Is my comment helpful, unhelpful or rude?
As a long time blogger I’m used to folks who both agree and disagree with me, along with some individuals who simply hate me for whatever reason. That’s fine. However, when it comes to comments on a post that discusses youth health, childhood obesity and other taboo topics in America, debates and disagreements are even more common.
I don’t think discussions surrounding childhood obesity or health should be taboo, because talk is an excellent way to create awareness and encourage people to take action.
That said, I also am not on board with people being rude or going beyond debates into trolling or evil behaviors.
If you want to leave a comment here, or at any blog, consider the following first.
Helpful readers do the following when they comment on a post…
- Post valid concerns about a post. It’s everyone’s right to agree or not agree with a post.
- Offer opinions about why they agree or don’t agree with a post or an issue.
- Keep comments general not personal. Calling an idea lame is general. Calling another reader lame is personal.
- Give helpful points and advice related to the topic at hand.
- Leave comments that inspire a meaningful response from others.
- Engage in lively debates with the writer of a post and other readers.
- Back their opinion up with actual facts vs. simply calling names. For example, “You suck, the BMI chart is stupid” is not backing your opinion up in a useful way. “I disagree because such and such research says the BMI chart is incorrect” is a useful comment and backs up what you think.
Unhelpful comments do the following…
- Attack an individual while failing to address the topic at hand.
- Inspire confusion and make you think, “WTF?!” or “What is your point?“
- Don’t contribute anything new to an argument or discussion. They call names or say an idea sucks, but don’t offer a reason why.
- Offer zero back-up. If you can’t say why you disagree, or throw out “facts” from shoddy, spammy sources, it’s non-helpful.
What I consider unacceptable…
This blog discusses some taboo and hard-to-talk-about issues. Disagreements and debates are acceptable. What’s not acceptable are the following sort of comments .
- Comments that scare off other readers.
- Mean comment with no apparent rhyme or reason.
- Personal attacks.
- Comments that are tailor made to hurt people’s feelings.
- Stigmatizing words and phrases. For example, obese and overweight are both actual medical terms and are fine to use. Terms like “Fatty” or “Lazy blimp” are far from medical terms, incredibly mean, 100% non-helpful and unacceptable.
If you leave a comment that features any of the unacceptable qualities above, expect that it will be deleted. What you say does matter. To learn more about harmful terms, read: The Words We Use Matter. Reducing Stigma through Language (pdf).