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I Bet You Wouldn’t Say That to My Face

A new standard before you comment on articles

Pete Williams
4 min readOct 30, 2022


Imagine all societies had a law that said you could punch one person in the face, once per year. You could choose any person over the age of, say, 15 years old and give them a good old wallop because they pissed you off. For many, your first thought is all the people you’d have the opportunity to seek retribution on and who you should save that one punch up for each year.

Which says a lot about you if that’s the case.

But there’s a flip side to this that’s more important to consider: all the times you said something— even if it felt justified — that could cause someone to want to knock your teeth out once per year.

For many of you, that should give you pause. Because if there’s one thing I notice writing here and on the Internet in general, it’s that there’s no shortage of people who will jump in to comment in the rudest and most insulting of ways when they disagree with you on anything.

And to be fair, there’s a spectrum here. Some people are just having a bad day or are sensitive to the topic, and just a little harsh in their wording. They’ll even apologise if called on it. Hey, none of us is perfect, and that’s part of life. But then there are the comments that leave no ambiguity, attacking you personally or calling your work shit.

I even once got told I was “stuped.” Yes, I was called stupid by someone who couldn’t even spell the word. But I digress.

The funny thing about comments is that they reveal people’s true nature. How do you act when there is little to no accountability? It’s a test of character, much the same as when you put your shopping cart away. No one is going to force you to do it, so your choice at that moment reveals what kind of person you are.

And it’s funny that some of the rudest people online also have the opinion that freedom of speech doesn’t equal freedom from consequences…for other people, that is. Which is why when they decide to get all rude and insulting, I’d love to say, as The Celtic Chameleon once did, “how about you say it to my fucking face?”

Because once upon a time before the Internet, you had to.

Social media made…