Hitting the delete button

Hit the delete button

(image via here)

Creating a community? Really? But only if I agree with everything you say, post and comment.

Right. Sounds like just the kind of supportive community I want to be a part of. Where differences are valued, troubles are shared and people are supported. Or not.

Earlier this week, I saw a post on a community style site. The owner of the site had snapped a pic of a mum in a shopping centre, doing something not particularly smart, (but possibly at a weak moment, who knows?), captioned it with a PSA and then Instagrammed it, Facebooked it and shared it on Twitter.

I don’t need to go into the details, many of you will have seen it and for those that didn’t, it actually doesn’t matter, it’s not the point of this post.

While I was disappointed in the way the site owner chose to share her displeasure at this other mum, in such a public way, I chose not to comment, but I wasn’t surprised when other mothers did comment.

Some were horrified with the parent in the picture. Others were horrified with the site owner.

Now. Here’s where I get cranky.

I am a big believer in conversation. Let’s have the debate. The owner of the site must have understood that by posting that image, with the caption attached, it would create a certain amount of controversy. If she didn’t realise that, then she possibly shouldn’t be the owner of such a site.

But instead of debate, instead of letting the conversation play out, while supporting her opinion and offering reasons why she felt that way, she simply deleted.

Then she not only deleted the less than positive comments on that post (on FB), but deleted the entire post.

Then she deleted any other disagreeing views on her page.

Then posted a series of posts about how misunderstood she was. And deleted all comments that weren’t 100% supportive.

It was at that point, that I deleted her site from my feed. On all platforms; FB, Twitter and IG.

Apparently I am one of those who don’t GET her. Doesn’t UNDERSTAND her.

Because that’s everyone who didn’t AGREE with her.

Now please don’t get me wrong, I am all for deleting trolling, abusive, hateful, racist, discriminatory or insulting personal comments. No-one deserves that.

But deleting just because people don’t agree with you, no thanks. You are right, I don’t UNDERSTAND you.

A true community is supportive, open to discussion and up for the conversation.

Yes, it’s your page and you can do what you want. Yes, I absolutely agree, you will never please everyone, especially when you have a large following and have a public ‘face’ online.

But you will also never have a real community if you aren’t prepared to be challenged in your views.

My advice, for what it’s worth….be open to the discussion, be prepared to back your opinion and please, please don’t delete just because someone dares to show a dissenting view.

Who knows, you might actually learn something?

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  1. Completely agree Renee….you have to go both ways…..you put yourself out there….not everyone will agree…..
    Katrina Higham recently posted..Construction!My Profile

    • Thanks Kat! We have had conversations about this offline as well, and I always value your view on these things. xx

  2. I must have completely missed this one but I like what you have to say. I put a pic up on Instagram of a Mercedes parked in a parents with prams space, I was careful not to put number-plates or discerning features but perhaps I should have thought twice. It’s always nice to have your views challenged if you can get passed any feelings of being affronted.
    Carli (@tinysavages) recently posted..Disciplining other people’s childrenMy Profile

    • Thanks Carli – I think you are exactly right – it’s getting past the feeling of being affronted.
      And social media moves fast, so sometimes you don’t have time to stop and reflect on it, which means that self preservation reaction kicks in (which Else commented on below) – delete delete delete.


    • I’m interested Carli if you would you have posted the pic if it was a bomb of a car?
      Did the car have a disabled permit on it?
      Or was it a quick judgement of how dare they when they have a Mercedes?

      • Carli @ tiny savages says:

        I would have done the same for any 2-door vehicle

        • I would have like to have known that you checked to see if there was a disabled permit on the car before making a quick judgement that a 2-door car (of any make or model) has no right to park in a pram bay.

          Quick judgements can hurt other people. This action is just like if a child was miss-behaving and a person was to say that the child is being naughty and tell the parents off. The whole picture needs to be taken into account.

          • Carli @ tiny savages says:

            Wow “Gloria” you seem to have me confused for an ar#%hole? My sister sports a disabled vehicle sticker and you don’t even know what photo I’m talking about (unless you are hiding under a different name), so just who is making the quick judgments here?

            Also, don’t think it hasn’t gone unnoticed the reference to disciplining children when my last post was about this exact issue. If you have a problem with me, look away or don’t take it up on someone else’s blog. Rude.

            • No need to get so offended. I never thought you were a ar#%hole. I’m not hiding under any name. It was easy to find the photo you were talking about in instagram – your profile is public and anyone can see the images you post (I hadn’t heard about you before this). I looked for the photo you referred to just out of interest and once I saw the photo and your caption on the photo, as to not pass quick judgement I asked the question.

