I posted the following in and I wanted to save it in my own journal for my reference. (It’s a response to someone who deleted a handful of comments to her post because they were “being mean”.)
2003-03-25 22:27 (link)
You wrote: I won’t delete ths one again but I see your post as mean
There is a difference between saying “You are being mean” and saying “That hurt my feelings”. It is this.
You are being mean is roughly the same as saying, “I had an emotional reaction to your message, but I’m going to sidestep the issue of my emotions being my own and me being responsible for them, and instead place the blame for my reaction solely on you. Regardless of what you think your intentions were, I know your true intentions and they were hurtful.” Er, roughly.
That hurt my feelings is about the same as saying, “I had an emotional reaction to your message. That’s probably my own problem but I wanted to let you know in case you care. You may or may not have intended it the way I understood it, so please let me know if I misunderstand you. If you really did mean to harm me or cause me pain, I would prefer not to have any more contact with you.”
I feel that people should be held responsible for their behavior, but to hold someone else responsible for my feelings is a little unreasonable. The best I can do is share my thoughts and feelings with them and hope they will be receptive… and if not, try to limit my exposure to the irritating stimulus. I may not be able to control my own feelings all the time, but I can certainly control my behavior in reaction to them. Also, I like to assume that people are not intending to hurt me, but that is a personal belief and I know not everyone shares it.
After the original author blocked all comments entirely, cyron posted this which is summarized here:
I just wish to point out that I am disappointed with the actions of poeticsadness. …
For those who missed the action, I am referring to this post. Poeticsadness made her post explaining her thoughts on addiction to MMORPGs such as EQ. It was interesting, and most definitely relevant to the community. However, once people started commenting on the post, she started to remove replies by people that she disagreed with, or found ‘mean’.
I expressed my thoughts on the matter, and I know I for one felt that if you post to a community, you should expect replies and comments you may not agree with. Your own journal is the place where you deserve the respect of people who read it. But in a community, I think that when and if you post, you need to be open to alternative viewpoints. It’s a learning experience for all of us.
Poeticsadness has now apparently disabled comments completely on the post, and all of the previous posts to the entry have been lost to the void. I don’t know about anyone else, but I feel that you have done us all a great wrong Poeticsadness.
I agree. I spent a good deal of time writing my response, which I intended to be helpful and not insulting or anything. If you don’t want to read other people’s comments, you don’t have to. Unfortunately the way LiveJournal is set up, the original author has editorial control over the “mini message board” created by the initial posting. If you don’t want any more replies or are unsatisfied with the ones you got, why not just delete your whole post?
I agree with Cyron that you should exercise whatever control you want in your personal journal, but you should think and act carefully when posting in a forum… the post and whatever replies come after it should be “community property”. People should have the ability to delete their own writing, but deleting someone else’s writing is kind of rude.
The thread in question (much of it) was in my web history cache, so I’m reproducing it here. If anyone has a problem with this, either reply here or write me privately. I believe everyone’s writing is their own and if I have reproduced something YOU wrote that you don’t want echoed here, write me and we’ll discuss it. If you want to remove something someone else wrote, don’t bother writing, keep it to yourself.