Viral Blog Posts – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

by Susan

As bloggers, having a blog post go viral can be “the dream”.

Viral Blog Posts

The Good

One of my blogging friends, Jessica Turner is on Cloud 9 right now because her fabulous post, Put on that Swimsuit, has “gone viral” and her blog is on fire. In a good way.

Jessica Turner Viral Blog Post

The Bad

But while a post may go viral because it’s loved by many, it may also go viral because it enrages many.

Personally, I’d consider that “bad” viral attention to be a nightmare!

And at this moment, a poorly received post is sending surges of traffic through to Babble’s website with hundreds of raging comments.

Babble Viral Negative Post

I will refrain from actually linking to the post, but will simply explain that the blogger complained about her military husband’s “deployment” to a military school in Kansas and their upcoming year long separation. She is choosing to stay with her young children in their “beautiful home”.

The incorrect use of the term “deployment” and other errors and assumptions, along with her decision to not move with her husband, all the while wanting sympathy, sparked mass infuriation amongst the military community.

The fact that Babble published this post – and that it wasn’t just on a personal blog – is too much for many bloggers to stand.

So the plus for Babble is a ton of traffic and the minus is angry commenters that may choose to stop reading the site.

The Ugly

The worst part of a negative viral post is that it can bring out the ugliness in people.

People are hurt and angry and lash out at each other. The comment sections go wild with accusations and personal insults.

Sometimes it can even result in cyberbullying.

As mom bloggers, I think we should be careful in these situations, as we should be setting an example for our children. (And I am NOT saying this particular situation has gotten into the stage of bullying.) I understand and agree that when people are angry because of a blog post, they should feel free to defend their opinions and share why there are offended.

But I think my advice to a blogger who has upset her readers is to listen to what’s being said and if there is truth to it, apologize and consider removing the post.

I think there’s too much negativity in the world and why add to it?

My Question to You and to Babble…

Is the traffic worth it?

Personally, I’d say no! I’d never choose negative traffic. If I wrote a post that offended people, I would apologize and take it down.

We all make mistakes. Sometimes me make poor judgements and bad decisions. As bloggers we have to be very careful about what we write and the reaction it causes in others.

When an individual represents a community (such as a military wife blogging about military life), I think there is a responsibility to the rest of the community.

I also feel that as mom bloggers, we have extra responsibilities to protect the reputations of our family members. It is risky to blog about your husband’s career, especially when it is in the military.

In this particular situation, there is a real chance that this man is going to feel a real-life negative impact as many members of his community will read the post.

For this family’s sake, I hope Babble chooses to take down the post. I don’t think it is serving the military or the blogging community well.

What Do You Think?

If you wrote a post that offended and truly upset people, would you take it down?

Do you think Babble should take down a post that has obviously enraged so many people?

Leave us a comment and tell us what you think…

 

Written by Susan Carraretto, co-founder of 5 Minutes for Mom
Talk with me: @5minutesformom and Facebook.com/5minutesformom
Pin with me at http://pinterest.com/5minutesformom/



Email Author    |    Website About Susan

Susan Carraretto and her identical twin, Janice Croze, created 5 Minutes for Mom in 2006. Susan loves all social media, but her top addiction these days is Pinterest. She recently published a children's book titled "The Pest Detectives" which you can download now in digital format for free.

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{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Anna Hettick June 26, 2014 at 11:10 pm

I would definitely take a post down that deeply offended people. As far as Babble taking their post down, I think in this case probably yes, (though I haven’t specifically read that post), but then again you can’t take every post down that makes people mad. Some need to be taken down yes, but not all.

I do have to say too that it has been extremely inspiring and fun to watch Jessica Turner’s post go viral!

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2 Susan June 27, 2014 at 2:39 am

You’re right Anna… you can’t take down every post that upsets someone!

And no, Babble did not end up taking down this post. I never thought they actually would… I think it is probably very rare for anyone to take down a post. I think I’m just so sensitive about upsetting people, that my instinct would be say sorry and take it down. But that’s just me…

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3 Nolie June 26, 2014 at 11:16 pm

As a military spouse myself I feel for the blogger. I haven’t read anything but from your post my assumption is someone got upset over the wrong usage of words. I would apologize for the wrong usage and move on but would not delete the post. I know this isn’t a debate over that particular post though so I will leave it at that. However also as a military spouse I know there has been times I have been livid with either Tobei’s work or our government and it’s handling of our military. I have wanted to blog but I haven’t. I have Tobei’s backing to speak my mind on my blog even when it comes to the military but there is a time and a place. Such as in my living room with my friends as opposed to on my blog for the public to see.

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4 Susan June 27, 2014 at 2:45 am

Nolie, you’re right that one of the things people were upset about was her incorrect use of the term “deployment” and since that word carries so much weight, it was a much bigger deal than misusing any regular word.

