. I had an anonymous commenter who made it so blatantly obvious who she was that I didn’t even have to look at her IP address to identify her. I tried to do the obvious- ignore her. But she was like a flipping disease that WOULD NOT go away. The straw that broke the camels back was when she criticized a post of mine which linked to a music video of my husbands group…I didn’t post the comment- instead I made an entire post about her comment, fake email & IP address included. This worked out well b/c my other readers were able to let her know what an immature fool she was being & I didn’t have to say a word. 😉

  7. Oh dear, for a minute there I thought you were talking about me? Sarcastic/humour . . then I have a working email address haha! I hadn’t noticed the commenter, do you delete them? Then again most times I visit I’m on the fly so it’s a bit rapid so perhaps I just haven’t noticed. Block the IP if it bothers you.

    I have another blogger that went to extraordinary lengths to prevent a gossipy neighbour from reading her blog. She started a new one and made it invited readers only. I use Blogger and you can do that if you want. You can also disallow anonymous commenters if you like. Frankly, I’d just ignore it. The rest of your commenters are lovely and helpful and heartfelt. Let them do the talking and anonymous can take a hike!

  8. If it were me, I would probably just block the IP address. Life is stressful enough without having some chickenshit leaving passive-aggressive comments.

    I don’t put up with that kind of behavior in real life, why should I put up with it on the internet?

  9. […] Does Not Equal Wit (This was actually written on Friday night, but I opted to post yesterday’s bit first. I’ll start, then, with a few responses to yesterday’s [non-anonymous] comments, […]

  10. I hate trolls…because they usually come across as quite anonymous.

    I would either use moderation for a while and simply delete them – or ban the IP address. (but be careful there because a few years ago another blogger did that to someone and a faithful commenter, me, whose IP address was quite similar got banned too. It took a while to clear up the mess.)

    Good luck in any case. Now, I”m of to read Wilem’s post.

  11. I didn’t know you could limit who reads in blogger! And all this time paranoid me has only been posting over on Live Journal because of the friends-only feature.

    …which reminds me. Can you not allow anonymouse postings on here? [bad grammar, I know, but I’m thinking in terms of Live Journal and don’t know what it would be called here]

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