Bloggers and Message Board Addicts – Blog and Comment with Care
Do you have a blog? Many of us do. In fact, if you don’t have a blog you are in the minority. There are all kinds of blogs – personal blogs, work blogs, product blogs, movie blogs, retail blogs, medical blogs, diet blogs, celebrity blogs, political blogs, product review blogs, the list is endless! Everywhere you turn there’s some blog spouting an opinion about something.
Next are message boards. They too come in all shapes and sizes offering information, opinion, support, education, encouragement, amusement, entertainment and often time’s criticism.
We live in a time where technology is an amazing tool. It can also make or break a business, a medical practice, or a person’s reputation. So much so that law suits against bloggers have risen 200+% in the past year.
I think because people think they are anonymous they become extraordinarily brave. There is this veil (or so they think) of anonymity that separates them from those they communicate with, it’s called your computer monitor. I have witnessed some of the nicest people become downright ugly when they sit down at their computer, some even morph into “internet bullies” and troll message boards and blogs only to comment about anything that is disagreeable, contradictory, or inflammatory, just because they can. What’s even more interesting is learning that there have been clinic and egg donor agency employees who pose as patients and complain (in this instance) about infertility clinics, physicians, egg donor agencies, lawyers, or therapists.
Mind blowing for sure. I ask myself – “Who would do that and more importantly why?”
There are several highly travelled infertility blogs and infertility message boards (that shall remain nameless as I don’t want to be sued) that come to mind where I have seen some pretty inflammatory stuff up close and personal, and folks it ain’t pretty. These sights bash clinics, egg donor agencies, physicians, egg donors, and in some instances name staff at various clinics and comment on their personal character. And the sad and scary part is that stuff that’s written on the internet stays there forever – longer than bad credit on your credit report. Just Google yourself sometime and see what turns up. – I dare you!
Because we live in a society where technology is readily available and the internet is at our fingertips 24/7 people flock for information. Google is their weapon of choice and folks can Google anything. Anything at all. The other really bizarre thing that I have noticed is that the internet is the dumping ground for bad stories. When I was pregnant with my son I experienced a subchorionic hematoma which is basically a blood clot from bleeding that occurs behind the placenta. I was already stressed out as I had been trying to have a child for many years, finally succeed to get pregnant, and then bleed. As I began to search the internet for this very foreign term all I read on many message boards was doom and gloom stories. I got myself worked up into a snit to the point that my Perinatologist actually got a little tough with me and ordered me off the internet as I was driving both me and his practice crazy with my many calls about how I just knew I would lose this pregnancy.
I heeded my doctors orders and went on to have an amazingly healthy baby even though I had him miscarried and buried many times over in my head because of my fear.
After his birth I went back and researched my complication and again found many many many horror stories and not many success stories. I then began to wonder if I was really lucky or was there more to this. And so I did what I normally do dug and dug until I found answers and the answers I found were startling. I discovered that 75% of the stories we read on the internet like our national news broadcasts are bad. And only 25% are positive and good.
Because the internet is an emotional dumping ground for individuals to offload their stress by posting their story on a public or private message board and then disappear. It’s free, it won’t cost you 150.00 (the price of a therapy session) to bang out our horror story, vent about whatever you need to vent, click the publish button and post.
All from the convenience of your home – anonymously. (or so we think).
So the next time you are angry at your fertility clinic or egg donor agency and want the world to know you have been wronged, and they need to make it right or everyone’s going to know how horrible they really are — remember a few tips that will keep you safe and out of lawsuit’s grip:
If it’s true it isn’t libel. Report just the facts. Don’t add a thing.
Remember if you are stating your opinion you have to present it as YOUR opinion and it also can’t be libelous. I can’t encourage you enough to be honest when stating your opinion – rant and rave all you won’t but wow don’t be a troll and make up stuff just to increase your blog views. Make sure your opinion reads truthful
We live in a lawsuit happy society. We may think we have free speech but do we really? There are people out there who think they can sue for anything and in the USA sadly for the most part I think that is true.
You can’t make up facts. And people don’t get sued for making up facts.