Where Anonymity Breeds Contempt

The New York Times has a great article by Julie Zhou called Where Anonymity Breeds Contempt about how people behave when given the ability to act anonymously, specifically when leaving comments.

There you are, peacefully reading an article or watching a video on the Internet. You finish, find it thought-provoking, and scroll down to the comments section to see what other people thought. And there, lurking among dozens of well-intentioned opinions, is a troll.

I always equated commenting to what a person would do in real life. Would you really walk up to someone and tell them their art sucked or that their opinion was stupid? My guess would be no, you’d leave your opinion to yourself. I’d say about 5% of comments on The Fox Is Black get deleted for a number of reasons, but just like the content on the site, the comments should be curated as well. The article brings up a lot of good points, many of which I’ve been frustrated by before. It’s nice to see I’m not alone.


November 30, 2010