As part of my freelance writing, I’ve been contributing to a commerical site for a few months and would have to say I’ve had to grow a thick hide. Except, in the end I couldn’t. I’m happy for constructive criticism and as you will see from comments to my blog, I publish absolutely everything, positive or negative (I won’t accept troll or spam comments), but the comments my features produced at the other site were actually starting to get personal and alarming. Here’s an example or two:
‘I’m with Caroline, the above contributor, who’s given the best response to this silly girl’s blether.
Who are you to slag these women off? Miss perfect?
You slag off one woman you slag of all of us, famous or not. Ever though about that?
Your bitchy trash journalism only reflects your own bitchy trash personality.
As a woman I’m sick and tired of reading this type of rubbish from the likes of your who fail time after time to see the bigger picture.
I really feel sorry for you if this is all you can produce as a journalist because it shows one thing only. Your serious lack of talent and how much you hate other women.’
‘Did someone get paid for writing this ‘article’?”
And those aren’t the worst. But it does throw up the point that at least on print media you are protected from comments like this – out there on the internet, there is no protection if the moderation in place isn’t sophisticated enough. The weird thing is that I think, fine, if that’s their opinion, they’re entitled to it, but actually seeing it written down is a bit, well, ouch. There is also the fact that if someone happened to look up my work on the internet and they came to land on these comments, they’d be left with a very bad opinion of me as a professional writer. But they are there, for all to see and there is nothing I can do about it.
So, my question is: do you feel vulnerable either commenting on sites where others can enter into dialogue with you, do you feel vulnerable letting others read your blog or your work, or do you just feel it’s all part and parcel of the big wide internet world and it is something just to put up with?
All products are sent to me as samples from brands and agencies unless otherwise stated. Affiliate links may be used. Posts are not affiliate driven.
OMG. I trust you know better than to take this to heart? You know you look great and write well?
The internet is a fabulous thing but at times it just really really sucks.
Jesus Jane, I’m all for constructive criticism but this just ridiculous. Yes, people are more likely to speak their mind on the Internet as they are protected by a computer screen but these kind of comments are completely unacceptable and unnecessary. No one should have to put up with this, we’re writing about beauty products and trends for god sake!
jesus bloody christ, these were damn harsh comments. I feel very free on my blog, it’s quite small and i’ve not had any haters so far.
am i scared to say my personal opinion on big forums? hell yeah, been shot down to flames in the comments of very popular videos for saying i don’t like something.
these comments were way too personal and bang out of order. 🙁
OUCH…sorry that you had statements like that directed at you.
I blog and am a freelance journalist primarily working online. Most, though not all, of the comments I’ve had have been good. And the negative ones (when they come) are always, always hidden behind anonymity. Did the people who said these things leave their real names? I bet they didn’t.
Honestly, you can’t take it personally at all. Some people just like to be contentious for the sake of it. And I bet the publishers of your work love the fact that it’s causing a reaction, and consider that part of its success.
Had to put cooking dinner on hold to have my say! I think writing is a very personal thing to do, anyone that has ever typed a blog post or comment has mithered after clicking return about whether they should have phrased things as they have or if they might be misconstrued. You put yourself out there the minute you enter the public domain and whilst constructive criticism can be thought provoking and potentially useful hateful, hurtful insults are neither constructive or useful and are just the spleen venting of a small section of society for whom being obnoxious is a way of life. Ideally everyone would have a thick skin and these insults would bounce of, but they don’t, they have a way of wrankling and you are either going to engage in a protracted slanging session, soo bad for your karma, or you are going to worry yourself half to death about how impotent they make you feel. I think the important thing is that the majority is generally correct and I strongly suspect that the majority of people that read your work consider it well thought out and well written and I doubt that anyone viewing your work as a professional writer would have their opinion of you swayed by those sorts of comments. Only recently found your blog and I think its fantastic. Yours, one of the majority!! Sorry for super long comment btw!
They sound like something from the “paper” that produces fail on a daily basis – every article, no matter the subject, is followed by comments in that vein (and much much worse). I understand that this is unpleasant but the bad guy here is not you, it’s the people spouting this vile and the medium which actively encourages this behaviour.
