How Do You Handle Negative Comments?

posted in: Cooking, Savory, Sweet | 87


*This post is not typical of what you find on Salty Seattle. I will return to regularly-scheduled programming soon.


Yesterday I checked my blog comments as I do several times a week and I came across this on my “about” page:

“Ya your fuckin bentley is in danger! How would you like me to come to Seattle and take your fuckin Bentley and shove his head down one of your evil, freaky torture devices you use on innocent chickens! Your a fuckin ugly whore who thinks she’s hot. Your whoever up there died of a sudden heart attack from those fuckin peanut butter pies and you continue to make them?!!! You see no correlation between the torture on animals you promote, the shit ingredients you use and heart attacks and your ugly looks?! Get the fuck out of the matrix bitch and go kill your self!”

The name and email (possibly fake, but I don’t think so considering this facebook account and stream of commentary https://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=101100978272&v=wall ) was posted as Charro Broimani rawchef@hotmail.com. The ip address linked to the comment is 65.34.175.223, which my tech-savvy husband legally used to locate a physical address. It belongs to a nice house with a swimming pool on a residential street in sunny Florida.

Initially I was stunned. For those of you who don’t know, Bentley is my 2-year-old child. I am no stranger to negative comments, in fact I receive several per week, including some who go so far as to send an email. These are generally left by people who I would consider to be internet “trolls,” or people who have nothing better to do than to pick online fights with folks they don’t know.

The trolling comments tend to be juvenile, wrought with grammatical errors, and ill-thought. I have gotten to the point where they don’t bother me. My typical course of action is to delete and ignore, unless it’s a comment with a difference of opinion, which I will leave intact and often respond to because I encourage social discourse and welcome all views.

This comment is very, very different. It contains language which can be construed as a threat to my safety, but more importantly, to the safety of my child. While I didn’t post the comment directly on twitter, I explained the ominous nature of it and asked of the twitterverse- what would you do? I received a barrage of responses from a host of different people- all supportive.

Many suggested that I delete and ignore.

Others advised blocking the IP address.

Some urged me to call the police, but most held little hope they’d be able to do anything about it.

Several people asserted that to talk about the comment only gives that person power, and so the best course of action is to tuck it under the rug.

I also sent out an email to some blogger friends of mine. One response in particular made the point that we really shouldn’t flaunt our children on our blogs. He suggested that there are sick people out there and letting them know that we have gorgeous little kids and seemingly-idyllic lives can provoke unreasonable people to go beyond online gawking.

I thought about that suggestion all night and in the morning I decided that while I love the friend who said it, I disagree. I feel this is akin to the mistaken belief that a girl in a short skirt deserved her rape. I do understand the need to protect my child from the world, but my blog is about food and my life. Bentley is a huge part of both of those things. It’s not as though I wax-on like a mommy blogger about his every poop and finger-painting, but he does make an occasional appearance and I believe if I were to stop mentioning him, I’d be letting the online bogeymen win.

A related analogy is one of proper attire. A girl’s dress should be tight enough that you know she is a woman, but loose enough to show she’s a lady. That’s how I dress, and that’s how I raise my child. You’ll know I’m a mother within a few minutes of talking to me, but I don’t identify so much with myself as ubermom that I’ll talk incessantly about my kid’s potty-training and turn you off the way a rakish cougar might if she were dressed only in a millimeter-long leather handkerchief. My ultimate decision to this aspect of the discussion is that Bentley stays, but only as frequently as he turned up before. What do you think? Do you have a child/husband/pet that you feel should or shouldn’t have a place on your blog, and why?

I deeply-appreciated the fact that so many of my friends chimed-in on what to do in this instance, and I finally settled on a course of action. Part of that includes this blog post. I wrote this because I want to make people aware of the options out there. Prior to yesterday, I’d never been down this rabbit hole.

After some internet research and several phone calls to local law enforcement, I learned that the proper way to report these types of crimes as designated by the U.S. government is via the website http://www.ic3.gov/complaint/default.aspx. A wide variety of internet crimes can be reported here, and I’m told (by the switchboard operator at my local FBI office) that all are investigated by the FBI. I filled out a complaint with all of the information I was able to collect on this individual. I urge you to do the same should you ever find yourself in a similar situation.

