3 Types of Negative Comments and How to Handle Them

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In a previous post, I talked about managing negative blog comments and taking the high road in your response. Just as in advertising when they say there is no such thing as bad publicity, so it sometimes is with negative comments. Those comments written in anger can end up doing some good for your blog, website, forum, or Social Media site. They stir emotions, they invite participation. Every time someone clicks on your blog or replies to a comment, those on the internet notice the increased activity and they’ll come over to your posts to see what all the commotion is about.

Negative comments can often initiate an intelligent discussion amongst your readers and they can also bring defenders of your product out to post a counter-comment ultimately bringing the type of interaction you definitely want to see from the readers of your blog.

But how do you, as the manager of your material, handle those comments that simply make your own blood boil?

The name caller comment

“Oh yeah? Well your developers must be #*@ing morons.”

You own your blog which means that you control the content. If you choose to censure the language used or just outright delete a comment that uses name-calling or ill-manners then go for it.

Don’t however, let the post disappear into thin air. Post a statement as to why it was deleted or edited. This ensures that other readers of your blog are aware that not only do you have a policy but that you are enforcing it. The result will most likely be greater compliance to the blog’s comment standards in the future.

The bit of truth covered in garbage comment

“I can’t believe you didn’t bother to fix that function!”

If the responder’s comment has a bit of truth to it, in your response, acknowledge that fact. He might have a valid point (wrapped up in anger) and you might be able to calm the agitated situation early by simply apologizing or acknowledging that what he said might be valid.

There is no better way to diffuse a battle than for one person to say to another “I hear what you are saying.”

The “I could do this all day” comment

“Oh yeah, well what about the time when you didn’t…?”

Do not get into a verbal war with a commenter. A reply and then perhaps another reply for one more attempt at clarification is all you need. There is no need to dig up past mistakes or situations, especially if they have nothing to do with the discussion.

The interesting thing with negative comments is that they are sometimes seen as a type of bullying. When people perceive that someone in their group is being bullied, often they will come to that person’s defense, correct any misconceptions, and just might end up supporting your point of view.

Remember that when you come down to it, internet comments should follow the rules of an adult conversation and have the same restrictions you would have in talking to anyone else. Keep it professional, stay to the topics being discussed, and at all times, take the high road by keeping calm and showing respect.

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