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Personal attacks

Posted Thursday, January 10, 2008, at 10:23 PM


As I've mentioned in this blog previously my name and usually my ugly mug has been over practically everything I've ever had to say in the Times-Gazette or other media outlets.

I can understand someone remaining anonymous when making comments on a situation or condition locally, statewide, nationally or internationally.

How do you feel about anonymity when it comes to making personal attacks against someone?

Have you ever been the victim of such an attack?

Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]


Good question and I can answer this, but I have said previously, I am really a Monkey, I traded in my good looks for the ability to type.

But seriously, I use anonymity because I really don't want people calling me or stopping me on the street over my point of view. It also has to do with the business standpoint, as I cater to almost all types of businesses. I really don't need people to judge me on my point of view instead of the quality of my services.

Personal attacks, I am not sure if you mean against someones character or basically calling someone names etc. If so, I been a victim and done it, but I, in turn, offered the person to meet me face to face in a safe environment to work out the differences beforehand. I think it totally depends on the situation and what the attack is based on. If it is substantiated then it is no problem, but if it just full out malicious rantings then its uncalled for.

-- Posted by Evil Monkey on Thu, Jan 10, 2008, at 11:25 PM

Anonymity seems seems to change many people. For some it gives them the security to say what they really think. I too deal with the public and it helps temper my words. It is not unusual for me to write a letter and then edit it three or four times to remove as much emotion or unneeded comments before sending it.

I have seen customers chew my office personnel a new ear about something, but when I show up on their door they are as nice as they can be. It is not me, it is the difference of dealing with someone face to face.

You will hear this when CB radios are used where no one knows who you are. The anonymity of blogs allows people to be at their the worst as well.

-- Posted by stevemills on Fri, Jan 11, 2008, at 5:13 AM


-- Posted by Brian Mosely on Fri, Jan 11, 2008, at 5:58 AM

I guess it just allows some to be complete cowards. As for me, well you can figure out my name and for the smart ppl on here you could even figure out where I work *big shocker*. I am me 24/7, all the time. I have opinions and feelings and I stand behind them. If someone points out a better one then you may see me change my mind but I am always me. I have no problem with everyone knowing WHO I am. I am just that secure of a person. That is something that was embedded in me from the time I could hear and speak. Say what you mean and mean what you say.

-- Posted by LauraSFT on Fri, Jan 11, 2008, at 8:07 AM

I worked in Customer Service at Dell Computer and had to deal with some of the worst people ever! I had a man tell me where I could shove a printer and it was not where you would think.... Its interesting how brave a phone line can make a person!

-- Posted by Disgusted on Fri, Jan 11, 2008, at 8:28 AM

As I said in another entry, Bo, I would love to see it become a requirement that you log on under your actual name. That would prevent a lot of the cheap shots thrown at good people like Mrs. Bobo.

-- Posted by Mike Molder on Fri, Jan 11, 2008, at 9:37 AM

I'm really not Disgusted all the time, I just was the day I signed up!

-- Posted by Disgusted on Fri, Jan 11, 2008, at 10:59 AM


-- Posted by LauraSFT on Fri, Jan 11, 2008, at 11:39 AM

I can see both sides.

Ben Franklin was "assisted" by pseudonyms such as Silence Dogood,Alice Addertongue,Richard Saunders,Polly Baker and Benevolus.

Jack the Ripper didn't give his real name and address,either.

Sometimes,innocent people can be put at risk if a writer's identity is known.

Sometimes,people would let their opinion of individuals color how they judged the content of their writing.

Should people be able to retain privacy and speak freely without muzzling themselves? Yes.

Should they be able to make unfair,unsubstantiated and unpleasant remarks without taking responsibility for their statements? No.

Right now,we have a compromise.

We can post comments without publishing our names and addresses yet our identities and contact information are known.

(Or,at least,the paper knows who we claim to be-just as they would if we gave more data.)

We could ask ourselves if what we say is true,necessary and kind.

If it passes those three tests,the readers can determine whether it's interesting.

-- Posted by quantumcat on Fri, Jan 11, 2008, at 1:26 PM


The day that is becomes a requirement for the real name to be posted is the day this blog dies.

-- Posted by Evil Monkey on Fri, Jan 11, 2008, at 7:26 PM

This really has nothing to do with this blog but I was wondering if any of you frequent bloggers ever notice the date on the bottom of the comments you send. Everytime I send one it has a really crazy date on it.....it says Wed. Dec. 31, 1969 at 6:00 PM. Is that what they all show? I don't think that this was even going on then, blogging, I mean.

-- Posted by jkelley on Fri, Jan 11, 2008, at 8:22 PM


That is interesting because until you pointed that out, I did not notice but you are correct. My date says the same!

-- Posted by evil camel on Sat, Jan 12, 2008, at 12:06 AM

I noticed that also, jkelley.

