Blog etiquette

Some of you may have noticed a post tonight entitled “Grow Up” by Krazy. In this post, Krazy takes offense to a single line in my post “Good Things Come to Those Who Wait“, calls me out by name, accuses me of slander, says I lied about my daughters age (which is ludicrous) and calls me a crappy rider (not so ludicrous, although I have gotten better).  I’m paraphrasing, of course. You might also note that the post has been deleted. I struggled with whether to delete the post, or simply leave it up and respond to the accusations. In the end, I deleted it.

You might think that I deleted this because:

  1. It was critical of me.
  2. It raised the legal issue of slander.
  3. It called me out by name.

My response to this is:

  1. I handle criticism fairly well. I know I’m not the greatest rider, I’ve said so before.
  2. Slander  is  “defamation by oral utterance rather than by writing, pictures, etc.” Libel is “defamation by written or printed words, pictures, or in any form other than by spoken words or gestures.” Since I never mentioned anyone by name, and my daughter has had several “first horses” that haven’t worked out, I doubt that libel could be proven.
  3. It’s really not hard to figure out my name. Let’s see … blackeyebeth. So, probably my first name is Beth. In this post, I tell you the name of my horse and how she did at Buckeye, here I provide the results of Buckeye. Can you figure out my last name? (Hint: It requires knowledge of the Edit –> Find feature.) Be sure to spell it correctly, it’s an-er not -ur.

There are a few reasons why I deleted this post. First, as the owner of this blog I am in some way responsible for the content. I’ve tried to keep it as open as possible – allowing anyone to register and post, and allowing anonymous comments. I certainly don’t want to seem like “Big Brother”.  For the most part, the posts and comments have been positive and reflect well on the users of the blog. However, over 1,000 comments have been blocked. Why, you ask? It’s because they are spam – they want you to buy products to enlarge or reduce body parts, etc. I don’t want that on this blog.

I also don’t want petty, mean-spirited attacks. If you want that, find another forum. I’ve been pretty lenient, but I feel that we all need to adhere to a few general rules of etiquette:

  1. I let you use a pseudonym. Don’t abuse this by pretending you are someone you are not. Krazy registered earlier today as BEB, which is how I sign some of my posts. I changed her username to Krazy (based on her email address) and emailed her today to let her know. I did wonder why she would pick that username …
  2. Be positive. If I’m a crappy rider, let me know how to improve. Don’t just tell me I’m crappy. There is enough negativity in the world, check it at the door.
  3. If you have a general comment on a particular show or class, try not to call people out. This is especially important in junior exhibitor, walk-trot, or youth classes. I don’t want kids to be able to identify negative comments about themselves here. In fact, in the future, if I see such comments I’ll delete them, and if you see them let me know.
  4. In general, if you have a comment on a post, place it in the comments.

I’ll try to keep the open atmosphere here, while moderating the content as best I can. If you see something that is offensive, let me know and I’ll decide whether to delete it. In the future, if the blog grows, we may need to add “trusted users” who can help me moderate.

I appreciate the comments to the “Grow Up” post, which I’ll include in bulk as a comment.  It shows that the vast majority of our community is on the same page.

12 Responses to Blog etiquette

  1. Black Eye Beth says:

    Here are the comments on the original “Grow Up” post (I really appreciate everybody’s support on this issue)

    4 Comment(s)

    1. sorry, but it was innapropriate to post your personal concerns here. you could have privately emailed beth rather than cast a negative image over the whole blog.

    anonymous | Aug 18, 2008 | Reply | Edit

    2. Dear Krazy

    If you felt the need to defend yourself maybe you should have emailed her directly, since there was not a mention of you in the story she wrote. I, as many who view this site had no clue who she was referring to nor did we take it that way. And for the record I would not know you or her if you walked in
    front of me. I just think it is sad what you wrote, your words were harsh.

    bella92290 | Aug 18, 2008 | Reply | Edit

    3. I agree with the above comments. In my opinion, the public post was totally inappropriate. If you have an issue with Beth, you need to address her privately—not air your dirty laundry in public.

    denu220 | Aug 18, 2008 | Reply | Edit

    4. Dear Beth,

    Some of the canine boards I’m on (dog blogs) have moderators who filter letters like the one posted by “krazy.” I don’t know if you’d consider a volunteer moderator, but that person could prevent damaging information from being blabbed publicly here in the future. I know you don’t want this to be a place for
    personal attacks or vendettas, and I feel so bad that you were the subject of one such post. Thank you again for all the wonderful work you do! I’m so happy we have our own Morgan blog, and it’s been an overwhelmingly positive place. If you want more information about the damage control tactics used on
    certain dog blogs, just let me know ;) Take care. Lisa

    denu220 | Aug 18, 2008 | Reply | Edit

  2. Mocha Mom says:

    Well done, Beth. I had no idea that you were protecting us from a lot of spam, and I usually visit 2 or 3 times a day. Thank you for doing that and thank you for keeping the tone of AboveLevel positive.

  3. amie9191 says:

    Beth you rock! Thanks for everything you do on here for the morgan community!

  4. Black Eye Beth says:

    Thanks, guys. My husband and I are trying out best. I really do appreciate all the support we have gotten!

  5. sally says:

    I did not read the comment, but I am glad I did’nt. Those kind of comments is not what abovelevel is about. Keep up the great work you do Beth. The blog is so enjoyable. Its not put together for slander.

  6. jdenzel says:

    I did not see the original post….glad I didn’t and hope my daughter didn’t. This site has been great! And, constructive! Thanks Beth for keeping it that way!

  7. denu220 says:

    Two thumbs up for you, Beth! Don’t let a single slice of negativity taint this wonderful blog or damage your morale. You know how much most of us appreciate all you do!

  8. Mocha Mom says:

    One more thing – YOU ARE NOT A CRAPPY RIDER!! Maybe you were at one point, I don’t know, but I would be hesitant to point that finger at anyone lest they point back at me. Through a lot of hard work you have become a much better rider since I have known you. At this point I would say that you are an excellent rider.

  9. eqluver says:

    thank you beth! :) with all of the negativity on the internet today, we need responsible people to keep the great sites, just what they are, GREAT! i love this site and visit is several times a day because i love how informative, interesting, and sometimes humorous it is!

  10. bella92290 says:

    As you know I saw the post, and I must admit I was shocked and had to read it again,,,,I love this site and you do a fabulous job, just as you did writing what you did about what happened…thank you and keep up the great job!

  11. garishar says:

    I did not see the original post, but calling someone a “crappy rider” and personally attacking them in public comments is simply inappropriate. It makes all of us uncomfortable and is not what we are here for.

  12. hamgirl says:

    I completely agree with the above comments and would like to add that the aforementioned negativity, posted in this forum that is intended to be fun and informative, mirrors what seems to be a growing trend of poor sportsmanship in the show ring. As with any hyper competitive environment, it’s a challenge to remember that FUN is what Morgan horse showing is all about. With trainers amassing celebrity status and judges pandering to this within our small industry, class, sportsmanship and fun all too often go out the window. So parents, encourage your kids to join the 4-H club, Prep their own horses, or take part in youth group activities…in short, let’s all get back to prioritizing fun! Perhaps if we start cultivating teamwork and responsibility around the barn and at a young age, respectful conduct in the show ring will follow and unkind comments like “Krazy’s” will be avoided.

Leave a Reply