Antisocial Etiquette




Over the holidays a buddy of mine, we’ll say his name is Bob, he was mentioned in a major Canadian magazine. Well, it was their online edition. Why he was mentioned is irrelevant—let’s just say it was a slow news day.  But because he’s a buddy, I read the article. Then I started scrolling through the comments and sure enough at the top of page two someone posted, “Bob is a hypocrite, I hope he dies a painful death.” Nice.  

Now turns out Bob is not a hypocrite. He's just a guy who happens to be mentioned in a pretty boring article. Yet for some reason, some guy named Tunnelsnake87 thought it was okay to write and then publish a death threat.  And then for some other reason, it stayed there for days on a website owned by a major Canadian media company. And the reality is this doesn’t surprise us. 

If there’s an article online, it doesn’t matter what the subject is about, it will be followed by comments that are racist, sexist, hate filled and simultaneously riddled with spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. 

Look, I'm old enough to remember when the internet happened and the idea of a comment section after news articles, a virtual debate as it were, held a lot of promise.  No more. The only promise now is that if you read the comments you will despair for society. 

And even though these people are always anonymous, I know exactly who they are. So do you.  You can pick them out of a line up.  In fact, you know that famous graphic illustrating the evolution of man, you know the guy on the far right, the one standing up perfectly straight? The dude behind him, slightly bent over—that person. Turns out they have the internet and they’re ruining it for all of us. 

It is time for serious media organizations to stop the anonymous comments and shut down the online hate.  I’m sorry Tunnelsnake87—put your real name up, or shut up.

Posted: 20/01/2016 9:15:27 AM | with 0 comments



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