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Let’s Clear Up Our Commenting Policy

Posted in Uncategorized

I don’t generally get involved in comments here on the blog. I read some of them, but over the years I’ve sort of begun to think of the comment section as a place where you guys can talk to each other about what I wrote. Sometimes, I wade in, other times I think, “You know, I’m going to mind my own business today.”

That’s why when I saw comments pop up on a five-year-old post today, I kind of laughed and didn’t look into them. It’s a post that had an argument going on in the comments that I guess started with someone feeling another commenter was too bitchy and critical (but not me, which is astounding) and every year, another reply or something would show up on that post or in the thread. And again, if people are like, “Well, you’re being a bitch!” “No, Jenny is a bitch!” I feel like maybe they don’t necessarily want me to be involved in that conversation? So, I never really kept up on it.

Today, Tez, my amazing comment moderator (who also caught Lani Sarem up to shenanigans on this here blog), contacted me to tell me that something weird was up. The new comments on that five-year-old post? Were all from the same ISP address, but using names of people who had been arguing in the thread to make it appear as though they retracted their earlier comments.

Cecily Strong as the Drunk Girl You Wish You Hadn't Started A Conversation With on Saturday Night Live saying, "And like, why? And like, don't?

I can’t believe I even need to say this, but it is never acceptable to use the names of other commenters so that you can leave comments that appear to be from them in agreement with you:

A photo with email address obscured, duplicate ISPs revealed under several different names. The comments all say things like, "I was wrong" or "I agree with you 100%" and in one case, something about feeling bad because a commenter is dying.

These are not the words of the people who left the original comments. The names are the same, but the ISPs and redacted email addresses all match and belong to another commenter who decided to wade into a five-year-old argument just to make it appear as though people were confessing to being sexist trolls and begging for forgiveness from the person they were originally arguing with. Perhaps most upsetting are the comments that read:

I feel terribl now that she is dying. We shouldnt have been so mean to her.

and

Guys. I was the biggest jerk of all here. None of what you did can even compare with how I treated her. I just got another text from her BF. She’s doing a little better now, but they’re afraid of a relapse.

There was no mention anywhere in these threads or anywhere else about anyone being near death or relapse, but this person wrote it as some kind of weird comment fanfiction, pretending to be other people begging for the forgiveness of a commenter they got into a scrape with five years ago?

What the hell were you thinking, person who did this? What on Earth made you think this would ever be okay? Do you realize how creepy your behavior is? Pretending to be someone else so you can apologize to another commenter on someone else’s behalf and trying to stir up sympathy with vague threats of suicide or O.D.? All so you can win a five-year-old argument by pretending to be other people responding to you?

What the fuck is your problem?!

At present, all of this person’s comments have been removed, both under the fake names and the one they had been using regularly to comment on posts. Their ISP has been blocked and they are no longer welcome to comment on this site.

Again, I can’t believe I have to say this but this kind of behavior isn’t okay. It’s weird. It’s ghoulish. And it appears freakishly obsessive, considering the age of the original posts. Tez does pay attention to these things, she does bring it to me when weird shit happens, and people do get blocked.

I guess I should have clearly stated this “don’t talk to yourself and insinuate that commenters were so mean to someone five years ago that it’s killing her now” rule a long time ago. But here the fuck we are.

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13 Comments

  1. Dove
    Dove

    lol, what? That’s weird on so many levels…

    Jenny, you could pretend to be that person, who is now apologizing to the people whom they imitated! (Haha, it’d be amusing but also wrong…) Anyway, I’m glad your moderator is hard at work! I wasn’t affected but thank you, Tez. It’s good to know you’re on top of things. 🙂

    February 13, 2019
    |Reply
    • Tez Miller
      Tez Miller

      You’re very welcome, Dove 🙂

      February 14, 2019
      |Reply
  2. Bunny
    Bunny

    Oh . . . eaugh. Euuuuw. That makes me feel icky on so many levels. That right there is some uncanny BS. Eauuuugh. Like . . . why? Why would you do that? Does it make you feel good? What even? Do you take joy in that? Pbbblllll. I don’t even have the letters to express the uncomfortableness I feel at this. It’s like . . . like . . . oh, the wordlessness! I really have nothing to compare this to.

    And bringing in /suicide/? Really?? That is truly messed up. Good job catching it.

    February 13, 2019
    |Reply
  3. Tez Miller
    Tez Miller

    Tez (moderator) here, just confirming some things.

    I do daily skim-reads of comments at TroutNation, just to make sure no spam has come through. Though I see your email addresses and ISPs, I don’t do anything with that information – except in circumstances such as this. (OK, and the “vegasperformer”.)

    If I’m slow to pick up oddities like this, feel free to contact me. (I’m on Twitter and Facebook, and email.)

    February 14, 2019
    |Reply
  4. Lovi
    Lovi

    Oh my god. That is…..INSANE. it is really good you have a vigilant moderator checking your comments. Thanks Tez!

    February 14, 2019
    |Reply
    • Tez Miller
      Tez Miller

      You’re welcome, Lovi 🙂

      February 14, 2019
      |Reply
  5. Gretel
    Gretel

    If this person has the compulsive need to go back to a discussion that is five freaking years old in order to play the victim by emotionally manipulating people and blaming them for her death with fake comments by assuming other people’s identities then I can safely say: this person is a narcissist and abuses other people daily.
    Because this is never a single instance, it’s always a pattern. Always a system of abuse and toxicity. And I dearly hope that not many people belong to their social circle because this is abhorrent abuse.

    Good to know there’s a moderator. :3

    February 14, 2019
    |Reply
  6. Anon
    Anon

    Creepy, but also sad. I feel sad for that person.

    February 14, 2019
    |Reply
  7. Failed Indie
    Failed Indie

    I’m gonna tell myself it’s machine-generated spam.

    People are weird, though. I had an ex who’d pop up every few years on social media pretending to be a third party asking about himself (whatever happened to Obnoxiothan, what’s he up to I wonder???) I don’t care what emotional need that’s supposed to meet. Blocked.

    February 14, 2019
    |Reply
  8. Amanda
    Amanda

    This is almost like reading Stephen King’s Pet Sematary.

    February 14, 2019
    |Reply
    • Amanda
      Amanda

      Whoops, sorry, I was going to comment on the Accidental Cat post. Somehow I commented on this post instead. A real accident, I promise!

      February 14, 2019
      |Reply
      • Anon
        Anon

        Yet somehow appropriate! lol

        February 15, 2019
        |Reply
  9. Casey
    Casey

    As the original flavor commenter who I’m afraid started that fight in the first place, I’d first of all like to apologize to Jenny for making you (her? I’m not sure who’s reading this so it’s getting muddled and weird) go through that. I suspected that they were all the same person right around when they started using my name, but I really appreciate having it confirmed; there was a corner of my mind that was genuinely worried I’d accidentally really ruined someone’s life. This blog has the best commenting community I’ve ever come across, and the thought that I’d played any part in making it toxic for anyone was really weighing on me. Thank you for being awesome, as usual. 🙂

    February 17, 2019
    |Reply

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