Ending the Negativity & Cancer of “Reality Steve” Haters

Yesterday, I tweeted that I was pissed about something and that I was going to take out my blowtorch. The reason I said that is that I have a huge axe to grind over a topic that has been brewing the last couple of weeks on RealitySteve.com. That issue that has gotten me all fired up is the issue of online haters, their presence, and their impact around them.

Before my involvement in writing about the Reality Steve Lawsuit, I rarely read any of the reader comments on RealitySteve.com. Like most of his readership, I primarily visited to read what Steve Carbone writes, not necessarily the reader comments.

I now read RealitySteve.com reader comments with greater interest because I look for insights, trying to get a pulse on the online community as it relates to the Reality Steve Lawsuit. I am amazed, shocked, and disgusted at the amount of outrageous, disrespectful, and hateful comments that are posted and never removed!

What amazes me more is that Carbone actually allows this hate and disrespect to go on day after day, week after week, month after month! And instead of him doing something about it by intervening, he lets his supporters fight it out with them! I think to myself, WTF is he thinking?

Before I go any further with my blistering comments, let me once again state my respect for Carbone and his accomplishments with creating and growing RealitySteve.com as he has. I respect him as an entertainment reporter, fellow entrepreneur, fellow blogger, and fellow website owner.

I also appreciate that he continues to refer people to my ongoing commentaries regarding his lawsuit. He has shown great respect to me by giving me credit for things I have started on his behalf. It certainly is no secret that I continue to support, advocate, and defend his position as a fellow blogger, website owner, and entrepreneur.

However, Carbone cannot afford to have this kind of ongoing negativity and cancer of haters in his life right now. There is enough stress and pressure from the ongoing operation of supporting RealitySteve.com PLUS the huge lawsuit against him without the pettiness of haters.  This is something he can and should do something about immediately. I am a firm believer that every bit of negativity you let into your life chips away at the fabric of your work, your life, and who you are. Some might say it doesn’t bother them but I think, as human beings, negativity inevitably slips in through osmosis. The best way to prevent negativity from seeping into your life is to stop it cold whenever you encounter it.

As blogger and host of RealitySteve.com, Carbone has a responsibility to protect his readership and fans from haters, disrespectful comments, and venom even though it may not bother him personally. His fans and readership come to immerse themselves in his world whether it is two minutes to read a short blog post, 5-10 minutes for a longer blog post, or 60 minutes to view his video blog.

Visitors who visit RealitySteve.com want to hang out with like-minded, fun people who enjoy the discussion of news and spoilers and not read bullshit hateful, disrespectful, and venomous comments from naysayers and critics who don’t offer anything constructive to his community. I don’t think it is the job of his fans readership to defend him. It is his job to set the tone and “house rules” for reader comment behavior. If people can’t follow “house rules”, they should get kicked out plain and simple.

Somehow this bullshit entitlement mentality by some readers that they are allowed to rant, rave, attack, and spew venom whenever and however they want on HIS website is incomprehensible to me. How does that serve his website or anyone else involved except for the few people who get off on being asses online?

Admittedly, RealitySteve.com commands a greater viewership and ranking than my own ELI website that I currently write from. But I can also say there are other far larger websites than his that would never allow the outrageous negative comments and behavior that Carbone seems to tolerate on RealitySteve.com. It serves no good purpose to having these destructive negative comments and only clutters up the website with unnecessary negativity and online conflict.

Let me be clear, I have no problems with honest disagreement and debate. I don’t have a problem with constructive criticism. But there comes a point where these so-called “reader comments” cross the line. It needs to be dealt with swiftly and unapologetically.

Six months ago, we had an anonymous person (they are almost ALWAYS anonymous) trash-talk me and attorney Oscar Michelen of running a scam here on ELI. I can tell you in no uncertain terms that while our community and readership quickly jumped in to support us (as RealitySteve.com readers do on Carbone’s behalf), there was no way in hell Oscar or I would allow that kind of trash-talk about us in our own website go unanswered. Although we could have deleted that post and lock out that user account, we didn’t.

We chose to respond to it openly and forcefully. Although it took more of our time to do so, we wanted to send a strong message to everyone that we would not tolerate or stand for unfounded accusations, disrespect, or hateful comments.  Oscar’s response and my response were quite lengthy.  But allow me to quote some important passages that I feel are also relevant to RealitySteve.com.

