Wednesday, February 15, 2012

I Got Blog Hate Mail

I knew that if I blogged long enough, eventually it would happen.  I'd watched in sympathy as other, larger bloggers battled the nasty commenters - like when someone wrongly and viciously insulted Helene's child from I'm Living Proof that God Has a Sense of Humor.  But I've tried to keep my blog fairly neutral (in fact, I have a couple of mildly controversial posts in draft mode that I never worked up the nerve to publish - one on why we don't allow toy guns and another that is a humorous take on talking about sex ed w/ your 5 year old).  I guess if you blog long enough, though, someone is going to find offense anyhow.  So 2 years and 3 months later, I got my first hate email:
O'siyo,
I have been offended by your misuse of my family name to increase your google standing. Not only that but the Bear foot you use was created by C. Camp and being used without his permission. I see this as another Rape by the Yonega(Cherokee for White man). I am under Texas law advising you, that beginning Monday. We will be making a attempt to find a legal way to make you stop this another injustice. Our Attorney's and A.I.M (American Indian Movement). American Indian Vietnam Vets etc. will be given a letter of intent. I am sending a letter to the U.S. Marshal's service. It is within their jurisdiction to enforce the American Indian art's and Craft act. To see if in their opinion You have violated this law as well. Warning there have been similar cases around the Country. The outcome was in favor of the Plaintiff and stood up on appeals. Do the right thing!
Stop what you are doing.
After considering this email a bit, I decided it warranted one response, but if there were further emails I would not dignify them with a reply.  So I wrote -
Thanks for your interest in Two Bears Farm. The name of my blog is not Twobears (like your family name) but Two Bears. The name comes from the alma mater of myself and my husband - we both went to Baylor University and consider ourselves Baylor Bears. However, I'd like to share with you that my great great grandmother was Cherokee. In addition my husband and his family are verified members of the Mdewakaton Santee Sioux Indian Nation. My husband, having a strong identification with his Indian Nation, feels saddened that you would send an email such as this. We are a humble farm family, just making our way in a harsh world, as I am sure you yourself are.

I have emailed my designer about the bear paw print in question. As far as I know, she followed all copyright law in the design of my blog. However, if for any reason this particular graphic is under copyright for which she did not have permission to use, it will be promptly removed.

Washte (Dakota for peace),
Now in case you haven't guessed, the person who sent the email has a website with a similar name to my blog.  I would link it here (I have no issue in sending traffic her/his way, as it is a completely different type of website from my own and I don't see us in competition in any way) however, I have a family-friendly blog and this other site has some questionable advertisements on it.  However, if you google intuitively I've no doubt you can track it down, if you're curious. 
There is no copyright on the phrase "Two Bears" or even on "Twobears".  Nor is there any licensing on the bear paw in question that is by my signature.  So for all intents and purposes, I haven't done anything wrong.  I did receive an email back, stating again that I am using the name solely to increase my google page rank, and also expressing anger that images from my blog show up ahead of this other site's under google images.  Well, hey, like the rest of the world, I have no control over what Google does or does not do.  My PR rank is one above this other site, and I suspect that is only reason why my images show up first.  However, I monitor my stats very closely, and I can honestly say that I have never seen "Twobears" show up in a keyword search for my blog - or any other Native American phrases.  Here's a keyword analysis screenshot taken from Statcounter this past weekend:
In case you can't squint that well, terms used were Playdoh Valentines, couple on a caboose, Asian crockpot meal, amazement square, and jam is too runny can I cook it down more.  What minimal results I may have on Google are the result of over two years of hard work to promote and build my blog - combined with the content of my posts.  I am merely a small rural "Mom" blogger who enjoys writing and sharing my thoughts, and meeting other similar-minded folks online.  I value a peaceful, quiet life, and it's so frustrating when you're just going about your days and someone tries to bring in a bunch of drama.  I'm an Idealist, and when situations like this come up I can never understand the anger and animosity (and, quite frankly, bullying) towards other human beings, without true cause.  So disturbing.  For this reason, I will not read or respond to any further emails from this person.
At any rate, I certainly won't be changing the name of my blog - it's the name of our farm (for the past 13 years) and who we are.  My friend, Valerie,  made me laugh by joking around that I should let her know if the Baylor Bears come after me threatening to sue next.  Sic 'Em Bears!
A housewarming gift from my parents in 2005.
How about you, reader?  Ever had any negative emails or comments about your blog?  How did you handle it?
This post linked with Pour Your Heart Out at Things I Can't Say. 

