Author Topic: How/whether to respond to message board/FB comments....  (Read 2490 times)

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cattlekid

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How/whether to respond to message board/FB comments....
« on: April 11, 2014, 01:54:06 PM »
My husband's co-worker died in a traffic accident two days ago.  They are local delivery truck drivers and co-worker rear-ended a semi tractor-trailer on one of the local highways.  Co-worker was the only fatality.  At this point, the state police are still investigating so there is no official cause of the accident at this time.

Because this accident tied up traffic for hours, a picture was posted on the local news station's Facebook page and other articles were posted on other local news sites. 

The comments were brutal:  "Truck drivers are the worst!  They are all awful drivers!"  "He was texting and driving!"  .... blah blah blah

These comments made me see red.  First of all, a man died.  He left three grown children and two grandchildren, one who is a newborn.  Secondly, no one knows what happened until the police finish their investigation.

So far, I've been able to hold back.  But I see his family trying to defend him on these sites/Facebook and I want to jump in to help them and because it could have VERY EASILY been my husband in that truck and on that route. 

Should I continue my silence until the investigation is over?  I'm thinking jumping into an argument would be counterproductive and prolong the agony for the family (who apparently read at least some of the sites).  But I am also upset that this man (who was also a friend to many of my personal friends as well as a co-worker to my husband) is being denigrated for no reason and I feel like I should defend his honor until we know more. 

Thoughts?

Hillia

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Re: How/whether to respond to message board/FB comments....
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2014, 01:58:54 PM »
As frustrating and painful as it is for you, there is no point replying.  No one will care, no one will change their position, and you'll just be indicating that you want to debate the issue - which you don't.  Things can only get worse.  I might message the family privately with a message of support, conveying your condolences on their loss, but that's about it.

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Wulfie

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Re: How/whether to respond to message board/FB comments....
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2014, 02:06:19 PM »
I understand how you feel. A co-worker's juvenile son killed a man and she called the police and turned him in. It has been a HUGE news story and all the comments of how his parent's didn't raise him right and a lot of comments about their race have been all over Facebook.  They HAD done everything they could to raise him right, sometimes kids do things. This was the first time he had been in trouble with the law so it is not like there was a pattern of behavior that they had ignored.

Oh Joy

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Re: How/whether to respond to message board/FB comments....
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2014, 02:07:31 PM »
What would you be inclined to do if you didn't know the man or the company and were just reading it like any other local news story?

Redneck Gravy

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Re: How/whether to respond to message board/FB comments....
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2014, 02:12:07 PM »
Stop reading the comments

You can't change some people's perceptions, it won't do any good to try.  I jumped into a FB conversation that was filled with misinformation and posted the facts - I was slammed for butting in and flat out told I was wrong, even after I posted a link with the correct facts. 

Prayers for you, your friend and the families involved.

Redwing

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Re: How/whether to respond to message board/FB comments....
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2014, 02:16:36 PM »
My advice is to just stop reading.  Five years my dearest friend and her family were victims of a horrifying crime in which three family members were murdered and my friend barely made it.  I had to stop reading the comments in the local papers because people's ugliness really came out.  People can hide behind a screen name and will say terrible things they would never say out loud.  People are unlikely to be convinced their opinions are wrong, so you're just beating your head against a wall.    >:(

cattlekid

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Re: How/whether to respond to message board/FB comments....
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2014, 02:16:46 PM »
Good point.  I always err on the side of caution when evaluating these situations until the facts are available.  I generally don't post at all on these types of stories but this one just stings so much for so many reasons.

What would you be inclined to do if you didn't know the man or the company and were just reading it like any other local news story?

cattlekid

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Re: How/whether to respond to message board/FB comments....
« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2014, 02:18:41 PM »
Thanks folks.  The company is keeping everyone up to date on the planning for the services and DH's supervisor is keeping folks in the loop on the actual investigation so I agree that I just need to stop looking at the comments and making myself mental.  I need to focus on DH and what he's feeling as he is still pretty shook up from what happened.

veronaz

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Re: How/whether to respond to message board/FB comments....
« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2014, 02:19:16 PM »
I agree with Redneck Gravy.

