Cyber-bullying (and can’t-we-all-just-get-along cookies)

I’m in love with these cookies and originally, I had little else to say in this post beyond “they’re fabulous! They’re delicious! Go make them now!”.

Something’s been happening in the world of food blogging that I wanted to comment on.

Cyber bullying.

This isn’t just a problem for kids and teenagers. Adults are just as nasty and venomous, cloaked by the false bravado that alleged internet anonymity provides them. Bullying has always existed – it’s simply worse now that you don’t have to do it face to face. Now you can upload deeply personal photos of people where it will stay on the internet basically forever for the entire world to gawk at. You can nonchalantly grab your smartphone from your back pocket and type offensive, insulting, and sometimes threatening messages within a matter of seconds. You can rally other like-minded trolls and make someone the victim of a vicious smear campaign, often for no good reason.

Case in point: the fabulous Carrie of Bakeaholic Mama is currently being victimized by a large number of these hateful creatures. She wrote an extremely eloquent, honest, thought-provoking article about her experience here. Please do go and read her post (she takes the high road and offers up Amish friendship muffins to the haters. I would’ve posted a giant photo of my middle finger if this happened to me).

Basically, Carrie found a Facebook page that was straight up stealing content from her blog and from a number of other bloggers. She very politely asked the page owner to respect copyright and to share properly. What happened next is a complete nightmare.

Content theft is bad enough – it’s a problem that’s been around for a while and I’m sure it won’t go away. What makes it so much worse is the misplaced self-righteousness of those doing the stealing and their warped sense of entitlement in bullying those who call them out on it.

I had to write this post because I’m just so livid over the people out there who are intent on spreading their misery and completely callous in their disregard for how their words affect others. Here are some excellent posts by other bloggers who are far more well-versed and eloquent about these issues than I am:

The Hungry Mouse had her entire blog purloined.

I Am Baker wrote an extremely informative article on “What Every Facebook User Needs to Know” regarding the proper sharing of content.

The Decorated Cookie has gone through this herself – you really need to read her amazing post titled “Cyber-bullying…a trend that’s changing everything“.

I’m going to leave you with cookies that are so freaking good, they’ll make all your cares fade away (at least in the moment you’re chewing them). My friend Jen of Juanita’s Cocina recently made the famous Levain Bakery chocolate chip cookies. This is a recipe I’ve been wanting to make for a while. I didn’t follow the recipe exactly so this might not be the best representation of that cookie. I didn’t regret my variations for a second – these are amazeballs. For the original recipe, see here.

They look like punctured eyeballs with the liquid innards spilling out.  Or like a Facebook friend said - deformed nipples.  Just the look I was going for.

They look like punctured eyeballs with the liquid innards spilling out. Or like a Facebook friend said – deformed nipples. Just the look I was going for.

My changes:

– I decreased the sugar – I used 3/4 cup light brown sugar and 1/4 cup granulated sugar
– I used 1/3 cup chopped dark chocolate, 8 chopped individual Twix bars and 3 rolls of Rolos
– I sprinkled sea salt over the top of each cookie, some of which I pressed a Rolo into before baking

Oh yeah I did.

Oh yeah I did.

There's so much goodness in this here batter, I can barely contain myself.

There’s so much goodness in this here batter, I can barely contain myself.

I used a large ice cream scoop to portion each cookie.  Go big or go home, baby.

I used a large ice cream scoop to portion each cookie. Go big or go home, baby.

She's a beauty!

She’s a beauty!

The caramel from the Rolos melted everywhere and made these cookies a hot mess but that didn’t affect the taste. Something exquisite happens to caramel when it’s baked – the flavour is deep, buttery, slightly salty, and intensely rich. The bites of cookie that yielded bits of Twix were my favourite. Indescribably delicious.
Make these, you won’t be sorry.

And be civil, people. Let’s be kind to each other. There are too few minutes in a day to waste on negativity.

You can't face a cookie this ooey gooey with caramel and NOT want to hand out hugs, rainbows 'n puppies.

You can’t face a cookie this ooey gooey with caramel and NOT want to hand out hugs, rainbows ‘n puppies.

And most importantly, have a cookie.