It is IMPERATIVE to report these things because we are in the pioneering days of internet regulation. What goes unrecorded goes undocumented and these very real and frightening problems fall through the cracks. Similar to the way many of us believe there needs to be more transparency in the blogging world about taking products and trips for free and then wholeheartedly endorsing them, crimes that takes place behind the comfort of laptops need regulation.

Most of us were raised well enough that we don’t say online what we wouldn’t say to someone’s face, but not all of us. As time goes on and people realize the internet is just as much a close-knit community as a church or a school and that everything you say can be traced back to you, we probably won’t see as much of this type of activity. But in the meantime, we need to prove that by holding commenters accountable. This is why I chose to report the incident as well as to post the details here. I opted to stop short of publishing the individual’s address who left the comment, but I hope people are aware of just how easy it is to obtain this information.

I know I’m not alone in receiving negative comments that go beyond simple disagreement. In addition to commentary, there are fake twitter accounts and even websites set up for the sole purpose of poking fun at people in extremely cruel ways. I wish the people who engaged in these acts would realize that they are talking about other humans- ones with hearts, insecurities and problems.

The world will be a better place when people learn to channel their own issues toward self-improvement instead of using jealousy and bitterness to tear down others who they perceive to be successful. The reality is that many of those so-called successful individuals worked their asses off to get to where they are. If the naysayers would do the same, they’d feel a lot better about themselves and the world around them.

*Thank you to everyone who contributed to this post in the form of suggestions and advice. I didn’t link to your blogs because I didn’t want to out you, but I want you to know that I really appreciate you taking the time to care to the point of offering your valuable opinion.

share, bitches...

87 Responses

  1. I am no longer vegan, but I write a vegan food blog. I was at the IFBC last year (I believe I saw you there as well – although I don’t think we met), and I am the one that raised my hand and asked Shauna and Alex “how do you handle internet bullies?” My situation was not identical to yours, but it resonates pretty strongly. It was hugely discomforting to have other vegans (while I myself was a vegan I might add) tell me that I was an animal hater because I have a cat as a pet and because I would even think to ask if people go beyond diet and into their lifestyle with vegan-following ways.

    What frustrates me a great deal about *some* (not all) animal rights activists is that they seem to forget that we, too, are animals. They eagerly say to kill or hurt a human for harming or eating or owning an animal, yet they are appalled when someone says the same about a chicken. It’s inconsistent, hurtful and just plain wrong.

    I read your blog occasionally, but I admit not enough to know how much you talk about your child. I think that some bloggers go over the line and share too much information, but I think that others balance that fine line quite well. No one wants their family in danger, and I doubt anyone in their right mind goes to the effort of posting what they would think is too much. I post information about my life, but I would never post so much to make it too personal. Safety and personal privacy is at the top of the list when I’m putting my life out there, and I imagine it is the same for you.

    Good luck – not all vegans or vegetarians or animal lovers are haters. :)

  2. you were correct to report this- sorry to hear about this incident, especially since it is aimed at your child- but how did you obtain the physical address based on the IP address- would you be willing to share that information with us- in case it happens to one of us? x shayma

    Linda Reply:

    @shayma, Shayma- I’m going to have to ask my husband to speak to that- he did the sleuthing, all I know is that my domain is registered with godaddy and they have some back-end software that you can freely use to obtain the info. I’m sure the extended answer is much more technical than this, but if you think it is of use, I will follow up and let you know.

  3. Victoria

    Hey, I don’t know anything about IP adresses and that stuff, but I think that kind of comments could be dangerous.

    I understand sometimes when blogging, the author wants to share his/her happiness with everyone, but in these times, writing the name of our relatives could put them on risk.

    That comment about injuring your son sounds SICK, it scared me when I read it! I don’t get why your blog bothers people, if it´s perfectly normal!

    Please be careful, take extreme care of your kids. I must accept the information you give in this post is extremely useful, but please, don’t let this sick kind of people hurt your loved ones.