              I feel sorry for you that you think its others that are being rude.

              Renee, big apologies for the comments on this thread but you know me I could not reply when someone calls me rude.

              • Hey lovely ladies – I am so sorry, and no need to apologise, either of you – conversations are all good here, even if sometimes a tad heated 😉

                Knowing both of you, I KNOW that neither of you are rude, in fact both of you are incredibly thoughtful, lovely people, who go out of your ways to help others and be respectful xx

              • Carli @ tiny savages says:

                I guess it’s hard not to feel offended when you make a comment suggesting you could have thought twice only for someone to check out your photo & accuse you of not looking for a disabled sticker or hating on expensive cars. For someone who doesn’t know me it felt a little excessive.

  3. I completely missed this as well, must say Im intrigued though! Agree 100% without question.
    Leanne @ Uber Simplicity recently posted..Stuck in a Place Between Zero & OneMy Profile

  4. Hiya,
    long time reader, first time commenter – I love your blog!
    I don’t know the details of the particular situation you are talking about, but I can see both sides of this. Maybe the site owner went on a deleting spree because she was feeling shame – it is such a powerful emotion that can make people do weird things. It’s a pretty normal human response to distress to try to “make it go away”. I guess she can’t handle the kind of criticism that she recieved. She destroyed the post instead of having it destroy her. She maybe she has some control issues that will constrain community development on her blog, but I don’ t think that she is necessarily morally wrong, actually she has a responsibility to care for herself. My sense is that she may have learnt something along the lines of what you are expressing even if, publically, she is coming out swinging in order to save face. I mean, we can’t know, but it’s possible…?

    • Thanks so much for taking the time to post Else.
      I do think that you are probably right, and I certainly don’t this she did either of them in a malicious manner (either the first post or the subsequent handling of comments), but more as you suggest, without thinking. And having seen this happen before on other sites, I think you are probably spot on about the protection instinct.

      But what concerns me most is that she claims to run a professional site and this reaction is not professional. And Social Media Crisis management 101 is do not delete. Carefully consider your posts before making them and have a plan in place should it not be perceived well. Maybe I look at it too much like a Social Media case study, as I work in that space….

      At the end of the day though, your final comment about her having learnt something is spot on. I am sure that she will be more careful in what she posts, and how she manages it, in the future.

      Thank you again – it’s great to see a different side!

  5. I missed that post and the ensuing drama, but can say from what you’ve written – wow! I think that we’re each entitled to our opinion and as long as that is expressed respectfully there should not be an issue with stating a different point of view. Like you say, it’s a chance to learn something and see how someone else feels. It’s a shame for those who took the time to read and comment to be dismissed and excluded for not being sheep.
    Natalie recently posted..I’m on a horseMy Profile

  6. Meredith Kain says:

    I completely disagree with you 🙂

  7. Well said Renee,
    Community means getting messy with people stuff!!
    Hannah recently posted..In a China ShopMy Profile

  8. This is exactly why I hesitate to post anything overly controversial or potentially offensive. If you are going to put yourself (or some complete stranger!) out there, you have to be willing to accept that not every one is going to feel the same or believe the same. If you aren’t open to different opinions on a subject then maybe you should keep yours to yourself. Great post x
    Nee Say recently posted..Parental SupervisionMy Profile

    • Thanks Nee, it worries me too – in fact I dreamed about this post last night (!), worried it was too controversial.
      But, I am also conscious that to be authentic, some of the opinions I share, won’t be popular with everyone!
      I am open for the debate though – always curious to find out how someone forms their view. And I think if you post something in that frame, open to debate and discussion, then it becomes easier to start the conversation.
      So yes, I agree, if you aren’t up for the debate, maybe don’t share it!

  9. Wow you have taken words out of my mouth. Didn’t see the post. But I have been wanting to do a post similar because of something that was done, was one of the reasons I started my blog!

    • Thanks Wendy – it seems as though it’s a more common thing than I realised… both frustrating and sad really.
      Will make sure I pop over and check out your blog!

  10. While I didn’t see this particular incident, I have seen many before.

    So many people let these ego maniacs get away with this behavior and fawn at them in the hopes of being noticed. Who wants to be noticed by a moron like that?

    BRAVO girl BRAVO.
    kelley @ magnetoboldtoo recently posted..Things that are awesome part whatever…My Profile

  11. It’s funny that I stumbled across this post today Renee – a very similar incident happened this week and I found myself feeling quite cross at the blogger for deleting all comments that didn’t agree with her.
    I think if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen! 🙂
    Amanda @ Cooker and a Looker recently posted..why saffron is so expensive & why growing saffron is like having a high-maintenance girlfriendMy Profile

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