Stop The Online Hate. Just Stop It!

SOCIAL MEDIA | | March 15, 2012 at 3:47 am

It is 5:30am and I should be sleeping, especially since we have been dealing with the a bug from hell in this home that captured my entire family with fevers. Mama is exhausted with whiny kids (more than usual when they are sick) when she herself feels sick but I needed to write this post. I should have written this post 3 years ago, and truthfully at times I did come close to, but I decided to stay positive and not give hate any food to live on. Recently there has been a ruckus about a blogger plagiarizing another blogger and get this – getting paid for it! Disgusting I know. Worse still this stuff stolen was about pregnancy which to me is about as intimate as you can get.

I won’t provide links but you can Google it easily and to my non-social media friends I apologize for this post. Here’s what bothers me: the continuation of stone throwing and mud slinging and slicing and dicing this. My attitude is wow, move on people – this is a train wreck and if you have nothing positive to add to the conversation, then move on. Discussion is good but, healthy discussion: like how should big sites choose contributing writers, how do brands choose the people they work with etc. Writing posts mocking this situation and dissecting character is NOT YOUR RIGHT! Seriously, IT IS NOT YOUR RIGHT!

What is it about being online and freedom to say things that we feel it is all justified, does not grant us the liberties to make snappy judgements, however appropriate at the time. Want to know classy? Classy is this amazing writer who was copied, who just tweeted that she accepts the apology, without slicing or dicing the sincerity of it. Thats what makes her doubly awesome, rising above it. More examples of classy: Redneck Mommy who tweeted out healthy advice with no ounce of meanness and not even a trace of her famous sarcasm tweeted to her husband.

Someone needs to counsel you that the best thing you can do is let her apology speak for herself and BE QUIET

Sound advice I tell you.

This is not a discussion about who is wrong (and I do think she is if anyone starts doubting that) but about how we think we have a right to dish out words. Pause, that feverish 4 year old just woke up. Ok back to my story. Three years ago when I was just starting to work with brands and I knew I needed to needed traffic and relationships so I reviewed a ton of stuff (NO REGRETS) and hosted giveaways (at no charge). A blogger clearly described her meeting me, without mentioning my name it was pretty clear it was me, about how this blogger thought when I said “I was busy these days” that equated her thinking that my quality of posts had declined. Also my giveaways meant I became a PR WHORE. Now I know these words are not used easily just to make a point, but here’s the thing:IT HURT! I had just hugged this person and to me the connotations of whore is not only tacky but cheap. To make it deeper another blogger came and commented calling me a media whore. Yeah it stung. I wondered why anyone cared what I did on my blog. I was devastated and feel free to call me “overly sensitive”, the thing is I don’t want to grow a thick skin – I like feeling stuff, it is what makes me, me! I contemplated to stop blogging but did not. I contemplated writing about it, but my hubby wisely advised that that would give hate life.

My point is this, words, whether deserved or not, hurt. And contrary to what you think you don’t have a right to judge. It is like I tell my 4 year old who would say someone is smelling yuck in an elevator, it is rude to say it. Is it true? Hell, yes, but just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. ┬áPeople love bandwagons, and it is easier to ride one than drive your own, but a little piece of advice: those that start the nasty bandwagons just had some other fat to fry anyway. Who knows, one day the shoe may be on the other foot, and you will pray for someone to cut you some slack.

Hate actions, not people! When I had an issue with a brand, I tried to be clear when I did write that it was about the tactic not them. Although I turned down doing paid consulting with them in the fact that it may look like I wrote the post just for money, I held no harsh feelings. When I did a charitable event for kids born in poverty, I invited the brand to participate so I could show no hard feelings and display their logo on my site (of course all of this was for free) and they accepted. When I met the person in question at the Toy Fair and he walked up to me and hugged me, I actually felt that this was attributed to my success about focusing on actions in a constructive criticism, lazed with zero meanness (yes that is possible) rather than people or the product itself. I also make sure that the comments to posts don’t spew evil, because ultimately we control what type of stuff we throw out. Many people start discussions and people take it out of hand in comments and by not curbing the rhetoric,we are saying we approve. Constructive discussion, even if I disagree, stays but I have no space for pure hatred.