For people who offer only criticism of us but no helpful suggestions or ideas.

You say the information on this website and discussion forum is good?  Who do you think did all the work over the last 3 years to put this community and website together?  It was a tag-team effort between Oscar and myself. We brought our different strengths together and created tremendous synergy.  Did we use ingenuity, leverage, and efficiencies to get the word out and devise a way to collect information but also to serve thousands of people?  You bet we did.

We did it because it served the greater good.  Do we ask for some nominal monies to support the cause?  You bet we do!  There are real costs of our time.  Yes, we want to help but do you think Oscar and I should sacrifice our livelihoods to help others over these letters?  If you do, then do us a favor and just leave. We aren’t going to become martyrs over this.

Anonymous critics and haters are cowards and leeches. They take and don’t give anything back except negativity. Readers who truly care offer suggestions or constructive comments.  When they do, I do my best to reply and acknowledge them. The haters like to call it “ass-kissing” when it simply comes down to old-fashioned respect.

Most people don’t know the first thing about launching their own blog, website, or business.  Yet, haters are busy wasting their own and everyone else’s time with their venom. If they are going to be disrespectful and hateful towards us on our own website and property, we are going to hit back, plain and simple.

And some people like you only see the faults and criticize us.  Well, what are you doing to help the cause?  Have you spent hundreds of collective hours that Oscar and I have spent over the last 3 years on the forums, videos, phone discussions, reading, researching, negotiating, emailing, etc? I think not.  This may be a bold statement but I think there are very few people in the U.S. and quite possibly the world that have done as much work on defending the demand letter issue AND have impacted tens of thousands of people as we have.  The web statistics don’t lie. 

It is unfortunate that I had to take a strong tone in my response to you but when you start firing off your mouth with barely a clue of what is happening in the big picture, the work behind the scenes, or knowing the full story, we are not going to simply be quiet about it.

And for people screaming about free speech on OUR own website this is what I have said.

Never forget, we have the power to delete any message or user we want.  There is no freedom of speech here because this is private website and property.  You are in OUR home.  That means people should mind their manners.  We leave dumb messages like yours up to show everyone we are transparent in how we work.  We are not afraid of constructive criticism or even disagreement.  Having said that, don’t expect that Oscar or I will quietly sit and let someone disparage our personal and professional reputations.  WE could have deleted your message altogether but we chose to deal with it head-on for everyone to see.

Free speech doesn’t mean you can go anywhere and say anything you want even in a tax-payer funded federal building. There are rules for free speech. If someone wants to spew venom, they should launch their own website and spew away in their corner of the Internet. But I won’t have someone come spew venom in MY corner of the Internet.

To haters everywhere, I openly say this in very coarse and rude (Rated “R”) language:

“If you can’t offer anything good (or at least your silence) then get the fuck out and don’t let the door hit your ass on the way out. We (the community) won’t put up with your shit. If you want to act like an adult and a respectful human being, then you can come back. Otherwise, good riddance!”

Many years ago, I learned this business lesson that I practice to this day.

There are people love you.
There are people who are indifferent to you.
There are people who hate you.

You job is NOT to be all things to all people.

Your job is to acknowledge, support, and appreciate the people who love you.
Your job is to sell, court, and win over the people who are indifferent to you.

And get rid of the people who hate you. Don’t let them become a cancer to you, the people who support you, or what you do.

I truly hope Carbone will consider the intended spirit of what I have said in this commentary article as offering helpful insights as opposed to taking offense to it as he continues his ongoing lawsuit battle.

 

 

8 Comments

  1. Steve is always going to have haters no matter what. He has said that he doesn’t read the comments and he doesn’t care what the haters say because they keep coming back anyway. People can be incredibly rude and ignorant but I think if they want to waste their time trashing somebody, then they can do it. I don’t know if deleting all the hateful comments is a good idea because they will just get even angrier and keep posting mean stuff. I’m not disagreeing with you, but I think that since Steve doesn’t read them anyways, it doesn’t really matter to him. There are so many people that like him and the haters are just wasting their time being jerks. Steve doesn’t have time to respond to rude comments (if he even reads them), and I feel like that would just make the hate even stronger. I can understand why you are upset and I agree that many comments are horrible; however, Steve has stated multiple times that he does not read the comments and he sometimes does respond to haters on his reader e-mails, for example. I think that if it really bothered Steve, he would have started doing something a long time ago, as he has always had haters. Sorry that this is so long but I just wanted to say that while the things people say are awful, I think the best thing for Steve to do is to continue what he has been doing and just not read the negativity or waste time responding, which would just fuel the fire even more.

