Friday, 5 August 2016

Website Comments

IF you read a lot of newspaper website comments you will soon suspect the world is full of ranting fuckwits with very little brain.


After years working as a reporter I already suspected the madness of the human race, I am now utterly convinced that most people in the world are barking - or at least the ones who can be arsed to write comments are.

In many posts a speck of punctuation is as rare as elephant’s feathers. Nothing has a capital letter. Nothing. No proper noun, no first letter of a sentence, no first person pronoun. i dont no why it upsets me so much but it does

No one reads the actual story but they read into it their own prejudices and deduce what they think the writer is saying.

At one point, quite a few years ago now, the website comments on the newspaper I worked for had to be moderated and the sub-editing team took it in turns to read them all. All. Every single one had to be read before it was posted. At the end of a shift you felt like your soul had been sucked from you and replaced by dust.

It was depressing how paranoid some of the readers were. I am not much of website commenter, having lot of paint to watch dry. But if  I had left a comment and it hadn’t appeared, my immediate reaction would be that there had been a technical blip or I had done something wrong. Not our readers. Oh no.

IT’S CENSORSHIP, they screamed. YOUR PAPER IS A TORY PAPER, A LABOUR PAPER, A LIB-DEM PAPER. YOU ARE THE MOUTHPIECE OF THE COUNCIL, YOU ARE SEXIST, RACIST, EVERYTHING-IST. In reality I was just COULDN'T GIVE A SHIT-IST.

Who is this army of judgemental people with so much time on their hands that they can be bothered to fill in a  comment form to write something inane or just plain nasty? Who sits down to write horrible things about people they have never met? It's the only time I feel sorry for celebrities who come in for blistering attacks because of the way they look.

I came across this post from The Poke in 2014 where they had replaced headlines on stories with actual comments from the Daily Mail. Read it here.

I rest my case.



Fill in the form below to get an email when there is a new post. 

Enter your email address:


Delivered by FeedBurner

6 comments:

John Holton said...

Must be nice to have all the time in the world and nothing better to do than carry out flame wars in newspaper comments, on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Some people need a hobby... besides this...

Gorilla Bananas said...

Those DM comments look quite tame compared with many you find on other websites, especially You Tube. I've often thought there should be an Uber-Troll who goes around trolling the trolls.

Darla M Sands said...

I couldn't agree more here. Whatever happened to the adage I learned in childhood: "If you having nothing nice to say, say nothing at all." That folks can't even say mean things with proper language and punctuation (my pet peeve, as well) only adds insult to injury.

Best wishes to you!

rachel said...

And the Facebook comments...... Sometimes it's only the swearwords that let you know they're intended to be in English and not Klingon.

Gary Sidley said...

As someone who often is a vocal critic of Western psychiatry, I can totally identify with trollish, online behaviour. Interesting post.

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

I remember my father murmuring "Toujours la politesse " at potentially heated moments ...