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Talk It Out: Should I Remove a Blog Post?

November 5, 2009

After my bloggy blog was down for several hours today, I felt a bit disconnected from you and eager to come back and write since I’m not one to stay away for long! So how is everyone out there in blogland today? As I’m typing this post, I’m watching the MTV EMA music awards live in Berlin, which is a bit surreal to be living so close to Berlin knowing all that is going on so close by — but also that it’s the 20th year now after the wall fell which is why MTV selected Berlin as the host city for the awards this year. I just made a chai latte so I’d have enough sugar in me to blog since it’s 11 pm here now! But I’m energized and ready to write! So… let’s throw out the question of the week for the new decor8 column, Talk It Out…. shall we? This question is rather interesting and was sent in by blogger Trina Brandon from Decor Addict.

Talk It Out: Should I Remove a Blog Post?

“Just over a year ago, I visited a store and met with the owner, interviewed him, and of course blogged about it. I absolutely LOVE the store, and everything in it. But, a problem with the store has arisen in the past 6 months or so, I have been receiving emails from countless amounts of readers saying that they visited the store, and when ordering/buying from the shops custom furniture line, they have yet to receive any of their goods. Many customers of the store are now taking him to court for goods not received/fraud, etc. The store owner is cashing deposit cheques, not returning phone calls, and not following through with any delivery promises either. I have been asked by many of my readers to remove my “glowing” review of the store, which I have now done, as I don’t want to lose readers, or upset them either. I haven’t myself experienced anything negative with this store in the past, fortunately, but I have received enough negative feedback from my reader’s to warrant removal.”

“Just wondering if you have experienced this in the past? And if you think, or the decor8 readers out there think this was the right thing to do? What about other bloggers, what would you do in my shoes? “

(image: holly becker for decor8)







62 Comments

  • Reply decor8 November 5, 2009 at 5:26 pm

    Well Trina, that’s a tough one. Since we have the ability to remove posts unlike a print publication (who can’t go back and click delete!) it’s tempting to remove already published work because well…. we can! But the question is, should we? I assume it’s a personal thing and up to the author of the blog. I personally would not remove the review unless you personally had the negative experience. Your review is YOUR review. You have the right to give a store a positive, “glowing” review if your experience there was a good one. I think it’s important to know that in some cases, there are those online who may have a personal problem with the owner of the store you’ve reviewed and are simply trying to cause problems for them. Perhaps they are a competitor and looking to bring down that stores reputation.

    You don’t really know if your multiple readers are really “multiple” readers — it could be one angry customer with 10 different email addresses. Or they could be legitimate concerns. But unless it was your personal experience you just NEVER know.

    If the person turns up in the local paper for fraud, then of course, you may want to go back and edit your post. Or if it becomes very public knowledge.

    In that case I’d like to suggest adding a dated comment on the bottom of your post. For instance at the bottom of the original post you can put the date and something like this, “November 5, 2009: While my personal experience with X store has been a good one, I recently read something in the local paper that surprised me. You can read the article here.” And leave it like that, short, sweet and professional.

    Make sense? I hope this helped a little, though I’m sure many other bloggers out there may want to weigh in with their opinion as mine is merely based on what I would do and certainly NOT the “standard” for blog etiquette or anything. :)

  • Reply fi November 5, 2009 at 5:37 pm

    I agree its a tricky one.I think unless you yourself have been burned then the review should stand on its own merits.Who knows whats going on at the sellers end, without the full picture. As for blog etiquette ,your site your rules! good luck:)

  • Reply Stratos Bacalis November 5, 2009 at 5:37 pm

    I think what you recommend Holly is the right way to go. Keep the post and update it with the newest information, so that you can be as objective as possible.
    .-= Stratos Bacalis´s last blog ..Poplie radio show, Sunday 1st of November 2009 =-.

  • Reply victoria November 5, 2009 at 5:41 pm

    Well, I’ve only had one bad experience with a shop, and made the decision to just post about the rudeness of the shop owners the experience etc. Most of the feedback I got from comments was in agreement with me – they were known for having a bad attitude.

    So if your case, I would repost – with an update and explain that people are having trouble – I think these sound like legitimate complaints – so maybe you just suggest people just consider that before shopping there. I’ve never taken one down – but I have modified, or updated a post if something has drastically changed that people really needed to know about.
    .-= victoria´s last blog ..blissful inspiration =-.