Ah the joyful anonymity of the Net. You can be as vicious as you please, spouting crap you’d never dare face-to-face.
Now what do you say, triple vodkas all round? ((hugs))
I can’t believe that someone would actually express their disagreament with your article in such a way; it’s like children when they don’t like someone, they’ll exclaim the person is ‘stupid and ugly’. But I guess this unfortunately is a part of being a writer/blogger online and comments like this should be simply ignored… even though it is difficult and some people actually disappear from the interwebs ‘thanks to’ trolls. x
Hi, I’ve been a long but silent reader of your blog and felt compelled to comment having read the above. I would love to start my own beauty based blog but reading comments like the ones you’ve been subjected to is very discouraging. I admire bloggers for being brave enough to put their fce out there and in the process supply readers with a wealth of knowledge about products they either want or didn’t even know existed. I always consult blogs before purchasing top end cosmetics or skincare so I know if i’m making the right choice and it has literally saved me hundreds. Constructive criticism is never a bad thing but out-right rudeness is unacceptable.
We all put ourselves out there by writing on the interweb, but this kind of response is disgusting. Why attack someone else just to make you feel like you’re important? I’ll never understand haters like this… if you don’t like it just click the ‘close page’ button.
Lots of folks with lots of comments which they use hidden behind the anon button – frankly that is the extent of their day they would never get off their backside and do something like your doing themselves – they are just armchair jerks who can’t wait to blast anyone who is doing something and putting themselves out there.
The comments are bad but don’t let it put you off I always love reading your blog – you have a great point of view
Well I have been slated for my writing. Not to my face, not even on my blog but behind my back with people I work with as u know Jane and it is so hurtful. They take the p*** out of my blog and what I write about and they question my experience for writing a book! Which actually when I think about it is quite laughable since I have more experience in the beauty industry in my short 8 yrs than all of my colleagues put together (bar 1). It hurt my feelings a lot until I got ur comment ‘don’t be intimated by others who are clearly jealous’ and that made me feel a lot better about things so Jane don’t let these idiots get to u because u do know what ur talking about and I have no idea if ur a ‘qualified’ beauty therapist or someone who got into beauty journalism by fate/passion/right place right time but the point is I can’t tell and I find myself coming to ur blog first for info on a new product/treatment because ur view is straight to the point an factual without being personal and catty unlike many of those comments written to/about you which are just plain nasty and uncalled for, and say more about the people who them than you!
This post is AMAZING… WHY? well.. for someone to actually spend time and write something like that shows one thing and one thing only…that they’re MOI MOI MOI JEALOUS!
What’s wrong with these women.. and personally Jane.. Its a little too well scripted so possibly someone you know..??? hmmm!!
This kind of stuff really bothers me. I feel if you don’t like something leave the personal low blows back in grade school where they belong. I have a youtube channel and I am amazed in the last year by the things people feel its ok to say. I’m all for a constructive view different from my own but the personal jabs not so much. I ignore them for the most part but a few months ago I got an awful comment. I went to the girls youtube page and in the info section she had this whole paragraph on loving one another, being kind to others etc. It was straight out of the bible. I was shocked! I laughed for several minutes. Clearly this girl is CONFUSED.
According to how you write here I think you’re a good writer and don’t really understand some of the responses. Haven’t seen the original article but I don’t think you’re going out telling others you’re better than them. I’m sorry to hear you’ve come across with this kind of replies – it’s not even criticism, just being mean.
I haven’t had any bad comments in my blog but I hope some people would use constructive criticism instead of just stating they don’t like anything even if they are totally entitled to the opinion but I really can’t learn from just pointing that out without knowing why.
If people would have to post online with their own names maybe they’d think twice what they write before hitting enter.
If you’ve ever read anything that Liz Jones writes for the Daily Mail online you’ll see that she gets slagged off on a regular basis and some of the comments are beyond nasty. Yet she still has a job, and I doubt she loses sleep over it.
After they’ve typed their vitriol they forget about you and move onto the next journalist/website. Why are you still thinking about them? x
Those comments are absolutely awful!! I bet those haters have neither the gumption or the bravery to write their own blog, nor the intelligence to have their work published in national media.