    • Hello smforeman,

      Thanks for your thoughtful reply. First, let me say I do understand where you are coming from. Second, I also understand where Steve is coming from because he has pretty much said what you said. But I would have to say that I respectfully disagree with both of you. Let me explain why.

      I have a strong I.T. (information technology) background which I use to my advantage both in business and personal life. I use it to help others when I can. I make it my business to study the use of technology to achieve the results of what I want. I also have a fair understanding of Internet security. That means knowing what software to use and how to use it is a big part of whether you are successful or not. You can have two people use Microsoft Word in completely different ways. Some people use it very simplistically to type a letter. Others, such as those who work in law offices, have the ability to create amazingly sophisticated and impactful legal documents with it. It comes down to the user.

      Did you know that the ELI website and RealitySteve.com run on the same underlying software? It is called WordPress. The WordPress platform is used by literally hundreds of thousands of websites around the world. It is the basis of some of the most sophisticated and largest websites in the world because of its ease, flexibility, and cost (free). How I know what RealitySteve.com runs on is because I set up a user account and in the process of registration, I saw he was running on WordPress. Even without that, there are external clues that he was using WordPress.

      Without disrespect intended towards Steve, he doesn’t seem overly technical. If he is, it appears to be a well-kept secret. And he certainly doesn’t show his technical side. “Haters” and “spammers” have been around since the Internet became available to the public in the mid-1990’s. There are many ways of fighting off haters and spammers. And unless a hater happens to be a programmer (which I cannot imagine many Reality Steve haters are), they can never truly overcome a well-planned system of screening out spammers and haters.

      Did you know that the ELI website gets attacked by spammers 150-200 times per day? And yet, no one knows about it and their efforts are 99.9% wasted. Once in a great while, a lucky hit will get through but it is easy to delete and suspend that account going forward.

      Most of Reality Steve haters are people. They are not using automated robots to post their hate. I can promise you, I can “kill” hater accounts far quicker than they can ever set up new accounts. I don’t even have to do it myself. I just have to configure WordPress and add an appropriate plug-in to make it happen. You don’t have to be a programmer to clean out the haters. There is already all kinds of free plug-ins that will do the job but it is something Steve would have to commit to do.

      I don’t want to get into a psychological debate of whether “haters” bother Steve or not. I happen to believe that negativity and hate do affect people in subtle ways. I think it makes people more cynical and more irritable and overly skews their views because it overwhelmingly drowns out the good moderate people who mind their own business and avoid conflict. You don’t see me jumping into there because it would be pointless. In any case, I believe in taking care of and reward those who “love” me, not haters. Haters will continue to hate but why would anyone let them do it to your own website that you pay for?

      The idea that someone won’t fight back spammers or haters because they will come back is like saying:

      1. You are going to get dirty anyway, why take a shower every day?
      2. You are going to get bugs in your house anyway, why waste money on pest control or bug spray?
      3. Your house is going to get dirty anyway, why dust or vacuum your house?
      4. Your car is going to get dirty anyway, why wash your car or clean out your car?
      5. A bully is going to insult and attack you anyway, so why bother fighting back since you keep getting abused and picked on?

      I could easily give you another 50 examples but I think you get my point. Spammers and haters may continue to hit your website but that doesn’t mean you let them shit all over your website. Would anyone let a stranger come shit on their car, their bedroom, or their house? If not, why would someone let spammers and haters shit on their website that they work on and paid for and is so valuable that it generates money for them?

      To me, it is either ignorance (someone didn’t teach or show them), laziness, or plain indifference. For me, I care about “my people”. For example, you disagree with me. That’s ok. You were respectful and I am replying to you. You took the time to reply and I will make the effort to do the same. Now, I understand there comes a point where it is too much to reply to everyone individually but there are ways of acknowledging entire groups of people.

      I come from a place where all my websites are an online reflection of me. They are certainly not perfect but I can promise I send out a strong message to spammers and haters. If they want to shit on or talk trash about me, my name, or my work, I can’t stop them from doing so ELSEWHERE on the Internet. But I sure as hell can and will stop it if it is on MY home website.

