Thursday, October 18, 2012

Sometimes Anonymous Commenters Keep Us Honest

I have deleted an earlier post today because an anonymous commenter quite rightly took me to task for it.  I had been really ticked off about a comment on one of my posts that had nothing to do with knitting or my post, but was just a promotion for the commenter's own blog, which is irritating enough, but the blog had nothing whatsoever to do with knitting.  What very understandably chapped my anonymous commenter is that I complained that it was a religious blog.  I can SO understand why that would offend someone, and I would like to apologize to her directly, but that's the problem with anonymous comments--I can't.  So, here I am.  I am apologizing to the knitting internet at large--she was right, I was absolutely wrong, and I wish I could set it straight if I could. 

She correctly asked me if I would have been so angry if it would have been a blog about writing, knitting, another type of religion, or by a liberal, and I would say knitting, no.  Anything else that is divisive--YES.   This is a KNITTING blog.  The knitting world is my safe-haven.  Now that we're only weeks away from the election, Facebook and Pinterest have become only about divisiveness.  Everything else on the internet seems to be about division--this religion over that religion, this political belief over that one.  Here in the knitting world we're not liberals or conservatives, Mormons or Catholics or Muslims or whatever.  We're just knitters.  So, do I still find it offensive that someone would try to promote a religious blog via my knitting blog?  Yes--it's inappropriate.  Call me old-fashioned, but I believe everyone has to find his or her own way to a spiritual belief--or lack of one--and I hate proselytizing  as much as I hate door-to-door salespeople and telemarketers and advertisements.  What I think and believe is up to me, and I do not appreciate anyone pestering me or trying to influence me, and for it to happen on my KNITTING blog was my final straw.  I did NOT mean to insult anyone's religion or beliefs, but I can absolutely understand that is how I came across.

So, Dear Anonymous,

You were right, I was wrong, and I truly apologize. 


Mereknits said...

I think you amazing to post this, and I am sure Anonymous will appreciate it, I however disagree a tiny bit. Not that it matters what I think, but I feel your blog is your blog. You can say what you want or promote a blog or two that you appreciate. I don't tend to say a lot about my beliefs about religion or politics on my blog, although I have very strong feelings about both. On my blog if I want to, I should be able to say what I want without someone calling me out on it. It is after all my blog even though it is mostly about playing with yarn. Maybe you would lose some followers, or risk a negative comment here and there, but remember your blog is yours, your beliefs are yours, and what you choose to write about is up to you!!!!!
Hugs to you,

RobinH said...

For me, people promoting their own blogs by spamming other people's comments are pretty much in the same category as people who try to plant an advertising sign on my lawn, or knock on my door to sell me something. It's a lot different if someone who is an actual reader comments and posts a link to something they might think I'd be interested in, religious or not.

But I think religious proselytizers really are more offensive than commercial salespeople, but the commercial sort are trying to sell a product that you will presumably find useful while the subtext for the religious one is 'I don't care what you believe--whatever it is is wrong! wrong! wrong!--and I'm right so you should listen to me.' And religious beliefs are very private and important so it's hard not to take that as a personal attack.

(And on a side neighborhood has wandering Baptists. Is that normal?)

Barbara from Nova Scotia said...

I tend to agree with both Meredith and Robin. Like everyone else, I have strong opinions about religion but I don't go door to door, or blog to blog, selling, promoting, or trying to convert others to my viewpoint. You are very selfless to apologize to Annonymous, but in my opinion, you shouldn't have to apologize for your opinions on your own blog. That's like having to apologize for expressing an opinion in your home and your neighbour objects to it. To change the subject, has any new yarn made it into your home?

Gaidig said...

I don't know if you updated the previous post, but when I read it, I thought it was quite fair, and that you made it clear why you were annoyed. Frankly, I also think that people who don't at least sign with a handle of some sort, even if there's no link to a blog or profile or whatever - people who comment completely anonymously - don't generally deserve to be taken seriously. I commend you for making it clear that you are a tolerant person, and clarifying what is appropriate to link to on your blog. So far as it goes, I completely agree with you that the only kind of random blog promotion that is appropriate is one that is topical - that is, knitting or some other crafting that you talk about on this blog. For example, I think it would not be inappropriate if you were talking about all of the canning you are doing, and I linked to the green tomato chutney recipe I am canning. Additionally, I do think that a random link is a bit more upsetting if it goes to an evangelical religious site for the reasons RobinH outlined. Don't feel bad!