You Will Be Offended

Let’s Talk Opinion

I have come across quite a few blogs on WordPress forewarning potential readers that they can expect to be offended by the content on offer. It is a fair warning, although I doubt that everyone heeds it. Some may be sufficiently intrigued to keep scrolling through in search perhaps precisely of the offending post.

On yet other blogs, the disclaimer does not appear, but there is a warning attached to the comment box instead, stating clearly that the owner of the blog will delete any comment using offensive language or those comments intending to offend through content.

If you’ve come here in the hope of being offended, chances are you’ll be disappointed. It is neither because vicbriggs’ blog has a commitment to political correctness, nor is it because it avoids controversial topics. It does neither, and the easily offended will be catered for anywhere.

Here we come to the heart of the matter: whilst I do not walk on eggshells around people and do not pander to all sensitivities, neither do I wilfully aim to upset those whose opinion may differ from my own, even to the point of it being quite the opposite.

In fact I am sure that neither do those bloggers who add the “You will be offended” disclaimer; most I believe do this in order to pre-empt any replies that instead of engaging into a fruitful dialogue on the subject under discussion, use the comment box to rage against the said offence: “I am appalled that anyone should think it appropriate to spew that kind of [insert pejorative adjective of choice here]! You’ve crossed a line! You’re an a***hole for writing this! Don’t go around judging people! How dare you say this?! Sc**w you! This is offensive on so many levels!  Go f**k yourself!”

Oh yes, it can get nasty out there. That’s what the “approve” button was inserted for, I imagine.

Having never been tempted to write an offensive comment myself, I struggle to understand what could possibly motivate others to do so. We all have beliefs, views, political standpoints, and what-have-you so… perhaps we can just agree to disagree and leave it at that.

Where do we draw the line between opinion, self-censorship and free speech in the blogosphere? 

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NB: This is an open invitation article for the new series of discussion posts on opinion: Let’s Talk Opinion.

These posts will engage with issues that are important to other bloggers – so it is all about connecting with others on matters close to their heart in the spirit of Project R, yet expanding on the subjects to be considered.

If a topic catches your eye and you would like to contribute, please feel free to add to the comment box, reblog, share, email or message me on Twitter @shardsofsilence.
Or if like me you happen to be a former Hogwartsian send me a letter by owl 😉

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31 thoughts on “You Will Be Offended

    • I am pleased that you think it well said. I was unsure as to the best way to launch the new series and decided that to consider the issue of “opinion about opinion” would get it to a good start.
      The last part of you comment made me chuckle, thank you. 🙂

  1. Personally I have never understood the need for offensive language….as far as I’m concerned it messes up otherwise really good movies and discussions….because…it offends me!

    Vic, I wonder…have you ever read a book called “The Shack” by William Paul Young…I would be interested in hearing your thoughts and opinions about it. I am in the process of reading it …I’m on chapter 8 right now and really don’t know what I think about it at the moment. Yes…I’m a born again…fully committed follower of Jesus Christ…I do think that people can talk and enjoy talking and as you said “agree to disagree”. I enjoy your blog.

    • Thank you for your comment, barbsburnttree. I am glad you enjoy my blog. If you are an Austen fan I think you will enjoy today’s post as well.
      I haven’t read the book you mention, but will look it up and get back to you. 🙂

  2. if we have an opinion that we wish to share on our own page(for instance) then anyone who doesn’t approve can go somewhere else 🙂
    i know that i’ve written possibly offensive things on the subject of Christianity and was happily surprised when no one realised 🙂
    that said i wouldn’t put a disclaimer, one mans offence is an other mans jest, who am i to judge? 🙂 that i’m afraid is up to our dear Readers 🙂

  3. If such intellectual arch-rivals such as you and I–intellectual being a stretch in my case, of course–can have such pleasant discourse, then anyone can.

    As long as you continue to respect me for my mind and not my body, that is. The civility gloves come off, otherwise. }:-)>

  4. I think the ‘you will be offended’ banner is clickbait really. It’s trolling for trolls. The glory of these blogs is that we are all different, but being different doesnt mean we have to engage in warfare. Then again, I’m a bit dated, believing in ‘the dialectic’ …. let a thousand ideas contend!

    • Trolling for trolls – I like that. I don’t think I’ve heard it before 🙂 I absolutely agree with you, Ambitious_Drifter: there is space for us all when it comes to contending ideas. Great comment. Thank you.

  5. Pingback: Let’s Talk Opinion in conversation with YOU | vic briggs

  6. Vic,
    I agree. But as I mention in my post ‘Eternal Politeness of the Blogger’s Rhyme’, I personally haven’t come across Bloggers who would simply rubbish you or offend for the sake of offending. And anyway, WordPress is a portal for us to express what we think so making ‘Offending’ the criteria for a post seems silly. Even if its a stunt the Marketing of it would die for lack of carrying forward the momentum,
    Great Conversation Theme!
    -Twist

    • Thank you for your comment, Twist. I am curious to read your post on the topic. I think that oftentimes if someone claims that their posts will offend, what they mean to say is that they don’t shy away from controversy and that some of their views at least will not be universally acceptable and even unpalatable to some. In such cases the “You will be offended” line is used as a shortcut to express this. I’m glad you think it a good conversation theme – I certainly hoped it would be 🙂 Thank you.

      >

  7. Pingback: Let’s Talk Opinion | Lunchtime Edition | vic briggs

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