We have online influence. I may not have much, but the little I do have I want to use for good. Now while I cannot control what you spew on the internet, I can control it in my little blog world here. What that means is that you can trust I will use the moderate comments options judicuously here, so if you have nothing constructive to say, keep moving along.

Ok, I am heading back to my germy bed with kids who decide to snuggle their fever induced bodies with mine. Fun! In the meantime let’s rise above stuff, learn and be careful about those stones we cast, they do tend to splash mud straight on us. Be nice!


  1. 1
    Alicia says:

    Absolutely amazingly written Niri! You have spoken the words of many bloggers who are fed up with the hate and negativity. Thank you!

  2. 2

    Totally with you, Niri. All the hate makes me sad. Yes, the blogger screwed up. Yes, she has burned bridges in the past. But let’s be kind. Let’s be the type of parents we want our kids to model themselves after, and drop it and move on. Do unto others…

  3. 3
    Amy McHodges says:

    This is one reason why I respect you so much. Thank you for continuing to focus on good in the world. Hope you and your family kick this virus quickly!

  4. 4
    Kelly says:

    Thank you for sharing this. I struggled myself to put into words why it’s important to pay attention but not dissect character. The conversations as you said should be surrounding this-vetting writers who are contributors, how brands react to this type of scandal (is it bad for only the blogger or the community as a whole) are all things that should be discussed.

    • 4.1
      Mommy Niri says:

      Thank you Kelly. Drawing heathy discussion is difficult for many as you start making it personal.

  5. 5
    Shelly says:

    I am glad I always remain very neutral. Like Kanye West would say “Fifty told me if they hate then let ‘em hate and watch the money pile up…”

    The bandwagon always passes me by.

    Wishing your family a quick recovery!

  6. 6
    Queena says:

    Great post!

    This happened to me recently too and I was really glad to read that someone else can echo my sentiments about taking the high road despite how annoying every minute of the online rampage. It was humlliating and it stung. Then the hater blogged about me without naming me, but it was clear who she was talking about then all the comments roll in saying “YAh!” ” you’re so right” and other pats on the back to her because she frames it as if “am just telling it like it is”. Well, no you’re not. You’re on the attack, it’s not a discussion if you ask a question that you know the answer to and you’re just asking it so that any response you get is a way to propagate your own opinion. And that’s what it is, an opinion. It’s like, get the facts people or stay out of the disagreement if you’ve only heard one side of it. It was real online bullying for adults- because you have all these people who haven’t met you, attacking you and you know you don’t want to get into a back and forth ” No, I said this then YOU said this” yadda yadda yadda. Lame! Highschool! Get a life and twitter is not a life.

    Faced with the same choice as you: Waste my precious time engaging a clearly irrational person who thrives on conflict and getting attention online; or stay the course and focus on the good things happening IN REAL LIFE. That is, keep growing and don’t let losers pull you down. It worked too. The more she kept trying to drag me in, the more hilarious she looked to people bc I wouldn’t respond. I laughed a few times at her attempts to engage me, it was so pathetic. At that point, others stopped responding too so others on there saw her for the lunatic she is. LOL! and she moved on to something else to be annoying about, her shoes maybe, no her bedroom set, no a book, no world peace… lunatic!
    Sorry I too kept going on and on hahahhaa…anyways, great post, thanks for sharing. you verbalized my sentiments when i faced a similar situation.

    • 6.1
      Mommy Niri says:

      Drawing a point of is it worth the ink, or post in this matter, is a tough one. Part of me regrets having this post but I would have regretted being silent on it

  7. 7

    One of the problems with the internet and social media is that normally timid people can be brazen and frankly horrible to other people. Something they would NEVER say to someone’s face in person is easily said online. It’s an ugly party of the internet, but unfortunately one that’s here to stay I’m afraid.
    That being said – we don’t have to add to it of course! :)

    • 7.1
      Mommy Niri says:

      I really think many people will back off when they see the rest of us are seeing their comments as mean, rather than funny. You get off the stage when you don’t have an audience

  8. 8
    Jeannine says:

    You are brave and inspiring and honest and I so heart you.

