Opening The Troll Files: Bloggers Read Mean Comments

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People think that being a mummy-blogger is all about free samples of washing powder, sexy sponsored posts for feminine hygiene products, hordes of simpering fan-girls showering you with adulation and big-name brands showering you with money.

It’s NOT. People are MEAN to you. People can be TOTAL ASSHOLES over the most banal and trivial things.

I have been personally attacked for sharing my thoughts about controversial hot-button topics like kitchen appliances, children’s toys and beloved Australian soap operas.

A week or two ago I saw an interesting call-out from Amanda at Cooker and a Looker. She was looking for bloggers who had mean comments to share for a short video she was making, and I jumped at the opportunity to cast my trademark anonymity aside, put a face to the name Hugzilla and make peace with the trolls of old posts.

The video is here. My ugly mug is labelled, for your convenience.

Up until now I have studiously avoided reading the comments on my Mamamia articles and on their Facebook page, but I had to don the Teflon undies and trawl through them to find some nasty comments for the video, because I delete all the mean comments I get on Hugzilla. I have no such control over articles I have posted elsewhere, so my primary mode of dealing with that is to steer well clear and remain in ignorant bliss. Until now.

I had to go back and open…. THE TROLL FILES.

trolls

Most bemusing of all is that one of the commenters got very upset about my tongue-in-cheek article about the TV show Offspring, claiming that it was an example of bullying even though it was never directed at her or anyone else personally. I quite enjoyed the irony of being accused of bullying when there were 200 other participants in that thread calling me a dick and a moron and threatening to punch me.

Here are some tasty morsels of mean commentary for your enjoyment.

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 I think I know what everyone needs….

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96 thoughts on “Opening The Troll Files: Bloggers Read Mean Comments

  1. I am always curious that people have the time and energy to leave a comment if they just don’t like something – if offended or think an opinion is wrong, I get, but if they just think it’s rubbish, who has time for that??

  2. That video is priceless – well done to Amanda and everyone who donned their teflon to face the trolls. I got trolled for a Mamamia story in which I shared a letter to our daughter’s birthmother – pretty personal stuff (not that being called a moron isn’t personal, but you know what I mean). Haven’t written for Mamamia since. In the interest of the balance I bang on about, I think we should put together a gushing video of the nicest comments we’ve ever had.

    • That is an awesome idea! I would call mine “Pinky Poinker’s Greatest Hits” because she is the QUEEN of nice comments. The Mamamia crowd can be very fiesty. I’m sorry you got trolled for sharing something so personal – it’s a horrible feeling. At least in my case it’s over silly things that don’t really matter to me. It would hurt so much more if you put yourself out there with something so personal x

  3. I admitted on Mumabs that I dont watch Offspring and no one trolled me. I’m jealous! I mean I’m infinitely trollable but ….crickets……. Meanwhile yesterday I saw an interesting FB piece. An African American father had posted a lovely photo of himself doing his daughter’s hair whilst carrying his baby in a sling. The dude got trolled from every direction – from white racists, from misogynists and even from other people of colour (because his kids were of mixed race). To me that pretty much sums up all that is wrong with society. PS: You are the ONLY writer I could be assed reading on Mama Mia.

    • Sheesh. It really makes you weep for humanity. Even overwhelmingly positive pages like Humans of New York are not immune to mean comments. I guess it’s part of the human condition. And PS thanks for reading my nonsense and not trolling me.

    • Yeah, I’ve had a strict “read-no-comments policy” since then. It was very interesting to step back and look at that thread from a comfortable distance. It got pretty fiesty. I’m glad I switched off at the time.

  4. I can’t believe that people would leave comments like that. I always think if I don’t like an article, I can just click away. Click away people if you don’t like what you are reading – there is no need to get nasty !!!!
    Have the best day.
    Me

  5. How do people find the time? Seriously when I read comments like these it just makes me want to read the blog in question because I find that when sub-literate humourless morons rant about something being or someone being stupid it generally means that it/they are intelligent, insightful and funny. I’ve only ever had a few trolls. One was a charmer who threatened to find and take my children away from so she could raise them in a “decent’ Christian household while I burned in hell. This because I took my kids to Lakemba for a burger. The other accused Raffles of writing like a kid! Bwahahaha.

