It used to be that I loved the comment wars that spring up whenever anything is posted online. Since you’re reading this blog you’re online so you know what I’m talking about: An article is posted and then one or two people comment and then comes a post condemning the person for their sins. A reply comment is posted about how the previous post was ignorant and stupid. Then comes another reply attacking either of the previous two or both. It’s an endless cycle.
Here’s a hypothetical situation:
Jeff B.: Great blog, I love it!
Stefan: Totally adorable -_-
William3: This article is just another example of how the right-wing media is nothing more than capitalist whores in bed with Hitler and Bush. KILL BUSH
Monica: Did you even read the blog? Your reading comprehensin skills must SUCK
2HotMama: The bible specifically talks about this in verse 32. America is slowly being consumed by the DEVIL’s forces.
Tortilla: @William 3: I’m so fucking fed up of your leftfear shit
Polly: This is wuts rong with u.s.a.
It then goes on for seven pages worth of comments. Sometimes more.
Like I said, I used to love these. They were hilarious. People ranting and raving and never responding to anything people actually said and often times never providing facts just a lot of colorful swearing made up of grammatical symbols. You m@&h3% Fu(#3%s.
Lately though I’ve stopped finding these funny. Over the past six months or so (possibly longer) they’ve stopped giving me laughing fits and I now get actual stomach cramps when I read them.
I like the idea of having online discussions and it seems that the comment box of an article or blog post would be the ideal spot to have said online discussions but for a major flaw. The flaw that I see is that humans feel they are invincible online. They are anonymous and for all we know you’re a PhD holder who has healed the sick in Calcutta and is uniquely qualified to share your opinions without sourcing facts and without being respectful.
There are quite a few nice posters but at the same time there seem to be a handful of internet junkies who spend their time saying things that could never be used in an academic discussion or really any discussion of any kind. Why bother posting a comment that simply says: You Crazy Christians Are Crazy!!!!!!! Are all the Christians in the world going to go: Oh wow, I never thought of it like this. I’m going to forsake my cultural beliefs because of Frogger93. No, they’ll probably respond with: God hates you Fag. So what did any of that accomplish? Squat. There might have been some primal venting going on but all in all they just cluttered the internet with annoying and offensive comments.
And maybe it’s the librarian in me speaking but where are the sources? I’m not demanding that you use MLA or anything (though I would like that a lot) but when using facts like: Obamas a SOCIALIST can you at least link an article? And furthermore when referencing a scripture from any holy book can you also give us your credentials as an authority on this particular interpretation or again link us to an article? Thanks.
Basically I have four things that I wish people would consider before posting:
- Is this provocative? If so then will I return here to engage in discussions it provokes? If no then why post it?
- Is it vulgar? Will my language turn off readers so that they only see red and don’t bother to return with any useful discussion posts?
- Have I sourced my facts? Are any non-opinions adequately backed so that others can see that I’m not pulling them out of my arse?
- Would I say this if my family was around? My pastor? My respected community leader? My principal?
And on a slight tangent:
After reading far too many of these comment wars I’m going to try to implement my own guidelines to prevent them from happening here (because you know that I have hundreds of comments a day).
- Any vulgarities will be edited out. (Any edited post will have a notice on it explaining that it was edited.)
- Any posts that rely on unsubstantiated facts will not be approved.
- That’s all for now.