  • Reply kelly November 5, 2009 at 5:44 pm

    I’d probably leave it and post an “update” to the bottom of said post… it’s a hard one but if they’re benefitting from your glowing review while not treating customers right I don’t think I’d want to lend them my credibility. Ugh!
    .-= kelly´s last blog ..waiting… stalking… =-.

  • Reply Lydia, Clueless Crafter November 5, 2009 at 5:47 pm

    Agreed, keep it up and include an addendum.

    Blogs show change over time, an evolution of the blogger and the world around him or her. It’s a time capsule and records should not be erased!

    This is a matter of building history, not of this one incident.

    Great question!
    .-= Lydia, Clueless Crafter´s last blog ..Armed and Aproned =-.

  • Reply Gigibird November 5, 2009 at 5:48 pm

    You are between a rock and a hard place.
    If the shop was using your good review as some kind of endorsement then it would be prudent to remove your old post; however I kind of think perhaps a postscript would have appeased any readers that have had a bad experience with the shop and preserved your work in tact.

  • Reply bussbuss November 5, 2009 at 5:50 pm

    What Holly recommended is exactly what I would suggest as well. Although, I probably would go ahead and put the disclaimer up if I knew the emails from readers were legit (without having the newspaper article come first, for example). But, your review is your review because it’s your experience, which is what makes your writing/blog unique, so I would not remove it.

  • Reply Petra :-) November 5, 2009 at 5:51 pm

    In that case -except a shop owner treat clients in a really bad way- I would not remove the post, I would leave a dated comment, too ;-)

  • Reply Lindsay {Shrimp} November 5, 2009 at 5:54 pm

    How very odd – I am in the midst of this exact situation right now. I featured an Etsy shop several months ago, and this week I received one e-mail and one anonymous comment (which referred to the seller in terms I’d prefer not be used on my site). I was not sure how to handle the problem either. I checked the Etsy shop, and the seller does indeed have several negative feedbacks of late for not mailing purchases or issuing a refund, and the shop was emptied. The shop has now been taking down completely and no longer has an account on Etsy.

    I was thinking of putting some sort of update at the top of the post for any scorned customers who Google the shop and find me. I may just leave the comment like as you suggested though.
    .-= Lindsay {Shrimp}´s last blog ..The Lush List – Gabriella Kai =-.

  • Reply Ashley November 5, 2009 at 5:55 pm

    I agree with Holly. I would not remove it, would simply add a disclaimer / update as Holly suggested. I also would not remove the negative comments.

    The magazine I work for also maintains a blog and we had one issue where a blog post featuring a home, attracted a slew of negative comments from the neighbors of the home and their friends. The comments were not all about the home, in fact many were personal attacks on the homeowners.

    The owners of the featured home, understandably got upset and asked us to remove the post. We chose to keep the post up, post a comment to attempt to direct the comments back to the original topic—the home—and move the post from a featured spot to a less highly trafficked one.

    It becomes a very slippery slope if you begin to delete all negative or disagreeable comments / posts or do as your readers request to “keep them happy”. It’s a good thing if a post engages and creates discussion / debate.

    Don’t you prefer reading the “letters to the editors” section when there are some less than gleaming reviews or comments? It’s boring when all they’ll print is “OMG your magazine is amazzzing”. Same goes with blogs.

  • Reply Rita Vindedzis November 5, 2009 at 5:56 pm

    This is a great question and as I read Trina’s blog, (she did an artist interview with me in the past, Hi Trina!!) I thought I should comment. First of all, I haven’t been blooging for very long and am not an expert, but I wouldn’t remove an article from my blog just because readers have asked me to. You love the store, you had a good experience and that’s your opinion. I don’t think that you would lose readers because of this at least not the loyal ones. I agree with Holly in that you could go back to the original post with an updated edit explaining the situation. Your blog is your place for you to have your say.
    .-= Rita Vindedzis´s last blog ..Artists Spotlight Day 4 =-.

  • Reply Joan@anythinggoeshere November 5, 2009 at 6:00 pm

    I would remove the post. Or you can edit it to reflect other people’s experience.
    .-= Joan@anythinggoeshere´s last blog ..White Wednesday =-.

