Spreading hate has unfortunately become a very large part of the media, so much so that sometimes it almost becomes unavoidable. I have never really had a bad experience with receiving hate or negative comments from something I have posted over the years on social media, but then again, I keep all of my social media accounts private and only really follow people I know or are mutual with. That being said, I have definitely been on the receiving end of rude or hurtful comments either in real life or over text from people I wouldn’t have expected it from, and it definitely is not a good feeling. I typically don’t let these types of comments and scenarios get to me, but I can’t deny that it doesn’t hurt for at least a few minutes after either hearing or reading something negative about yourself.
As this is the first public platform I have ever really had, I decided to keep my comments off for now as I wanted to be able to get comfortable sharing my work and myself with the public without any immediate judgment. I’m sure there are people who have come across my site that didn’t like it or had something negative to say, but had to keep that thought to themselves; as they should have regardless of whether or not I have a comment section or not. It is so easy to keep your thoughts to yourself. We do this every minute of every day, yet it seems like when it comes to the opportunity to express something hateful, many break their silence and jump at the opportunity. Everywhere you look on any media platform you will find hate comments, maybe even more than positive ones in some cases. A main reason as to why people are more inclined to share hate comments is because they can do so anonymously. An in class reading we did this week stated that, “a quarter of Internet users have posted comments anonymously” (Konnikova, 2013). 40% of which were users of ages 18-19 years old. As this article was published in 2013, anyone on social media could confirm that the number of anonymous users has skyrocketed since then. When people can hide behind their screens and a fake username, they are less likely to have to deal with any consequences for their actions, and therefore feel that it is okay to share something hurtful. This is also known as the “online disinhibition effect” (Konnikova, 2013). This is a part of the reason why I have my comments turned off. Although it is unlikely that my website would reach a wide enough audience to receive many comments at all, I didn’t want to risk having to potentially deal with hateful comments because it can be draining, and I didn’t want to end up feeling self-conscious on a platform that I have created to be my own domain.
Overall, if I were to have my comments on and if I do so in the future, here are what some of my community guidelines would look like…
- Personal attacks, along with offensive and distasteful comments will not be tolerated. These comments do not necessarily have to be directed only to me specifically. I would like The Fashion Daily to be a platform for anyone to be able to enjoy visiting, so comments that will hinder this in any way will be unacceptable.
- Treat others online as you would treat them in person. Hate comments will not be appreciated or tolerated in general, but at the end of the day, don’t use anonymity as a means to justify and allow such behaviour.
- Share your opinions, and provide constructive feedback should you have any! If and when I do open my comments up, I would love to hear different opinions and perspectives on some of the topics I post on. With this being said, this does not promote the opportunity to degrade my position or anyone else’s for that matter, and create more of an argument rather than a proper discussion.
- Communicate with respect when engaging in discussion with me or your peers.
- Comments that are not related to the topic of the post or theme of the overall website should not be posted on The Fashion Daily. This can look like spam comments, links to exterior inappropriate sources, etc.
Overall, I have designed The Fashion Daily in a way that has allowed me to not only feel comfortable sharing my content and being myself online, but protect myself as well. For now as I am still navigating what it means to be running a public domain, I would like to keep it this way. That being said, I am always curious as to what viewers of my site are thinking of the content, and would like to hear their feedback and comments one day in the future. Once this is the case, please follow these community guidelines to help keep the site a fun and comfortable space for not only myself, but for everyone visiting as well!
Konnikova, M. (2013). “The Psychology of Online Comments”. The New Yorker.