When I started blogging, I promised myself one, and only one, thing: this blog would be real. There would be no lies, no deception, no half-truths and little white lies – none of it. This blog would be the one place where, however bad things got, I’d be true, and honest, and really me. No exceptions.
Today, however, I had to think. This evening marks the first time where I’ve had to stop and properly consider what I want on my blog, and what I want you guys to be exposed to, however patronising that sounds. Tonight, I had to decide where to draw the line between reality and safety, and I made my decision.
On my post earlier, I received a comment from a user whom I did not recognise. It was a basic, generic but still positive comment: ‘Lovely post’. Automatically, I liked and replied to their comment, after which I gave it little thought as I continued to read the truly heart-warming things that you guys comment on my posts each and every day.
A little later, this commenter replied to my comment, asking me to look at his blog and then give him a call on the number provided. This is, in my experience, an odd comment, but I thought nothing of it and said that I’d check out their blog. The next reply came quickly, and only then did I realise who this commenter was.
to put it nicely, it said that I could use the number to get alerts when this person was next going to be ‘nude’.
Some of you will know this awful man as ‘weird Andy’, or something similar. For those who are unfamiliar with him, he’s essentially a pervert. A creepy, twisted, online pervert, after innocent young bloggers. It’s disgusting. Consequently, I decided to delete these comments from my site.
But here I found a problem: reality, or safety? Deleting a comment is, however tempting, not real, and I’m a strong believer in everybody being entitled to a voice, and to an opinion. However, this comment was left by someone who I would class as a sexual predator, and that comes into the region of unsafety. Honestly, I don’t think I could live with myself, knowing that I was exposing potential readers of my blog to men like him, especially considering that a huge percentage of my views are by teens like myself. After all, if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.
Stupidly, I feel… almost bad, for deleting a comment, however screwed up it was, and however evil the person was behind it. Deleting comment is warping reality, and this blog, if anything, is real – there’s no denying that. Regardless, I really hope you understand why I decided to delete his comments, and I hope you don’t blame me for that.
Finally, I’d just like to put a strong reminder out there: stranger danger is real. I’m always here, promoting Interent friendships and blogging communities, but the stories of online perverts are, tragically, true. Please, please, be aware of who’s online, who you’re talking to and what you’re saying to them.
Please, stay safe.