3 ways to respond to negative commenters online

Is someone attacking your company or client—or you? Follow this advice to help alleviate the problem.

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If you’ve blogged long enough, you’ve probably been assaulted by a few readers who disagree with your conclusions. And that can lead to a few challenges for bloggers who want to allow a free exchange of ideas, but also insist upon a civil discourse.

Recently, readers of my blog were curious about this topic

Mary Denihan noticed this challenge and asked the following question regarding managing a website’s comments section. Mary wrote:

“It almost seems like [negative comments] have overtaken some sites. Which in turn, seems to inhibit other folks with positive opinions to not comment. Do you have any advice on how to avoid your site to be overtaken by negative comments?”

Reader Leigh Ann Otte was also curious, writing:

“I would guess (hope?) most people recognize what’s going on and don’t listen to them. But it is a good question: What do you do if the negativity is directed to you? Ignore it? Respond once to everyone? Try to cut it off early by responding to the first few right away?”

Great questions, Mary and Leigh Ann. Here are three ways you might consider approaching this issue:

1. Ban belligerent jerks

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