    Good luck with this horrible matter ): and my best wishes. I like your blog very much.

  4. Wow! I am just this summer learning about the extent to which trolls go to vomit their vile upon bloggers. I had no idea there were whole blogs devoted to hating on other bloggers. Gah. What is wrong with these people? I am so sorry you got that (and other) messages! Eek!

  5. Okay, I’m very late to the game on this one, but thank you for writing this post. My cousin started a retail baking business which she named after her son. A few month in, she received a strange– if vague threat to his life. She immediately changed the name of her business and, well, totally freaked out.

    Where on earth do these people come from?

    It might be because traffic to my site isn’t high (it’s select, to be sure, but low) but the majority of my commenters are thoughtful and well-behaved. When the occasional idiot shows up, I have the awful ( but cathartic) habit of letting them have it.

    But that’s just me. I am single and I have no children.

    xom

  6. I really find it hard to believe someone sat down wrote that and decided to click send. Whats wrong with a person like that? Their so terribly sick, they definitely need help on whatever level but that’s not any of your concern. All that you can concern yourself of is your family. I’m so sorry that you had to go through this. Thank you for sharing the information and taking the time to make sure people think twice before hiding behind their computer screens. You have such a beautiful little son and family.I hope authorities can take care of this matter for you. Keep doing what you’re doing!

  7. Totally awful, and totally scary (and TOTALLY disgusting). Thank you for sharing your beautiful life with us. I suppose at some point you need to feel sorry for people like this (even if their words cut) for not having full lives of their own to tend to, or maybe dealing with a substance abuse problem. Regardless, I’m happy you’re taking this seriously and doing the right thing, the law thing.

  8. This is hard to do but important for your own sanity. Grow from the constructive criticism and bounce off the rest.

  9. Goodness…can’t believe the lengths people will go to to be so mean spirited…I firmly believe it reflects their issues with themselves. Personally love reading your blog & it is the fact that you do share your life that makes it quite special :)

  10. Hi, I love your blog. I’m not a blogger – but my wife and I are impressed!! I didn’t read all the comments here, but – here’s my thought: did you ever consider that this might be Charlie Sheen posting? I may be wrong, but the post seems to me to echo his whacked-out diction of late.. :)

  11. Wow! I couldn’t believe what I just read, I am sick to my stomach. I can imagine how incredibly shocked you must of been reading that comment. I am so glad you didn’t just push it under the rug and reported it. We cant let people get away with that kind of crap! Thanks for sharing… PS. I love seeing pictures of Bentley. That baby is ADORABLE!!! XO

  12. This is such a great post! I love reading why you chose to keep Bentley in, as I have the same reasons for including my children on my site. I’m a mom, and they are such a big part of who I am and what I do. And amen to everything else.

  13. Where’s Charro Broimani now?

  14. I am so sorry that you had to receive such a horrific comment. I hope that something gets done about this (legally) and that you never have to read such awful things again.

    Linda Reply:

    @Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca), I hope none of us do!

  15. I find it interesting that this person feels that animals deserve to be respected but does not extend the respect a chicken apparently deserves to a fellow human being. I like the internet troll phrase. I am adopting it, as they are my favorite to delete and ignore. I did once run across a blogger who found it fun to insult her own followers… which was odd.

  16. Agree 100%, public scrutiny and reporting to the authority is the best way to handle this. Remember in the “old days” the stocks someone was shackled to to publicly shame them for their behavior? Fear of embarassment is a big motivating factor and maybe when these sourpusses realize everyone can see what they’ve said and who they are they’ll realize just how idiotic they look. If it were me, I would be hard pressed to not post a full address, with mapquest map, phone number and every single piece of personal info I could find, in retaliation, but then I guess that’s fighting fire with fire and, as they say, it’s a good way to get burned. You handled it gracefully and appropriately. Kudos.

  17. I can only imagine how horrified and scared you must have been when you first read those words. I got chills just reading them! I think you did the right thing by writing about it and sharing tips for other bloggers who may find themselves in the same situation. More transparency will, hopefully, discourage or minimize the number of would-be trolls out there. One can hope.

