It is bound to happen. When you express yourself in a public platform you will run into your share of naysayers. Those who disagree with you, your position, or the topic and while it is nice to want to have an engaging professional discourse in this modern day of “keyboard gangsters” things can get nasty. Here are a few tips on how to deal with negative blog comments.
You Are In Control. There are different settings available that you can use to determine how someone can comment on your blog. I do not advise you simply leave your blog open for anyone to comment. At a minimum you can make sure that they supply an email address to comment. Or at maximum you can set it so you have to approve all new comments. You want people to comment on your blog and to engage in discussion, but you want to make sure it is an environment well people feel comfortable enough to voice their opinions without being attacked by others. I moderate comments left by newbies, but once they are a frequent poster they are available to comment without approval. I require that everyone leave an email address to comment that way I am able to address the person privately if there is an issue. I use the WordPress app on my phone to frequently monitor pending comments to keep the discussion going.
Toughen Up. You have to realize that everyone is not going to like what you say. Just because someone disagrees with you does not mean that they do not like you. You do not need to defend yourself against an opposing opinion, less you come off as combative. Remember opinions are like elbows, everyone has them. If there is a topic in which you do not want to endure negative comments you can disable commenting for that post only while leaving it open for other posts.
Maintain Your Integrity. I use a general rule of thumb for negative comments: If the commenter was respectful, refrained from profanity or personal attacks and left a valid email address I will approve their comment. Most of the time these “keyboard gangsters” use fake email addresses, these comments are not approved. Other times they like to bring up off topic discussion which is fine, but they chose to attack another commenter or the person in the post, these comments are not approved. But there are still those who disagree with me completely but they express their opinion respectfully and use their real email, these I always approve. Why? Because I want people to express varying viewpoints that myself or my readers may have not considered.
Remember just because someone questions you does not mean they are attacking you. But by all means if you feel you are being cyber bullied by a keyboard gangster use their IP address to permanently block them from your page. Have you encountered negative comments? How do you deal with it?