  • Reply Sarah November 5, 2009 at 6:01 pm

    I am not sure what I would do not having experienced this but I think either removing it to save further confusions or at least updating it in as diplomatic a way as possible. Difficult problem-I sympathise! Hopefully the store will be able to get out of trouble if it was good before. It’s a shame.
    .-= Sarah´s last blog ..Rambling =-.

  • Reply BODIE and FOU November 5, 2009 at 6:03 pm

    Yes it’s a tough call….Last May I mentioned the work of Rosie Hardy and I thought for such a young age she was incredibly talented but someone left a comment about how Rosie was plagiaring other photographers’ work…
    http://bodieandfou.blogspot.com/2009/05/rosie-hardys-photography.html

    I wonder for a while if I should accept this comment or respond to it and in the end I decided to feature it and let people making their own mind. At the end of the day, I thought Rosie’s work was wonderful and I still feel the same and recently someone left a positive comment about her work so I would live your post but as Victoria suggested, just add an update..

    http://bodieandfou.blogspot.com/2009/05/rosie-hardys-photography.html

  • Reply leni November 5, 2009 at 6:12 pm

    i would leave the original blog post up but make a second post (linking the two together) about emails received with other people’s problems.

  • Reply Jenn November 5, 2009 at 6:15 pm

    I agree in part with the other comments so far, that it is your choice, your experience and opinions, and your readers should understand and respect that.

    However, as a reader if I was reading a great review about a shop on your site and then went to make a major purchase from them and got into the same situation that you were warned about by multiple people, then I would question your future reviews and my trust in your content would probably decline.

    There are plenty of amazing shops out there, with business owners who are honest and have great customer service. So does a business that is ripping people off deserve a good article even if they’re selling cool stuff? I’m big on business practices and would not even want to support a business that is doing things like that and would want to be warned or never told good things about them in the first place so that I don’t get into the same situation and get burned.

  • Reply Jeannine @ Small and Chic November 5, 2009 at 6:20 pm

    I like the idea of putting a note on the entry (though I’d put it at the top of the post) because people may have permalinked back to the entry. This way, they see the update instead of a blank “post not found” message.
    .-= Jeannine @ Small and Chic´s last blog ..More Kimpton eye candy =-.

    • Reply decor8 November 5, 2009 at 6:28 pm

      Jeannine – excellent point.

  • Reply cara November 5, 2009 at 6:24 pm

    I definitely second Holly — sometimes, even when you delete posts, it can remain in (for example) google’s cache, if someone does a specific search. Of course, I guess the same could be said if you add an “edit,” but I do the same thing for my online reviews, rather than deleting them. Plus, an edit will explain the change of info, versus a straight up delete. That being said, I don’t think it’s wrong to delete — easy fix, done :) Good luck!
    .-= cara´s last blog ..Dress Details {Katie Anderson Photography} =-.

  • Reply Renee Alam November 5, 2009 at 6:25 pm

    I feel that you shouldn’t even be worried about it…..sometimes people have different experiences & you should keep your honest comments but if there is some proven wrongdoing , then maybe you can state that after your positive comment because you didn’t have any problems personally & I feel that people should post both good & bad comments but only based on their own personal experience.

  • Reply decor8 November 5, 2009 at 6:26 pm

    I want to add that I think it’s important to remember that what a blogger writes can get them into legal hot water unless they are careful and this is what I mean… For instance, while you can post your personal experience on your blog, you should be careful not to post things that are not your own personal experience and could be considered slander — in other words, a blog author may not want to post the negative emails sent as part of a post but instead, ask your reader to comment on the blog with their personal experience instead in the comments section. That way, it is clear to blog visitors who said what. And it’s also good to have a legal disclaimer page somewhere on your site that states that your blog is not responsible, nor will be held liable, for blog comments.

    This is mine: http://decor8blog.com/disclaimer/

  • Reply Megnificent Made November 5, 2009 at 6:49 pm

    Its good to know both sides of the story. Get the shop-owner’s side and include BOTH sides of the story in the original post. Readers can decide for themselves!
    .-= Megnificent Made´s last blog ..BBQ Pie! =-.