Stop reading the comments.  Would not hurt to stay off Facebook for awhile.

esposita

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Re: How/whether to respond to message board/FB comments....
« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2014, 02:26:51 PM »
Facebook comments on news stories of any kind enrage me every. single. time. I read them. I cannot, absolutely cannot imagine what you are going through actually being connected. To so many people the little box on a computer screen means nothing. They treat it like a joke or a movie. Its unbelievable how crass and uncaring the comments can be.

I would agree with PPs to just stop reading them.

And ((hugs)) and prayers.

Tea Drinker

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Re: How/whether to respond to message board/FB comments....
« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2014, 07:34:52 PM »
A lot of people's how-to-handle-the-net policy is not to read the comments at all, anywhere. I don't go that far, but comments on news sites, or news stories posted on somewhere like Facebook, tend to be problematic at best. The people I know who do address such things all realize that it takes emotional energy, and that they don't have to do it all the time. Reading those comments is stressing you, and unlikely to change anyone's mind.

In your shoes, I would step away until/unless my friend asked for help with it.
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lollylegs

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Re: How/whether to respond to message board/FB comments....
« Reply #11 on: April 12, 2014, 12:35:10 AM »
First of all, I'm sorry to hear about your hubby's co-worker. I imagine this must be pretty hard for your husband.

I completely agree with not reading the comments.

A few years ago a close family friend did an unspeakably evil thing. I had to impose a Facebook ban on myself because my friends were saying awful things about him. I couldn't blame them, but I was struggling at the time to reconcile the fun uncle type I'd grown up with, with the monster he was in his final moments of life. The rage and grief I felt when reading those comments didn't help.

If it helps, just remember that these people are strangers whose opinion doesn't matter, and that just because a group of people believes something, doesn't make it true.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2014, 11:59:26 PM by lollylegs »

kherbert05

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Re: How/whether to respond to message board/FB comments....
« Reply #12 on: April 12, 2014, 06:53:48 AM »
I think this falls under Don't Engage The Crazy.

My Dad was in the beer business - the comments from "neutral" news people if one of their trucks was involved in an accident were bad enough. I hate to think what it would be like now with blogs and comments. Stick to the official reports and do what you can to support your husband and the family of the deceased.

(With one exception - every accident involving one of my Dad's trucks was found to be the fault of the other person. The one exception was a driver who refused to hole up in a hotel and wait for the bosses helo to come bring him home for Christmas after the roads near Dallas iced over. He jackknife the truck.)
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MurPl1

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Re: How/whether to respond to message board/FB comments....
« Reply #13 on: April 13, 2014, 11:52:11 PM »
kherbert - I was thinking exactly the same thing - Don't engage the crazies.  We had a local message board here that was overtaken by some bullies.  And a friend felt the need to keep trying to correct info they'd post.  And which point they'd turn all their poison on him.  And if they couldn't deal in facts, they'd start in on grammar or typos.

I haven't been able to get him to understand that those folks don't want to be corrected and don't care if they're not right.  They just want to be vocal and opinionated.  That message board died but now it happens on FB instead and is so hard to watch.

To the OP - I'm very sorry for your husband's loss and I'm sure this has really rattled your family.  I hope you can gain some peace soon.

The Wild One, Forever

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Re: How/whether to respond to message board/FB comments....
« Reply #14 on: April 19, 2014, 03:46:37 AM »
I agree that you should refrain from commenting on FB.  If you feel it's appropriate, timing wise, you could personally reach out to the family, even by a card or email, to offer your support.

These happenings bring out the mean in people.  Several years ago, my then- husband's niece was arrested for killing her baby.  (I can barely type those words, I am still so horrified after all this time.)  There was no FB page devoted to the crime, but I made the mistake of going online and finding the local news coverage, from the town 1200 miles away.  The assumptions made in the comments section by complete strangers were so ugly I wanted to vomit.  Evidently, according to the comments, every single member of our extended family was to blame for the death of this baby.  Never mind that ex and this sister, (mother of Niece), were estranged, or that this sister had basically alienated all but a very few family members.  (I could write a book...)  My ex and I had never seen the baby, didn't even know his name, and the paper published a picture of him.  He looked so much like my own son as a baby that I was stunned.  Last I had seen our niece, she was a sweet, quirky, mixed up but basically loving kid, and now she was in jail awaiting trial for the most heinous crime a person can commit.  So, I am learning all of this, and at the same time, reading the vile hate in the comments section.  Big mistake.

You didn't ask for them, but, (((((hugs)))))  I really do kind of know how you feel.     :(
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