    As for the Bentley question…it’s a personal decision. This is your blog about your life, so if you want to be authentic, it would be a misstep to leave him out. I think it’s generally harder to leave out kids and pets from blog stories than spouses, probably because they’re just so entertaining! Relatively speaking of course…

  18. What a nasty piece of work. You are handling very well – very composed. How revolting to bring your child into it too. Hope he/she gets in trouble.

    Linda Reply:

    @Lisa (This Little Piggy), I hope so too, and more than that, I hope we can establish a precedent for handling comments of this nature.

  19. How horrible for you. These people always have pretty low intelligence (proven by the fact they can’t spell or use correct grammar) and no grounding for their claims anyway. You have to remember that they’re in the minority – the rest of us really enjoy reading your blog.

    Linda Reply:

    @Becs@Lay the table, Thanks, I enjoy writing it.

  20. Thank you for posting this information. I agree with your approach. Remove the anonymity and ask the authorities to deal with it, rather than delete and let it slide or hope it goes away. It’s a highly troubling aspect of our brave new world, but if we all continue to “out” these folks, their lives will become uncomfortable at the least (with prison a good possibility). So sorry this happened to you. Carry on!

    Linda Reply:

    @Stephanie, The Recipe Renovator, I completely agree. If we expose the people behind the anonymous computer screens, perhaps next time they’ll think twice before spouting vitriol.

  21. I saw the conversation on Twitter and wondered what was going on. Thank you for all of the information that you provided to the blogging community. It will really help us all know what to do if this type of harassment happens.

    I’m glad to hear that moving forward you are not going to be influenced to change your blog. It’s wonderful…you have a unique voice and I love it!

    Linda Reply:

    @Susie, Thanks, Susie- I hope to continue to provide information as the case progresses.

    Linda Reply:

    @Susie, Many thanks, Susie.

  22. You handled a shockingly bad situation with the style, grace and strength that we’ve come to expect from you. Thank you for sharing this with us all, because forewarned is forearmed.

    Linda Reply:

    @Jenni, “forewarned is forearmed” is a great way to put it.

  23. So sorry this happens to you. You have handled it with grace, intelligence and wit. This food community is strong and we’ll stand by to support you.

    Linda Reply:

    @Ken, It sure is- thanks, Ken.

  24. Wow, I’m so sorry you experienced this. It’s the age old issue of “if you don’t believe the way I do, it’s my job to tell you that you’re wrong. If that doesn’t work I’ll try violence.”

    I love your openness and hope that someone like this doesn’t change you.

    Linda Reply:

    @Maureen, Yep, it seems like the sort of flawed logic most people grow out of by adulthood.

  25. What is wrong with people??? It seems people must attack and criticize for what they are jealous over. So pathetic and incredible sad.

    Good for you for reporting it! I would have handled the situation exactly the same!

    Katie

    Linda Reply:

    @Katie @ Epicurean Mom, Thanks for your support.

  26. Good on you for not only reporting his ass, but sharing your story and HOW to report these jerks.

    I consciously relinquished my anonymity when I became a blogger. Actually it happened before that, as I’ve been a media spokesperson for 12 years. But as a blogger, the additional layer peeled off of what many consider to be “privacy” is a pretty thick one. My blog is about my family’s personal travel stories. There’s no way around naming my kid and showing his cute mug on my website once in awhile.

    My favorite bloggers are people who open their lives up to their readers. If I wasn’t looking to connect with real people through their food, travel and gardening blogs, I’d just read Sunset.

    Your experience illustrates the potential downside, which is very real and obviously does happen, but gives us an avenue for actual action should a real threat ever come our way. Thanks.

    Linda Reply:

    @Lauren, It certainly is a fine line we tread, by putting ourselves in the public eye, but we shouldn’t have to cower or fear just because we’ve decided to share.

  27. Linda, all I can say is, how terrifying. And thank you for sharing the proper course of action when someone does something so hateful and threatening. I hope others do as you have and that this individual is stopped from hurting other people.

    Linda Reply:

    @Carrie Oliver, I really hope so too.