  6. I am now really disappointed that I deleted the comment on my blog that said they hoped I got r@ped by a pack of black men and that my family would all die a slow painful death – something along those pleasant lines. That would have been a pearler to have read out! That’ll teach me for censoring comments on my blog! That video is great. How funny is it when it’s actually read out loud. The ironic thing is that the commenters are all so condescending, yet, look how they spend their time – criticising others. Who needs to get a life!?!? x Aroha

  7. Finally someone else who doesn’t like or understand the big deal about Offspring. I was starting to think watching that show was a prerequisite of being a blogger. I ranted about all of the people saying they were so depressed after Patrick died. Made me see red, they aren’t depressed, they are upset and he’s a t.v. character FFS. Me, I’m still upset that Mitch was killed after him and Terrie finally got together on All Saints.

    • I was a little bit taken aback, to be honest. I think I grossly underestimated the obsession that people have with this show. I’m so fickle, though. I guarantee if I watched it I’d get totally sucked in. LOL.

  8. Oh good lord! I read half of those comments before I had to slap myself in the forehead (this often happens when I get suckered into reading the comments section of most online newspapers). What is with these people?
    I loved your reading by the way. Nice to put faces to blog names 🙂
    Dani @ sand has no home

  9. I think you are too good for Mammaia! No matter what you say on that site someone will be negative. It seems to be a breeding ground for it unfortunately. We need to bring back the support of each other as women, mother’s, and brave writers baring there souls. Keep going Hugzilla.

    • Thank you! And yes, I totally agree. This kind of online climate does nothing to support people who have important, very personal stories to share. And they are generally the ones that need sharing the most. I think that’s why I like the blogging community, because it does feel like a safer and more supportive culture in that regard.

  10. I find the comments on those parenting websites much worse than on my own. The fb comments on the post I wrote about whooping cough for Kidspot were diabolical! Thanks for joining in Mel, I’m very grateful to you all for casting aside your anonymity and joining in! x

  11. Mamamia seems to be a site which attracts a lot of trolls. There must be some sort of rage venting benefit they get…it’s so strange. A friend of mine was killed by a drunk driver while cycling, a few months ago. The forum under a news article about a memorial ride following his death became the most awful abusive raft of hate comments about cyclists in Perth. It was so disgraceful and upsetting I couldn’t read it….I don’t understand at all.

    • It’s really interesting that unloading their rage in this way only sends it in someone else’s direction, so the rage spiral continues. I’m so sorry to hear that the reaction to your friends passing became so horrible and abusive. Dignity and respect seem to be a dying art too.

  12. Hhaahahaa that’s funny. Hope you guys post more videos or maybe a spoof on troll comments.
    Haters gonna hate hate hate hate hate … shake it off! shake it off!

  13. I won’t venture near mamamia with a ten foot pole. Your writing was (in that instance) and is (always) sharp, funny and awesome. I think some people like to pick at others no matter what. You are brave to let mamamia post your blogs. Xxx

  14. I don’t really understand people who do this. Why. Who has the time and effort to put into making horrible comments about somebody you don’t know? Also, Offspring fans can be NUTS (I love the show but, seriously, some are crazy)

  15. I can’t honestly believe people would post stuff like that!! As yet I have been pretty lucky with trolls, meaning I haven’t encountered any…I know my time is coming and I can only hope that I handle it as well as you seem to have done, well done, I love reading your witty posts 🙂

  16. Reading this I begun to hear Jim Morrison “People are strange….” playing in my head.

    The ones I really don’t get and the trolls that threaten violence. Really?! That bad?!

    Had to laugh at the second one down who Boom’d themselves!

