Two-way communication and feedback capabilities have been delivered by the big tent of the ubiquitous ‘comments’ section – only to be bastardized by what I surmise to be hack political staffers and unbelievably stupid people.
The intention is, no doubt, community-minded. News isn’t for the elite! The opinions of everyday people are important!
We may have failed to take into account that the opinions of the type of everyday people who want to share thier opinions tend to manifest as useless, overly-personalized and incorrectly-spelled brainsludge.
As evidence, I refer you to a comment-accusation on this CBC story that the RCMP is mired in “sexual Inendo” and “inappropriate behavior becoming of a police officer.” (Those are real cut-and paste quotes. Seriously. Sic. Sic. Sic.)
Is this human actually representative of the average person?
Rules of thumb that should be but shouldn’t need to be disclaimed at the top of the comments box include prohibitions against:
– So-called evidence that the health care system is falling apart because you knew a woman who had a friend who went in to the hospital with a cold and died;
– The use of the words “communist,” “socialist” and “fascist” unless you’ve properly studied their definitions and are capable of applying them without silliness or shenanigans; and
– Old-man observations which purport to contribute to serious discussions, like “the weather is colder now than it was when I was a kid,” as a comment on climate change.
Exhibit B is a little more tricky.
Notes that seem to indicate, for example, that Stephen Harper is a real everyman who has put Canada on the right track, I submit, have a stench.
That reek is a dead giveaway for unashamedly embattled political staffers. Their mammalian imitation is obvious.
So, no, soccermom1981, I don’t believe it’s actually the case that you weren’t sure you were going to give Harper your vote until he vowed to scrap the gun registry so now you just know he’s the man to move this country forward.
Nor is that a logical comment under an article on another party’s leadership race.
Alas, online news outfits are now a twisted ensemble of real journalists on top (who think about trifling little things like research, interviews, balance and objectivity – even when they don’t get it right) and the ever-stretching bike spandex of the comments sections – one leg crammed full of unfounded and misspelled moronicisms and the other, sausage-like, with clawing hacks vying for your love for their bosses and ideologies.
And, yes, the irony of posting this to a blog (no less, with comments allowed) has dawned on me.