  • Reply cristin @ simplified bee November 5, 2009 at 7:24 pm

    Bummer! I think you did the right thing in removing the post.

    xo,
    cristin @ simplified bee
    .-= cristin @ simplified bee´s last blog ..Charming Stone Cottage in Lake Tahoe =-.

  • Reply Jane Flanagan November 5, 2009 at 7:30 pm

    I would edit the original post with an addendum update explaining precisely what you have articulated here… that your original experience was positive, that you haven’t yourself had a negative experience, but that you’ve had enough negative feedback that you feel compelled to inform your readers and update the post with this information. And that ultimately, experiences differ and it’s up to individuals to judge an experience for themselves. Word of mouth is a good form of recommendation, but it is not a guarantee every time…
    .-= Jane Flanagan´s last blog ..West Feren =-.

  • Reply Dana November 5, 2009 at 7:38 pm

    Oh I don’t know, maybe I would update the post so that my readers can learn about the current situation!
    .-= Dana´s last blog ..The Love this Site Awards =-.

  • Reply Danica November 5, 2009 at 7:45 pm

    People deserve the right to judge for themselves, put a comment at the top of the blog which says nice things, and make a new blog: the comment/new post should say that some users have had difficulty buying online, and while you take no stance on the issue people should be cautious.
    As cautious as one can be online.

    Make sure people have enough info to make up their own minds, like other people who had good experiences or whatever.
    .-= Danica´s last blog ..Tree Roots =-.

  • Reply Rachel November 5, 2009 at 7:54 pm

    I would probably just make a note on the original post mentioned the problems that you have been told about since the time you wrote the review.
    .-= Rachel´s last blog .."Nothing would be more tiresome than eating and drinking if God had not made them a pleasure as well as a necessity." Voltaire =-.

  • Reply leaca November 5, 2009 at 7:56 pm

    I relatively new to blogging so this conversation is very interesting to me from all points of view. I think I personally would leave the original post and have people comment stating their opinion there, just as many above have said. If the business is a good one and this is just a disgruntle customer then you do not look like you are taking their side, if the business in fact has taken advantage of customers it would be a good forum to voice their frustrations. Sometimes you just need to be heard.
    .-= leaca´s last blog ..roid week day three =-.

  • Reply robin November 5, 2009 at 8:07 pm

    i don’t think it’s a tough one at all. people are taking someone to court for poor service that you are endorsing? i would remove it. immediately. i think you made the right choice.
    .-= robin´s last blog ..productive at last =-.

  • Reply eva November 5, 2009 at 8:57 pm

    All the above are absolutely right. Just think how many times you and somebody you know have different opinions about a shop, or professional. Something has happened probably. The post belongs to the time it was typed. It wasn’t your mistake or a false information that you ought to correct. The same thing would be possible to happen the next day or before the post and nobody would know about it. Insist: The post belongs to the time it was typed. You are not the judge of the owner of the shop. If this guy had paid for a magazine add were they ask the magazine not to admit the advertisement? Unless you’re feeling responsible for sending the customers there and do as Holly said and add a comment about your personal opinion right now you’re having a new info about this shop. Of course it will follow you. I once wrote about the sale of a house which i had been mistaken the owner. The owner anyhow wasn’t the famous person i thought he was, and a fellow blog happened to spread the news and i went totally embarrassed for my mistake. I went on and comment for my mistake to the fellow blog and did a new post referring to the previous one and apologize for what i wrote. It still follows me after 1 year i have visitors from this post, the one i don’t like to be the referring one. Unbelievable.
    .-= eva ´s last blog ..???????????? ??? ????? ? {Christmas Ornaments} =-.

  • Reply Rebekah November 5, 2009 at 9:26 pm

    You’re putting your rep on the line for the store. I personally don’t think it’s worth it. Plus, who likes to get a lot of negative e-mail/msgs, which equals negative energies.

  • Reply dagmara November 5, 2009 at 9:28 pm

    It’s funny. I’d never read Trina’s blog before but I knew exactly who she was referring to because I recently came across another forum in which the store owner and customers were sparring. Apparently the customers are now considering suing the store owner. I think Trina might want to tread carefully so as not to get herself in any legal hot water if she chooses to post an update that is not based on her own experience but heresay (even if that heresay is in fact true). If it were me I’d remove the post if I felt concerned that I was misleading people in any way.

