If You Want Me to Stop Having Goats, Stop Letting Me Get Yours

An open letter to people who write hate comments

Jacquette Augh
3 min readJun 10, 2022

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Scrabble tiles on a tan-pink background spelling out “HI HATERS.” Photo by Shamia Casiano from Pexels.

Dear Haters,

I’m part of the Medium Partner Program, and I make money off the stories I write. In general, the more traffic a story gets, the more money I make. So far, the stories that have made me the most money have been the stories with the most hate comments. The stories I’ve spent the most time researching and writing out have Lifetime Earnings a fraction of what the most inflammatory stories make in a day.

You should know that if you pay for Medium, and you click on my story, read it, and comment on it:

You are literally paying me to write it.

Yep. By reading my story through to the end and leaving a hateful comment, you’re promoting my work for me. You’re ensuring that more readers will see it. You’re very literally putting money in my pocket.

(And, thank you, by the way. I need it.)

I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “vote with your dollar.”

When you’re online, it’s “vote with your click.”

If you click on something, read it or watch it through, comment on it, share it — you are promoting it. Social media websites care about engagement, nothing else. The content doesn’t have to be positive or true. The engagement doesn’t have to be positive or contribute to a better world.

I know it goes against our nature to ignore inflammatory content, and it even goes against the rules of social engagement offline. If you’re in an in-person social environment, your agreement and support may be implied unless you speak up or leave.

Online, though, it doesn’t matter how you engage. It only matters that you engage.

You’ve got to train yourself to “punish” content creators by simply refusing to hear them out.

Scroll on.

Ignore them.

So if you really despise what I write, and you don’t get a “love to hate it” feeling of entertainment from it, then the meanest thing you could possibly do to me is to ignore my work and block me.

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Jacquette Augh

STEM PhD, mom, chronically ill, LGBTQ. Interests: immigration, sex+relationships, parenting, lifestyle+finance, trauma+therapy, neuroscience+bioengineering