We...are The Pondlings.

Hello and welcome to the first of many articles by TAY's all new secret group, The Pondlings. Just who are we? Hard to say but we exist for one reason...

To make the people of TAY happy.

Because making people happy is a reward in itself. (Plus we get shiny star stickers for every good deed we perform...*cough*)

We noticed Sunday is the day of the dead and so we stand here today to remedy this horrible mistake. So let us begin...The SunTAY Morning Pondling Debate Β© (Issue 01).

Our topic today: What is the best way to deal with negative comments aimed towards you on the internet. An example being Phil Fish and the Fez 2 scandal.

As you know, the internet allows us to spread our opinions anonymously but there are people who don't have that luxury and they must deal with negative comments on a daily basis. An example is Phil Fish, a well known indie game developer who has received a lot of hate over the years. But what if you're just a nice guy and yet people slander your name, trick you into saying things that paint you in a bad light and so on...

Believe me this happens. In the extended version of Indie Game: The Movie, it is stated that some people use a tactic called "Character Assassination" where they trick a person into saying something that can be edited and used to slander them. The developers of Super Meat Boy stated that a user pointed out a security flaw in Meat Boy's MySQL. Tommy, one of the developers, said "he shouldn't worry about it", he knew what he was doing and was working on it. So the user hacked into the MySQL and replaced all the custom made levels with "Sh**ty Developers" and then posted it on Reddit. However he modified it to make it seem like Tommy had dared him to attack the server. So Tommy closed it down and dropped the entire custom level option in the game because it wasn't worth the hassle.

So I ask my fellow Pondlings (and non-pondlings), what do you think is the best way to deal with negative comments?

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Koi: There's a saying I have..."A fist in the face hurts more than words on a screen." Now that isn't to say that negative comments don't hurt but I live by this philosophy and it allows me to rise above the negativity that I come across from time to time. The internet is a wondrous place full of great people but such a paradise comes with a price, trolls. I feel that the more you put yourself out there, the more negative comments you're going to receive. Take Main Taku for example, post an opinion, preferably one that's straight forward and watch it attract the maggots.

Another example, make something creative like a game or piece of art, release it to the net and see the feedback you get. "This is amazing!" "I love it so much." "This f**king sucks!"

"Woah, where did that come from? How dare he! I'm going to yell at him and show this stranger a piece of my mind!"

HOLD IT! Think for a moment, who is this person, what are his / her motives, they haven't explained why it sucks so should you give them the same respect? Well I do two things, I either ignore it which works pretty well or I respond to it in a positive, jokey manner. But I add a twist, I troll them back without making myself look bad. Although it'll blow my cover...I'll cite an example.

So this guy said that the art style I chose for my project was "...a huge waste of time. Looks like sh*t...Looks just awful. F**k Wind waker, f**k Cell shading fad that failed."

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To which I responded very calmly with "Sorry you feel that way. You're very welcome to make your own version in the way you imagine it. I look forward to seeing it."

Notice how I started off with "Sorry you feel that way". It keeps me down to his level and shows I feel nothing but pity for him. This will anger him because I haven't given him the response he wanted. Then I made a snarky remark about how I look forward to seeing his own version, basically undermining his ability without looking like an a**."

With a calm mind and well thought out responses it is possible to avoid pretty much all conflicts and stay cool in the eyes of the public. Since I don't much care for the opinion of strangers, an insult aimed at me is like a wave crashing against a rock.

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Overall though, Edmund said it best:

"There'll be a video of kittens that has 6 million likes and then 10 dislikes and those 10 dislikes are a**holes and they'll always be a**holes."

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Ottsel: Umm, this is not going to be easy for me since I have never been that exposed to the internet. I tend to protect myself too much and be careful with what I blurt out whenever I write but I believe that dealing with a troll is an art. A troll is a troll because it adopted that persona and they thrive on creating chaos so they are more or less like douches in real life (quite despicable persons). But you know these people have issues of their own and I have noticed that when someone behaves like that it is because they are jealous and somewhat lazy, they prefer to destroy rather than do something about themselves! So I have whipped up a list on how to deal with them based on real life experiences.

1) Fight back.
I used to be a raging kid, if someone gave me the looks I would fight! I wasn't strong or anything but I was filled with rage and that alone won me many fights. Now that was waaay back when I was 8. I wasn't very intelligent, so obviously I got myself in a lot of trouble back then, I got scolded many times, enough to guarantee myself a transfer to a new school! Fighting back will probably get you banned, especially if you fail to measure up on your words.

2) Ignore them.
This one I used almost all my life to date. Look, I was once involved in a car crash (nothing serious, just a small bump) and the guy that tried to cut me through got furious and started blurting curses and threatening me. I just stood there, not giving him the pleasure of fighting back, I didn't raise my eyebrow, nor moved my lips, I just simply stood there. It took a lot of me not to fight back since that idiot was the one responsible for the accident but I held myself, turned on the radio and eventually the guy got his marbles back and realized what he did wrong, apologized and everything was solved. Could this work on the internet, well yeah it could actually, it solves the problem instantly since trolls are looking for a reply. What I don't like about this approach is that it leaves you with a bad taste in your mouth, you feel you could have said something in that silence, actually you wanted to say something but decided not to, which leads me to my third option.

3) Be smart, insult them intelligently.
Hey if you know what you are doing is right, no one should make you doubt your efforts, especially not a fool behind a keyboard! So if you are thinking of hooking up in a discussion with a troll, don't fall for cheap tricks, lay traps so you can lure him into saying what you want. This option is what I call the Chess Master, since it resembles a good game of chess. This last one takes a lot out of you, it's not easy to pull off, but when it works you'll feel like when Deep Blue won against Kasparov!

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So you see, depending on the situation, one option should be more viable than the others.

In the end it's better not to give them the pleasure of engaging into a discussion but if you want to lower their morale then go for the third option! You'll avoid getting in trouble and in exchange you might gain some praise for your efforts!

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Crane: Well, I don’t have much experience on this subject seeing as I am a hermit, I don’t venture out much onto forums or say how I’m β€˜feeling’ on social media sites. But generally my philosophy would be to ignore these comments from strangers. These people don’t know you, you don’t know them, no one knows the circumstances and does it really matter what this person thinks? If it doesn’t, if this is just one random person, then they should be pretty easy to ignore.

After all, they’re not actually in your face; you can /ignore or block them pretty easily on the internet. If this person’s opinion really does matter, then you want to give a proper response to them, which means you need to stop and think. Replying straight away when you’re angry and emotional will only cause you to give an angry response, which won’t sway anybody’s views.

Giving yourself some time, keeping calm and responding with a well thought out answer is the best solution. And then if you get a negative comment again, go back to option one, ignoring them. They are obviously not going to listen right now, so there is no point in trying with them.

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Well, this is the lowly Crane’s opinion, what do the people of TAY think?

(Koi: For the record Crane, your opinion matters and I'm glad you contributed.)

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Thank you for reading and to the non-pondlings, we welcome your discussion.

The Pondling Group is a secret organisation dedicated to watching over the citizens of New Tay and making sure their happiness comes first. If you wish to join our secret group you must first find and catch every member and then send me the password to enter our hideout. Make sure to check out TAYCLASSIC for more amazing stories by the very citizens we dedicate our lives to protecting.

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Finally, Master Koi has given me permission to pimp A Hat in Time so please check it out if you haven't and be sure to pre-order if it takes your fancy.