53 thoughts on “Cyber-bullying (and can’t-we-all-just-get-along cookies)

  1. It is such a Shans some people feel the need to do things like that! Thank god for your cookie recipes and other Bloggers sharing their experiences so others can know they are not alone! Xx

    • I know, right?! It’s terrible. Thankfully, I’m still small potatoes in the world of blogging so nothing like this has happened to me. I had to write this post in honour of the wonderful people who are being harassed and bullied. And yes, thank God for cookies! 😉

  2. It is funny my friend, I do see the occasional bout of cyber-bullying online regarding school but not much at all. I just imagine that when you hit 30 or 25 or a ‘mature’ age, you suddenly become some nice, baking-cookies kind of person. Never would have expected this behaviour in the blogging world and I am all for backing up the real bloggers who put in time and awareness! Thanks for posting about this my friend and spreading the word!

    Oh and on a nicer note, dang girl, your cookies look AWESOME 🙂


    • Thanks, Uru! We definitely need to stick together and watch each other’s backs. We can’t let the trolls win! I hope you’re rocking your exams and that you get back to blogging soon. We all miss you!

  3. Competition has two faces and one is extremely unpleasant. These last few months I was wondering where food blogging was heading to, since the amount of sites double every day. I think pinterest has a lot to do with the `I can copy anything´ frame of mind. It´s turning out to be such a problem I guess eventually there will be real infringement laws passed and things will change. The race for more traffic is dirty and will never stop since there´s money in the middle.
    Your cookies look awesome Nancy! Just the thing to take our minds off everything. Have a good day my sweet friend!

    • It’s so sad, isn’t it? Honestly, I don’t think I would’ve stuck with blogging were it not for you and the rest of the gang in our Sunday Supper family. You have all been such a tremendous source of love and support – I only wish everyone we encountered online were as kind. I also wish I could send you a giant box of cookies to munch on while you’re dealing with the floods over there. Take care, dear Paula!

  4. Applause!!!! Applause!!!!

    For the cookies, but really for this post. Thank you so much for posting this.

  5. This is terrible – perhaps I have been too lucky to only have met such wonderful people like yourself here within this baking community that I never imagined there could be such nasty and hateful people out there – particularly within this fun, honest, and non-harming baking community. Hats off to you Nancy for sticking up for Carrie and for alluding me to this issue so that I too can show Carrie my full support!

    p.s. Your cookies look and sound deadly but for some reason I can’t stop looking and thinking about them. I think I need to make them. lol 😛

    • Lol, it’s because the melting, oozing caramel is hypnotic. Seriously, these cookies were like crack to me – I couldn’t stop eating them, which is why I gave most of the batch away. As for the bullying, I totally know what you mean. So far, I’ve only had wonderful experiences with the people I’ve met. I’m still an unknown blogger so thankfully I haven’t been victimized by anyone but my heart totally goes out to those who have, especially when they’re as sweet and hard working as Carrie! Thanks for your comments, lady – they’re appreciated as always!

    • Thanks, Heather. The whole thing was pissing me off so much that I had to say something. As for the cookies – I should’ve known better than to put the Rolo on top BEFORE baking *smacks forehead* Oh well – I like things that look freaky, so long as they taste good 😉

  6. It’s a shame isn’t it? I’ve been very fortunate to avoid the cyber bullying for now, but it leaves me so enraged that people go that far with words. I wish people were more educated. For now, let’s share these world peace cookies!

    • Exactly! Everyone should eat cookies and cake, all the time – we’d all be much happier. And I’m so thankful I’ve only met people like you, Carla. I don’t know how I’d handle all the hideous, hurtful comments being thrown around out there.

  7. I agree with what Paula said here. . it’s so disheartening and upsetting and sad, really. Until real laws are passed, I think this kind of stuff, unfortunately, will continue. It’s also really scary. . and just leaves a horrible feeling in my stomach.
    I used to think – just let everything roll off. . I hadn’t seen any of this online and just read her entire post and some of the links she has on her post as well, like this one: This is really horrible but makes me think now about what I write about and share. thanks Nancy!

    • Thanks for sharing that link with me, Alice. I just read it – so powerful. The message she got was absolutely disgusting. What kind of horrible human being would write that for the sheer pleasure of it? I just don’t understand. It’s for these exact reasons that I never post photos of myself or my husband here. I’ve probably already shared enough that people could find me if they wanted (I’m a super paranoid woman!). That’s why we’ve got to stick together. Thank God I’ve only met wonderful people like you, dear Alice!

