In a closed blogging group, I was asked what is the one thing that puts me off about blogging? Well, honestly, there’s more than one thing, but the top of the list happens to be shaming of other people.

I’ve never really subscribed to the ‘name and shame’ model of setting things right. It’s never productive, doesn’t come from the right intentions and hurts more people than I care to count. Yet, it’s one of the few things that seems fairly rampant in blogging circles today. A blogger has a misunderstanding with a fellow blogger and the easiest thing to do seems to be to take to the blog to air his/her views on the person. The vitriol in such posts is frankly alarming and rather disturbing.

The only thing which seems marginally worse than airing your views on a specific individual is doing the same thing without naming the person. That just raises all sorts of doubts and the question: Wait, is it me that’s being spoken about?

Of course I’ve had my share of unpleasantness or dissonance of opinion. In fact, I have been the target of such posts too. It’s normal, even healthy, to have disagreements. If I have a beef with someone, reaching out to them directly by e-mail, text or a phone call is my way of sorting things out.

The one time I took to the blog to air my anger, it left me with a very bad taste and I took the post down a day after it was published.

I get that you’re angry, injured, completely put off by a person’s behaviour, but should you let that go up on permanent record on your blog or even your social media presence?

What do you feel?

Do you think confrontation in private is better?

Would you take to your blog to rant about someone?


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43 thoughts on “Name & Shame- What's your motive? #MicroblogMondays

  1. Excellent blog! Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?

    I’m planning to start my own blog soon but I’m a little lost on everything.
    Would you propose starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many options out there that
    I’m completely overwhelmed .. Any ideas? Thanks!

  2. Once you atart gaining readership, I feel people might give some opinion about your thoughts. Washing dirty linen in public is not a good thing, but speaking frankly is a quality. Both shouldn’t be mixed

  3. You are right…I have seen this too…its not really a good idea to name and shame others…that’s not what blogging is all about…as for me I want to keep my blog to spread positive vibes to anyone who would visit to read…we already have lots of bad things happening around us and let us as bloggers at least try to give some happy notes and vibes to all those who come to read us 🙂

  4. Would I use my blog to publicly shame someone? Absolutely not! It doesn’t matter what they have done, or how hurt, upset, humiliated I feel. My blog is my happy place, and I don’t ever want to do anything to jeopardize that. Plus, this whole naming/shaming thing, doesn’t solve anything anyway. Even if the person venting out is the wronged party, these tactics are just plan cyber bullying.

  5. I’ve unfriended real life friends after they’ve taken their private squabbles to public places like blogs, bulletin boards, and email loops. I hate yet to see anything positive come out of the naming & shaming thing. I think if more people took the time to think about their motive for posting something, there would be much less negativity on the ‘net. Needless to say, I’m not holding my breath, waiting for that to happen… *grin*

    1. Sigh, I know what you mean, Traci. I have had to cul my friend list too. Then again, I think, if that’s the kind of friendship I had, what use was it anyway? I understand the one-off rant and I can forgive those but not repeated ones which make me see red!

  6. NO to the naming-shaming game. Yes to the privately sorting out. Except, sometimes the other party just doesn’t want to, in which case it is best to let go and move on. Then there are those people who keep people hanging by blowing hot and blowing cold, expecting them to accept any behavior they dole out.

    NO again to using my blog to diss someone – very cheap and very mean. Makes one wonder if that’s all the relationship meant to that person!

    Hehehe. Great quickie post Shailaja! Very thought provoking. And may it provoke those who have even the remote intention of ranting about someone on their blog to abstain.

    ♥ Love ya!

    1. Yes, we have discussed this at length, haven’t we? <3

      I finally realised something, both from the comments here and from my experience of this in the past- you cannot change people. You can only hope that people will read something like this and perhaps understand that there are other ways to sort out issues than naming and shaming. If they take it and apply it, more power to them.

      Love ya more, Vids <3

  7. Blogging about some gripe you have about another makes me uncomfortable. I would rather deal with it offline or through private messages. Publicly humiliating someone in my view is immature.

  8. I’m actually better with the person not naming the person. Then it truly feels like venting and not an attempt to upset another human. But yeah, problems should be dealt with offline unless the problem involves a chunk of a community. For instance, if the conversation is more productive to have online. But again, conversation, not venting.

  9. In the past, I was known to write the odd post when I was pissed with my husband. Mainly because he wasn’t listening to me to begin with. But my blog is anonymous, so I can’t say I ever named or blamed anyone.

  10. I agree Shailaja. While I do understand that the whole point of having a blog is to talk about things that make you happy/sad/angry but naming (or implying) a single person is not the thing to do. This is quite like real life – only this is worse because it is in writing and very very public. And it shall remain there for all time to come to be read by whoever pleases to do so. Besides, the fewer negative vibes we let out into the universe the better, isn’t it?

    1. I wholeheartedly agree with you here, Tulika. You do recall that there were times when I felt upset and shared my frustration with you in private. That’s healthy and helps put things in perspective. Completely in tune with the concept of sending out fewer negative vibes into the world.

