For what it's worth, I do think there's way more utility in differentiating oneself by having opinions one believes in, vs trying to be a crowd pleaser (which really adds no long term value to anything). Now the onus is really one oneself to make sure that those strong opinions are right, of course. :) Kinda like on HN, having a differentiable and unique idea/product/startup is way better than all the me-toos, as long as the idea is actually any good. :)
Consistency is one of those things that people try to figure out all life. I personally respect those who are clear in taking a stance even if I don't agree with them -- they've found their niche. The alternative is someone who's trying to play short term efficiencies and please everyone -- all they say are words everyday, words that carry no weight or meaning behind them.
Pardon the jumbled metaphors and all that. :)
PS -- Being mindful of what you type on the internet, just like being mindful of what you say in real life, is helpful in being genuine. Specifically it's to understand what other people are trying to say, and also understand the ramifications of your own words. And as you exercise this mindfulness, it'll become second nature and become a skill.
PPS -- re: gracefulness - just remember the downside value of a comment is not 0 but negative, and the expected value of a comment is not necessarily positive.