    • I just read Dianne’s amazing article the other day! Thanks for reminding me – I’ll add a link to it in my post. I always knew that stuff like this happened but it’s just exploded in the past few weeks. I can’t believe how hateful and vocal these people are. It’s like – would you be proud of yourself for saying those things to someone face to face? If not, then you shouldn’t say it. Period.

  8. My husband is gonna’ love these!!! I’ve pinned and will go over and see your friend’s post. I had this trouble in the past and honestly at one point those followers actually scared me! Luckily, I was able to explain very clearly what a felony was and it all stopped.

    • I’m sorry to hear that, Kelli! Thankfully, that person exercised some civility and common sense and didn’t harass you further. I hate hearing these stories and that’s why I decided to write this post, even though I’m not the one bearing the brunt of it (thankfully). We can’t let the bullies have the louder voice. As for the cookies – you can’t go wrong with stuffing them with candy!

    • You’re so welcome, Carrie – I really wanted to write something in support of you. You know I’m a huge fan! And YES, I’m totally going to bake you cookies when we meet in Seattle. Can’t wait!

  9. Dearest Nancy (aka the Joan of Arc of the food blogosphere),

    Thank you for shedding Light on cyber bullying…It is violating and offensive and anger provoking. I can only calm myself by remembering and being grateful for great people like you. Recreating amazing Gotta Get Baked cookies helps too =)

    • Lol, I don’t think you should go that far, Kim but I appreciate the sweet sentiment! Yup, reading everything that’s been happening to our blogger friends has really pissed me off and the sad thing is, no matter how much we rally behind them and try to get the trolls to understand, they just get louder and more vitriolic. Sigh…one step at a time, right? And cookies – there should always be cookies!

  10. Fraud and ID theft is very scary and it must be super hard to work on these across borders. I bet that’s one thing that they rely on. I don’t even know where I would begin to deal with something like that, having no FBI here. I would hope we have some kind of internal investigations here with lots of weight to through around.

    Generally though, my blog has given me nothing but wonderful people to befriend. It’s a blessing.

    • I’m so glad to hear you haven’t experienced any theft, fraud or bullying. I haven’t either, so I’m thankful all the time that my time blogging has only been positive. If only it could be that way all the time!

  11. It’s sad – when you’re in middle school and being picked on for being the nerdy smart kid (wait…was that just me?), you think, “When I’m an adult, I won’t have to put up with this crap.”

    I have long lamented the fact that, in spite of our hopes and dreams, so many people don’t seem to get past that “mean girl” stage. They either don’t think about or don’t care that their words and actions truly, deeply hurt others.

    I am blessed to have met some very wonderful friends through blogging and am happy to say that I have not (yet) been the victim of cyber bullying, but my heart goes out to those who are putting up with this. I commend them for rising above and I encourage them to cling tight to their true friends and remember why they started blogging in the first place.

    And eat some cookies. Duh.

    • lol, I second the cookies comment – major duh! Yup, it’s incredibly sad that people with no joy in their hearts are so hellbent on spreading their misery. While the internet has given us wonderful things (like our blogs!) it’s also given people the venue to anonymously, quickly and directly stalk, harass and bully others. Thanks for your thoughtful, eloquent comment, Stephie!

  12. I read her entire post and was appalled! I can’t believe that girl’s entire Facebook page has over 110k followers and it is all posting other people recipes. Very frustrating because that doesn’t really require any creativity or work. I spend hours and hours in the kitchen testing and retesting and creating recipes so I can share that passion and yummy food with people. I’ve had people use my recipes as their own (my cookies) and I’ve come across it. I couldn’t believe it. They ranted and raved about them being the most amazing cookies ever, with no mention of my name/blog. I have removed a couple of my most popular cookie recipes because they have been so popular that I’m afraid of future thieves. In fact, this whole food blog craze is that they are a dime a dozen and I’m considering closing down my blog. I have other ideas anyways. I just didn’t realize how many food bloggers were out there!!
    The cookies look beautiful by the way! 🙂

    • Awww, Brandi, it breaks my heart to hear you’re thinking of giving up your blog! Where am I going to find amazing healthy recipes like the ones you post? I’m also truly sorry you had to go through the theft of your recipes. I hate that a few bad apples have to ruin it for everyone else. I’ve always been extremely careful about how I share recipes and content but I’m going to be ever more vigilant now. When I adapt recipes I always make sure to credit the original blogger with a link and if I don’t change a thing in a recipe, I don’t reprint it and simply direct people to the original blog. It’s only fair to give people the proper credit.

