white knights

White knights don't help anyone. In fact, they just make things worse. They think they're supporting, but really they're just enabling. They're enabling the shitty behavior and the complete lack of self-awareness that got the blogger into trouble in the first place. It's such a boring fucking cycle.

1. Blogger says/does something stupid/offensive.
2. Critics* criticize.
3. White Knights charge in. "Leave our Blogger in Distress alone, you bullies!"
4. Critics, knowing full well the difference between bullying and criticism (being rational adults), roll eyes.
5. White Knights pat Blogger in Distress on the back. "You're great! Ignore those meanies!"
6. Blogger in Distress sniffles, accepts hanky, thanks White Knights.

or, even more delightful:

3. White Knight charges in, says something snarky either directly to a critic, or in reference to some previous criticism.
4. Blogger in Distress snickers and verbally high fives White Knight. More White Knights pile on, snickering. Blogger in Distress watches quietly, and her silence registers as clear, tacit approval.
5. Critics, Observers, and lots and lots and lots of Lurkers marvel at the kindergarten scene that has just played out before them.

Seriously. Grow the fuck up. You want to be supportive of a blogger you think is getting an unfair rap? Email her your encouragement. Message her privately. Pay her the respect of allowing her to defend herself like an adult. You are not doing her any favors, trust me.

And bloggers? Do you know what these white knights look like, to everyone but you? Minions. Lackeys. They're your Crabbes and your Goyles. Goons. Knee-jerk defending you because...who the fuck knows why. Maybe their intentions are good. Maybe they're misguided. Doesn't matter. They are making you and your readers look like a clique of sandy-headed ostriches.

Learn how to accept criticism with grace. Stop refusing to even consider it. More often than not, it is much more nuanced than you want to admit. Face it and distill what is useful. It will not kill you to do so. Stop egging on your white knights, because it is disgusting and pathetic. Don't allow your comment sections and Facebook pages and Instagram galleries to become free-for-alls. Step in calmly and maturely and MODERATE the discussions you claim to love.

And remember: YOU are the common denominator, in all criticism of you. You and your choices, your words, and your actions. That criticism is there for a reason. And believe it or not, it's an opportunity.

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* Incidentally, all your Critics started out as Observers, aka Readers, aka potential Fans. If they become Critics, you have only yourself to blame.