Saturday, August 22, 2009

Why the rudeness?

Why are so many comments on blog postings rude, impolite, bad mannered, offensive?

Why do people feel the need to do that?

It's something that's been intriguing me for a while.

If you disagree with an opinion expressed you can say so, give your reasons for disagreeing, put your own opinion forward. That's the well mannered, adult way.

All too often though there's just rudeness and abuse.

I'll give you a relatively mild example and it's just one of many, but it prompted this post as it's the latest one to appear on my blog.

I've talked a few times about the inordinately high number of vehicle fires we have here and I've asked why it is. I've asked whether maybe our vehicle safety standads are not as advanced as other countries, which I've put forward as a possible reason. My latest post on the subject was on Tuesday.

On the live feed to Dubizzle there's the following comment - this is it in full:

"You can think of no other reason because you're not qualified to have one and therefore you amazingly just assume it must be down to poor vehicle standards.

You almost read like a quote from GN!

And yes, I am a qualified British Safety Engineer specializing in Accident Investigations and Root Cause Analysis...."

A self proclaimed expert bragging about his qualifications to justify a smart-arse comment; 'You don't know what you're talking about, I'm highly qualified and very clever'. But, you notice, not giving us the benefit of his expertise by giving an answer.

How about the alternative of an answer like: 'You're wrong in thinking that safety standards are to blame. As a qualified Safety Engineer I can tell you that the most likely reasons are (whatever they are)'

That would have been helpful and informative. It would also have been without the unnecessary and uncalled for rudeness.

I've never claimed to be an expert on the subject of vehicle fires, it's something that concerns me and I'm interested to know the reasons behind it. I think it's something that should be discussed and if the causes can be identified and prevented then that should be highlighted.

For the first time on one of my posts about it there's been a comment left from someone who claims expertise on the subject. Does he give us the benefit of his expertise? No, just a smart-arse comment and a brag about his qualifications.

It happens just about every time a blogger states an opinion and I genuinely am interested, as other bloggers probably are, to know what's behind the rudeness.

Among the people reading this are those of you who are bad mannered enough to leave offensive comments. Many of you do that regularly and exclusively, never leaving a sensible or helpful comment. My questions are to you.

Are you the same in the real world, face to face with someone in your working life who expresses an opinion with which you disagree? Or with a friend who does the same over a drink? I suspect you'd get a smack in the mouth if you did, so my guess is that you don't. The net gives you the anonymity and protection you need to be bad mannered, rude, offensive.

But that doesn't answer why you do it.

Why don't you express your opinions in a polite way, join in an adult dialogue, an exchange of opinions? Why play the man not the ball?

By being bad mannered and rude do you think you're being clever and smart? Do you brag to your friends about what you've said? Do you think it shows your sophistication and intelligence?

Why do you do it? The comments section is open for you to tell us...


Toufic Beyhum said...

Who are you calling rude eh? well f*+k you man! thats out of order!


I agree with you, ill tell you what i think the reason is. People are at work, theyre frustrated, in a bad mood and they just take it out on someone, anyone they disagree with. They also take it out by typing something out hidden behind a screen, I strongly doubt that they would be rude if it was face to face. Its easy to be rude anonymously.

Anonymous said...

Shut up!

Oussama said...

Well, I agree their no need for rudeness when we disagree. However, I don't think the education systems in the region in particular and all over in general teach us to accept opposing opinions with an open mind. Moreover, the competetivness in the market place teaches us that we should win regardless, the end justifies the means.

Paraglider said...

I agree that it is unacceptable. Today I received two comments on two separate blogs, but from the same person both containing obscene violence and even a death threat. Why? I suspect because he took exception to a comment I made on the UAE Community Blog which was critical of Dubai's treatment of labourers. As he is, I believe, banned from the uAE Blog, he followed me to my own places purely to attack me. Some people have no concept of decency.

Media Junkie said...

hear hear...

i wonder about it too.

Noblese said...

Yes, I also wonder about that too. The worse thing is that there are people leaving their comments with the 'anonymous' name, as if they don't want to show their online identity.
I am inclined to delete them.
One can be of a different opinion but can say it in a decent way, or not say anything at all.