      • I agree..that’s the best way! 🙂 See, you make amazing food and photos….but that chic doesnt even cook them or take her own photos, yet she has 100k + followers for doing virtually nothing…that is what makes me so mad. Sorry, I kind of went all wacko when I wrote that, I was so pissed! Sorry, for going nutso, lol! I still have other ideas, but I’m not sure exactly on timing, so you’ll have to put up with me a litte longer, lol! 🙂

    • Thanks so much, Yvonne! I’ve heard people rave about the Levain bakery cookies for years and now I know why – they’re delicious! I hope you do try them – let me know how they turn out if you do.

  13. Great post, Nancy, and very well said! I was just discussing this with Kelli the other day and we just don’t understand why people, especially women, can’t be more supportive of each other. We aren’t in high school anymore, people! Jeez. Those cookies look fabulous, though, and might well be the solution to every problem. 🙂

    • Thanks, Stacy! I fully agree – these shenanigans are what you’d expect from kids who don’t know any better, not grown ups! And yes, you’re right – women are sometimes the worst at attacking each other. We’ve got to stick together!

  14. Beautifully written Nancy – perhaps if everyone was given this awesome cookie we could all just get along. I don’t understand people and why they think they have the right to be mean just because you sit behind a computer. Is it really so hard to understand giving credit properly or to just be nice. Can’t we all just get along?

  15. Wow, I just Carrie’s blog post and I’m left feeling so angry and sad. I honestly don’t understand how so many people can be so cruel and hateful towards someone they don’t even know and have never met. I love the internet because I get to read so many amazing blogs like yours, but at the same time you’re right, the anonymity can really make people so vicious and ugly. Thank you for sticking up for a fellow blogger who didn’t do anything wrong or anything deserving of so much hatemail, and making the rest of us aware of what was going on. Oh, and I don’t care if these cookies look like eyeballs or deformed nipples hahaha the fact that you combined Rolos and Twix (MY ABSOLUTE FAVOURITE!!) into a cookie makes me want to eat all of these right now!!!

    • Hey Lianna, thanks for the comments and for checking out Carrie’s post. Isn’t it terrible?! I think if I went through something like that, I’d stop blogging, which is a shame because then it’d be letting those haters win. Rolos and Twix are my faves too – you’re definitely a girl after my own heart!

  16. I’m so glad you shared Carrie’s story…I’ve been following it, too…just crazy that adults are behaving like 2 year olds! And, of course, I’m seriously in love with your cookies! Adding Rolos and Twix was a genius move…who knew I was a fan of nipple cookies???? 😉

    • Hey Liz, we all need cookies evocative of erogenous zones every now and then in our lives 😉 I was stunned the entire time this was happening to Carrie. Hopefully it has stopped but she won’t be the last person to be a victim of this behaviour. That’s why we all need to band together in support when it happens.

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  18. I, too, am so annoyed and mad and fed up by all the cyber theft that is going on lately. GRRR!
    I LOVE Levain cookies. These look delicious. Love the idea of Twix in a cookie!

  19. If only there were a way to bull doze all the cyber bully’s into one gigantic pit, then give them a serious finger wagging. The world could seriously do without bully’s. Love not hate, people. Frankly, it’s much easier to be a lover than a hater. I love everything about these cookies.

    • Jennie, what you said after the words “bull doze into one gigantic pit” was a LOT nicer than what I would’ve said! But yes, the message is love, not war so I should tuck my nasty thoughts away!

  20. It’s so amazing to me how terrible people are acting these days, as if anything goes because we have technology at our fingertips. Cyberbullying is terrible in any form and apparently you don’t have to be a child to act like one. Thanks for the this post. Love the cookies btw 🙂

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