Monday, November 30, 2015

A much needed update to discourage the big-mouthed masses.

    Jimmy Watkins

    Scroll to the bottom of any Youtube video, controversial story, music website, etc, especially a popular one with a bunch of views, and you will eventually come to a place where respect is hard to find and vulgarity is impossible to miss: the bowels of the comment section.

    Sometimes the discussion is about whatever topic is on the page and two disagreeing sides just get carried away, other times someone makes a typo and it turns into people disgracing each other's family members.  Either way, anything goes.  People can give fake names on these accounts, and nobody has the time or energy invested in an internet argument to trace an IP address, which results in nobody thinking twice about what they are saying.

    I believe publications that have decided to take down their comments are making a smart move that doesn't hurt them too badly anyways.  What's the difference between commenting at the bottom of the page and opening a new tab to tweet at the publication?  As far as interaction with the stories go, cutting out the comments section should only cut off the voices of those who go too far.  Your real name and life are attached to your Twitter/Facebook profile, and employers have been known to swiftly deploy the boot to any pea brains that embarrass the company on twitter.  The genuinely interested and intelligent voices will have no problem taking to social media to give feedback on your post.

    People could, and probably do, make fake Twitter and Facebook profiles, but at least then it's more associated with their Twitter account and not on your website.  Either way it's their thought, but it eliminates a potential "are these the types of people that read this site?" train of thought.  They're still people with nothing to better to do than writing gratuitous comments, but it's in more of a public forum and its easier to isolate them by clicking on their profile.
                                                             (Photo from

      The idea of a forum comment section is innovative and ambitious in theory, but what is asking a question going to do to the people who are just there to attack people and argue their point to the angrily typed death?  It will steer the discussion, but the expletives dropped in the comment section do not tend to come within the first few responses.  It is after the discussion is left to stew for a few days that people start getting a bit off topic.

     The people who tell you that they know your girlfriend pretty well on the internet are going to be around for quite some time, as the internet seems capable of standing the tests of time.  As long as there is an internet for lonely people to bring others down, they will continue their keyboard assaults. The only thing that we can individually do to slow the problem is to not be part of it, and don't give those who are the time of day.

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