Saturday, December 29, 2007

The ugly world of website comment

How come, as one who adores reading diary blogs, I cannot bring myself to do anything quite so straightforward?
I suppose this is a "comment" blog. I only blog when something gets up my nose.
Six months later, I am still wishing that it was smoke getting up my nose.
How tragic.
Oh, why can't being a non-smoker be easier?

For the last few months, I've been sidetracked into blogging for my newspaper's website.
It is a pretty unrewarding business.
There is a very different demographic going to those commercial sites - and it contains some rather ugly individuals who take the invitation to "comment" on stories as an opportunity to leap, in ill-educated English, into vicious personal attacks.
They misread the copy, misinterpret or perhaps don't read at all, since a few of them simply seem to want to talk about my photograph.
Most common comments are in the vein of "get off your high horse lady - X is a lot better than you are - go back to writing cookery books".

I am sure these people would not speak to one in the flesh in this manner.
It seems that the anonymity of the Internet is an enabler for sour, angry, frustrated and, dare I say it, pretty stupid people to hit rock bottom and be their true selves.
Cowardly, crude and venomous.

So, it is generally an unpleasant experience to log in to moderate the comments on the newspaper blog.

But, my compensation lies in the fact that these uglies are not as anonymous as they may think. Their email addresses may be private from the website readership but they are not concealed from the website administrators. So, guess what? I know who they are!

Oh, my, and wouldn't their employers be appalled at the sort of grotesque things their staff members are sending out online during the course of their working hours?

Aren't they lucky that I am not as vindictive and cruel as they are?


Anonymous said...

I'm laughing here...let's see; semi-illiterate, hostile, ignorant, somewhat sexist (not being a PC person, I only note that with an old lady smirk). Sounds like when the AOL bus let out on the old IRC! Just more of it, sadly.
I have this terrible vision of an entire generation that will mutate to only having thumbs for texting and language reduced to its most basic form...indeed, hooked on phonics. Is it the same in other languages? I tremble and am glad I will be dust in the wind and sea before I have to see much more.
Happy internet junkie and Luddite at the same time - once a conflict, now an acceptance. All I can do is puff a whiff in your direction, Sa, for consolation, and wish you a very very strong contentment in the New Year.


dysthymiac said...

Whenever I have been led to Comments on a newspaper site (even on The Guardian) and see the absolutely STUPID people's brains at work, I worry that they also breed, drive and vote.
fer chrissakes.