May 6, 2013
Ever since a friend sent me a note a couple of weeks ago that prompted me to consider putting a “Like” button at the end of my blog posts, I’ve been mulling it over.
As Catholics, we have an obligation to be faithful to the Magisterium, Tradition, and be unified under the Pope. It really doesn’t matter if we blog about race cars, Sacred Scripture, gardening, family life, spirituality, television, art film, the liturgy, crafts, beer, or whatever, Jesus has to be the center of our lives. We blog in the service of truth and Truth whether we mention the name of Jesus or not in our writing.
For sure, though, whatever we blog about, when we show our authentic Catholic culture permeating our writing, the demons of hell let loose in the form of trolls, spammers, and promoters of pornographic or illicit sex or anti-Catholic propaganda. And this is where that “Like” button comes in.
Thanks to author Ellen Gable Hrkach at Plot Line and Sinker for alerting me to what can happen. Although many of us would like to make it easy for those who don’t want to comment on a post to still participate at our blogs, in the process we can unwittingly become party to some evil stuff. Ellen told me,
… there have been times when other bloggers have “liked” my posts, then I go and see their blog and it’s perverse stuff. Once the button’s there, you can’t stop people from liking your posts. It bothers me that their blogs are directly connected to my faithful Catholic blog and there’s nothing I can do.
This is something I never considered and I am deeply grateful to Ellen for pointing this out. Short of removing the “Like” button altogether, you can’t block anybody from using your blog to promote sin. You also can’t prevent a visitor from clicking on the links after the “Like” button and accessing the anti-God’s-teaching sites.
What does somebody get out of “liking” a post? The answer lies in the Google Search Engine Optimization function among other things. The more links you get to your blog, the higher ranking you get in searches. The more hits you get at your site, the more likely you are to attract advertisers, which means income for you. Link building is a big deal for people wanting to make money off their blogs. What better, easier way to do this than to visit a gazillion blogs every day and click on a “Like” button that links to your site or will pull people to your site? We have also the downright perverse enjoyment some people take in seizing an endeavor that contributes to the salvation of souls and redirecting it to the eternal destruction of them.
I view my blog as a virtual pergola in a lovely garden alongside a busy, tree-lined street with sidewalk access. Passersby are welcome to notice and wander in. They are welcome to come taste the refreshments, have a sip of tea, coffee, or lemonade, luxuriate in a fine glass of wine and relax among the flowers. It’s my job to keep it clean, attractive, and well maintained. That means I won’t make it possible for visitors to stink up the place, harass other visitors, or peddle their nasty wares on my property. This is why I require registration to comment, and if I don’t know the registrant, I send an email asking the person to tell me a little about himself. So far I’ve had only one person respond. All the rest, and they are legion, with letter salad for names and very weird email addresses are automatically denied and deleted. This is also why I’ve decided not to put a “Like” button on my blog. No perversion or anti-Catholic links will be served along with the regular fare.
It’s a shame we have to be so cautious these days, but evil seems to have completely overtaken the world. As Catholic bloggers, we must protect ourselves and our readers from exposure to the wily agents of Satan. It’s a nuisance to contend with, but it’s also one more aggravation we can offer up for the salvation of souls.
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