    • 8.1
      Mommy Niri says:

      Thank you Jeannine, there are more of us around. Maybe if others saw that and these comments they will feel braver too.

  9. 9
    PragmaticMom says:

    It sounds like a lot of this is jealousy. Your blogger frenemy was jealous but sounds like the blogger who plagiarized was lazy! Both are unforgiveable!

    Please give links to that story! Come on!!!

    • 9.1
      Mommy Niri says:

      Hey Mia, would rather not fuel the fire and worse still give them any links from my site. The point, irrespective of what the issue is, is how use our words and move forward. I am in no way saying what she did was right, in fact I really think this may kiss her career and her reputation goodbye, a hole she got herself in, but the liberty for all of us to sit and judge is really not something we should do without considering the impact.

  10. 10

    So many great points in this post. Thank you! You are such a breath of fresh air. Seriously. Hope you and your family get well soon!

    • 10.1
      Mommy Niri says:

      Thank you Sharon. This would not be a popular post to write, but then again I hardly care about being popular. Now back to those germy kids – wish they were in school already.

  11. 11

    I’ve considered you a dear friend since the beginning… and now I’m adding the adjective WISE. Thank you, dear wise friend for putting pen to paper (so to speak!) and sharing your great wisdom and experience. xo!

    • 11.1
      Mommy Niri says:

      I feel humbled Sharon, purely humbled. I have made it clear how much I admire you but today I thank you for coming her and showing support for this.

  12. 12
    Des says:

    Niri. You are authentic. I adore you for it. I’ve always felt that the people who choose to do the wrong thing have to live with themselves and that cannot be a very happy place. I don’t need to rub their face in it. Those who are not directly involved seem ridiculous for placing themselves in the middle of it.

  13. 13
    Amy says:

    Amen, sister. It has gotten ugly and way out of hand. I hope brands pay attention to the bloggers leaving nasty comments as well.

    Perfect post.

    • 13.1
      Mommy Niri says:

      We are what we support. The one thing I would love out of all this is for brands to notice this stuff. Thank you friend!

  14. 14

    I totally agree. And that’s why I started, but admittedly, very few people want to come out and blog openly about the issue in an objective manner.

  15. 15

    Well done friend. Well said. As always you bring the classy.

    • 15.1
      Mommy Niri says:

      Loads of the classy folks like us out there, hopefully the mudslingers may feel a little more embarrassed to do their thing

  16. 16
    Cat Davis says:

    Thank you for saying this!

    Watching the hate being spewed this week has hurt my heart so much to the point it has become an embarrassment to even be grouped in the same “mom blogger” niche with some of these people.

    I came online to find support and friendship. That’s it.

  17. 17

    I just fell a little more in love with you….if that is even possible.

  18. 18
    Amanda says:

    I have missed a lot of what was happening because I was off having a baby and enjoying our newborn and when I came back online I saw what was going on and felt so sad that this was going on.

    I agree with Cat, I too came online for support and friendship.

  19. 19
    Lori says:

    I definitely know what you’re saying and agree. In my opinion, I think the reason people keep saying such things is to make sure that it DOES get noticed. If people quiet down about it, then who will know that she has done wrong. They want EVERYONE, especially brands to hear it and know it and not work with her so they start out saying one thing and get uglier about it. People get tired of working their butt off honestly to reap the rewards and then you have her and her husband who are well…I won’t go there. Everyone just wants some sort of justice I guess…..*sigh*

    I do agree it’s a poor reflection on those that continue to ‘batter’…..I am not one of them. She will be judged one day by someone who really matters.

    • 19.1
      Mommy Niri says:

      The frustration of not getting noticed while work like this does (and get paid for) is understandable – the point that we can’t articulate it better than getting really dirty is not. We are all such smart people who have a power with words, I trust we can do better to get that message across than what has been done. I understand the message, just not the method of delivery.

