When Is It OK To Push Buttons?


Abortion. Gun control. Immigration. War. Religion. Racism.

Hot button topics. All things that shouldn’t be discussed at the dinner table, and most certainly not in a blog post that’s set out for the digital world to read, judge and hold you accountable for. Rarely are these controversial blog posts well-written or their thoughts articulated in any way that sufficiently makes their argument persuasive. Most fall into the category of “things that probably shouldn’t be online.”

I know a few bloggers who’ll write about this stuff just to see what happens. But let’s face it. Sometimes, you just have to shut your mouth and keep your bitching to the bar or the  bathroom. You do not have to say everything you feel on a blog or Facebook post. But there are a few instances where I say go for it.

You might be playing with fire, but what’s the fun in playing with sticks?

When It’s OK To Write Controversial Blog Posts:

  • If your comments are enabled. It’s not fair to put something out there that breeds conversation and cut it off with technology.
  • If you have data from a reasonably reliable source that proves you’re right and you’ve taken the time to read the information. By the way, reading a press release’s highlights in a Google search does not count as taking the time to digest information.
  • If you’re not accountable to anyone who will fire you. You can be fired for what you say online and if you like your job, or even just a paycheck, think before publishing.
  • When you don’t realize you’re being controversial. People take photos and write posts all the time that go viral, even if they have no idea why or what “viral” means outside the context of a doctor’s office.

When It’s Not OK To Write Controversial Blog Posts:

  • If you ever aspire to political office. You are not Donald Trump. Society doesn’t let most people get away with that shit.
  • If you’re writing it just to get clicks but you don’t actually believe what you’re saying. Why push buttons when your buttons aren’t even pushed?
  • If your controversy is really a mask for tearing someone down. When you write to intentionally hurt or mock a specific person, that’s a waste of your time and energy. Plus, in most cases, it just makes you look bad.
  • When you disable comments. See note above.
  • If you have awful grammar. Actually, that’s a rule for all blogging. Just don’t blog if you have terrible grammar or can’t spell. That’s for me.


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Katrina Kibben View All →

Katrina Kibben is the Founder and Principal Consultant of Three Ears Media. For most of Katrina’s career, she has been a marketer living in a recruiter’s world – listening to both sides of the talent equation to understand the real issues and find solutions for engaging and hiring better people. Today, she uses her technical marketing know-how and way with words to help both established and emerging brands develop and deliver content that fuels smart recruitment marketing that makes the right people apply.

Katrina has written for Monster.com, HR.com, RecruitingDaily and many other digital publications. She is a recognized leader in recruiting and employer branding who speaks regularly at conferences around the world.

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