Blog Comments

Whenever people lament aspects of the Internet, they are most likely to lament the net’s ubiquity of por-nog-raphy. Only God knows, for example, how many kids, searching for some government information, typed in “white–house.com” only to be greeted by por-nogra-phic images (happily, the website changed hands in 2004). It is almost impossible to completely avoid such imagery even with filtering programs.

But there is something at least as awful — and arguably more destructive — that permeates the Internet: the lies, vitriol, obscenities and ad hominem attacks made by anonymous individuals on almost every website that deals with public issues.
Internet Anonymity Is as Destructive as Internet Po-rn

Being identifiable breeds responsibility; anonymity breeds irresponsibility.

Cursing, ad hominem attacks and/or the utter absence of logic characterize a large percentage of many websites’ “comments” sections. And because people tend to do what society says it is OK to do, many people, especially younger people, are coming to view such primitive forms of self-expression as acceptable.

Ah yes. Most of us are all too familiar with the flame-throwers in the “Comments” sections.

You know, the ones foaming at the mouth, who, when not cursing in peoples’ comment sections are most likely scarfin down 3 hero sandwiches while watchin sit. coms on T.V. and attendin the latest movies filled with obscenities, sex-ual and toilet “humor”.

Of course, for the ones capable of thought… there is a new found “philosophy” which legitimizes rudeness.
Relativism: as in “there are no right or wrong answers.” to anything.

Heck everyone’s opinion is as good as everyone else’s.

Blurring of fact and opinion is commonplace in schools and Universities these days. Yes we must stroke the egos of the little brats in their classrooms instead of insisting on competence or excellence.

This ultimately has had an enormous effect on the level of debate on the internet.

Unearned self-esteem may very well be the most colossal quandary in our society.

The publik skool system is pumping out packs of thugs with huge egos, (based on nothing genuinely earned),some of whom even make it into college, becoming even more misinformed, shrill and downright crude.

Then along comes the anonymous “Comment” section.

Here come the volatile, spoiled emotional three year-olds throwing tantrums for attention. computerjunkieani.gif

Do you recall the days when “You are a Jerk” was not considered a retort to a brilliantly laid out logical argument.
curseani.gif

The days when “F** You” was still considered coarse, vulgar, and improper, most especially in front of women, and certainly never used BY women?

What a thrill to read intelligent, witty, well reasoned comments.

As I repeatedly tell a dear blogging friend of mine……Writing should be a technique used to cool and temper our anger and rage, with the precious opportunity to apply reason, balance and logic to our tumultuous and sometimes riotous emotions.

Lawd knows I sure do need that outlet. crazyani.gif

Free speech in real life may consist of some boor attending a public meeting and shouting insults at the speaker from the anonymous darkness somewhere in the back of the room.

We have a name for those louts. They’re called hecklers and fools, and in a civilized society, we don’t tolerate such conduct.

Respectful disagreement in the Comment field?
Heck yea. Though I haven’t seen it yet. (at least not very often)

Are some sites bastions of groupthink as a result of banning trolls and namecallers?
Perhaps.

But never underestimate the power of mutual support and unity. It is one way to generate social change and upheaval.
(Never mind preventing nervous breakdowns.. heh) laughani-uddy.gif

I, for one, have no need to spend my precious time arguing with the willingly deaf and the crude, rude louts.
If that’s your thing…banghead-cat-big.gif.G’head. It’s a free country last time I checked.

The measure of a man’s real character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.
Thomas Babington Macaulay

40 Responses to “Blog Comments”

  1. cube says:

    Blogging is certainly an outlet with which to reach diverse people. I like to receive comments, either for or against my POV. I don’t get many rude or ill-mannered ones, but I do notice that much traffic just lurks & doesn’t comment.

  2. Mustang says:

    Imagine hosting a get-together with your friends at home, and during an interesting discussion, one of your guests begins to behave rudely toward one or more of your other guests. It is likely that you would ask that person to leave because you want to maintain a harmonious atmosphere, and because you will simply not tolerate that kind of behavior in your home.

    In a similar way, I regard my blog as my domain, and those who visit with me are my guests. They are entitled to express any view they wish, so long as they do so civilly, respectfully, and avoid vulgarity. I have only banned one person since I started my blog in 2004, and then only because he displayed ill manners by making a personal attack on another guest and after warning him about acceptable behavior. Now, even if my ban was regrettable —I’d do it again under the same set of circumstances.

  3. Dwana says:

    This post on comments is interesting. I’m having a “debate” with a leftie named Jason in the comments section on the blog Tired Of All The Liberal Rhetoric Out There. You can check it out by clicking on elwoodin in my link field, then going to the comments section on the “How Liberals React to a Conservative” post. I think mine and Jason’s debate has been rather civil if heated. Let me know what you think.

  4. heidianne jackson says:

    very well said, angel. and mustang. i have not yet banned anyone, but i have removed comments when the comments are ill-mannered.

    writing is not like being in the same room with someone. i often read, research, think and rethink before i hit that “post” button – whether it is a comment or a blog post.

    you said “But never underestimate the power of mutual support and unity. It is one way to generate social change and upheaval.”

    very, very true as we have seen lately in defeating the ‘dream’ act, defending rush and other like items. but it is a very short distance from “mutual support and unity” to mob rule.

    great post!