  • Reply Christine November 5, 2009 at 9:44 pm

    I also agree that Holly’s advice is spot on but I might take that a step further and email the shop owner for their side of the story. I know that every shop owner I know (myself included) tries our very hardest to make our customers happy and meet their every need. I mean, if a store is beautiful/interesting/unique enough to have wonderful bloggers mention us, it’s because we love and value what we do. Sometimes making everyone happy just isn’t possible because some people are just impossible to please (I’m sure we have all dealt with people like this). These types of situations can lead to angry customers writing some surprisingly hurtful and untrue statements about shops and their owners. It happens to everyone. Check out your favorite store or restaurant on yelp and you’ll see that experiences and feedback can be so polar. Shop owners should have the right to defend themselves just as customers have the right to voice their opinions. We’re super busy and don’t always know what’s being said about us so it’s greatly appreciated when a blogger takes the time to let us know if our businesses are being slammed on their blogs and talk to us about what’s going on. If the situation is such that a blogger is debating on whether a post should be taken down or altered in some way, it may be wise to contact the shop owner first just to make sure it’s not some vengeful ex roommate we borrowed a skirt from and forgot to return it. ;)

    • Reply decor8 November 6, 2009 at 3:39 am

      Christine – Another excellent point.

      • Reply decor8 November 6, 2009 at 4:06 am

        I’d like to mention that despite all good intentions of a blogger, sometimes things are misinterpreted by a reader or even a blogger makes mistakes in something they’ve said, or they’ve reviewed a product that offends others or perhaps in Trina’s case, the business may be rumored to have mistreated customers who happen to be your readers. Whenever you put your opinion out there you have to expect opposing opinions to surface — you are writing before potentially thousands of people who can find your article via a simple google search.

        It’s perfectly normal so don’t beat yourself up if you’ve posted about someone who, months after your review, turns out to be less than you’d originally expected. It’s normal. You can’t run back in time and edit and delete every post simply because circumstances change, you change your mind, or you heard something through the grapevine. I usually encourage readers who comment with unsatisfactory experiences with the shop or item I’ve reviewed that, in addition to their comment, to please contact their local BBB (http://www.bbb.org) because that does way more than leaving a blog comment on a random blog will ever do.

        It may be a good idea to google an artist or store and perform a bit of research before writing about them. Usually if they’ve had some negative reviews and such, this pops up pretty quickly in the search. When you post a shop tour, if it’s in the USA or Canada, you may want to run the shop name through the BBB online to see what kind of review they have there. This can help you write feeling better informed. If you’ve done your homework and at the time of posting and all was okay to the best of your knowledge, then if that business does bad things after you’ve posted then that’s off your conscious so to speak. You can even tell your readers that if they leave negative comments in the future about a post you wrote months prior. You can tell them in the comments section that at the time of writing you checked the business out on the BBB site and they had no negative claims against them and that unfortunately you see that has changed and thank your readers for letting you know (all in the comments section). Then you can also encourage your readers to file a claim via the BBB regarding their personal experience. It’s important that we take advantage of the free consumer systems in place out there meant to protect us from whatever harmful/shady business practices that are going on out there.

        Which reminds me, I have to find out what the equivalent of the BBB is here in Germany or in Europe in general. Anyone know?

  • Reply Victoria Klein November 5, 2009 at 11:08 pm

    Ironically, I have been in this exact situation before. I wrote about a company that makes custom jeans from eco-friendly fabrics. I wouldn’t say that I wrote a glowing post, but I did talk about how cool the concept of the company was. Since writing the post, I’ve gotten tons of comments from folks that have found it via searching. They talk about how they never got their orders & the company doesn’t answer their emails or return their calls. No one actually asked me to remove the blog post & honestly, I wouldn’t anyway because the comment section of the post has become a meeting ground for folks that have been having similar issues with the company. I’m glad that people can find the post via Google & work with others to solve the problems they’ve been having.

