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Tertia, you're such an asshole.

(Hee hee! I crack myself up.)

Tertia -
I most definitely agree that it is very sad. Sad for the people they hurt and sad for the people doing the hurt as well.

As to your q about whether these folks feel bad - I think it depends. There is a great book called 'The Power of Now' that kind of touches on this. I think that people who launch verbal assaults are walking around in a state of unconsciousness. They lack an awareness of how interconnected we all are. They are unaware of how their words and actions truly impact their own lives. And some are so deeply unconscious that they don't even realize that they are hurting others. I believe a large part of this stems from the individual's own karmic situation and I suspect they carry quite a deal of pain and suffering around with them. Another component is just habit. It is amazing how many awful little things we do and think every day just out of habit (lights are on but nobody's home). And the whole pack scenario is playing to our insecurities. It takes a lot of personal strength to resist the pack. Some have it, others are developing it, and others are lt yrs away. But we've all got to start somewhere.

Is very sad for the person on the receiving end. I only hope and pray that they can break the cycle of karma and not pass on these indecencies. That maybe someday they can find compassion for the wrong-doer. Unfortunately - nobody wins in these situations.

Truthfully I'm not sure anonymity plays too big of a role. I've seen many people put there own names on the most ugly comments. Maybe those are the deeply unconscious folks and it is the people who understand the inappropriateness that hide behind anonymity. If that is the case, they probably, hopefully have some degree of remorse. Either way - is a sad state of affairs.

Well, there is an institution called fandom_wank that singles out blog entries that they find pretentious or stupid - and the blogger then gets hammered by drive-by shooting. This is not anonymous, but people are hiding behind their online persona. I was the victim of one such attack once, and to this day I feel queasy when somebody comments who I don't know. I think it's an expression of the worst of gossiping, helped by the fact that the net conveniently allows you to forget that there are people at the other end of that keyboard ...

Yeah. I agree with the first poster. You're a total asshole.

Mean People Suck

I agree with you. Unfortunately, I think it's just an extension of what happens in real life. I am in a playgroup where stuff like this happens only instead of posting anon it's gossiping behind people's backs. I refuse to participate and can only hope that people will have the same courtesy in return. I don't understand it, but some people really feed off of making people feel bad about themselves, due to insecurity/jealousy, etc. I just figure that someday karma will catch up to them.

I totally agree with LaurieC, it is a sympton of insecurity. I have a thick skin and understand that anon is not worth my time and I really couldn't be bothered with child like activities. My mother called these people "stirrers of the shit pot."

Totally agree in principle about what you're saying. In practice though, I have to say that we're all human and there's a danger in getting too high-minded about this sort of stuff.
Someone compared this to gossiping at the playground. Well, I "try" not to gossip but can't honestly say I never,never gossip.
Yes, we should all try to be better people, but most of us have wicked sides and are works in progress.
Regarding anonymous attacks, yeah, I do think one should have the courage to attach their name to a comment, but I also think it's the nature of the beast. That is what the Internet allows us to do: get our thoughts out there, anonymously if we wish.
Since you didn't go into the details of this particular instance, I'm assuming what was said was something nasty indeed and you're point is well taken.
I just think it gets dangerous when anyone starts to say, "I never do anything to hurt anyone." Come on!

Thank GOODNESS you've got one of the nicest commenters EVER here. Me.
Will be anon because modesty demands it...

Gah, I am totally NOT an anonymous person...can't even disguise it well.

It's about power.
And the ugliness is the only power that the poor bitches have.
And who knows the terrible truths in their lives?
The horrors...the sorrows...
The anonymous posters throw their hideous weight around to be powerful SOMEWHERE because they are NOT strong anywhere else, for whatever reason.

Sad, really.
Keep your head and wits -
they aren't worth the time.

Stand by your friends as I know you will.

I absolutely believe that you shouldn't say anything behind someone's back that you wouldn't say to their face. In this modern technological world, making comments anonymously to someone on a message board is the same thing.

These people were obviously very ill-brought-up.


I totally agree with you. I used to frequent infertility message boards, but a few bouts of real nasty anon attacks made me quite them. One of the worst things is that on a lot of these forums there isn't any signing in required, so a lot of the anons that are doing their worst aren't even infertiles or what have you, they are actually frustrated guys who live in their parents' basements and dabble in the internet. Life is too short to have to deal with small minded nasty pinch-spirited little fuck nutters. I'm sorry if you ran amuck of them. I myself write under a psuedonym (obviously), but I try not to think of it as hiding my identity, but rather trying to be thoughtful with my posts...a kinder, better me, even though I fail (frequently) by being misunderstood.