      We choose to have pest control in our own homes. Well, we also have the option to have pest control on our websites. Simply saying that the bugs will be back bigger, badder, and meaner doesn’t mean you say, “I give up. Come in and shit all over my house.”

      Having said all that, RealitySteve.com is not my website. The Reality Steve Lawsuit isn’t even my fight. I have done what I can to help Steve with no conditions. He can accept it or he can turn away. Either way, I have no regrets. I stand by my article about how negativity and cancerous haters can be. The haters damage his reputation and cause harm in very subtle and ugly ways that hurt him. He may not see it but I do see the harm.

      If Steve doesn’t mind people shitting all over his website simply because it doesn’t bother him or whatever, then I question whether he understands the bigger picture. For me, the “bigger picture” is that as a blogger and website owner you have a duty to take care of “your people” even if it is more work for him.

      He got nearly $8,000 in contributions to his legal fund. If that doesn’t prove that he has goodwill and good people on his side, nothing will. That should prove to him that having a solid community without the haters would be even better and stronger so that supporters like yourself can post on his site without some ass insult your for enjoying or supporting his website.

      You posted respectfully here but I consider you “my people”. If anyone went after you or anyone else that respectfully posts and comments on my websites, you can believe I will blow them out of the water with no explanation. They can keep coming back and I will keeping stomping on them like the nasty pests they are.

      Matthew

      • Thank you for your response and sorry it took so long for me to reply. I think you make some very good points and I agree that if all you have to do is add a plug-in to get rid of the negativity, Steve should do it. However, he probably doesn’t know how to do this and probably won’t. But thank you for your response and I am glad you understand that I wasn’t trying to be disrespectful. I do think the comments on his blog are awful, but I don’t think Steve is going to do anything about it. I enjoy reading your posts and learning a lot about the lawsuit and I wish you the best of luck with your endeavors. I sure hope this lawsuit ends soon and hopefully Steve will win.

        • Hello smforeman,

          Thanks for dropping by again. There is a little bit more work than just the plug-in. There is also some degree of manual intervention and work but it is relatively easy and well worth keeping haters away. I think Steve has taken too lax an attitude about it which has only encouraged more of that type of disrespectful behavior from the haters. He has to want to care about it enough to do something about it.

          I know I care about any website that has MY name and photo of it. I won’t let haters, trolls, or spammers ever take over my website. NEVER. It would literally have to be over my dead body. After all, I pay for my websites for others to visit and read. So, I am protective of my websites.

          I am glad you are learning from my posts. I do my best to educate (and entertain a tiny bit when possible). I think you can see I don’t believe in textbook writing. I will use Rated-R language if I need to. Whatever it takes to get my points across.

          Like you, I hope this all ends. It has been an interesting exercise writing about the Reality Steve lawsuit but I don’t get paid for this. I do it to try to make a difference in this world.

          But positive comments like yours does give me extra motivation to write more. Thanks for that.

          Matthew

  2. Mr. Chan, I’m totally offended by your use of the f-word in your rant. I originally thought you might be a tiny bit credible, but all faith in you and your crusade are gone. You bash the haters (of which I am one) and you flat out insult those of us reading your blog by using disgustingly foul language?

    I don’t like being referred to as a hater because I post negative but very constructive comments on his blog. I don’t hate Steve personally, I hate what his blog and his donate button have done to a former half-way interesting blog. If he’s found guilty, he’ll stop posting spoilers. If he’s found innocent, he’ll still have a problem getting informers.

    • Hello Cyns48,

      Thanks for writing. (No need to call me Mr. Chan. You can call me Matthew.) I am not sure why you would consider yourself a “hater” because your post to me does not qualify you as being “hateful”. I have certainly not called out any single individual out. You are a little disagreeable with my position but nothing that is so offensive to me. “Hater” is a generic term term used on the Internet who are genuinely ugly and disrespectful. Although you objected to my profanity (which was used for emphasis), you are civil and respectful about it. I appreciate that.

      Please understand, there is a difference between differences in opinion and being hateful and disrespectful. For whatever it’s worth, if I had more “haters” like you post on my site, I would have no problems because you don’t sound like a traditional hater.