She did change the title of her post to remove that word and put an “Update” to apologize for using the word incorrectly.

(But to be honest, to me, her apology sounded insincere and when you read her replies to comments, she really didn’t sound sorry. But who am I to judge?)

I can only imagine that being a blogger and a military spouse can be difficult sometimes as you have extra responsibilities and concerns over what you say.

Being a blogger and sharing your feelings and decisions is often a risky thing.

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5 Lisa June 26, 2014 at 11:35 pm

I read somewhere that you should write for your friends not your critics. It sounds easy enough. But, when your critics are hundreds or even thousands of angry commenters, I guess that’s where things get slippery. I have gotten tired of hearing people in the news/media apologizing for the sake of apologizing…basically to appease the masses. But, no amount of traffic is every worth putting one’s livelihood, safety or loved ones at risk. I do believe, that the writer is guilty of misuse of a word but, probably did not mean to offend. Maybe Babble should publish a supplement or “correction” section. This is a tough one. I’ll take the “good” viral post please.

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6 Susan June 27, 2014 at 2:48 am

I like that advice… “to write for your friends, not your critics”. And with blogging, we all have lots of critics.

She did change the title of her post to remove the word “deployment” and added an “Update” to explain that she understands now that she used the term inappropriately.

I suppose publishing the correction is a reasonable solution.

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7 Paula Schuck June 30, 2014 at 8:57 am

I have not read this post. Everyone blogs differently and everyone has their own philosophy about what’s negative and positive. I fall squarely on the positive side which is not to say that I don’t post about negative stuff. I often do if it’s something I think needs to change – like a poorly funded special education program that fails parents and kids. That’s my prerogative as a blogger. That stuff never goes viral of course and that’s not why I post it. I have only ever regretted one post that I thought was hysterical but took aim at some militant moms on pizza duty at my kid’s school. I would imagine the blogger that wrote that post in question about deployment had no real idea it would be so controversial or negative. There are a few topics very few people should ever touch publicly. Maybe this is one of them. I agree with you Susan that there is a lot of negativity in the world and I try to keep my blog from being a negative space. It’s hard to move forward in any domain when negativity follows you.

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8 Susan July 1, 2014 at 4:39 am

You’re right Paula… the blogger surely did not intend to offend anyone. Sometimes just don’t realize how people will react to our words.

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9 Katherine G from La La Land Mommy June 30, 2014 at 10:32 pm

Me personally i think that if loo wrote a post that offended a lot of people i would close the comment section when I saw that it was getting out of hand. I wouldn’t remove the post though. I think as bloggers that it is on us to course our words carefully. However our readers should show some level of respect.

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10 Susan July 1, 2014 at 4:40 am

Thanks for sharing your thoughts Katherine. Yes, both bloggers and readers need to show respect for each other.

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11 nicole dz July 1, 2014 at 7:14 pm

No the traffic is not worth it, I agree, but people need to respect others. This is most important.

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12 Cheryl Free July 2, 2014 at 1:16 am

I would take down an offensive post, and I think Babble should too. Guess they’re more interested in traffic than pleasing readers.

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13 Sonya Morris July 2, 2014 at 3:07 pm

I don’t agree with blasting anyone for a post no matter how bad it is. I think commenting, even a nasty one, just gives them more traffic. I tend to just move on and not give them anymore of my time.

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14 Alona Y July 3, 2014 at 12:11 pm

It’s a hard fact that you can’t always please everyone, and in some cases it seems like the best question is why are you spending time on this if you don’t agree or don’t like it? I guess to me if offensive means it is actually hateful, bullying or hurtful than take it down, but if offensive means I don’t agree, my experience is different, or more of a bruised ego than why not move on!

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15 Rebecca Parsons July 3, 2014 at 1:18 pm

Sad that people will post negative thought on someones life. Going viral to me used to me it was a fun thing. I never stopped to read comments until about 4 months ago and was appalled at people who didn’t care that they were hurting someone. Sad world we live in. You have to have a thick skin if you are going to put anything online.

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16 Melanie F July 3, 2014 at 2:34 pm

I feel like you should really try not to offend or be rude to anyone, but at the same time stay true to your feelings on issues… it’s a hard medium to find, but can be done in the right way! Awesome post lady!!

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17 LaVonne July 3, 2014 at 11:02 pm

I’d stick a few ads on that post and make money and let people be negative while my money is going up for ads ;)

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18 heather July 5, 2014 at 11:02 pm

I love commenting on a good blog that really has subject matter that interests me or that I can relate to. I don’t think a blogger should post anything too controversial and I can’t stand mean hateful comments.

