Sunday, September 20, 2009


Today I participated in something that I have rarely done over the past year or so. After seeing on Twitter that Steve Helms had a piece about Health Care published in the News-Leader, I headed over to give it a look. I found there the many reasons that I had basically written off the News-Leader's online comment section.

1) Anonymous comments
2) Endless slander
3) Complete avoidance of the topic at hand

For some reason, the comments section attracts some of the least desirable communication from people in the community. Unfortunately that's part of the problem. We have trouble knowing for sure whether the participants are even from this area. Even if we did know for sure they were, we don't know who most people really are. I'm not against anyone's right to privacy, but I think anonymity brings out horrible things in many people.

There were people that claimed to be on the left, and others that claimed to be on the right that couldn't stop slandering each other, calling names, and generally being unpleasant. Now if they were making a point in an unfriendly way, I could probably look past the muck, but many of them fail to remember what the piece was even about.

I'm not expecting everyone to get along, but I do expect people to talk about the subject at hand. It is ridiculous.

It also seems that even when I take the time to present calm arguments in favor or against a particular idea that I either am completely ignored, or people attempt to draw me into the fray by attacking me, instead of responding to the ideas and concepts presented.

It is wearying. I will most likely continue to avoid the News-Leader in the future.

I think that citizens would benefit greatly by having an environment that encouraged well thought out and researched discourse on the topics. I also think that our representatives should have a place where all their constituents (not just those of their own party) were given a voice on issues. I think that the Citizens Brigade would satisfy this.

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Blogger tom said...

This is after all the comments section of the News Leader were talking about here. I swear many people troll here just to see what type of discontent they can raise in the shortest time frame. I used to read the comments just to get a laugh but now the comments are more juvenile then what you find on a 5th grade playground.

8:31 PM  

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