BRP – Cyber Bullied

On Wednesday 8/22, this blog, Blue Ridge Pony, was the victim of cyber bullying.  The bullying was conducted by full grown adult men. 

To end the tirade I shut BRP down.  I apologize to my regular readers for the brief absence. 

***

I consider BRP to be a pretty simple noncontroversial blog.   I enjoy posting photos of my pony, talking about competitions I take part in, trail rides I go on, products I have tried and sharing general pony antics.   BRP gets some traffic, but is certainly not a popular blog, which is ok with me because I think of it as a fun sort of way to document what I am doing in the equine world. 

At lunchtime last Wednesday I received an email notice that there was a comment in response to a post I made in early February.  Being one of the very few comments this blog has received, I eagerly pulled it up.  After reading it I questioned if it was a legitimate comment, or if it was instead a new type of clever spam, because the response did comment on my post, but it completely missed the very clear and simple point, and seemed more like the writer had only read the headline. 

The blog post in question is titled “Sunday Hunting” and is about Virginia’s decision to continue to ban hunting on Sundays.  I include a calendar that the Virginia Horse Counsel put out that marks days that are open to some form of hunting so riders can decide if they want to ride at home, venture into the woods, or if they want to put on blaze orange for the day.  In the post I state that it is my preference to keep the ban in place.

The commenter was clearly and outspokenly interested in changing the law to allow hunting on Sundays.     

The difference in opinion is fine, and his statement, although it sounded rash and a bit off topic, was  fine.  But it was quickly followed by additional comments, by the same poster as well as a few additional posters.  The comments quickly turned malicious, feeding off of each other’s lack of sense and rational,  and snowballed into utter nastiness.  Wild ‘facts’ were thrown out and propaganda and conspiracy theories against hunting were blamed. 

I also got a few ping backs on my blog, which lets you know when your blog has been listed as a link in another location.  I followed the pings and came to a Facebook group titled “Legalize Virginia Sunday Hunting For All”.  And the unpleasantness, and lack of actually reading my blog posts before jumping to conclusions, was continued by the lead instigator, a grown man,  who was joined by other grown men. 

In the commenter’s defense, I had not listed the reasons in my original blog post as to why I prefer hunting to remain banned on Sundays, nor did I elaborate that I am pro-hunting, and supportive of hunters rights.  Although it was apparent that they were truly not reading the blog post before commenting anyway, and preferred to make their own assumptions.  But I did leave them to decide my reasoning on their own.  And they were, as expected, wildly and totally off the mark. 

By this time I had received a good dozen comments, that rolled from irrational smears to outright verbal attacks and threats to myself and my horse.  I quickly turned on the blog’s built in comment monitor, and removed those that had already appeared to the public, because nothing healthy was happening.  Certainly threatening my life and my horse’s life, does not further the cause of legalizing hunting on Sundays, or stay in line with the upbeat, friendly blog I have intended to provide. 

The assaults continued until I had enough and shut down Blue Ridge Pony. 

I am sad to see a group of grown men, act like a bunch of school yard bullies, while hiding behind computer screens. 

Certainly any creditable group would not make wild death threats to prove their point? 

If a true discussion was the intent, all a commenter had to type was “why do you not want hunting on Sundays” rather than attempting to publicly post an elaborate description of field dressing my horse

Sadly all of this was stated in the name of proving that hunters are responsible and should be allowed to hunt 7 days a week, and that everyone will be safe to enjoy the woods if it is permitted.

These men certainly showed their maturity, the degree of self control they possess and made the level of their rational thinking clear.    

Shame on you grown men, who give hunters a bad name.

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