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19 Michelle S July 5, 2014 at 11:49 pm

such a loaded question because it’s going to spark dissent from both sides whichever you choose. It depends, and I agree with someone a few posts up. You’re always going to offend someone no matter what you say and you should stay true to your feelings. I’m not going to depart from my personal opinion on an issue just because it might offend someone–now, I’m not going to make racist remarks- but I’m talking about hotly contested issues plaguing society. I may have one intent when posting something, and someone is going to take it a different way and interpret it differently based on who they are. The more I’m pressed to take down and article, the more likely I am going to leave it up to keep traffic flowing :)

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20 claudia m July 7, 2014 at 1:21 am

If you put out there on the big www. you have to expect not everyone thinks or feels the same as you, especially when it comes to certain topics. I am a Veteran Army Spouse and personally think that anything Military is a very ‘touchy’ subject where it’s best just to stick to facts if you want to blog about it and the same goes for Religion or be prepared that people will respond with their own Opinion ….the Good , the Bad & the Ugly.

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21 vickie couturier July 7, 2014 at 9:31 am

I try not to offend anyone but its not possible to make everyone happy,some ppl are just looking for a battle

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22 Tammy S July 7, 2014 at 12:34 pm

I think for the most part bloggers are expressing their opinions. What we as readers need to keep in mind is it is just one persons opinion. What is the point of attacking another person? If you don’t like what they write then don’t read their blog. That’s what I do. If I wrote something that others found offensive I would probably apologize and take it down.

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23 angie July 7, 2014 at 2:13 pm

awesome information not sure how I feel as of yet but something to think about thanks

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24 Angela Saver July 8, 2014 at 10:51 pm

I agree, I think the right thing to do is to take the post down!

andysavi.mom@gmail.com

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25 Becky VanGinkel July 9, 2014 at 3:16 am

I definitely think in this kind of case, the post should be removed/taken down. She obviously wrote without thinking it through. But if you post a controversial post that you really believe in, I don’t think negative attention should effect whether or not the post stays or goes.

And i just want to add.. Way To Go Jessica Turner!! You rocked that suit!

babydjs_mom@yahoo.com

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26 nicky July 9, 2014 at 12:48 pm

i wouldn’t take down the post. you can’t please everyone all the time!

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27 Anel July 9, 2014 at 8:44 pm

That’s a toughie. Not all blog posts are going to make everyone happy, and people can be really mean. I would not take the post down, but rather apologize for the misuse of the word “deployment.” If someone does not agree with whatever a blogger (not just this specific blogger) has to say, then they shouldn’t attack the blogger, but rather stop reading. Thanks!

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28 Sonia July 10, 2014 at 7:00 pm

How many people did it offend? If a minority, no. If it was about 50/50 depending on how offensive I may or may not. Bloggers blog for themselves firstly and audience second(I assume). There’s something for everyone.

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29 Bailey Dexter July 10, 2014 at 10:08 pm

If someone truly felt that I offended them I would take it down & apologize. But I would definitely check into it more and see how I could have reworded it if possible while keeping my point of view.

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30 Jeanna July 11, 2014 at 9:26 am

I don’t think I would take it down. While it would upset me that I have upset someone, everyone is entitled to their own opinion!

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31 scarlett July 11, 2014 at 4:11 pm

It’s their opinion, everyone has one. They aren’t always pretty. So no i wouldn’t take it down.

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32 Helga July 12, 2014 at 11:27 pm

I find cyberbullying the most cowardly syndrome of our time. I believe in free speech but the rudeness of some is out of control.

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33 Amanda Sakovitz July 14, 2014 at 12:39 pm

i was thinking about this before. I don’t think I would take it down. I appreciate bloggers’ honesty and always enjoy reading posts that stir up a discussion.

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34 Jill Myrick July 14, 2014 at 1:02 pm

I would more than likely take the post down or move it to one of my private account pages for friends and family that understood what I meant could read it.
I have read several post in the past that were misconstrued by others and have really felt sorry for the person who wrote the post because I knew that that was not the intent of the message written.

jweezie43[at]gmail[dot]com

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35 Meagan bs July 14, 2014 at 2:51 pm

i dont blog for this reason, i’m always afraid of what people will say. but i respect people who are able to open up on the internet.

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36 shaunie July 14, 2014 at 6:43 pm

It is best to weigh your options before posting. Only the blogger can decide

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37 Angela P. July 15, 2014 at 11:06 am

I think it honestly depends on the situation. If many people are upset because you posted something insensitive, inconsiderate, or inappropriately offensive then I would say that if you feel regret posting it and feel badly about it, and it’s something you many not have thought through completely, I would say take it down. However if it’s just something that makes a few people angry because they disagree with you.. I think you should stand by your conviction and keep it up. I think that’s what makes something interesting, if people are loving and hating it.. at least they are talking. You can’t please everyone.

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