Catholic Bloggers and the “Like” Button

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.

My impressionist digital painting of the mimosa in our yard. © 2008

My impressionist digital painting of the mimosa in our yard. © 2008

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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V. Praised be Jesus Christ!

R. Now and forever!

(Click on the link above to read why I end my posts this way.)

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Monday, May 6th, 2013 blogs, Catholic culture

9 Comments to Catholic Bloggers and the “Like” Button

  1. I appreciate your diligence to keeping Satan and his emissaries from fouling your work for Jesus.
    rmaffeo recently posted..God in the Shadows

  2. rmaffeo on May 7th, 2013
  3. Thanks, Richard. It’s frustrating and time-consuming, but I love outsmarting the bad guys. Even if I have to give up some of what I want.

  4. barb on May 7th, 2013
  5. Thank you for pointing this out. In my naive mind it never occurred to me that someone would use my blog to promote sin or that my blog would be linked to a depraved website. I will be deleting the “like” button from my site, for sure.

  6. Carol@simple_catholic on May 12th, 2013
  7. Barb, I’m probably selfish in needing some small contact with the world at the other end of my keyboard. Entering cyberspace is fraught dangers, as is getting onto the interstate. I have encountered some of what you speak of in this post.I have also found people and blogs that have blessed me. Sin does abound, and I have no real answer. My thought si the Cross, faith and prayer, but your vigilance is inspiring and I will pray about this, too.

  8. joann on May 12th, 2013
  9. Joann, I, too want some small contact. However, I surrendered my blog totally to God in the trust that He will send those who can benefit from my writing here, and if it comes to pass that because of spammers or some other reason, I have to shut off all comments, well, that’s how it will have to be. It’s not an easy decision to come to, but the question I asked myself is, am I blogging for myself, or for God? Others may have other considerations and my position isn’t meant as an indictment against anyone. I just know that for me, I am in direct, frontal battle with Satan here and I have to keep vigilant. I find many good blogs by clicking on the commenter’s names and through other good blogger’s posts, so I don’t feel that I need the “Like” button.

  10. barb on May 12th, 2013
  11. Your concern is very real. My web site was hacked with some porn link, Google caught it and blocked access calling it “An Attack Site.” That was upsetting and taught me the lesson that security is work but well worth the time.

    With my joomla blog software and the disqus comment system, the only like buttons I have are for comments… not a Facebook button. Funny that right before I read this I liked your comment on my blog.

  12. michaelmaedoc on May 12th, 2013
  13. Michael, I am not enamored with Facebook, although it does have it’s good uses, such as keeping in touch with family. Today the Kansas City Star ran a front page feature article about people running scams by putting up web sites that look identical to those belonging to well known preachers. Facebook takes them down when notified, but I’m wondering how long it will take before the downside of Facebook overtakes the upside altogether.

  14. barb on May 12th, 2013
  15. Interesting discussion. I am going to have to ponder and pray. This is how I evangelize as well as publicize my writings and website. I am very careful with security but it is certainly not ironclad.
    colleenmae recently posted..Light in the Darkness – A Joyful Reunion

  16. colleenmae on May 13th, 2013
  17. Colleen, it’s the Facebook “like” button that contains the traps. I’d love to have it at my blog, but I can’t let the devil have a toehold here. I don’t criticize those who choose to have it because everyone has to make up his/her own mind on the issue. That said, there are many ways to skin a cat as they say, and maybe something even better and safer is out there to serve the purpose of those who need to market.

  18. barb on May 13th, 2013

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