Kakvi Su Komentari? Meet the Kingdom of Croatian Keyboard Warriors

Total Croatia News


July 20, 2019 – One of the joys of running a news portal about Croatia are the daily visits to the Kingdom of Croatian Keyboard Warriors. Join TCN on a tour. 

Writing online about a country you live in but which is not your country is quite a challenge. 

Obviously, one does not have the same local or cultural knowledge as those born here, and language can also be a problem. 

But, went my naive thinking when I started Total Hvar all those years ago, if the content was good (and it was), then I would be forgiven the occasional mistake. 

Not in the Balkans, baby. 

I never really spent much time online or on social media before I started Total Hvar back in 2011, and life was certainly simpler back then.  And perhaps it is just my experience, but Croatia seems to have a keyboard warrior culture like no other. Everyone has an opinion, and months of debate, insults and showboating result in… 

Absolutely no change at all. Not one opinion changed. Not one constructive result. Just lots of people whacking off to their keyboard warrior addiction.

I found it fascinating. 

When I started Total Hvar, I was SO sensitive to any comments, in case I had upset someone. It took some time to adjust, but the day I posted a photo about how beautiful Dubrovnik was and got told that British opinions were not needed and I should fuck off back to London, I got a little less sensitive. 

I mean… Manchester ok, but London?

When I was researching starting Total Croatia News, I was given a great piece of advice which I didn’t take (thanks MK – please be more forceful next time). 

“Avoid politics. Don’t take sides or enter into political discussions, or your portal will be finished.”

And while I don’t have any politics, so there are no sides to take, I quickly learned that running a successful English-language Google News site in Croatia was political enough and people interpreted me as suited their own needs. 

It didn’t take me long to realise that foreigners are not allowed to have an opinion in Croatia.  

But at some point, you have to go big or go home. I only read comments when someone alerts me them (sorry to those keyboard warriors working so hard), and – as you will see below – I have become immune to the abuse. Actually, more than immune. If I don’t get a little keyboard warrior abuse before my morning coffee, I genuinely question what TCN is doing wrong. 


And so when Croatia’s leading news portal Index.hr invited me to do an interview on the Kingdom of Accidental Tourism, I paused. Writing on TCN brings enough abuse but to write a (constructively) critical article on Croatia’s most read and most controversial portal? 

I paused for a second, but then looked around at another empty square in Jelsa in this most incredible record season with undertourism to take away all the complaints about overtourism. I would not have to wait for a beer from the waiter to get started with my interview, and so I set to work. 

And I was amazed. Firstly with the link traffic to my site. Secondly by the number of hits (lots – the top news story of the day at one point) and FB likes (4,000). And thirdly by the comments. 

They were almost all positive and supportive, something which even surprised the Index editor. 

But of course, not totally positive, for this is The Beautiful Croatia, and there are vested interests being challenged. 

So let’s take a quick tour of some of the negative comments, with a little commentary on the nuances of life in the Kingdom of Croatian Keyboard Warriors.

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There is a lovely phrase which is a direct translation of ANY complaint you make about Croatia, Croatian officials or the Croatia way of life. As Goran so eloquently shows in his response to the article (Croatian version here, English version here), the keys to the right to have an opinion are linked to what you were doing in 1991. If you were fighting for Croatia in the war, your opinion was welcome. If not, you could f*** off back to London. Or worse, High Wycombe. 

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Croatia’s keyboard warriors will teach you things you will never learn from local officials. According to young Tomislav, the Mayor of Hvar thinks I am a Cetnik spy who is not to be trusted. Really, Riki? You should have confronted me if true and I would have confessed. 

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One of the trademarks of the Kings of Croatian Keyboard Warriors is the policy of deflection. In some societies, learning from best practices of others to improve helps a country move forward. But such things in the Kingdom of Croatian Keyboard Warriors is deemed as an attack on the (very comfortable) status quo and must be fought at all costs. The biggest weapon a keyboard warrior has is what I call the policy of deflection. 

Rather than address the question, try and shame the person asking it. Show him that his problems are bigger and he is some kind of hypocrite for asking. In English we have a phrase for this – a pot calling the kettle black. Mostly the policy of deflecting any attention to the point being made in the form of an attack. Usually a personal attack, as young Ante demonstrates:

Who cares what some drunken Englishman writes on this propaganda article. The rest is gibberish about preaching.

Who indeed?


In English, we also have a saying ‘let’s call a spade a spade’, as Alen, or was it Ayoub, do so eloquently here.

That Englishman is a Yugo-Communist, Serbian Chetnik, UDBA agent, Yugoslav Nationalist, a child of a JNA officer and a hater of all things Croatian.