74 comments:

Steve Surratt said...

I'm sorry this person is persisting with being an annoyance. It seems that with the invention of the internet that manners and etiquette went out the window.

Clint Baker said...

I'm sorry about that but is it makes you feel any better, I have only had my blog up for 2 months now as you know and I have received what I call, "nastygrams" already. It is a sad state we have come to in this country, so sue happy.
I can't remember did he say his name was "Yogi"? Well may God bless you and all that you do! Keep us updated!

Jill said...

Wow! This just blew me away! I had no idea there was such jealousy, competition and haters out in the blog world. I guess I am naive'.

Your response was fantastic, Lisa. Well thought out, well written, good puncuation, grammer, logical and honest.

It hurts me that this person caused you any undue stress. I am very happy you are not backing down. I support you 100%.

Suz said...

They're fishing for a quiet out-of-court settlement. Don't take the bait.

andy said...

That's crazy! !! If they don't like a blog please tell them to click on the x at the top of the screen! ! Have a good day

ZOOF said...

Wow...some people have too much time on their hands. I would just ignore it and move on. Unbelieveable!

JDaniel4's Mom said...

Wow! I have gotten one really horrible comment and some tweets from the same person but, nothing like this.

I guess it means you are doing a great job.

cat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mike said...

I reckon he has no other life than to whimper about his rankings. Jeez Louise, I'd bet he probably isn't even a Native, (no more than the rest of us) Yes, my GG Grandmother was full Cherokee. Most every Southerner I know has some Indian blood in them.

I think marking his future mailings to the Spam folder is the right thing.

Oh, found you on TexWis's blog. I won the 'Red Tail Hawk' last month.

I think I'll follow along, if, I'm not breaking any laws. :)

Mike

Tanya said...

oh my goodness, what craziness!

Sagittarian said...

oh, sorry to hear about that email. There were a lot here, thanks not got one yet! Hope not!:) Passing by!:)

The Incredible Woody said...

The jealous are troublesome to others, but a torment to themselves. ~William Penn

Samantha said...

In the relatively short time I've been blogging, I have been:
accused of hating children, from my post on dog/kid interaction.
accused of torturing my dogs, because we use prong collars.
looking like "a god hating slut" in my profile photo.
Really!?
AHAHAHAHHAHAHAHA!
--
Thick skin, I gots.

Just ignore this lunatic..s/he has far too much time and far too much hate!

In My Wild Eden said...

I had no idea things like this went on. Thank you for sharing this so I will not be too shocked if it happens to me. I never expect people to act like this. I am so sorry they picked you to beat up on. I liked your answer to them.

All Natural Katie said...

Some people need to find better things to do with their time than send hate mail. Keep doing what you're doing!

Diane Cayton-Hakey said...

*sigh* No... all I get are junk e-mails trying to sell me Viagra... LOL

Love ya, Lisa.... just ignore them.

adventures with 4 under 4 said...

Well i say...Sic em!
But I'd say you're handling it pretty well & that you're doing good for no negative comments like that for 2 years!

Sonya @ Under the Desert Sky said...

Wow! That is unbelievable! I can't believe this person is still bothering you with wild allegations, without regard to fact or common sense - especially after your well-written response. Unless, of course, this person just wants to stir up drama. And you're right - this person's constant e-mailing to you certainly crossed into virtual bullying.

(By the way, I'm still trying to figure out why a Viet Nam Vets group would be interested in this so called "fight," Native American or not. A veterans group?)

Ugh. How frustrating!

I have had a "nasty gram" too, about some photos I'd posted from the Iowa State Fair. The photo in question was of a mother pig and newborn piglets in a "birthing" stall (there was a specific name for this stall type, but I'm drawing a blank at the moment).

The person thought the animals were being abused, especially the sow that had recently given birth, because of the "uncomfortable living conditions" she was being "made to endure."

