Now that I’ve established a social media platform, I know that I will be subject to these types of sites dedicated to anonymous users talking about different gurus, often bashing them or attacking them for various reasons. Some of the most popular ones are Get Off My Internets, Guru Gossip, and various confession sites. One of my biggest nightmares is for my blog to have a forum on one of these sites that consists of a bunch of people talking dirt about me and my content. Luckily, it will probably be a very long time–I’m talking more than ten or even twenty years!!–from now until that happens, and by the time someone does make a forum about me, I may or may not still be blogging or making videos.
That being said, these sites still make forums about smaller YouTubers, bloggers or any gurus along with the super famous ones. I’ve seen negative forums about healthy living bloggers, YouTubers, food bloggers, lifestyle bloggers, fashion gurus, makeup gurus, basically everything, some including the people I personally look up to. Being the curious little sneak I am on very rare occasions, I read them. Some surprise me, some don’t.
Some gurus who have discovered their forums have made responses to these sites accusing them of falsity or just dismissing the trolls. I agree that it’s wrong to publicly troll other people, to make false statements or to just waste your life bashing others who are successful and happy. Cyberbullying is inevitable, but that doesn’t mean it’s acceptable. There’s a line between constructive criticism and being mean.
Yes, there are just some ridiculous forums talking BS about famous gurus, saying “OMG she got so fat”, “This person is so fake”, “What a stupid [insert mean slang term]!”, etc. However, there are a few common misconceptions I disagree with about these sites, and I also have a few reasons why these misconceptions exist. Firstly, I disagree with the idea that everyone behind the screen is a “jealous girl” or a “fat troll” with no life and an overwhelmingly petty need to take it out on others. Some of them are actually fans that are quite loyal and just want to express reasonably critique or concern for another guru.
I read the comments of a few forums of two of my favorite health and fitness trainers–not naming anyone, by the way–both just discussing that their programs and videos were nothing special and wastes of money. That’s not at all trolling someone or attacking them. This is simply reviewing a product that a few people didn’t find life-changing or appealing unlike others, which is perfectly fine because it is honest, unharmful and is nothing personal. Everyone should know that no product is a cure-all and that customers are different. Wouldn’t you feel the same way if you disliked a product and were accused of shaming it?
At the same time, users get more personal and observant. I also found a couple confession forums regarding a few of my favorite bloggers, with many saying that these people seemed to show triggers of eating disorders and pointed out specific instances where they appeared. What was sad is that after reading these comments, I found them to be evident. They expressed legitimate concern and wished these gurus the best, which is what anyone should do.
You may be wondering, why don’t these people just contact those gurus themselves? They could do that, and I think they should. But a lot of the time, fans would defend them or those comments would just be ignored/blocked all together because people shy away from the truth. However, someone has to reveal the truth, someone has to speak up. Even if nothing is done about it, that person was still heard and everybody is aware of it.
You might also think, well these are individuals that have nothing to do with me, so why are these people so concerned? This is definitely a harder point to argue, but if there is something wrong going on with a person that is widely loved and that serves as a role model to a whole audience, then I believe it should be pointed out. If not, imagine how many people would be harmed if nobody said anything.
My general philosophy is that it is better to have to deal with a hard truth than to live a lie. If I ever find my blog on one of these sites, sure, I’ll be hurt by some comments, but maybe some of them will be constructive criticism for me to improve my content. If I take horrible photos, I will figure out another way to edit them. If I seem to present myself in a harmful way, I’ll change that too. But if I find a comment that personally attacks me, my family and friends or what I’m trying to publish, then that will obviously be taken into more serious conditions.
My passions are bigger than me–they affect a whole world of people who have struggles with food and exercise and want to start making better choices. To tell someone that they shouldn’t be blogging or making videos is silencing a voice, which is hypocritical because we all believes haters should be silenced. Everyone has the right to express themselves, even if that means calling someone out without doing harm. It’s similar to the government having to eliminate one’s “civil rights” or “civil liberties” for the greater good. If you silence one voice, you just may have saved the voices of a million people (*cough* Donald Trump *cough*).
So to conclude, it’s okay that these sites aren’t very popular and I don’t think they should be. However, not everything these sites say are personal attacks, but sometimes they are simply critiques or concerns about the quality of the channel and the person. By all means, anything that reveals false information, something about the person’s family or loved ones, or basically just anything else that’s absurd and insignificant is not acceptable.
But instead of keeping these constructive criticisms private, someone has to publicize their thoughts on that person’s actual blog, channel or social media platform, regardless if it’s ignored or not. It never hurts to try and address the elephant in the room, and it’s how a lot of bloggers or gurus maturely admitted about knowing certain controversies and revealing their sides of the story. Sometimes if you don’t speak up about something that is bothering you, nobody will.