  • Reply Jacqueline November 5, 2009 at 11:44 pm

    I like Jeannine’s point to put a note on the entry if you decide to delete the post. However if you feel you don’t want to delete the post then i would go ahead with Holly’s idea to update the post with the latest news. Thanks holly for the advise on having a legal disclaimer page! Need to really put some tots in this section. :)
    Have a lovely merry happy day and love to you!
    .-= Jacqueline´s last blog .."Something Old, New, Borrowed, and Blue =-.

  • Reply BakerGirl November 5, 2009 at 11:53 pm

    I would not delete the post. However, I would def. go back into it and put an edit that is dated. I know that some of my “deleted” posts or edits to old posts will still show up as the original in searches. It’s frustrating but you might as well do everything you can to cover your bases while keeping your readers in the loop.

  • Reply peggy November 6, 2009 at 12:59 am

    Hi Holly! Another interesting question. I’ve never removed a post. But I have received many, many negative, threatening emails regarding my stance of dead animal in decor. Hate animal rugs, animal heads, taxidermy makes me want to barf. The emails were scary but I decided to stand behind my posts.

    Another example is that I wrote a review of some painters. I was very clear that the opinions were my own and one of the artists completely shocked me by being offended by something I thought was a compliment. In that event, I changed the languaging to sort of make it more “clear.”

    So I guess the answer is, it depends on the circumstance. I am not sure I would have done the same thing, but I certainly understand her doing so. I would have had to think long and hard on this issue. It also brings up interesting issues in terms of blogger liability.

    The flipside of this is, I sometimes receive ENORMOUS pressure to write about something. I received emails asking me why I had written an obit piece for Michael Jackson. I finally acquiesed and wrote a piece.

    Now I’ll go back and read all of the interesting comments. Love these discussions! Thanks again!
    .-= peggy´s last blog ..My Apartment – the influence of a new painting – it’s all about function =-.

  • Reply peggy November 6, 2009 at 1:08 am

    Sorry – I meant “why I had NOT written an obit piece.”

    This issue is interesting in terms of censorship issues as well. Love your points about the disclaimer. Also love Lydia’s comment about blogs being a time capsule. Ashley’s comment was very interesting as well.
    .-= peggy´s last blog ..My Apartment – the influence of a new painting – it’s all about function =-.

  • Reply Martin November 6, 2009 at 2:08 am

    A blogger has to maintain his/her inregrity. The described situation occurs only because the blogger had promoted the shop.
    I noticed months ago that also this blog has lost independence and distance to the brands and shops promoted at least sometimes. The background of blog recommendations is often obscure. What kind and amount of sponsoring was given by shops or brands to get the blogger writing about ?

    Obviously the blogger did not work professionally and has given a bad recommendation on that basis.
    I suggest to report and review in a neutral and critical way on a blog instead of writing advertisements.

  • Reply Sandi November 6, 2009 at 2:37 am

    Good idea about the blog comments. I’ll do that. I guess I agree with the update at the bottom of the post idea.

  • Reply creatissimo November 6, 2009 at 4:24 am

    I would add an update and would not remove the post. I also like the comment by Christine to let the owner of the store know and has a chance to ‘tell his/her story’ too.
    (I sometimes check ‘my name’ on Internet to see if people are talking about me – are the comments nice or not ;) …)
    Anyway, those things are just another points of view, so yours will always be yours.

  • Reply Lucy Loves Fabric November 6, 2009 at 4:32 am

    Hi Holly/Trina

    I haven’t experienced anything like this before, and I’m clearly a little behind as you have over 40 comments : ) but I was also going to say, I don’t think you should remove the blog, but add the extra edit at the top of the article. Then – your oppinion still stands, yet you are pleasing your readers by acknowledging their feelings too. I wouldn’t like to assume you are writing your blog just for your readers, I would assume it’s good for you too – this way you are keep both sets of people happy. And it’s kinda interesting too… bit like ‘BBC Watchdog’ here in the UK! : )

    Holly… so glad Decor8 is up and working again, I missed Decor8 for those few hours yesterday.

    Lucy
    x
    .-= Lucy Loves Fabric´s last blog ..Fireworks Night =-.

  • Reply Flaneurbanite November 6, 2009 at 5:42 am

    I wouldn’t delete the post – but if there are so many people complaining, I’d add an updated note the post saying exactly what I had heard about the shop and although I personally had a different experience, it made me sorry to see so many unsatisfied customers and hope that the shop would take heed and take care.