  28. I’m so sorry that you got a comment like that – so sick! I think you did absolutely the right thing by reporting it and posting it here.

    It’s difficult for me to understand why anyone would such a thing.

    Linda Reply:

    @Grant, It’s pretty difficult for me too.

  29. Linda, I love your blog, your irreverent take on life, the obvious passion you have for food and the genuine love for your family. I was completely appalled when I saw the Twitter comments flying around the other day so I looked to see what the comment was. You had already deleted it, but in my wildest dreams, I could not have imagined anything quite so horrific.

    I applaud the approach you have taken and hope that you continue to blog/write/tweet in the same manner that you always have. You have a unique voice and I would hate to see it squelched in any way.

    Linda Reply:

    @Nancy, The beauty of blogging is the personal nature of it. If we took that away, we’d just have faceless magazine articles written by people we don’t get the opportunity to know.

  30. How odd when people do that instead of simply…not reading your blog. Very very odd and great response. I know someone else who had a similar experience and she got the FBI on it.

    Linda Reply:

    @Susie, Exactly. If you don’t like it, or you have a cause to fight for, do it in a productive way.

  31. Great angry man photo!

  32. As a child, I believed for a very long time that Anne Frank’s statement was true “. . . in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart (July 14, 1944). However, through the years, I have discovered that this is not so, there are really evil, cruel people out there, especially in the workplace.
    This person deserves a minimum of ten years behind bars. If I were on his/her jury, I would advocate for ten years and then 20-years of community service.
    Linda, I’m so happy that you shared this and that you informed the proper authorities. This is not to be ignored.
    You go girl!!!!!

    Linda Reply:

    @Peter, Perhaps if a designated punishment was laid out for these types of crimes, people would think twice before committing them.

  33. The same thing happened to me about two weeks ago, although it wasn’t as foul or threatening as your ‘whack job’ – just bullying and accusatory. Whoever wrote it (she subtly associated herself with a very well-known blogger) obviously didn’t do the research, because the crap she hurled at me was completely ridiculous and false. In fact, it made the ‘well-known’ blogger look bad due to her not paying close attention or actually ‘reading’ before accusing.

    Naturally, she did not respond to my emails, so it was most probably an email she made up just to leave that comment (Wow, I’m so flattered one would go to those lengths just to insult me!). I’ve been debating whether or not to write a post about it, for days – just so the cowardly bitch knows I won’t stand for that kind of harassment. Just may still..we’ll see.

    I hope you find out who it was that left that sick, monstrosity of a comment to you.

  34. I’m glad you took action and like anything on this blog, your blog, you get to choose how to handle not only what is portrayed but if/when something like this happens whether to divulge or not; we all have to process things in our own way. Truth be told…using a pseudonym for a family member is so easily cracked that I actually long to see real names, not cute little made up ones. Though someone might think Bentley Danger is a made up one. :)

    Gee…I just found out that my troll, Doc Chuck, normally bothers PW and Steamy Kitchen? Aren’t I special? He’s mean but not threatening so I never think much of it.

    I think in this instance, through this post, you have sent a clear message…there are ramifications to this type of abusive language and I don’t think it’s bad that you made it clear you will not allow it. In so many words…YOU GO GIRL!

    And because words actually do hurt…I hope that the messages you’ve received from readers and friends help you feel better yourself, because we do know that you’re a mommy and a friend and that you deserve better. You know you have my love and kisses sweetie.

    Linda Reply:

    @Barbara | Creative Culinary, Awww, Barb- don’t get me all teary-eyed. I’m honored to be a part of this community with you.

  35. Dear Linda, this is a horrible story and I’m sorry you had to go through it. I like that you have outed this person as much as possible, but at the same time I’m conflicted about it. In a way you have give him/her a lot of power by posting the message and the details of his/her existence. I think people like this are jealous of your fame and perhaps want to be famous too. Perhaps he or she is gloating right now over all this exposure and hand-wringing.

    Definitely it is not wrong to mention your kid, and doing so does not justify this kind of behavior. Nothing justifies this kind of behavior!

    Great that you have laid out practical information about whom to contact as well.

