It’s always been my practice never to write anything overtly negative on my blog, on the simple philosophy that it never pays to make enemies. If I read a book and think it’s nonsense, I don’t review it. If I test a product or service and don’t see value in it, I don’t write about it. I’d rather ignore something than have my honest, but harsh opinion permanently accessible online.
But one recent comment presented a quandary. In one of my best-of articles, I noted that I found a particular blog post interesting and linked to it. I know nothing about the blogger other than that he wrote a piece I found helpful and thought my readers would find value in. I received this comment (still unpublished):
[blogger name] is a scam artist and you will be taken advantage of if you do business with this sorry excuse for a human being.
If I ever see him again, I will make sure I don’t recognize him after that. Ask around, he is [expletive]. Most people are just too busy to waste any more time on him and feel sorry for all his next victims. And you all are victims.
On one hand, I’d never want to point my readers in the wrong direction. On the other, this comment is not only vulgar but borderline libelous and threatening.
What do you think? Would you publish this comment in the spirit of open debate or trash it potentially inaccurate and damaging? I’m interested in your thoughts.