  • Reply Martin November 6, 2009 at 7:02 am

    The equivalent to BBB.org in Germany seems to be
    http://www.verbraucherzentrale.de/en/index.php

    • Reply decor8 November 6, 2009 at 7:08 am

      Thank you so much Martin!

  • Reply Danielle November 6, 2009 at 7:20 am

    Oh, this is tricky. I find Holly’s advice and others who have commented very appropriate and balanced. The legal disclaimer is, in particular, a great idea – clarifying that you are expressing opinion and experience etc.

    On the other hand, blogging should also be (largely) enjoyable, and if the issue bothers you then it might be best to do something about it that you can move on more comfortably. That kind of depends on your emotional position. Totally agree with Jeannine about not emptying the post if possible for the sake of old links.
    .-= Danielle´s last blog ..Heartbreaking reminder =-.

  • Reply Lynne, Tea for Joy November 6, 2009 at 8:22 am

    Personally I would remove it. It’s fair enough having your own opinion, and being entitled to it, but I would just want to avoid the hassle of people emailing me all the time and complaining – you aren’t responsible for the shop.
    .-= Lynne, Tea for Joy´s last blog ..Sunbury Antiques Market + Guest Blogging at SF Girl By Bay =-.

  • Reply Natalie Jost November 6, 2009 at 10:18 am

    I have a different opinion, probably based on the early blogging days. It used to be that blogs were a personal domain and not really for the public, except to read, enjoy, and move on. As time went on and blogs increased in popularity, the public began to sort of take ownership of the blogs they read.

    This now makes blog owners feel accountable to this public in what they write, how they present it, and even for how long they keep it. I would say, with a personal blog (like my own) you have the right to “refuse service” to anyone, any topic, any blog post. A corporate blog or community blog is probably different.

    I would be a little bummed to find an old post gone one day, but I certainly wouldn’t hold it against you.

    For the record, I had a similar thing happen to me about 5 years ago when I endorsed and even partnered with someone on a few web design projects only to see him plagiarizing most of his blog a few months later. I not only removed the old posts about him, I wrote a new one apologizing for my having backed him.
    .-= Natalie Jost´s last blog ..And the two turned two =-.

  • Reply Trina November 6, 2009 at 10:33 am

    Hi everyone!

    Firstly, THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for featuring my question Holly. I must say I have been so torn on this subject for the past few weeks.

    I think I’m going to leave the post as-is, since what I wrote about was based on my own personal experience and not anyone elses. If comments come in about someone elses personal experience, and are positive or negative, I will post those as well, and let the reader/shopper come to their own conclusion about the shop. All the feedback I have had have been in email format, not in the comments section unfortunately.

    On another note, one of the readers that contacted me about his negative experience has contacted our local television station, and there will apparently be a story about this shop in the near future, and all the problems associated with it. It’s such a shame, as it really is such a nice shop!

    We do have a BBB here in Canada, at the time of my post, there was no negative feedback, but when I revisited it last week, there are quite a few complaints for various people over the past few months.

    I’m going to refrain from contacting the store owner to let him know about the negative feedback, I know he is aware of it already due to other blogs out there that he has commented on (no so nicely I may add). I’d just rather stay out of it at this point! :-)

    It is so great to read all this feedback though, in future, I will definately know how to handle a situation like this, as i’m sure unfortunately there will be more like these out there.

    Toodles, and happy friday everyone!

    Trina,
    DecorAddict
    .-= Trina´s last blog ..battle of the one-armed bandit; Dwell magazine house tour; TGIF everyone! =-.

  • Reply Ku November 6, 2009 at 10:43 am

    While I agree with most everything said thus far. I have to add that it is in part up to the read to be responsible for their purchases. Do thorough research before you buy. Protect yourself. There will always be glowing reviews out there. Some warranted and some not. Same goes for negative reviews. Keep current. Voice your concerns to the shop owner. I would. At least then they know what is being said about them if they don’t know.

    I would not remove the post. However, I would update said post with a link to other sources should this become a concern at the bottom and make a forward note at the top. Invite your readers to voice their opinions in a civil and appropriate manner. Make sure you forewarn potential readers that they too should read the comments. Your blog should never turn into a battlefield. That is when it should be locked if possible from further comment.