Duffy said...

Seems to me people take these things personally. As if the question was some sort of personal affront which must be met with a very strong response. One, I might add, they'd never do face to face. There's a sense of security in anonymity as well. I'm 7000 miles away so do your worst kind of thing.

Anonymous said...

I agree that there is a greater incidence of rude behavior and believe there are two contributing factors. The first is the anonymity provided by cyber-communities and the second is the dissatisfaction people feel in their lives. We are all, for the most part, chasing something we are not even sure we want. And we've paid a heavy price for that in the amount of time we don't have to nurture ourselves and our relationships. It's important to remind each other that it's unnecessary to be confrontational. Debate is good. Anger needs channeling somewhere else. I love Obama's comment. "We can disagree without being disagreeable". Sign me armchair sociologist.

Umar in Dubai said...

completely agree with you. my last post on my blog is getting a similar treatment.

LDU said...

Sometimes it's hard to pick up a persons tone over the internet, but posting a comment on a blog gives you a sense of anonymity. Like, yeah I can be rude, no one knows who I am sort of thing.

him or her said...

It's just misdirected passive aggressiveness I think. There is no come back , and I am angry at the world/my boss/traffic etc . I don't agree with you , and the last time I didn't agree with someone , politics dictated that I keep silent- so I'm making up for it now ! Isn't this what they call trolling?

Rose in Dubai said...

I think its because like most bullies, these people have very little power or personal credibility in their "real" lives so they feel a need to bully online where for the most part no one will ever actually take them on. I would imagine that most of them are absolute wimps in the real world!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Some people have no concept of decency.

You deserved everything I said. And if I ever do meet you in the UAE I WILL KILL YOU!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! Our selection committee compiled an exclusive list of the Top 100 Dubai Blogs, and yours was included! Check it out at

You can claim your Top 100 Blogs Award Badge at



BuJassem said...

i think it's a chronic problem here.. dunno from what? maybe coz we have too many cultures too quickly and ppl cannot take the time to understand the differences so they react in the easiest way posisble - by being rude.

good on you to point it out though!

Seabee said...

ABIT, your comment which I deleted, as I'm sure you knew I would, shows a distinct lack of knowledge of obscene vocabulary. You really must learn more than two words.

Anon@4.24, I'll make allowances because of your age for what I'm sure you think is a really smart response, creative and unique. Only someone under ten years old would think they're the first to think of it and that it's hysterically funny.

rosh said...

Honest thoughts Seabee, but then again, most people are rude in blogworld because they quite honestly don't care or care to think. Shame, really. I also agree with Rose in Dubai and BuJ.

Sophie said...

People are rude on blogs the same as they are rude to strangers in the outside world.

There's very little specific to Dubai in it. In fact, I find Dubai to be one of the 'less rude' places I have lived.

It's annoying and sometimes upsetting. All you can feasibly do is disengage.

James Mattison said...

I apologise for the following out-pouring of thoughts and opinion, commenting on blogs isn't something I tend to plan or place much importance on, so there is little structure to what I have written so take what you like from it.

Although not an expert in any field relating to human behaviour or psychology, it seems to me to be the nature of many to want to challenge an authority figure.

By writing a blog and putting your opinions in the public domain (especially if they are strong ones) you are establishing yourself as a quasi-authority figure and therefore in the firing line for those who disagree, or sometimes not for those who disagree, but for those who mean to play devil's advocate, but simply come across as being rude and disagreeable.

As a second hypothesis, I would guess that in general, we don't tend to mix with people who don't share our points of view. And where we are forced to mix with people with beliefs different to our own, we tend to keep things polite and to the point rather than making grand statements of opinion. When we are relatively sure that the people in our immediate vicinity will share our thoughts and feelings we are much more comfortable to relax and open our hearts. This is most likely the reason that we are not constantly thumping each other in disagreements over opinion.

Bear in mind that a comment written on a blog has probably only had a fraction of the thought or research put into it that the blog itself received. You chose to set up this website and spend the time to document your thoughts. Treat it as a compliment that someone has found enough time in their day to read your thoughts and write any sort of comment, good or bad.