      If you were to read most of my posts, you will find that I rarely use profanity but this topic hit a nerve with me and I chose to be more explicit about it. I don’t write for a Rated-G audience, nor do I overly sanitize my writing. I usually write in a Rated-PG13 style. As a blog owner and writer, I exercise my freedom to communicate directly and openly as I see fit. Some people like it, others may not.

      Regarding your thoughts on his “donate” button and his website, I am quite certain Steve doesn’t much care for it either. He credits me for giving him the idea to solicit help through Paypal Contributions and I stand by the idea. I probably would have done it differently than he did because I dislike the word “donate”.

      Sometimes in life, you need to ask for help. Fortunately, there are a LOT of people who like him, his website, what he does, and understands the importance of fighting back. Everyone gets to make their own choice. No one is twisting anyone’s arm on financial contributions. Let’s not forget that Steve has repeatedly and publicly thanked the people who have contributed to his cause. Asking publicly for financial help is never an easy thing. But sometimes you need to if you want to serve the greater good.

      For what its worth, ELI could not continue to exist in its present form without an influx of funds from a variety of sources some of which includes Paypal Contributions. ELI could not have helped advocate for Steve Carbone and RealitySteve.com if others had not chosen to support ELI. That is how the world goes round. I believe in passing it forward when I can. In my case, I didn’t pass it forward with money. I passed it forward with my time and my writing abilities.

      Just so you know, we are NOT on a “crusade”. At most, we are advocating for Steve. That is it. We get nothing out of it except for some additional visibility, thank-you’s, and good will. It is something that I felt strongly about and decided to “donate” a little bit of my time to it.

      I am not sure how much legal analysis you have read but this is more than “guilt” or “innocence” issue. Right now, all the time being spent has NOTHING to do with the central issue at hand. It is just a legal meat-grinding exercise designed to wear him down regardless of what he did or did not do.

      Thanks for stopping by and contributing to the conversation.

      Matthew

  3. Being a legal-eagle I understand all too well meat grinding exercises, especially in the airline industry. Everyone hates the airlines. Like politics and religion, I tend to keep my mouth shut when it comes to the justice system in our country. I’d be out of a career if I didn’t.

    As I said, I don’t hate Steve. I do resent the fact that he insults the very people paying his bills by coming to his site. I know all about paying it forward, and it may not hurt Steve to do the same. To show a little humility and remorse for the way he talks to some people that ask questions on his blog. It may come as a huge shock to him that a good majority of us are very well educated and simply stating an opinion, just like he does.

    • Hello Cyns48,

      Thanks for writing again.

      I would say that some people take what he says too personally. As far as I can tell, he doesn’t call anyone out specifically. I also think that how he behaves online is NOT how he is in “real life”. His videos seem to indicate that. What I think people should remember is that his website is entirely about entertainment even his online persona that he advertises.

      As a reader of RealitySteve.com and a website owner myself, I am sympathetic to many of his complaints. I don’t necessarily agree with everything he does or says but I don’t personalize it. Many people also don’t personalize it otherwise he would never have gotten so much in Paypal contributions in between show seasons.

      FYI, I have never met Steve personally and I have yet to speak to him but from my limited view, I see multiple sides to him so I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. While I have nothing against Steve, my advocacy of his position has a lot to do with the heavy-handed ways of Hollywood not whether I “love” him or not. Certainly, it doesn’t hurt he has been respectful of me and what I have written about him and his case.

      I can’t speak to his character except from what I observe but I do respect his accomplishments and his directness whether people agree with him or not. Based on your responses, what I see of him, and knowing myself, I actually think the 3 of us could be friendly and get along in the same room. I think the interpretation of what is written and communicated online seems to be interpreted vastly differently.

      As you can see, I do engage my audience whenever possible (even when they disagree with me) in the comments section which he doesn’t choose to do. I think there is a line of decorum that some people cross. It seems clear he has crossed the line of respect where you are concerned but I would say that line varies greatly from person to person.

      If you are truly a “hater”, you got me fooled. You simply strike me as a person who sees things a bit differently which is perfectly okay.

      For what it’s worth, I do think Steve has mellowed a bit in the last few weeks. Perhaps, it is a far cry from the humility you are seeking from him but I do think he is changing a bit. I could be wrong but that is my observation. Thanks for commenting again.

      Matthew