Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Snakes in the House

Book Chase is just over thirty months old now.

During those thirty months, I have had three instances where "Anonymous" has stopped by to post potentially slanderous comments about the subject of one of my posts. One attack was on an author, one on a television personality, and one on someone secondarily related to a post.

Luckily for me, Blogger allows its users to set-up instant email notification for when someone makes a comment to any of my Book Chase posts. That allows me to get in quickly to nip the nastiness in the bud before too many people have likely even noticed it. "No harm, no foul" is about all a blogger can hope for when someone with a personal axe to grind decides to hijack a post for their own personal reasons. Even with that policy, though, I did have the brother of an American television icon hint at legal action because I let something get by me for a few days. Let's just say, lesson learned, and that will never happen again.

I bring all this up because the third instance of a crazy, personal vendetta intruded on my life just this week. Now I'm curious. Have you, my fellow bloggers, had this kind of thing happen on your own blogs? If so, how have you handled it, guys?

14 comments:

  1. I have not had this problem, but I am not read by nearly as many people as you are.

    Be careful, please.

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  2. The only time anything like this has happened to me was having one of my reviews on Amazon trashed by someone who fell out of the wrong side of the bed that morning. I have no idea how I'll handle it when it happens on my blog, but I will.

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  3. I also have a WordPress blog, which I've noticed seems to be more attractive to spammers. I'm not sure why. They have filters set up so that the spam never appears as a comment, but I find the whole thing curious and mysterious.

    I've never had anyone leave anything but civil comments on my blogger blogs, but like JoAnn, I haven't achieved your sort of popularity. Still, I don't see how you could be held liable for a comment made by someone else on one of your posts. All they can do is ask you to remove it, which is what you would do anyway.

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  4. ABSOLUTELY. I'm routinely trashed for disliking one particular novel that I read...a few years ago. For some reason, some people can't get over the fact that I didn't like it -- as if this author needed my approval!

    I've disabled anonymous commenting, and I've required notification on all posts over 2 weeks old. So far, this seems to be working quite nicely.

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  5. No, I don't have this problem.

    That after-shave you're wearing attracts the insightful bloggers like your regular group of fans, but it also attracts trolls, too.

    Cool snake picture. I bet your Anon guy isn't that good-looking. And we know he's not as smart.

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  6. I've had problems with spammers a few times on my blog, but it was pretty easy to delete the offending comments and track down the hijackers (of content). I haven't had to edit anyone's opinion, though- can they really "take legal action" for that? it wasn't something you said, after all.

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  7. JoAnn, I tend to review books with a strong point-of-view and I point out shaky lit behavior sometimes. That seems to attract those with grudges about people I feature or mention. That's fine until they start spreading lies or fictions about those folks.

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  8. Cathy, if it were me they were attacking I would laugh at them. But they are going after public figures that I mention here and I'm told that leaves me with the responsibility of being the one to take out the trash.

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  9. Alissa, that's generally been all that happens, but the one time I was slow to remove something questionable I was hit with the possibility of legal action from a "heavyweight" type of guy.

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  10. BiblioArtist, that's not the kind of criticism I'm talking about. It's not me, personally, they are going after. It's authors of the books I review, etc.

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  11. Suzi, I kind of like that picture, too. :-) I saw some really cool ones of snakes crawling on the outsides of house, one in particular showed a really long snake lounging on the large house numbers on the face of one house. The snake took the shape of the numbers and was hard to spot at first.

    My Mr. Anon is actually three separate cowards, uh, I mean people.

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  12. Jeane, I think the legal issue boils down to the fact that the site is "mine." As owner, I have a responsibility to make sure that no lies or slanders are posted here...according to my lawyer neighbor, anyway.

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  13. All comments on my blog must be approved by me before they appear for others to read.

    This way, I know when people have commented but it also allows me the power to nip the death threats in the bud instead of allowing them to sit there until I notice.

    Yes, I've received death threats and other very personal forms of abuse.

    It amazes me that people can take others' very personal tastes as some kind of personal affront...

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  14. Colleen, my first blog was a political one and I gave it up because I was getting death threats from supposed Muslim hate groups.

    I would be shocked to get one on a book blog. You must really express yourself very strongly. :-)

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