I hate ugly commenters. . why do they do this?How can they be so mean.They must know its wrong because they go anon.Its online bullying. . .unfortunately there are horrible people out there,jealous bitter and twisted. . thats the only reason I can think why they should be like this.

I agree with the previous poster that it's about power; but also insecurity. It say more about them then it does the person that are nastily commenting on.

I actually feel really sorry for people who leave the nasty comments. To be that awful, imagine how angry and awful they must feel inside. Are they insecure - probably, maybe or are they just incredibly unhappy? Choose to feel sorry for them.

Haven't we all been guilty of this at some point? I mean really. I'd be the biggest fucking hypocrite if I said I wasn't. I think the reason people use Anoyn is so they don't get the shit beaten out of them for saying what they feel. The world would be an easier place if we didn't have to sugar coat everything. Alas, we do. In lies the nature to protect ourselves.
I think if you are going to "lay" it all out there you just have to expect it. I am not saying that it is right to be mean. But if you are being honest and saying how you feel. Its better than blowing smoke up my ass right? RIGHT? Well I think so.

There's hurting to help, and then there's just being hurtful. Telling someone a hard truth is sometimes necessary. I don't think holding back is sugar-coating, sometimes it's just manners, and being human, and remembering that there's a person at the other end. People can be jerks. I choose to be kind anyway.

You're a hypocrite. What you describe is exactly what happens on your very blog when you're not fawned over and agreed with when it comes to whatever overblown bullshit opinion you spout off with, like the one in this post. You let your little sycophants attack others and defend you while you sit back and watch. You're no better than anyone on the internet. In fact, I'd venture to say you're worse than many because of the sick ways you derive your self-worth off the attacking of others. If you can't see it then you're not only a hypocrite but completely delusional as well.

I do love your blog, Tertia. In fact, I'm hooked. But I think you're being more than a tad sanctimonious (sp?) in this case. We ALL hurt people, inadvertently or otherwise. Some people are more mean-spirited, yes, but all these responders who say the anonymous bloggers are insecure, selfish, etc., seem to me a bit self-righteous. I've been described by friends as a goody-two-shoes, but still I know I'm in no position to judge. I've done plenty of mean things in my life. What human hasn't.
More importantly, however, I think you're a really talented writer and thoughtful person, but this whole topics is rather insular, Stepford Wife-ish.

I hate it when I see these anonymous attacks on a comment board, especially because they seem to just escalate and get nastier and nastier. Kind of like fights that break out in a schoolyard: ever see how everyone stands around and cheers the bullies on when they're beating the crap out of some poor kid, even though they all KNOW it's horrible and wrong. Then they'll quickly slink away into anonymity when the authorities show up as if they had nothing to do with it.

I do think anonymity serves a purpose out in blogland from time to time. I do comment anonymously are when I have a story to relate that's very personal and I don't want to be identified; or when I want to offer to support to someone, but I don't want them to know who I am for a personal reason; or when I very respectfully disagree (I always try to be respectful!) with one of the 'hot topics' in life and I don't want to have all the extremists on the other side coming out of the woodwork to annihilate me. However, I never launch hateful, mean-spirited attacks under the guise of anonymity, harkening back to the motto 'If you can't say something nice,....'

I have to agree that you're a bit on your high-horse here, T.

It happens on your very own blog, and you don't always stop it. If you're so turned off, why don't you put an end to such things on your blog?

Oh, man, we all do cheap stuff like that now and again. We're all human. I still cringe whenever I read those stupid Duggar posts over at Julie's. Poor Duggars probably don't know they get the shit kicked out of them there.

Does that mean I don't like your blog, hers, anyone elses where it happens but it's seen as funny because we are all on the "right" side and not on the "wrong" side? Nah. I love your blog and Julie's, etc.

But it feels really fake, this post. People do bad things sometimes (not right, but hey, it happens). You can't really say you can't see how it's done.

Honestly? I've gone anon on infertiliblogs a few times because I had differing opinions than that of the poster and the majority of commenters, and I was aware that people on infertiliblogs can be unwaverinly sanctimonious and self-righteous about their opinions and beliefs (say, about whether infertility treatment should be covered by insurance -- although this was not the issue on which I commented).

I think some people go anon because they want to say something hateful without the fear of reprisal. On the other hand, some people go anon because they know they're going to spout an unpopular opinion and are not interested in being lambasted, trolled or otherwise harassed by people who merely disagree.