    Linda Reply:

    @Dianne Jacob, I feel that while I gave the person a face, I didn’t necessarily give them power because now they realize there can be retribution for their actions. They may enjoy the “fame” but they also should fear the very real consequences making such statements will result in.

  36. Personally, I think it is always best to use a pseudonym for a minor. Not only to protect their identity (children are susceptible to identity theft and you’d be surprised how much info can be gleaned over time from a few harmless comments) but also to protect them from bullies who may use the info to tease them. Once it is on the internet, it is always on the internet.

    Linda Reply:

    @Lisa, Interesting point. I know of quite a few children of bloggers who, when old enough to realize the public nature of their lives, have asked their parents to stop discussing them. I guess I try to keep it to a minimum and never do anything that might be construed as embarrassing later in life, but I’m sure he’ll set me straight once he’s old enough. I’m ok with pseudonyms, despite choosing not to use them, but I really loathe it when people use silly code names like “hubster” and “dd” or “dh”.

  37. Wow, just saw your post. Having experienced my full share of this as an on air person in LA doing talk radio I think you are handling this correctly. There’s a fine line between revealing too much and honestly being open and sharing one’s life. Reporting a threat is the correct thing to do, changing the way you present yourself because of a threat is not.

  38. I am very impressed with how you handled the situation. I can not wrap my brain around the thought of saying something so mean to someone that I don’t know, and will never know. I will never understand why people get off on saying terrible things. And I thank you for reminding people we are the pioneers of this time in the internet’s life. We need to remember to report these things so our safety can be protected, but also so we don’t have our freedoms restricted.
    As far as the ones I do and do not mention on my blog…it is merely a personal choice. I think it’s something I will share when I feel the time is right. I am not too worried about my safety and my loved one’s safety when it comes to sharing their names, because I know if it came down to it I would take the action needed to protect myself and them.
    Again, great job and hang in there.

  39. Yikes. You did the right thing. Good luck.

  40. Hi Linda,
    I was actually snooping around your blog the other day and I noticed that disgusting comment. I was shocked and couldn’t believe someone would write such a thing. I think you are handling this experience as best you can, and we will all let this be a lesson to take action when we such horrible things happen. As bloggers we open our lives up to an audience of strangers and hope that these people have like interests and can appreciate why we do what we do. It’s terribly unfortunate that you had to receive this threat, this is never the type of comment one wants to find. It’s sad that sometimes when talented people get a little limelight others become jealous and want to threaten them or tear them down. Your blog is wonderful, i’m a big fan of what you do – keep us entertained!

    Linda Reply:

    @Jaime Verk,Oh, I hate that you had to see that without any context from me! I wish I had caught it sooner.

  41. Im SO sorry that you got this, Linda!!! You who are snarky on the outside, soft as a marshmallow peep on the inside.
    You’ve handled this with intelligence, valuable information and the right amount of snark.
    That’s why we love you.

    Linda Reply:

    @Gail, That’s a line I constantly strive to toe. Thanks, Gail, xx.

  42. These people think they are anonymous but hopefully there is a cyber trail. I truly hope that they are nailed for their behavior that is seeded with a deep anger and unhappiness. I feel sorry for souls like this but that in no way justifies their behavior. They are cowards because they rant as faceless voids and that is scary in it own right. I am impressed with how you handled this and sharing with us appropriate action to take. Children should never be used as pawns in bad adult(?) behavior. One last thing, I believe many people have lost general respect for others particularly when they live their lives differently or have different beliefs than their own. I am on your side. I hope some justice is done even if it is just embarrassing the crap out them. Thank you so much for sharing this because sticking together is probably the best defense.

    Linda Reply:

    @Laura @ SweetSavoryPlanet, Yep, differing opinions make the world go around, but no one will join a cause they see is wrought with spurious logic and threatening vitriol.

  43. Lorraine

    Wow, this guy is some disturbed individual. My hands are shaking trying to write this comment and that crap wasn’t even directed at me, so I can’t even imagine how you felt when you read it the first time. I hope the FBI does a number on this pervert. I am so sorry you’ve had to deal with this. I have been enjoying your posts and I would hate for you to alter your approach because the blog is you and your view of the world you live in and to change that would be, well, not you. Keep up the good fight.

