#OnlineComments — Mankind in their Worst
You know what I’m talking about right?
You’re browsing along and watch a nice video on Youtube, read an Interesting Article in a Blog, explore a press news article about something that you find it interesting and then you reach the bottom of that page and see what people have commented to consider if you can have a conversation about the subject and take it further.
That’s the general purpose of having a comment section at any media site/blog/service, right? Exchange opinions, elevate the conversation and elevate all that content even more richer with different insights. That was the dream! And then reality knocks you out of your little candour cloud and you smash real hard at the floor when you realise that something came along the way and change that original premise. And what’s that thing you may ask?
Human Being. Yep, we tend to ruin even the most promising online features.
Comments for All
There’s a great variety of comments out there and I’ll describe just a few categories. It’s too much to have a complete description here.
The Real One — They actually exist! But they’re so few that sometimes one thinks that’s a product of imagination and are the rarest of them all.
The Promo — One of the most prolific. It’s disguised of a real comment with some nice words or “copy and paste” sentences and then there’s a link to somewhere else. They don’t add anything of value and just want to linkbait the audience into their Landing-Pages or Products.
The Two-Face One — This is a real gem. In this type of comment, some people gives a small little comment that in fact can be addressed to any other document in the web, like “Nice Article, keep it going!” for a few days in a row and then a few weeks later bring their pitch to make a sponsored story or a Guest Posting to insert a link to their site.
The Religious One — This one it’s increasing a lot lately. In this case, everything that you write is a demonstration of how God works in mysterious ways, or it’s a warning that we should stop writing that to prevent some godly justice upon us. In case we don’t they threaten to kill you somehow.
The Fanatic — There’s always someone that’s a complete fanatic about a subject. It can be about sports, about a specific brand or even about butterflies. You name it, they exist. And they will fight to the death on their convictions.
The Idiot — This one will comment something stupid just to become noticed and provoque someone else to exchange stupid remarks.
The Angry One — There’s always someone that’s not happy about themselves or their lives and want to offend or affect everyone else. So, they take real pride in talking sh*t and try to infuriate others and start some angry discussion. Their main goal is to browse around and make offensive remarks about everything.
The Magnificent Troll — This one is the king of them all. They stalk a particular author or person of interest and tries to make their life a living hell. They take pleasure in making this guy or girl really upset about their comments and can be very imaginative when it comes to being mean.
The Anonymous One — This is the most Coward of them all. Obviously! This person will make the most violent and mean comments but tries to be undercover to not face the consequences. They don’t want to be known for what they’ve said or done.
Quite frankly there’s so much more to explore here, but the common thread is that almost every single comment section on a blog, media site or content production has this crowd. The real comments with people that really want to express themselves in the right way are just a small part in the global picture.
Is This a Picture of our Society?
What worries me it’s not that this happens on a particular site or media. One can always avoid these sections or just ignore these kind of comments. However, if this represents a screenshot of today’s society concerning education, values and moral, then it’s really upsetting.
When I read people still advocating racism, xenophobe arguments, violence in any form and so much more, it really worries me that this can be a portrait of how many people think the same way. And if we just lay down doing nothing against this, it can be what the future will bring us.
Never before we lived in such a time that Bullying have been mentioned and so many people are talking about it. Taking action about it. However, it seems that continuous practice still persists, specially online. People consider that the anonymity brings them some safety blanket. They can be as despicable as they really are, but they’re not going to be identified and taken responsibility for their actions since we don’t really know who they are.
A few months ago, Google has brought some stop into this practice into Youtube for instance, since they only were allowing comments from people with actual and real Google+ profiles. Of course that you could pretend to be someone else, but it would take much more work and trouble. This has stopped some of the sh*tty comments but then they’ve changed their mind because of the community backlash. I’m guessing that anyone that was against it were the ones that needed the anonymity blanket for their devious practices. But that’s just me guessing around.
There’s a lot a bloggers and media sites that are blocking or deactivating comment sections on their blogs alltogether. Take Chris Brogan or Copyblogger for instance. Even recently, a Youtube star Author has just decided to turn off comments for it’s 30 million followers. Authors and Media Producers are changing from comments into third party social communication to avoid all of this.
However, I still think that comments would an awesome tool for everyone if we just played nice and constructive on our comments to elevate the conversation and bring value to the community. Unfortunately, most of us are there just to spill their nasty acid on everything.