I explained that all the animals at the fair were kept in clean conditions appropriate to the kind of animals they were (horses in appropriately-sized horse stalls, chickens in chicken coops, etc.) with appropriate bedding, and that all animals were fed appropriately, always had fresh water available, etc. And the animals with new babies (or those mammals giving birth) were attended to by veterinarians and students of the local school of veterinary medicine.

I got a couple more "nasty grams" from her, but I ignored them and she stopped, thankfully.

(Okay, sorry . . . I'm finished with my "novel"!)

Barbara said...

Yikes! I'm sorry you have to deal with this. You handled it much better than I would have. I haven't really gotten anything this bad.

My Journey With Candida said...

I think some people have NO LIFE and want to inflict their sorrow on us.

I get a lot of SPAM and people wanting to put their links on my blog. Lately I have been getting PENIS ENLARGEMENT spam. I looked really close and I can't find my penis.... LOL.... these people are jerks.
I tried taking off the comments so no anonymous can comment, but then some of my blogging friends can't comment either so I put it back on and put up with with jerks.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

When people tend to be touchy, they have zero filter--that's what I've discovered. Your letter was a VERY dignified response. I probably would have ignored them entirely, there are bigger fish to fry.
And I never knew any group had naming rights on entire animal species!!!

Chris said...

Best way to deal with negative comments is just laugh it off, delete them and then forget about all about it...

...then track the sob's down and machine-gun thier house. ;-D

Greenacresmama said...

Our litigous society burns me to no end. You can't breathe without someone threatening to sue you for taking his oxygen! I got someone I sensed was an animal rights activist comment once after our cat had a seizure, so I've refrained from posting more about our problem rooster. If you get my drift. ;) Hang in there - I can't imagine this would hold up in a court of law, and pray it would never come to that, anyway!

Michelle P. said...

That is so frustrating! Your response was perfect. It is so sad that people attack others like this. I enjoy reading your blog!

Valerie said...

I support you too, Lisa! I'm proud of you for standing up to this person. Hopefully she'll move on soon:)

And I agree with JDaniel4's Mom-you are doing a great job!

Krystle said...

Oh my goodness!
I think your response was GREAT and very professional!

I have yet to get any negative comments...but like you, I know the day is coming.

I love your blog, the name, the feel...keep at it! :)

Myya said...

People are rediculous. How does sometime decide that it is ok to attack another. Click on the x in the corner if you dont like what you are reading geesh! GREAT response to twobears, whitty, polite & still put them in their place.

I'd love to read your take on sex ed for 5 year old.

Helene said...

At first, I thought it was a joke until I read further.

Seriously, does this person have nothing but spare time on his/her hands?

And, really, he/she couldn't have been a little nicer about it?

Some people just don't understand that you catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar.

Incidentally, that anonymous BFF person who left those nasty comments about Bella has never been back. I responded publicly on my blog to that person and mentioned that I had his/her IP address and knew where they were located by looking over my stats. Guess that scared that hater away.

TexWisGirl said...

i'm terribly sorry, lisa. i know this has caused you distress. really unnecessary of this person - unless any artwork was truly copyrighted or belonged to someone else.

Ginny said...

Oh, I am so very sorry!!!!! There are a lot of things I can say right now, but this person is possibly reading your comments. It seems he is above all very concerned about his ranking on Google, and I consider this to be cyber bullying. Your reply is truly a work of genius, firm but so gentle tempered. I imagine if Jesus was dealing with something like this, he would write something similar. Our religion is not too hot on suing people, it really is not such a Christian thing to do, but this person is likely a different religion. I think everything you are doing is the right thing, and I can't imagine this would go very far in court. This for sure does not give a good name to this man's heritage, it will only make people think badly of him.

Nancy @ A Rural Journal said...

I haven't gotten any of these yet, but if it's any consolation, it's likely because you are becoming popular.

Wouldn't worry about it -- until the sheriff comes to your door. ;)

Karen said...

Sadly, it's inevitable that someone will find something to be offended about. Ignore it, you've done nothing wrong... *sigh*

camp and cottage living said...

Lisa
I suppose it comes with the blogging territory, that we are open to all kinds of wacos. He really is to be pitied, to knit-pic about something so trivial.
I'm glad you stood your ground!