I’ve followed you on Twitter for ages and I think you’re clearly well informed, intelligent and passionate about what you do. Chin up.
There are some nasty and sad people who spend their time online spreading hate – morons!
Bloody hell, I literally read them comments open mouthed. I don’t even know what to say Jane, Im in shock to be honest. You should definitly not have to put up with shit like that. All you ever do is try to help women and always give us fantastic advice and honest reviews and thoughts. Im shocked people feel they can attack you like that. Shame they don’t interactive with you more and find out what a truly lovely lady you are.
Thanks the problem with the internet, people can be as horrid as they like and theres very little to be done about it. I just hope you don’t take those evil comments to heart.
I felt very conscious writing my own blog, its only small and Ive only been doing it a short time… but it feels like Ive put myself in the firing like… scary.
Jane I’m so sorry you have had to see these kind of comments. I really think it is unacceptable and such a sad reflection of the way our society is heading. I cannot understand why people feel such a need to spout such vitriol and pollute the internet with it. I can’t even look up the scores in a tennis match without there being hundreds of comments from rival fans arguing etc, it seems to affect everything nowadays. I’m sure everyone is saying don’t let it get to you, and I’d echo that, but I know realistically I couldn’t take that kind of bitching, especially when it is so very personal. I think you are amazing at what you do and so supportive of us new bloggers so please remember that when these things start to get you down. Hopefully, in time, positivity and a sense of community will prevail on the internet, it could just take a while to get there (ever the optimist!) xxx
Oh my gosh that is just harsh!!! You are a brilliant writer!!! This has made me very sad- and its not even directed at me so i can only imagine how you must feel!!!
I really enjoy your blog and I think you do a great job of scouting out interesting stories.
Having said that, I personally wouldn’t say the writing on this blog is of a high enough standard to pay for, or call ‘professional writing’.
To take your ‘Loose cannons…’ post as an example, I’d be very dissatisfied if I’d commissioned a blog post and that was what was submitted. It starts with a huge, unbroken paragraph (you don’t seem a huge fan of paragraph breaks) and contains both a spelling mistake and several misplaced apostrophes.
On top of this, I can’t honestly say the writing flows well – that’s fair enough on a personal blog, but assuming your other writing is the same, that might be the kind of thing the commenters are getting at – though I agree they were too caustic.
All I’m saying really is that a bit more care in your writing (spell check, reading over it with fresh eyes a couple of hours later to make edits, more paragraph breaks, etc.) would go a long way to making your blog read more professionally.
If you write differently in your other commissions, however, feel free to ignore this post. It’s hard to tell, because you don’t link to the article that sparked all the vitriol.
It’s amazing to me that these people say things to you that they wouldn’t have the guts to say to your face in real life. I find these sorts of remarks cowardly.
Jane, just saw this and wanted to offer support. As a fledgling blogger, I would hate to even think that someone would go to this extent to be mean to somebody else. However I can speak with good authority and I challenge any who disagrees, as a makeup artist of 17 years, I find your blog pretty good to read and honest in opinion. And at the end of the day, it’s all makeup and cosmetics, hardly rocket science. What you like I might not but it is never a reason to be rude or nasty to anyone. You know my sentiments and you have my utmost support and respect. XX
I’ve never commented on blog sites before, but this one really got under my skin. Easy for me to say, but do take a “water off a duck’s ass” approach. You are one of only 3 blogs I regulary follow. So sorry you had to read that rubbish, they really have bad form and should be ashamed of themselves.
wow, those comments are so cruel. granted I haven’t read the article they comment on, but based on your BBB articles I think it’s a *bit* of a stretch to allege you “hate women.” In fact I think that comment is the most offensive. Ironic that many of them complain about you sniping at the flaws of other women when they are actually the ones being degrading.
To answer the discussion question, yes, I hardly ever say what I really think on blog comments for fear of being rude or getting beaten up over it. It does make me feel very vulnerable. So generally if I don’t have something nice to say, I don’t say anything at all, cliche as it is, because hey – the internet is a huge place and I’m not going to waste my time.
Keep it up Jane. Haters be hatin’
Holly! Of course I spell check my professional work. I keep my blog as I like it – I don’t spell check or adjust the flow or bother too much with paras because it is written in real time with the thought of the moment as it comes. It’s a blog, not a professional showcase and should be read as such.