  17. I don’t get why people who don’t like something would even bother commenting. Didn’t their mothers ever teach them ‘if you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all’. Bah, water off a ducks back, there are plenty of us that think you are awesome.

  18. I finally got a chance to watch that video! Been meaning to for a week! Gah. It was so good. Isn’t anonymity a wonderful thing for the bullies of high school who just never quite grew up, or the boring and socially lacking (who watch bad TV) with no sense of humour? I like you 101 times over Hugzilla

  19. Oh boy! Okay, let’s look on the bright side. 110 people think you’re a moron, but only 3 people think you’re a dick! Ahh sorry. Bad joke. I can not believe this trolling. I’m glad you’re able to brush it all aside. You’re an amazing writer and we all love your work. Those people clearly have nothing better to do with their lives. How sad that there are so many negative people out there.

  20. Sorry Hugzilla, but I haven’t been near Mamamia for ages, hope they are paying you gold coins per word over there (danger money). Keep up the laughs, drink some wine & delete, delete, delete those trolls.

  21. OMG! You got that level of anger because you, what … a) recommended cannibalism as the answer to world hunger, b) suggested euthanasia become compulsory for the over 65s to reduce international health care costs or c) dissed a TV show about fictional characters…?!! I think the trolls need to step away from their screens. There is an actual real life out there with real life bad things happening. Maybe they could divert their attention and energy towards that.
    Love your blog.

    • I know, hey? I think that’s what blows my mind the most and I take my hat to anyone brave enough to post on way more controversial topics because I know I wouldn’t have the stomach for that. Maybe they all need more Vitamin D or something… And thank you x

  22. I think that there are just a lot of bitter, angry people out there. Oh, they also happen to be bored. Bored out of their teeny, tiny brains.
    So, yes. Just give them a big squishy hug x

  23. I haven’t had to deal with too much crap. Someone once told me I needed psychiatric help – which upset me a lot. (I mean, it was true, but still…) And the other comment which floored me was from a blogger I knew (virtually) in the US who told me she wouldn’t read my blog again until I did x, y, z. WTF?!

  24. Hugz, I’m rather impressed at the comments you got. When I was writing political stuff for MM I was torn to shreds on a daily basis – because politics.

    But some of these comments are even better than the ones I got! Who knew Offspring was far more divisive and emotionally charged than welfare cuts and asylum seekers?

    My two favourite comments ever written about me:

    If Lauren Dubois is a political journalist, I am Napoleon Bonaparte.

    Lauren has just set the women’s movement back 50 years. Should go and write for New Idea.

    Quite proud of those ones 😉

    • LOLOLOLOL! That Napoleon one is some intelligent trolling. And it just goes to show why the country is so up to shit if people give more of a crap about some stupid TV show than they do about politics. It would make little baby Jesus cry.

  25. Ugh, I hate getting horrible comments too. I never read comments on pieces that are published on other publications for that reason – people think they can say whatever they want since they don’t know you personally. Good on you for ignoring the haters and continuing to write what you want.

    • So true, and every time I break my own rule and read them anyway I always end up cringing on behalf of the writer. It’s a bloody tough gig these days, and being a creative person seems to be a license to invite all kinds of abuse. Shit man, people should do what they used to do in the old days and go to anger management courses instead.

  26. Oh lady, now that’s just special. People have so many feels for you they take the time to air their (poorly constructed and completely hypocritical) thoughts? Awwww. You can imagine what their days are filled with, just through reading their comments…. :\ For what it’s worth- I AM WITH YOU SISTA. I am not a member of the Offspring cult. It freaks me out. I feel like I’d need to don whimsical quirky attire, of which I don’t do whimsical well. At all. x

  27. This is so exciting – not you getting trolled – seeing a video with the moving, talking faces of people I only know from their blogs on the internet. It takes me back to the days when I would own records but had no idea what the bands looked or spoke like. So your post is like Rage (sort of) and you are Miki from Lush (or insert rock woman of choice here) looking down the lens. Wow.

    Nice mirror image Belle & Sebastian poster by the way.

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