Jenna said...

im sorry you're dealing with this, but glad you blogged about it!!! Sic Em.

Michelle said...

I have received a couple of nasty comments before, but nothing like this. I think you were too kind in responding once! I would ignore it.

MrsJenB said...

I'm glad to see that you stood your ground. I would ignore anything else that comes from them. No one in their right mind would assist this person in any kind of legal action because there's no basis for it. Just jealousy, really.

I once got an email telling me I should jump off a cliff. Seriously. It made me laugh pretty hard, actually - and I felt as though I had "made it" if I was worthy of hate mail! ;)

Andrea (ace1028) said...

Lisa, when I saw this post title I was like, what? Lisa? Shut the front door! I couldn't even imagine it was you that someone was being a hater on. What the heck for!?! You know me, my Brooklyn attitude came out and I was all about to go let the eff-bombs fly for you. ;) But seriously, what the heck? That was poorly written and harsh, and you responding the way you did was worth more than they deserved. But you did what you do. I'm glad you replied tactfully. They're full off poop, IMO! Hugs, sorry you got some nasty-grams.

Shell said...

What a smart response.

I hope that person leaves you alone. If not, I'd be deleting and ignoring!

Tara R. said...

Your response to this email sounded like the best way to approach this. Hopefully that is the last you hear from them. You may want to keep those emails, while not attaching them to your approved comments. If they continue you might need them to prove harassment.

Angela said...

Wow! I've only gotten hate mail from family so far but not on my blog. That is just outrageous! He had no right doing that! What a big bully!

Jenny @ Practically Perfect... said...

Sounds to me like this person is just upset because your blog is more popular than theirs, ha ha!

In regards to the potentially controversial posts in draft, I think you should publish them :-) I'm fairly sure that most people who have read your blog for any length of time know that you're not a mean, controversial person by nature, and most comments would reflect that. You may not have everyone agreeing with you, but there's nothing wrong with that. And any flat-out rude, disrespectful comments should just be ignored. I always think that the people who leave them must live unhappy, miserable lives. Why else would they waste the energy to put something so negative out there? This applies to emails, too!

Sally said...

Obviously, someone is jealous. I suppose they are wanting more comments or advertisers. Ignore it; you answered well.

I will say that after blogging for almost ten years, I've not had a comment or email like that. But, if I do, I'll let you handle it for me!! :)

Prairie Girl said...

I'm shocked at how "lame" and petty some people can be. For the record I checked out the other site and I must say, I THREW UP IN MY MOUTH!!! A LOT!!! Yuck yuck yuck!!

I am glad you have decided to ignore them!! I love your blog and I don't think you're crossing any sort of line! At all!!!

Michaele said...

Wow - You go girl! And that settles THAT!

Debby@Just Breathe said...

It is sad to think that some people don't have anything else to do with their lives except bother others. I love your comeback!

sarahsmithstorm said...

Wow. Very sorry to hear this.. I think you did the right thing by responding back in a kind way.. Kill them with kindness.. Your words are very nice.. You handle the situation well!

Kim @ Stuff could... said...

So sorry that there are hateful people on the net...I have not had anything but spam on my blog

A Quiet Corner said...

Well, Baby Girl,you know how I think and fell about this already. Be you because that's who we adore!...:)JP

Julia said...

*sigh* Why can't we REALLY want world peace?! I mean---we all SAY we do---but really when it comes down to it, we'll never have world peace, because world peace starts with being peaceful towards people, and loving people. This was neither. Grrrr....

Nancy Reinke said...

Your response was excellent, Lisa. Sorry this happened to you, but just keep doing what you do so well. (I haven't yet received anything negative like this, but it's only a matter of time. Not going to stop me, though.) God bless.

LOVE MELISSA:) said...

HOly moly. Do people not enough time on their hand. I am so sorry someone went out of their way to do this. That is crazy!! Stick with your ways! Do not let these people get you down at all.

Carolyn said...

You wrote a great response.

Chatty Crone said...

I have to admit it was a little hard to read. But I am sorry these people are harassing you.

Your name does not want to harm theirs at all!

Sandie

Tweedles -- that's me said...