In direct response to the comment you are complaining about this time, I do find it vaguely amusing that you take offense from someone who is complaining about something you yourself complain about on a regular basis - ie, a lack of real research and an assumption.

The photo of the car on fire in Sharjah caught my eye in the paper's a couple of days ago too, but I don't immediately imagine there is a higher instance of car fires in the UAE than any other country. I have absolutely no idea of how many car fires there are in other countries.

Seabee said...

JM there's no need to apologise, contributions to the debates here are welcome, at least the polite ones.

I do find it vaguely amusing that you take offense from someone who is complaining about something you yourself complain about on a regular basis - ie, a lack of real research and an assumption..

I'm in no position to carry out research but I'm interested in the subject and the answer, hence the posts about it. They're an opportunity for someone who does have the facts to give us the answers - but the only seemingly qualified person who's contributed left nothing but the unhelpful comment I complained about.

Anonymous said...

The answer to online rudeness comes in a single word, ANONYMITY.
Hiding behind their user names people are unaccountable for what they write. They will not have to deal with the consequences.
If you live in Dubai you will be familiar with the guys in the big flash cars, with the black-blacked-out glass, who drive mean, reckless, flashing the headlights, cutting-in. They are the same kind of animals. They are too important (they think), too influential (just possibly), to be touched for their dangerous bullying. Same, same kind of cretin.
There is a certain kind of person that indulge their weak egos, their immaturity and unresolved anger when they know THERE WILL BE NO COME BACK. Hold them accountable and they just wouldn't have the nerve. These are cheap people. They give themselves away with the poverty of their language and their thought.
So clean up their comments as quick as maybe and we'll all just treat them as they deserve- we'll ignore them.

Paraglider said...

While I did not take the repeated threats of violence, anal rape, and murder seriously (the last of which is repeated as a comment here), the irritation is that the obscene content and mode of expression defiles any site where it is posted, making it unpleasant for bona fide readers and discouraging further rational comment. This in turn leads to comment moderation, which effectively prevents any real time interaction on the blog. Pity.

Seabee said...

And not one of them answered my question.

Remember I said: Among the people reading this are those of you who are bad mannered enough to leave offensive comments. Many of you do that regularly and exclusively, never leaving a sensible or helpful comment. My questions are to you...Why do you do it? The comments section is open for you to tell us...

Not one of them owned up to why they do it

moryarti said...


i can relate to your comment ... i lately enabled moderation as well and fended off quite nasty and vile language - directed at me and others.

My wife and other friends and family read my blog and i do not wish them to read some of the filth some sad souls leave behind, at least not in a place that i own.

very sad indeed...

BuJassem said...

yeah, dear Moryarti, i see your point but i don't know why people are rude to you in the first place. I find your blog much more tame and balanced (than mine) sometimes and yet you're having probs with rudeness.

Sure, i switch on comment moderation every now and then especially when I criticise Israel, but it's off soon after because I feel the ability to leave fluid comments on my blog is worth more than my posts anyday!

Anonymous said...

There is a problem with people being rude but there is also a problem with the manner in which you express your opinions.

It tends to invite these reactions from people.

I have been blogging for a long time too and have never had this kind of feedback from people.

Paraglider said...

anon 12:37 - yes and no. In four years I received no such comments. My style didn't suddenly change. What happened was someone decided to take offence and started trolling me. And mine is not a unique experience. If you've remained under the radar, be thankful.

Anonymous said...

Actually someone (ME) decided that YOU are a SUBHUMAN and are worth anally raping.

Thats the JIZZ of it. All over your face!


The answer to online rudeness comes in a single word, ANONYMITY.

Actually, Im even worse in real life.

Seabeastiality... Its simple. I respect humans. How I define Humans leaves 99.99999999999 % of you guys in the Subhuman realm. Beneath me and above a dog.

I dont respect dogs, nor will i respect the likes of you. When you meet my criteria to be upgraded to human status, I will forward some respect.

Till then yo iz mah beotch yo!