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You Are What You Type

Updated on January 11, 2012
Internet Tough Guy
Internet Tough Guy | Source

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!!


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    • weestro profile image

      Pete Fanning 6 years ago from Virginia

      I haven't followed it on digg jenu, I'll be sure to stay out of those comments!

    • profile image

      jenubouka 6 years ago

      Talking about outlandish comments, go to digg, that will set one off for sure.

      There's this one guy, man oh man, I have had to turn off the computer, and walk away before I found out where he lived...

    • weestro profile image

      Pete Fanning 6 years ago from Virginia

      That's funny jim, I guess I'm a mediocre, over cliche using, comma abusing, hubber!

    • jimagain profile image

      jimagain 6 years ago from Hattiesburg, Mississippi

      You are what you type?!! Oh my. . . I'm a bumbling idiot!!

      Sad state of affairs when you consider. I suppose its a revealing look at the nature of man. There goes civilization. Man was doing good until he invented language. Then came technology, which turned the internet into a digital manure-spreader! Now we can commit 'blogicide' anonymously!

      Clever. Funny in a poignant way. I voted up!

    • weestro profile image

      Pete Fanning 6 years ago from Virginia

      Thanks Alecia, great points, I agree, I'm not sure why I even read comments on articles anymore!

      Yeah Carco, the sports sections are usually funny and light, I haven't experienced anything on facebook but I don't use it that much.

      Hey Diane, I think it is resentment in your case, I'm sure you get some crazies on facebook and your blog. On a side note, your facebook page probably drives half the traffic that I get!

    • Diane Fanning profile image

      Diane Fanning 6 years ago from New Braunfels, Texas

      As the author of true crime books, I get a lot of hostile comments from people who disagree with my point of view and also from those who resent I have published books and they don't. Some of them are insulting, some wish me heart attacks and worse, others are nothing but rumormongering. I don't mind those who ask questions--even if they are a little insulting--or those who simply do not like a particular book. I'll chat with them. But people whose agenda is to pick a fight or make another person feel like a cow flop in an abandoned field, I just don't get it. Why bother? The interesting thing to me as a writer is that although I get a lot of this with my non-fiction, I rarely get it with my fiction.

    • carcro profile image

      Paul Cronin 6 years ago from Winnipeg

      Hi weestro, totally agree - comments are great but sometimes they can be disturbing. The most fun I've had with comments is reading the ones sports related. They are so insulting but yet in a funny way. If you've ever sat through a live football or hockey game, I'm sure you've heard every insult ever spoken so the comments in the sports column just allows another place for fans to express themselves mostly in good fun and venting.

      But I have read disturbing comments sometimes even on Facebook, and all you can do is flip the page as quick as possible. I really don't want to read someones serious verbal rants towards another human being especially when they're using foul language.

      Thanks for the info, voted Up!

    • Alecia Murphy profile image

      Alecia Murphy 6 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

      I love how HubPages makes people put a name to what they do for the most part, but you're right about these general news and gossip sites. It's gotten so bad with these anonymous cowards spewing venom that I usually don't read comments because I feel bad that people can be this cruel. To be honest, I think sites allowing anonymity for these people promotes bullying and regardless of your views, you should obviously want to fight people losing their lives because craycray1 didn't want to own up to what they said. Voted up and awesome Weestro!

    • weestro profile image

      Pete Fanning 6 years ago from Virginia

      I agree icount, I guess people figure it's not real if it's online! Thanks for reading!

    • profile image

      icountthetimes 6 years ago

      Youtube comments can be even worse than those on Yahoo. I think people get caught up in the idea that they are anonymous while online. Not as though they actually are. It really does bring out the worst in some people.

    • weestro profile image

      Pete Fanning 6 years ago from Virginia

      Yeah, the comments here aren't really bad. I was more referring to the comments out on Yahoo and other news sites. Thanks for reading and commenting!

    • profile image

      Animeau 6 years ago


      Generally speaking I am against comments online and (also) planning to write a post on it. Like you said I think many people want some cyber attention and say absolutely nothing interesting. That's why I don't care much about comments on my posts. Some people do write clever comments but how to filter the good and the bad? May be by moderating. HubPages have to give an efficient moderation functionality.