Who Let the Trolls Out?
Or, A Reminder About Commenting
I am very grateful to readers who have taken time out from their day to visit and peruse the content of this site. Hopefully, you have found much that is edifying or helpful. There is, of course, always room for improvement on my end.
I have increasingly become aware of those who are infamously known as blog trolls. I’m sure we’ve all heard the common advice not to “feed them.” I regret to say I have been guilty in the past of feeding them myself, not for the sake of debate, but, more often than not because I felt passionately about the topic being discussed.
Recently, the Facebook page for 5ptsalt has come under assault by an army of them. I originally set up the page as an update service to my readers as a simple update page. When a new post was published, the reader would be notified. I admittedly did not give much thought to privacy or commenting concerns in the beginning, and for good reason: it was not intended – and is not now – a place to debate. It is an update page for 5ptsalt. Most readers were kind, considerate and supportive. of course, things can change quickly when you present an issue with which you have a strong stand, and some disagree with your position. I totally understand.
The problem is when we, as Christians, forget that we are to be Christ-like in our deeds, speech and thoughts. Not surprisingly, when someone gets their proverbial golden calf pinched, or strongly disagrees with an issue, tempers can flare and suddenly, being Christ-like takes a back seat to prideful, haughty and hurtful speech. Or worse. Unfortunately, that has happened.
Because of this, I intend to be more strict in moderating comments, and allowing who, if anyone, can post comments. I set up the Facebook update page as a service. One that I intended to be edifying and yes, fun to visit. Commenting should never be seen as a ‘right’ but a privilege.
When anyone visits the 5ptsalt Facebook update page, you are entering a place where you should feel welcome, but blog trolls do not consider that others may not be edified by their abusive trail of spewed and profane verbiage.
Well, I do. When any reader enters that page, it is as if you have entered into my home. It’s my roof you stand under; in this case, are commenting in. I spend valuable time trying to make it edifying. If you were to come into my physical home and show disrespect, to me and my guests, you would no longer be welcomed. Many found that out today.
My readers are my guests. It is my hope that if you have participated in troll-like activity, either here, on the Facebook update page, or on anyone else’s blog or page, that you would consider your behavior in light of Scriptural teaching. Is it Christ-like? Is your speech helpful?
Make no mistake, I am far from perfect, and like you, continually learning every day. It is my prayerful desire that both myself and my readers can grow together, learn from one another and help one another see our mistakes in a Christ-like manner. We are one body, and we are all needed within the body of Christ in the service to the Church. I am not against disagreement by any means. It’s ok to disagree. It can even be helpful. When Christians disagree, there are ways to communicate without coming across like a pregnant warthog.
If you were to enter into my physical home, I would expect courtesy and respect for myself, my property and my family. Online, when you enter my domain, you are entering my home. If you enter in with a condescending attitude, boastful pride, words of destruction, chaos, defamation, insults and threats, you will be led out the door by your digital ears. I will ban you in less than a half of a heartbeat – and pray you deal with your sin problem. When you learn to respect others and can behave like an adult, we can fellowship. Blog trolls don’t like correction and they certainly won’t receive it if left to their own desires. There is too much pride involved.
That being said, I would encourage commenters to consider carefully the following Scripture:
Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. – Romans 12:10
Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. – Colossians 4:6
Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. – Ephesians 4:25
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. – Ephesians 4:29
If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless. – James 1:26