Quote of the day: the hate at CribChatter

Over at CribChatter, Sabrina speculates about the reasons for what commenters perceive as a recent increase in the number of hateful, racist and anti-Semitic comments.

Properties have been on the market for 2 or 3 years in some cases without the appropriate price reductions because the sellers can’t (or won’t) lower the price.

Personally- I think it makes people frustrated (especially those renters waiting for the price they want to pay.) Take HD. He is still waiting for prices to go where they WILL go- only it’s going to take much longer than everyone anticipated to get there. So every time there is an overpriced property on Crib Chatter- or even just coming through the new listings (where someone is listing for MORE than they paid in, say, 2006 or 2007) it gets frustrating to people.

Similar arguments have broken out on other real estate websites in other cities (personal attacks etc.) so I think it has something to do now with the pace of the declines not being fast enough and general frustration that it’s going to take several more years for all of this to wash through the system.

Like Sabrina, I also monitor a number of real estate sites around the country. I haven’t observed the uptick of hatred that he or she has.

I’ve followed CribChatter since its inception, and have a different take: CribChatter has always been a hospitable haven for haters.

Early on, the hatred was focused outward – on real estate developers, agents, lenders, the real estate industry in general, and the personal behavior of anyone who’d been successful enough to own one of the homes featured on CribChatter. Particular venom was directed at anyone who questioned the notion that Chicago housing prices would decline, and anyone who knew more about real estate or neighborhoods than the CribChatter regulars.

I’d occasionally chime in at CribChatter and, when I did, I attracted a firestorm of personal abuse. I participate there now only when a client of ours is the object of an ill-informed attack, or when Sabrina floats lies about YoChicago. CribChatterers regularly hate on me in absentia.

As developers became a vanishing species, real estate agents stopped participating at the site, and others reeled in disgust at what they saw there, it became – in my view – inevitable that CribChatterers would turn on each other. A hater’s need to hate does not abate.

Sabrina has a policy of periodically, and haphazardly, deleting some of the more vile comments that litter CribChatter.

YoChicago’s policy has always been different. We’ve deleted fewer comments in our entire history than have gone down the memory hole on a single post at CribChatter. We’ve cautioned commenters that if they continue to make irrational attacks on people they’d be banned, but left their comments up so that readers could see the ugliness and understand our reasons for banning.

A number of the people we banned became and remain regulars at CribChatter. We continue to invite the haters who occasionally surface here to remove themselves to CribChatter. We know, from experience, that hatred virtually vanishes when it’s not tolerated.

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