The people leaving these derogatory comments are just sad! I don’t usually comment on posts, but felt the need to on this one. I read your blog daily and look forward to opening my inbox to see what products you have tried. I feel you are always honest and fair and I wouldnt bother subscribing otherwise. Keep up the good work! x x
hey sweets, 1st time commentor but have been following you for a quite a while now. Just wanna say I love you and all your posts, Im grateful to have you out there scavenging through hoards of products and reviewing them for us. Your recco’s are very valuable to me and Im sure to rest all who follow you.
Cyber bullying is an alarming concern and really needs to be addressed with serious intent.
Thanks for all that you do. Really appreciate all the heart you put into your posts 🙂
Wow, Jane I’ve just seen this now and am disgusted. In my opinion you are a top quality blogger and your style of writing is excellent. BBB is great to read, and full of properly thought out and well researched information. You are light-hearted when you need to be and serious when called for and your true love for the medium of blogging is evident. As one of the beauty blogging trailblazers you have nothing to fear from these small minded people who are in the minority, believe me.
Don’t let the bastards get you down! x
Sounds like someone woke up on the wrong side of the swamp. Feel sorry for her. I do. She has nothing better to do than write childish things about someone she’s never met. I enjoy your blog as well as your writing style. Keep calm, carry on!
Surely this has been written by someone with a personal grudge? It’s pretty harsh for a simple reaction to a single article.
As for feeling vulnerable online, I try my hardest to remain as invisbible/ anonymous as possible, not easy when you have your own business. I am not on facebook or any other social media. My children are at an age now where they are becoming curious and want to have an online presence but I worry about the more damaging/ bullying/ negative aspects.
As you say, comments like these will be available for all to see, pretty much for ever possibly. In the good old days you could throw an unpleasant letter away, forget about it and move on. Not so easy now.
Some people are just pathetic. How little of a life do you have to have to spout such venom at someone you don’t know. Some people should remember the phrase’if you haven’t got anything nice to say don’t say anything at all’.
Holly.. you seriously must have time of your hands to have written all that malarky you wrote up there somewhere!!
It’s a blog!! Personal, realistic with a bit flare.
I think in general individuals miss the point of what a blog really is… It’s a medium to express, rant and do whatever the f**k you want as it’s your space!!!
I’m no English professor and am VERY sure I make a ton of grammatical errors on my blog.. BUT doesn’t that just make my writing real and convincing as appose to the a well structured, grammatically correct and in some ways almost prompted piece of writing you see in mags?
The world of SM is on such a rise, individuals have become extremely aware of pushy sales pitch type marketing, be it in person, phone or a written article.
I doubt Jane writes in this style professionally and even if she did I don’t think it condones the behavior she received! SIMPLE!
P.s I missed a few comma’s etc! Apologies.. and yes.. I had some time on my hands!!
I just wanted to add to the supportive comments so far. Please don’t take it personally, some people are just vicious and get their kicks by having a go at others. You have been employed by the site because of your thoughts, opinions and skill as a writer – these negative comments don’t change that. As the saying goes, you can’t please all of the people etc… Don’t let them frighten you into changing your style or writing personality. Life can be hard enough without worrying about the pettiness of others. I know it can be difficult not to take negativity to heart but you have to rise above it. The criticism against you isn’t in any way constructive, it’s just spiteful and smacks of jealousy.
Having been attacked by company owners and other people over my looks, the way I do my makeup and nails, I’ve gotten a thicker skin, but I definitely don’t like it. I’ll often delete the emails or comments because I just don’t feel they’re appropriate.
@Jane – fair enough. I suspected that was probably the case. I’d still like to see some of your work for other sites, though – how come you don’t link it on your blog? I’m sure we’d all like to read it and leave positive comments to negate some of the angry ones.
@beautyWowza – you seem to be annoyed with what I wrote, but what you wrote actually agrees with most of what I said. I did say Jane probably writes differently on her blog to her professional commissions, and that the comments were too harsh. So we’re on the same side.
And believe it or not, my comment didn’t take long to write at all – I write for a living too and have to read and edit copy all the time, so I’m fairly quick at proofreading, spotting errors and typing. I don’t spend hours writing up critiques of beauty blogs, I promise.