  5. Bar Kochba says:

    I found a Muslim blog and I wanted to debate. I soon found out that any criticizm of Islam is racist and that I’m an evil neocon. O well!
    Angel, where do you find all of those great pics?

  6. Jack says:

    Anonymity is like any other tool, something that can be used for good or for bad.

  7. Jungle Mom says:

    Lots of traveling so not much blogging! This is a great post. I have actually had some commenters threaten me and my children. If you don’t like what I write… DONT READ!!!!

  8. kevin says:

    Good post, I just had to delete the most awful comment today. I will spare you the details, but it just amazes me what people think I will allow.

  9. Debbie says:

    I sometimes wonder if readers would talk the way they do if they were talking IN PERSON, face-to-face. I doubt it. There are always flame throwers as you call them, but my mother taught me to be respectful. I always try to be nice, reasonable, accept the fact that I might be wrong about something and that the other person might have a valid point to make. But simply driving by the blog and leaving hate and bad language is crude and disrespectful.

    Excellent and very timely post, Angel.

  10. Right Truth says:

    Portal of Information II…

    Portal of Information articles: Israel to come under Sharia law, says Israeli Arab cleric, Israel Today Can We Please Define “Racism”?, Intellectual ConservativeBad Craziness in the United Arab Emirates, Little Green Footballs:Why doesn’t the Bus…

  11. Another plea for common decency. « Simply Catholic says:

    [...] October 24th, 2007 Over at “Woman Honor Thyself” I was thrilled to read a great post about the decline of decent conduct in blog comments.  Something I have vented about here before.  [...]

  12. courtneyme109 says:

    doesn’t it seem that sites on the right tend to feature analytical point/counter point type debates where those on the left or certain little terror fiefdom sites either SHOUT YOU DOWN or delete you? Rising Hegemon had a post bashing o reilly for censoring his website on the same day they took my post down for disputing their inappropiate, weak and boring handwringing over America’s standing in the world.

    U rOcK!

  13. the tapper says:

    I guess I knock on wood…….I haven’t heard any such talk on my blog, as yet! I have read some that would make your hair stand on end. No need of it and I feel it is the ignorant mind expressing itself…..Sort of feel sorry for someone who is intellectually challanged with a limited vocabulary. stay well….

  14. A Little Revolution says:

    Excellent post! Some people never learned that just because they have the freedom of speech doesn’t mean we don’t have the freedom to ignore them. So they go tromping in our comment boxes saying vile and crude nonsense. By the way, I have seen some nasty blog comment feuds in my day. The nastiest had to be two women, one of whom actually is a internet friend of mine, cussing each other our over whose cancer was worst and who would die first. It was scary. Well, have a great day and have fun reading your comments! ;)

  15. Aurora says:

    Great post, Angel. If you want to see some really disgusting comments, the wonderful world of the Leftist blogosphere is a real eye-opener. I used to debate at Yahoo chat rooms and there were some seriously psychotic people posting on there.

  16. Daniel Ruwe says:

    Great post Angel. I visit liberal forums quite a bit, and it the level of discourse is incredibly low. The fact that everything is anonymous lets people say whatever they want. Most of these people probably would never say these things to real people, but they figure that somehow, the people on the internet aren’t real. It is interesting.

  17. JMK says:

    “Being identifiable breeds responsibility; anonymity breeds irresponsibility.”

    Truer words were never spoken, although it’s a decided lack of character that leads to the phenomenon of anonymous vitriol. If you won’t stand behind your comments, then you don’t believe strongly enough in them.

    Great blog…and nice new place!

  18. Gayle says:

    Just like Mustang, I won’t let anyone act badly in either my own home or on my blog. I’ve been accused of denying people their freedom of speech. No, I’m not doing any such thing. They can rant, rave and swear on their own blog. If they don’t want to bother to run a blog, that’s their fault, not mine. I closed off Anonymous comments a long time ago and went to comment moderation because I was being overrun with idiots.

    Great post, Angel. :)

  19. in2thefray says:

    excellent post. Many many good points made. Although my page/name etc are not “really” me I am fully traceable via email and blog site and avatar. In2theFray is a state of mind and I don’t mind being called out or entering an exchange.If I have something to say I have to accept the pleasure or fallout and that is a two way street. Again great post take care.

  20. Lawnguylander says:

    From the Prager article you linked to:

    There is not one good reason for any website, left or right, or non-political, to allow people to avoid identifying themselves. Anyone interested in serious political discourse, or in merely lowering the hate levels in our country, should welcome the banning of anonymous postings.

    Aren’t you an anonymous blogger/commenter, Angel?

  21. Mustang says:

    Many famous authors write under a nom de plume, Lawn Guy . . . Including Mark Twain. So “Angel” may not be a true identity, but it is how we have come to know her.

