Stop Blaming The Victim

Mike writes:

I really like Consumerist. Your mission, the way it’s run, it’s great. But lately my head hurts reading your site and I have really dropped off in looking at it. Oh, once in a while I check in, but I can’t take it in large doses, or even every day. Why? The “Blame the victim” mentality is just too much to take. I almost suspect there are people out there just waiting for some new post and “blaming the victim” for fun, just to troll. It’s to the point that the “here’s why the OP is an asshat” sub-threads are dominating the topic at hand.

I used to tell everyone to read your site, but now I kinda don’t.

Anyway, I know I’m free to browse anywhere else I want, no one is making me pay to read your site, I don’t want to censor anybody, etc., etc. I don’t have any ideas for a solution. It’s only my intention to share why one fairly enthusiastic Consumerist reader gets a headache and high blood pressure reading your blog. It’s not the Comcast stories. It’s the victim-blaming.

Besides that, thanks for the good work.

– Mike

I think it comes down to a matter of tone. It’s one thing to disagree with someone and state the reasons why. It’s another to bash them and use personally derogatory language. This applies to both sides of the consumer vs business divide.

It’s hard for us to monitor all of the robust discussions going on in the comments. If you see someone being a jerk in the comments, please drop a line to tips@consumerist.com or myself at ben@consumerist.com and we’ll check it out and see if it warrants a warning or an outright banning.