  20. 20

    I agree that the classy thing to do was accept the apology and say no more. It is important to rise above the fray and not give the negative power in your life. I believe in Karma!

    • 20.1
      Mommy Niri says:

      Funny thing is, if you are patient enough, you live long enough to see it happen right before your eyes. Karma does exist

  21. 21

    O.K., I can’t believe I just put the wrong website with my comment above! .org NOT .com

  22. 22
    Hanan says:

    This is by far the best post I have seen written about the whole ordeal!

  23. 23

    2 words… YEAH NIRI!

  24. 24
    Cristie says:

    You are awesome. It’s really quite simple. Thank you for sharing yourself with us.

    • 24.1
      Mommy Niri says:

      It not only takes courage to write this post, but to comment here to show support, so that would mean you are pretty awesome yourself. Thank you Cristie

  25. 25
    Julie Cole says:

    nice work mama! Honestly, between the kids, running a business and blogging I wouldn’t have TIME to spread hate even if I wanted to :) Where do folks find the time to get sucked in??

    • 25.1
      Mommy Niri says:

      I honestly think it becomes “reality show” material and obsessive for some. I just think it is sad, very sad.

  26. 26

    Amen! Niri great post and I wouldn’t expect anything less from you! You make me proud to say I’m a blogger! xoxo

    • 26.1
      Mommy Niri says:

      Thank you Rachel! As much as this stuff is serious that has been committed I would not like to see this hate push people over the edge.

  27. 27
    Candace says:

    It is the joy that others are taking in the pain that bothers me most. Yes, plagiarism should be outed, yes, she should apologize and make amends (for profiting off another’s work for three years and deceiving readers and supporters)…but the nastiness and harassment and schadenfreude is just awful.

    This isn’t justice…it is vigilante, mob-style shaming.

    The real author of the pieces is being a class act, at least.

    The husband is really just throwing fuel on the fire, though, and evaporating any sympathy people have for her.

    • 27.1
      Mommy Niri says:

      I agree the husband’s actions are hurting her! I worry that people are pushing people to limits that may bring dire consequences. No matter the crime, the hate needs to stop – uncalled for and actually think they are being funny. I am sad by commenters who promote that behavior too

  28. 28
    Candace says:

    I think some motivation is just a desire to cause chaos and some have a personal vendetta. But I also see a sentiment of frustration from people who believe their own talent, hard work, and honesty is passed over in favor of those who are or appear to be cheating the system. There are tons of issues here as (1) free trips to corporate headquarters don’t pay the electric bill; (2) it does show one of the perils of giving companies so much power in our ecosystems.

    It is tangential and a drum I’ve been beating for years…but I hear a lot of “I hope the companies finally notice that she…” Why do we allow companies to determine who a good or popular blogger is? Why do we allow such a top down system? Why are companies that believe we are interchangable allowed to pay kingmaker and set the terms of the bargain?

    Don’t get me wrong, I believe corporate involvement can be positive–but I feel like things have gone off the rails and this is a symptom of it.

    I wish we could stop the attacks and work to reward original, quality writing.

    • 28.1
      Mommy Niri says:

      I agree, it is the same thing with Oscars etc – that does not make a movie good – it was good before it got the nod. Same with brand acknowledgement: it is sometimes a not but not always the benchmark to use.

      As for frustration about work being copied – as much as I can empathize with that, the people who have been wronged are not spewing hate. Our right to use vile language against anyone is not a right we have. While I may be disgusted that people stoop to this behavior to copy, I do not believe that gives me permission to do this stoning.

      In other countries when people have extramarital affairs they are stoned. Do I believe having affairs is disgusting? Yes, but I do believe we are civilized society and if we can’t behave better than this, then I am afraid it is a lost society

  29. 29
    Candace says:

    I totally agree…the viciousness and/jealousy just makes it all worse. We too often forget there is a person behind that screen.

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