I am of two minds on this subject. I mean, IIII have gotten hate email for a comment posted here that wasn't even insulting to Tertia, or anyone else.

It's easy to say, ''speak your mind and speak it openly'' when you know before you speak that hundreds of people will cushion the blow of any criticism. It won't make it sting less, at the end of the day, but I think we can all agree that knowing hundreds of people will stand up for you is the exact same comfort that people who post anon, as a group, find in knowing they can speak up without being bashed forever and having it held over their heads that they spoke against someone.

And to be only honest and not critical, I have to point out that while you say in one breath that you don't care what others think of you or say about you, in the next breath you give paragraphs long dis-claimers at times that mostly dilute the point of whatever you're saying. When it's more, ''but I don't mean to say this...and I don't mean it that way....and I would never, ever hurt anyone.....but here is what I think'', than it is actual opinion or thought, how much veracity is there, really? Like you said, if you think it or feel it: Say it. Don't apologize for it, just say it.

How many times has this played out in different variations?

Blogger: I'm worried about (blogger's kid) because she isn't walking yet.

Fifty followup comments: She's fine! Don't worry! I know someone who didn't walk until they were 15 and now he's a Nobel Prize winner! You're a rock star Mom!

One comment in the middle: You may want her to get checked out by somebody. It'll ease your mind. My kid had the same symptoms, and a little bit of PT helped a lot.

Two hundred followups: How dare you say something's wrong with (blogger's kid!) What horrible driveby assvice! I looked at your flickr pics and your kid's not as cute as (blogger's kid).

Don't get me wrong...I don't troll. But when a blogger posts something, asks "What do you think?" I expect that blogger to provide a mostly 'safe' environment for conversation. Most bloggers are more than happy to watch their fans yell down any disagreers. A goodly handful participate in the pile-on themselves. That's when you'll see "Anon" posting. Normal people trying to converse, but who don't want to be virtually beaten up by the popular girls' gang.

You're pretty good at keeping things civil here, Tertia, so I post as me.

I think it's harder to behave honerably while being anonymous, and you have to think hard about why you're being anonymous before you chose to.

As a kid, a group of us kids once wrote a mean letter to a neighbor (an adult), who we thought was being mean to kids. We were kids, right, so we wrote something like "You are really mean. We don't like you, signed, the neighborhood kids." I've always felt bad about it. Really, if we had something to say to her, we should have said it, not hidden behind our anonymity. It still haunts me.


I am going to make a big leap of faith and say that i believe tertia is only talking about mean and nasty comments not speaking your own opinion. yes I have posted anon when I are sharing some personal facts or giving an opinion that might get me hate mail. But whilst my opinion may differ from other peoples it is not phrased as a direct attack at someone and it does not say "i am right and you are wrong".

Mean Anon comments are those that attack someone personally or say horrible and harsh things to someone who is vunerable. I am sure that there are many of us who remember the horrific decision that cecily was forced to make to save her life. This poor women got bombarded with Anon comments telling her she was evil. That, I believe, is the kind of comments T was talking about.

Now bring on the wine.

Hi Tertia

I belong to the very same forum that you speak of and I thought what you had to say to these anonymous wankers was spot on.

Anybody who is battling infertility will know that walking this road is an upward f*&^ing slog everyday of the week! It is so hard - somedays to try and convince yourself to get out of bed would be deserving of a Nobel Prize!!

I think what you meant to highlight was being mean to people who number 1 - are coming to a SUPPORT forum for SUPPORT and number 2 not being a big enough person to either provide the support or JUST SIMPLY SHUT IT!!

On this particular forum you can choose which postings to read and comment on --- if someone is getting up your nose - move on - read something else!! We are still lucky enough in this country to be able to choose who you are friends with - over the web or not - so just move on!!

What kind of person who finds herself in the distressing position of battling infertility jumps on another infertiles head because of what???? She had a bad day???? Good God! I really hope that the lesson is learnt when the wheel turns!!

Tertia, I love your blog - I loved your book - you are my hero and thank God that there are still people like you around - otherwise my courage in my infertility struggle would seriously dwindle!!

Thank you for not sitting on the bloody fence and for standing up for what you believe in!! After all, Africa's not a place for sissies!!!

Hi, I'm brand new to your blog and know I'm going to enjoy it, because you've posted on a subject that really distresses me. I've watched the same pack behavior in forums, most recently in an adoption forum in which adoptive parents literally attacked a young adoptee for speaking her truth. It was astonishing and shameful. Thanks for speaking out.

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