    Linda Reply:

    @Lorraine, I shook a little too. I can’t even read it now. Scary that people are filled with so much hate.

  44. Sommer J

    Frickin weirdos. Sorry to read that, but a great post to inform others of how to deal with situations like this. If you stop posting photos or talking about Bentley, ya may as well throw a blanket on his head everywhere else. There are deranged/jealous folks everywhere, the Internet is an instant courage shield, so forget about them. You did the right thing and this person is disgusting.

    Linda Reply:

    @Sommer J, I agree- the whole “put a burqua on it” thing crossed my mind too.

  45. First and foremost, I am sorry that you had to read such vile things about the safety of your family. I am not sure how I would feel or respond to such a think.

    Second, thank you for posting this. It will help others. I never knew that there were options out there for this sort of thing.

    I hate when people leave negative comments, but I’ve always tried to spin it that they had nothing better to do then try to get under my skin, which means that I got under theirs. This goes far past that though to a whole new level of scary.

    Linda Reply:

    @Kita, Exactly. I would have let it go if it had been benign and merely an opinion, but threatening a child takes it to an entirely different level.

  46. Yikes, I’m in the same boat as Jun, it seems – not checking into Twitter often enough to have seen this. So sorry you have to deal with buttfaces like that. We love you, Bentley, and everything you do on here and you know that if you say the word, you’ve got a whole crew of bloggers to back you up. :) Big hug!

    Linda Reply:

    @angi, Ha- now I’m picturing a posse of badass food bloggers out for justice.

  47. I got one of these comments as well (though not as troubling) with the email charles’dot’bollinger at gmail’dot’com. Both names sound similar to Charles, or Chuck.

    Methinks this is that same trollish DocChuck that has been harrassing SteamyKitchen and Pioneer Woman for a long time. I know he DOES in fact live in Florida, and seems to search around for mentions of famous bloggers and attack the blogs that do the mentioning — it seems he might be googling the peanut butter pie phenomenon. Think of him as the Westboro Baptist Church of internet trolls :(

    I put all of his emails/names/IPs on my block list and carry on.

    It is in NO WAY your fault for mentioning Bentley, and I agree that you shouldn’t feel compelled to stop doing so, for sure! The personal nature of our blogs is what makes them valuable to us and the community — we’re sharing ourselves, and as the peanut butter pies REALLY show, for the most part, that’s a wonderful thing.

    Love to you!

    Linda Reply:

    @Julie @ Willow Bird Baking, I do normally just block, but I’m rethinking that policy. If trolls have retribution to consider, perhaps they won’t comment in the first place.

  48. It is pretty disgusting to target children with harm just because some deranged mind determines that he does not like what you cook. I hope the FBI at least comes close enough to scare the snot right out of this coward. I think most of your respondents are correct: just ignore it. People like this hide behind a computer screen, talk big, but in reality are gutless cowards who wish they had some sort of talent.

    Linda Reply:

    @Kent, That’s exactly what I’m hoping too.

  49. I love you. I know how this feels. Happened to me years ago when my kids were little and before internet. Some loser called me every day with threats to my kids (and they knew the kids names). Went on for months and one day just stopped.

    Hang in there sweetie.

    Linda Reply:

    @Janis, At this point I’m less worried about the personal safety thing, although I can’t even read that comment without getting upset. I am just on a bit of a crusade for justice, you know?

    Janis Reply:

    I do know.

  50. Oh my! I’m so sorry to hear about what happened. I’m so out of touch in Twitter world that I missed what happened to you. Why can’t humans be kind, right? If you don’t have anything nice to say then shut the fuck up. Why do people have to be rude and vocal about it. I say just brush it off and move on.

    I echo what you said about continuing to write about your son, about your family, because your family is a huge part of your life. And your life is a huge part of your blog. Take care, Linda.

    Linda Reply:

    @Jun Belen, Thanks Jun- I really do feel like that would be letting the proverbial “them” win. xx, L

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