You Are What You Type
It's a good idea in theory. Have readers comment on stories they've just read. They will feel actively involved and continue to read articles and leave their thoughts. The comments on Yahoo and other news sites on the internet allow readers to post their thoughts for the world to see. Sometimes, this can get downright disturbing. Anonymously posting, people are lurking in the comment section waiting to spew vile comments that I’m sure they wouldn't imagine saying in person.
Is it just to see who can type the most shocking things? A need for some cyber attention? The things people will type when they are under the secure cover of anonymity is depressing. If this is what people are walking around thinking, we are in big trouble as a society.
I’m all for freedoms, freedom of speech and press. If I don’t want to see these comments, I just shouldn't scroll down. I’m aware of this, at this point I read the comments knowing full well what I’m going to see. Lots of internet tough guys in a tough guy typing competition.
The sports articles can be more funny than anything else. Fans being fans and talking trash. There's a writer on Yahoo Sports that, no matter what he writes, has hundreds and sometimes thousands of comments telling him how stupid he is. These guys are borderline obsessive with there hatred of him. They probably keep him employed clicking on his stories to leave comments telling him he should be fired.
Then there are all the coaches. Take for instance, the guy calling the NFL quarterback a bum. I've always wondered what this guy looks like. Is he a world class athlete that just never got a break? These comments are more entertaining than anything else and can be quite humorous. If Tim Tebow is involved, the comments take a turn towards religion and get odious quickly.
The Political comments get particularly brutal. Gone is the light hearted humor, we are dealing with real emotion here. There are lots of good points made, and very knowledgeable comments. Then comes the commenter with the caps lock mashed down and multiple exclamation points, screaming at anyone unlucky enough to notice him.
I almost don’t see the point of commenting here. Republicans are never going to change a Democrat’s mind with a comment made here and vice versa. Commenting on weighty issues such as abortion or gay marriage is futile. I don't think someone who is pro life is going to change their mind because of a comment made on Yahoo. I've yet to run across a "conversation" that resembled anything like the one below:
Conservativeguy The Bible says Adam and Eve, Not Adam and Steve!!! You Liberals never learn!!!!
Liberalchick They have rights just like everyone else!!! Why shouldn't they be able to marry!!! Equal rights for all!!!!!
Conservativeguy But Gay people make me uncomfortable, it's just not right!
Liberalchick Not right for you, but they have rights!!
Conservativeguy I kind of see your point there, I'll do some soul searching and try to be more open minded.
That’s never going to happen. (And for the record, I'm a Republican. Showing no favoritism here!) This is not to say you can't have a political discussion in these forums, some people do and they have them respectively. I may be wrong about this, but I don't think anyone's mind is going to change from comments made on the internet.
Then you have comments that leave you dumbfounded. They usually come out of the blue and catch you by surprise. You're reading an innocent story about say, the White House Christmas tree, you keep scrolling down and BAM! You have to just shake your head. I think people type bigoted statements or slurs just for the shock factor. Naive? Possibly, I just refuse to believe that there are that many literate people that actually think this way.
Judging people has become an art form. The comment section needs no judge or jury to decided who's guilty, evidence is not needed and facts just get in the way. Case closed, hang the S.O.B. from the nearest tree for all to see!
Not all of the comments are negative or hurtful, and there's nothing wrong with a disagreement or good old fashioned debate. There are a lot of people that type well intentioned or even inspirational comments. They are usually just overshadowed by all the tough guys looking for a fight, caps lock on, ready to tell the idiots of the world what they really think!!! On the internet!!