I'm with evil monkey. I think we can get more facts and opinions on things being anonomyous which is the whole point. I like to see the other side of things which may require someone pointing out nasty but revelant info that I may never have encountered or thought about.

So, I'm a coward. But an informed one.

-- Posted by mmp84 on Sat, Jan 12, 2008, at 11:50 AM

Evil Monkey, I often agree with your comments and think you are good for the T-G blog site.

I agree anonymity is important in any blog site and without it a blog could die.

If those of us using it don't take steps to keep it from turning into violent, unbridled personal attacks with little regard for true facts it would and should slowly die.

For example, I often wish President Bush was muzzled and I don't care for some things Governor Bredesen is doing this term

At the same time, I think some big money out-of-town developers looking only at their financial gains and caring nothing about our future are heard morely clearly than us by some of our elected and appointed officials...but I don't have enough facts to name which elected or appointed officials

How would you feel is someone(s) unleashed poisonous, false attacks on you or your family?

Some restraint is necessary and it is up to us to exercise those restraints.

At least that is my opinion.

-- Posted by bomelson on Sat, Jan 12, 2008, at 3:14 PM

I don't think it's completely necessary to use your real name on the blogs... For security purposes it is sometimes more convenient to use names that many people wouldn't associate with you. I personally, am like Laura, I have no reason to hide behind a random name. I have alternative views and believe the world is a great place, but only if we open our minds and see it as a better place. I have no problem with some people arguing back and forth for most of it is civil and fitting for this day and age. I'd rather someone speak up, under conditions of anonymity then remain silent like the status quo.

-- Posted by darrick_04 on Sat, Jan 12, 2008, at 4:02 PM

Do away with blogs and you won't have to worry about it. I believe I read on an earlier one that the problem was that Shelbyville was too small and it's too easy for people to make personal attacks--especially if they think they know more facts than they actually do. If you read some on DNJ or the Tennessean, it doesn't seem to be that way. I don't want to make myself known because my family is embarassed enough about my big mouth.

-- Posted by nellie on Sat, Jan 12, 2008, at 5:33 PM

I could care less if someone is anonymous or uses part of their name or their full name. I read their opinion and it's just that an opinion. If I like it or don't like it I can comment or just forget it.

As for personal attacks well no I don't think that's fair, but I also don't think the blogs should be done away with as nellie says they should. If something bothers me that much I just go to another blog, story or website.

I also have been on The Tennessean articles website and see far more posts that are disrespectful towards other posters and those being written about in stories or blogs.

Maybe I've missed these violent, unbridled personal attacks in some story or blog, but I just don't think it's that bad on the T-G blogs. If it's such a problem, then why not put something in the TOS and ban or moderate those folks that don't follow the TOS rules.

I also agree that when some people have anonymity, then more facts or opinions are written about.

Finally as Laura stated about herself and as most of you that have seen my replies know, I always sign with my first name and the username kind of makes me known to many other folks in this area, but that's just my choice. I don't hold it against anyone that chooses to not do this, nor do I discount their opinions.


-- Posted by HorseGentler on Sat, Jan 12, 2008, at 9:34 PM

Hey! I can easily admit when I may be wrong. Been there, done that.

The fact that my name and picture was over my opinions and comments for so many years on so many topics should apply only to me.

I've never told others how they should think and I won't do it now.

Sorry about that.

-- Posted by bomelson on Sun, Jan 13, 2008, at 3:47 PM

"I also have been on The Tennessean articles website and see far more posts that are disrespectful towards other posters and those being written about in stories or blogs...."


-- Posted by HorseGentler on Sat, Jan 12, 2008, at 9:34 PM

The difference is that on the blogs outside Bedford County, the posters don't usually claim to know each other. On the T-G blogs and comments made to stories, posters are making specific attacks about people they say they know!

And I have quit reading and commenting as much--not only the blogs--but the whole paper in general because I am disgusted with it.

-- Posted by nellie on Wed, Jan 16, 2008, at 5:33 PM

Whoa nellie! Sorry I just had to say it.

Well I have to disagree with you again. I don't personally know any of the folks posting on the Tennessean, but I have read many of the posts, where the posters obviously know one another and the others profession. Some of the Tennessean posts by these people I speak of are friendly at times and down right nasty at others.

I don't personally know many people that post on the T-G blogs. Only two that I can think of off the top of my head...however there may be more, but I just don't know, due to not everyone uses part or all of their name.

If the comments from the blogs and stories disgust you, then by all means

take a break or stop reading them at all. I have at times been aggravated with the way the T-G blogs were going and I actually posted about it in the past explaining why I had not been posting very much.

However I don't think that it would be right to stop the blogs or story comments just because someone does not like the comments being posted. After all no one is twisting anyone's arm to click on the website and read them.



-- Posted by HorseGentler on Wed, Jan 16, 2008, at 6:01 PM

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Bo Melson is a retired sports and police beat editor of the Times-Gazette. He passed away November 15, 2014, at age 81.
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