Holly: I don’t think you ‘get’ blogs. BBB is my refuge from editorial – I don’t get paid to do it so I do it exactly as I feel like. It’s not ‘work’ nor is it intended to showcase what I can do. It’s my hobby. There’s no need for me to showcase my professional writing on the blog – that has readership enough and I’ve no desire to link the two.
Oh gosh Jane – I’m sorry I’ve only just seen this after a bit of a blog haiatus… This is horrible, and like everyone else, I only hope you are completely aware it is all rubbish! We still love you and respect what you say. xxx
Oh my gosh those comments are beyond nasty. I really am shocked! You can tell they’re just from someone filled with hate – they probably leave comments like that all the time to lots of people just to satisfy themselves in some twisted way.
I wouldn’t say they reflect badly on you as a writer at all – look on any newspaper website with a comments section and you see the same thing! Some people just get off on being nasty!
I love your blog! You write in such an accessible, real, friendly way. You’re a real inspiration to me as a writer and my favourite beauty blogger – I’d never even read a beauty blog before I found yours. Ignore the haters – they’re just jealous! x
I know my response is late, but I had to let you know that your writing is intelligent, witty and honest. The examples you showed above were very hateful and personal – typical bullying, really. A young man once said “You women would rule the world if you weren’t so bitchy to each other all the time”. So true unfortunately, as majority of the cyberbullies I’ve encountered online have been women. They have a chip on their shoulder and feel it’s reasonable to vent it out online, as if your manners change behind a computer, eh? You have a large following Jane and you are well respected. So f*ck them and shine on, you crazy diamond!
I too am late to this party but it’s a fact of life that in this digital age the unintelligent, unobservant and bitter are the ones who hide behind the cloak of anonymity online and post nasty comments that have, often times, little to do with the matter at hand (your column) and hastily fall into the personal attacks and name-calling that, in past, you would have been more apt to find in the lonely, angry school yard bully. (That was a run-on, yes, but I’m angry!)
Your appearance is neither here nor there and simply attests to the fact that the internet, for better or worse, has given a voice to the moronic, when, frankly, they should never have had one.
The beauty of the situation is that you’re getting paid to write while they sit pathetically at home and write things to which they haven’t courage to attach their names. You’re a professional writer who has made it in a difficult field that so so so many young girls aspire to be in. These commentators, no doubt, are menially employed (and minimally intelligent, if I can even apply such a word) with quite the chip on his/her (though I think they’re all ‘her’ as they’re so bloody catty) shoulders because of their lot in life. I have two words for you sad, nasty little people: grow up. Say what you want to BBB, but, guess what? At the end of the day, she’s still the well-paid writer and you’re still just a jerk. Plain and simple.
The only truly nasty comment I received was from a drugged up, bloated carcass of a women who runs a tacky ‘style’ website. She used a fake name but the appalling grammar errors she committed (She is a self-styled ‘editor’. Titles truly do mean nothing these days.) and the bitterness in her tone, coupled with the ‘woe is me’ victim mentality pegged her instantly. I suggested she get help. Immediately. And left it at that.
Morons, the lot of them.
I know I’m miles behind on this post (I keep coming across your posts through Google, I wish you’d put them all in a book so I could buy it!) but I just wanted to say that I have such huge admiration for you and your willingness to share these things with us readers.
I take continual inspiration from you, and your blog encourages me to take stands and care less about the immediate and more about the bigger picture. Your blog is essential reading for bloggers like me, so please never let the nasty online b*tches have any kind of impact on you at all; you totally saved me when I had my first troll experience and I think if it hadn’t been for you I would’ve stopped blogging, which would’ve been awful as I love it more than I’ve ever loved anything else; every day I get a huge kick out of it and I – rather ridiculously – almost gave it up!
I’ve had a couple more experiences of trolls recently and I always repeat in my mind the fact that these people are so brave, saying such nasty things in the safety of their anonymity. Being unknown seems to bring out the worst in people so I just can’t take them seriously.
Anyway, so sorry you had such a horrible experience and thanks for sharing it with us; I think you’re incredibly brave xx