I think you handled this bullying perfectly.
I also think this person is a very unhappy person with a jealous, hateful heart.
You did nothing wrong..
their heart is just filled with anger.
We had some bullying once, and it was not fun.
Sometimes blog land can find very jealous people.
love
tweedles

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi There, Just stopping by to say HI.... Hope you had a great Valentine's Day. We had a great trip--but it's nice to get home. I'm trying to catch up on some blog posts...

Sorry about the hate mail. Hope you turned it into Blogger... I get one sometimes saying to "Hate American Women".... GADS!

Hugs,
Betsy

jennohara said...

I'm sorry about all this! How crazy are those accusations! Keep up your great work. We love Two Bears Farm!

Rambling Redhead said...

Sorry to hear about that Lisa. I love Helene's blog and sadden that people would insult children. Hitting way below the belt. You can always send them my way, I am sure I would scare the pants off of them :)

Heather H said...

Sorry they are bothering you. Your response was just right IMO. I hope they back off soon!

Sandy said...

People can be so darn nasty. Sorry you even had to deal with someone like that.

Lexie Loo, Lily Boo, and Dylan Too! said...

I'm sorry you had to deal with that. I think you handled it quite well. I have gotten two mean emails in my years of blogging. I chose to ignore them, instead of responding and adding to the drama.

Madge @ The View From Right Here said...

Sorry about that rant you received... I had an email requesting that I remove a post that showed an outlaw biker in our area (a shot of his back only, license plate altered by me) and rather than fight about it, I simply took the image down... too bad I got a lot of traffic on that image too.

Jen said...

Wow!! That is crazy! You handled it so professionally! I don't think I would have done the same.
I keep my blog pretty neutral also, but I'm sure I'll get a negative comment one day.

Gone Country said...

I'm so sorry you received such a nasty email. Seems to me this person has some issues and needs to get a life. I think you handled your response very nicely and with dignity. Kudos!

Tracie said...

Wow, that is harsh. The only hate mail I have received is from my MIL instead of replying to Alex about our engagement annoucnement she replied all and let everyone know what she thought of me and our engagement. I received it at work. As far as blogging goes just a cousin who like to try and one up my stuffl

Grumpy Grateful Mom said...

It took me a minute to figure out what that person was talking about! Sorry you have to deal with this. Your response was indisputably perfect. :)

Tina Fariss Barbour said...

Gosh, that's terrible. That must have been frustrating. So "in your face"! I think you handled it with dignity and class. I've been lucky, but I've only been blogging for about 3 months.

By the way, if I had kids, I wouldn't let them have toy guns either!

Kim said...

Human nature is so odd I find. Obviously if someone googled the name and landed on your page, they would quickly realize it was the other listing they were looking for. I've had a few nasty comments. I delete them and then address them if need be. Keep smiling.

warren said...

I have had two bad emails come in. The first time I tried to handle it nicely. It was nothing like what you are dealing with but every bit as idiotic. It went nowhere of course. Anyhow, the second time I started right off with a "kiss my butt" response. The result was the same in each case...nothing

Becky Jane said...

I've only gotten one in the 1/12 years of blogging. They stated that 'they thought my blog was G rated and now they know it's not'...the only thing I can figure what might have offended them was I had written a non-graphic post about one of my kids being born at home cause we didn't even make it out the front door before she was born. I guess some folks live in a NUT shell!

Lin said...

So, all the Cherokee own animal prints and words like "bears"??? And we can't use them without recourse? Oh. Okay.

I think you gave this idiot too much air time.

Michelle Renee said...

Oh, my...what a horrible email to receive. I admire the way you handled it. Good for you!

GardenofDaisies said...

Oh golly, I've never had anything like this happen. Sounds like you responded in the nicest possible way. to a very rude and angry commenter. And it was interesting to find out more about the reason for your blog name too.

An Irish Italian Blessing said...

Oh goodness I can't even believe people sometimes. It seems like they're obviously jealous of your blog and your popularity. I think you handled this beautifully and hope they have since disappeared with their heads sunk low for acting in such a distasteful manner. Keep being your amazing self and sharing TWO BEARS FARM with the rest of us!

Pride In Photos said...

People like this DISGUST me!!!! Jealousy really makes a person ugly!!
Laurie