  22. Lawnguylander says:

    Maybe so Mustang, but she anonymously put up a post decrying anonymous posting. Don’t you find something inconsistent about that?

  23. Angel says:

    My thrust is not about anyonymous posting or commenting but about “rude” commenting…hence no specific reference to that aspect of Prager’s piece.

    But thanks for the input~! :)

  24. Angel says:

    AND THANKS SWEET FRIENDS FOR THE INSIGHTS AND POLITE DISCOURSE AS ALWAYS…honored to know u all! ;)

  25. Right Truth says:

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  26. michael says:

    Angel, once again you have hit a raw nerve right on.
    You’ve also described exactly why I blog under my actual name. I find it keeps me honest, and helps prevent those, er, unsupported rants that I can get going on.

  27. Middle America says:

    Gotta love free speech.
    We live in a transparent world, anymore. The more we go on-line, the easier it is to tract you.

    For those “anonymous”, I have come to the conclusion, ‘if there is no name behind it, it is meaningless’.

  28. M. C. Pearson says:

    Great blog. I came here from Cube’s site. Didn’t want to just lurk without commenting. ;-D

    Love all your cute pics and comics.

  29. Yankee Doodle says:

    Let me take this opportunity to thank you, Angel, for being such a wonderful, polite and supportive person, even when you disagree. You are part of what’s right in the world, and you are very much appreciated.

  30. KKarLMm says:

    See Above by Yankee Doodle……i completely agree……….
    ” Let me take this opportunity to thank you, Angel, for being such a wonderful, polite and supportive person, even when you disagree. You are part of what’s right in the world, and you are very much appreciated.”

    signed…Mr. Anon

  31. Big White Hat says:

    I think I may start the blog no evil blogroll.

  32. Panhandle Poet says:

    Why does one comment on blog entries? Is it to say “me too?” Is it just to call attention to oneself? Is it sometimes to say, “I was here! Stop by my blog and see what I have to say!” Is it sometimes because one truly has a relevant statement to make that either refutes or supports?

    On the other hand, why do we allow comments on our posts? Is it for support and validation of our ideas? Is it a desire to have someone say, “I was here. I might have read your stuff — or maybe not — but I was here!” The desire for affirmation is one of the strongest human emotions. I believe that is why we allow comments. We wish to see that others agree with us.

    I often find myself disappointed when something that I have written with pride draws no comment. In fact, I’m often suprised at the posts that garner the most comments. Then I think, “why am I writing in the first place?” It reminds me that comments are dangerous because they draw me away from my purpose and attempt to mold me into something else.

    Posting on controversial (at least to some) subjects will draw criticism and often vitriol. For every strongly held position there is likely an equally strongly held opposite position. I think it is part of what keeps everything in balance. It seems though that polarization of viewpoints is becoming increasingly common with fewer and fewer in the middle. That, I believe, is a symptom of a society that has lost its moral compass. It is a product of secular humanism and moral relativism. The stridence of rebellion calls to the weak, “follow me, I will lead you to enlightenment.” The result is a loss of decency and morality to the siren song of personal gratification rudely expressed.

  33. OMMAG says:

    Actually I find Angel’s posts highly entertaining ….. she does a great job of creating perspective …. I’m a cheerleader for this Woman!

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  35. Robert says:

    What are you F***& talking about, Gotd&**mit I can’t F**ing believe some peoples use of the F*&***& ing English language… Every time I turn around some idiot son of a b*** is cursing at me for my opinions, I can’t f***ing stand that……LMAO….

    Yes I tend to put emphasis on my arguments by using the occasional vulgarity, my intention is not to offend, it is intended to illustrate the emotion behind the writing, I blog as a relief valve, if I held the rage in, I might explode…or worse; take it out in person on the issue of the day.

    I will try to temper my rants a little better since I know it bothers my friends… (I said TRY!)

  36. Perri Nelson says:

    This subject is one that I’m particularly sensitive to lately.

    I tried (unsuccessfully) to leave one of the blogs I’m a contributor to (they didn’t let me go) over the insane rantings, ad-hominem attacks and vulgarity of one of my fellow bloggers.

    That simple act generated even more vitriol and venom.

    Disagreement is fine, and to be expected, but that sort of nastiness is a bad thing.

  37. brooke says:

    Another fantastic post!

    We’ve all been beset by trolls from time to time, and you have identified them here for what they are!

  38. Incognito says:

    Thank God for the delete button.

    Actually, I have had one or 2 civil disagreers.. but not many.

    As for the white house.com.. how about 80 year old Dads. Happened to mine. Bless his big old heart. He was mortiphied.

  39. Dapoppins says:

    I second the delete button as an effective tool against hate and filth…but I agree too that disagreement isn’t bad and if your too silly not to come up with a blog name and have to be annymous, that is okay too, as long as the commenter dosne’t use that hate and filth. None of that now. But I won’t be setting anyone on fire if they disagree with me.

  40. Wear Red on Friday Linkage » Blue Star Chronicles says:

    [...] Blog Comments – Woman Honor Thyself [...]