  • Reply Clare November 6, 2009 at 12:02 pm

    Wow – interesting question. I think I’d probably leave the post in place but add a note to the top and bottom to point out that other readers have had issues.

    I’d be tempted to get in touch with the store and ask them for a guest post or an interview to see what the issues were and to help them redeem themselves.
    .-= Clare´s last blog ..Sylvanian Families The Caravan =-.

  • Reply jen November 6, 2009 at 1:30 pm

    it’s your blog so i think whatever felt right at the time is the way to go.

    perhaps if this were to happen again (hopefully not!!) you could clearly update the post with what has happened. it’s certainly not your fault this store owner did what he has done but if you state all that you’ve learned on the blog post i think that is fine. you could even write a new mini post saying what happened with a link to the original one?
    .-= jen´s last blog ..A Little Friend Come to Life at Last =-.

  • Reply Carla Vallverde November 6, 2009 at 7:24 pm

    I would definitly take it out. Internet is today one of the most powerfull economy and marketing weapon, if the person in question didn`t respected the time he was on the top, lots of clients going to shop, talking about his produts, it`s really a bad business, not only for him, but for you too. You would not blog about his shop, for sure, if you knew about it, now it is done, this only thing you can do is to un-blog it.

  • Reply Anon November 7, 2009 at 2:19 pm

    Holly, It is funny that I just came across this post of yours today. I have recently had a similar experience. I have been receiving emails of complaint about a company that I have been posting about and who has also been a paid advertiser at one time.

    I have not had any personal issues with this company, but my readers have informed me about fraud, a long criminal record that can be viewed online (no less!), customers unhappy and not receiving product, etc.

    So far, I have left their paid advertisement post in the archives, however I had to send an email advising them that we would not be able to continue posting for them. I was hoping to not get involved in the problems at all, but I was left with no choice when they sent an email requesting info be posted (an unpaid service we do). I am waiting for the ‘you know what’ to hit the fan as I don’t expect them to be happy about it.

    It certainly is difficult to figure this one out and I don’t pretend to know the answers. I don’t think I’m done with this yet though!

  • Reply Meg November 7, 2009 at 8:14 pm

    Being a fellow blogger myself, I would not feel badly about removing the post. It sounds like sadly the owner of the store is really taking advantage of his customers. Not only am I a blogger, I’m also a store owner myself and customer service is #1. So unfortunately by supporting and blogging about this store owner you are also supporting his unfair treatment of his customers.

  • Reply kevin November 7, 2009 at 8:48 pm

    do it all the time. Not chanchinh the sense of it, just tweaking. Have occasionally deleted, after thinking about it overnight. I think we have to allow ourselves that freedom. Its not like thoughts, ideas, have to be cast in stone.
    .-= kevin´s last blog ..contact =-.

  • Reply whorange November 8, 2009 at 4:26 pm

    i’d keep the review up but add an “UPDATE: _______” to the bottom of the post with your concerns and some of the feedback you’ve received since then.

    i had a different dilemma: i posted a really nice post about an artist whose work i loved, and when i met the person at a gift fair, they were soooooo snobby and rude to me and to other guests! i was so tempted to delete the post i wrote, but i didn’t. i just won’t write about them again.
    .-= whorange´s last blog ..leg inks: whoranging for tattoo socks =-.

  • Reply Megan November 8, 2009 at 9:33 pm

    I have had this problem with a travel blog. I posted about a place i had stayed that i enjoyed but got feedback in the comments section about another traveler having a very bad experience there (along the lines of an assault by the owner). I did exactly what holly suggested. I posted a dated edit at the bottom of the post about what i had heard advising people to be careful should they stay there. It’s a tricky one though.
    .-= Megan´s last blog ..Treehouse Products =-.

  • Reply Kiran November 8, 2009 at 11:25 pm

    A very thought-provoking question. Personally, I agree with Holly’s suggestions and point of views. I would not remove the post, instead would include an update or perhaps a disclaimer expressing this post is written based on my personal experience. Blogging etiquette is a tough one, and every one should be able to express their opinions, provided it is based on genuine personal experience.
    .-= Kiran´s last blog ..Busy week! =-.

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