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And, as one can quite understand when you produce such an award-winning piece of literature, you want to protect your intellectual property in case it gets nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. I hope you managed to agree on who was the original author, Alen and Ayoub. Plagiarism on such original content is not nice. 

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Just as I almost never read the comments these days, so too I comment even less. Apart from not having the time, I also don’t have the energy – as we have already established, nothing changes anyway. I dip in to the comments maybe once a month as I am waiting for my daughters after their guitar class, or perhaps after a cold one too many, and I am always amazed. If you actually engage with keyboard warriors, they tend to vanish.  

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Although I do admire them for generously contributing to our page views because they can’t stop reading. Perhaps they do not know that reading TCN is not obligatory.  

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And then there are the conspiracy theorists like Ante who post on TCN that we are suppressing their freedom of speech by blocking them on all channels. One wonders how there were able to post such views. Full disclosure, we have blocked about 20 people in 8 years over hate speech, as well as two for a bigger misdemeanour – being irritating.

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The conspiracy theories are genuinely fascinating to read, and I am genuinely grateful for each and every one. When I show them to my daughters, they genuinely think for the first time that I am a cool guy and have some exotic double life. Perhaps I do, but please keep them coming – it is getting harder to impress my girls as they become teenagers. We enjoyed this one, Mladen.  

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 Occasionally, you have to engage with the keyboard warriors who tell you that you have no idea to fix Croatia, but they can fix the country easily and make us all millionaires. Then, when you engage and want to share their joy, they stop speaking to you. 

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And then there are the patriots – Croatia is reserved for Croatians. The view from Cleveland.  

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And then you get those messages which make life worth living. Thanks Carrie – you have been an inspiration over the years. 


Sometimes you find yourself the subject of discussion on Facebook forums and you find yourself searching for your identity. Am I really a globalist? More importantly, what exactly is a globalist?

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If I left a shithole, why would I want the country I moved to become a shithole? Must talk to my Cetnik commander to make sure I am on message. 

So a sneaky, globalist British Tito cock sucker writing humanising fluff about mass murderers while socally engineering a people for ruin in the Jewish style. It is not quite what my childhood dreams were, but I guess I will take it. I think my Mum would be proud…

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And then there was Ljerka. I was forced to ban Ljerka from TCN, as her economic genius had me staring at her posts for hours, and my wife was getting suspicious.  

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And then there is the inbox.



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One thing I have found with keyboard warriors is that they are great at being abusive, assuming they will not be challenged. But when they are…

We are generally a little disappointed at your follow-through, Patrick.

We are close to the end – some of my favourite emails ever. If I gave you the context, would it help you to understand? No, I didn’t think so either. 

Here is what we say you can take your unpaid efforts and

Gay friendly cisions of hvar and stick em up ypur arse and fuck off wher

You came from…promoting demon magicians with all seeing eyes and what not

We do not like english especially ones spreading gay propaganda and pronmoting devils

So piss off

Moving slowly on… 

Great article English.

White about your future king loving pussy droppings every time he moves out of his closet…please that would be “truth”

Some people in the Croatian media complain of getting death threats. Fake news obviously – it is all about the death treats.  

Hi Paul,

Thank you (?) for including me in the same mail with “death treats” you are apparently receiving. So sick and idiotic of you,

But; dishonesty is virtue of your tribe;
we all know it so it’s not suppressing to see you going there.

My sincere apologies for mailing you misspelled words and horrible grammar. I know how sensitive English are in keeping their language and country pure. Unfortunately English has stolen and killed so much and so many, so it is not the same anymore, isn’t it….and that is how, you ended up in my country and write shit that my Google alert spits out.

Again, fuck you and goodbye

(Not a treat just my sentiment)


But no tour of the Kingdom of Croatian Keyboard Warriors would be complete with a mention of frogs. 


 To all our admirers in the Kingdom of Croatian Keyboard Warriors, our fates are intertwined. You can’t stop reading and abusing us at TCN (and honestly, I am getting a little hornier the more you do), and we can’t operate without regular visits to your kingdom. As you love Croatia so much, can we agree on two things?

1. We declare a national Croatian Keyboard Warrior Offline Day. You go offline for the day, head to Zagreb and demand the change in person that you are spamming us with online on a daily basis. A bit like the 550,000 people did last year for the football.

No? Ok, well then at least you can commit to my second suggestion, which will surely help your country and its tourism (and between you and me, although it is a record year officially, nudge, nudge, wink, wink – I think the Kings of Accidental Tourism need all the help they can get):

2. For every useless and abusive comment you post online in the Kingdom of Croatian Keyboard Warriors, you commit to picking a piece of trash on a Croatian beach. Assuming you ever come to Croatia, of course. That way, we could have all the beaches spotless in a week. 



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