  11. Hmmm well well wellll. . What do I say.. I have done that but then I have my own reasons. . It so happened that a fellow well know blogger had put somethig which I felt was very derogatory .. and beleive it or not I thought this person was a friend. So I put a comment on the article saying what I felt.. ..All floods opened in the end to shut this person I had to put a article up.?

    I don’t feel ashamed about it at all.. I strongly believed in what I said.. I did what I did in defence of some good people..what I find worse then name and shame is people who call you friend and then don’t have the guts to stand by those friends ..

    Blogging as I mentioned in previous comments has become a murky world.. people are two faced ..Hardly many who will do what they write.. :)..

    1. I am not so sure, Bikram. I understand feeling offended and being upset. But did the act of putting up an article on your blog in rebuttal make you actually feel better or feel vindicated? They are two very different things, you know. It is great to have a set of beliefs and stand by what you say, but to break it down into naming and shaming another person, well, that just means we aren’t better than the other person, isn’t it?

      As for people who call you ‘friend’ and then act in another way, that just means that their friendship is not very firm. But, does it deserve naming and shaming? Not entirely sure about that.

      1. Well I definitely felt better because people who were defining this person as a good human being etc etc suddenly found the other side tooo..

        I guess we all have different views or different ways to tackle a situation or maybe as you say I am not a better person myself..

        1. I am not saying you are not a good/better person. I merely asked if you examined the motive behind the post. Yes, people will know about this person, but won’t they know it anyway from the way the person writes about another individual?

  12. I don’t understand why would anyone want to do this sort of naming and shaming thing, and that too over petty disagreements. I agree with you, I too wouldn’t look upon it kindly if someone were to do that to me.

    Having said that, I do agree with your reader & commentator, Beaton that bloggers shouldn’t shy away from taking on some serious issues if they are so inclined to do that. But there again, we have to keepn on learning how to present and engage in discussions on these difficult topics.

    In my years of online discussion experience (and yes I say “discussions” because I have been an active discussant in some online groups in the past, debating serious controversial issues), I have learnt that either you participate in a discussion knowing fully well that your view – no matter how right it feels to you – will be challenged, questioned, debated, contradicted, discared etc. or you simply stay out. If you choose the former, then be prepared for the challenge.

    But of course, the pre-requisite is that you must know how to stick to the issue, the topic at hand and not make the debate about the person presenting the view. Discussion and debate is an art. And it serves a great purpose in our intellectual journeys. But we should also know how to do it!

    People write informed articles, others write rebuttal of those articles, that’s how the discourse grows. It happens in academia, it happens in serious journalism, it happens in literary criticism, everywhere. Shaming the other person is not the way to do it. To take on the issue or topic at hand and present the alternative side(s) to the issue, in a calm and objective voice, is the way to do it. It is high time bloggers learn how to do it if they want to be taken as serious writers. Too bad that bloggers would do this kind of petty quarreling or airing of personal grievances through their little spaces.

    Sorry for this rambling, a not-so-micro comment on your microblog 🙂

    1. Totally agree to that mam. . No harm in disuccions and I also beleive that there is no harm in standing your ground especially if it’s something one beleive in.

      I have tried not to get into debates but if I have got myself involved then it’s very difficult to make me step back..

    2. Agree with you and Beaton that serious issues need to be raised. I have done it myself, with things like child sexual abuse and more recently, the death knell of creativity with the Ahmed issue and I am proud of speaking up for those things. But, as you said, separate the issue from the person. I find more people are happy to rant , for want of a better word, than actually raise their voice in a useful manner.

      Healthy debate is worth encouraging and worth indulging in, any time and any day. Discussion online, unfortunately, very often deteriorates into name calling and personal abuse and I have seen this with horror on social media and in blogs. It’s very disturbing.

      As for your comment, I am touched and moved that you felt compelled to leave such a beautiful comment. Never apologise for the depth of your feelings, Beloo. They are what make you unique 🙂

  13. I don’t take to the blog to name and shame people. No. If I’m very sad with something, then maybe I express that in poetry, in general. Anger is kept private. It’s not the world’s beef with the person, no?

    1. Yes, I use poetry to express sadness too. Anger, well, I reserve that for some poetry and flash fiction 😉 I usually vent in private and/or sort it out with the person offline. You said it. It’s not the world’s problem, so why put it out there? Sad more people don’t think of it that way.

  14. It’s like airing your dirty linen in public and then imagine, the whole thing starts trending on the internet everyone throwing in their two cents and after that it’s almost pretty much cyber-bullying, there is nothing like the wrath of a mob that thinks its justified.

    If people used all this energy to name and shame the truly beastly deeds we have out there, abuse, corporations fleecing us of our hard earned money, governments trampling over human rights maybe that could change the world.

    Some things need to be spoken out about, spoken up, spoken loud.

    But a “lil” beef with a friend someone you can call and have a private chat, with, why not do that.


    1. Yes, completely empathise with you on this. Some things need to be spoken about- issues, political outrage, corporations out to make mincemeat of people- but petty blogging issues? Surely those can be dealt with in a mature manner. Maybe it’s expecting too much of people, but I can hope.

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