A blogger posts their thoughts, thoughts which provoke discussion. It soon becomes apparent that the blogger does not respect opinions that differ, lashing out with invective and insults. A video is posted to YouTube, an opinion column is posted to a newspaper website. The content is largely ignored, and the writer is personally insulted.
What prompted this post? I found a video on YouTube, now eight months old, in which the creator made harsh statements regarding those who did not like “Breaking Dawn” by Stephanie Meyer. Comments and responses reached more than 13,000, many of which personally insulted the creator on their looks, which had nothing to do with the content of the video. Many of the comments that pointed out that everyone is entitled to their opinion, which is true, were spiced with insulting words which I will not repeat.
In a 13,000+ comment thread, only a few refrained from insult.
(And while I’m thinking about it, many of the comments contained spelling errors and ‘net lingo that I wish could be purged from collective consciousness and usage.)
There are sites that intelligent, respectful people visit, even flock to, such as Slacktivist. A blog I sometimes read, though I largely disagree with the blogger, invites discussion about important issues (though there are frequent spirals into stupidity in the comments). But for every one of those sites, how many more are nothing more than flamewars, troll gatherings and complaints about (comparatively) little things? (Like Twilight?)
What is posted to the Internet is almost, if not certainly, impossible to call back or erase. Once it is up, it is up. Others can run with whatever you’ve said, recorded, etc., and you may never be able to track whatever happens to it.
Please review. Perhaps implement. That’s all I ask.