Wall Street Journal article applies to about half the messages on this board
Too much of what has gone on here is one person's hatred for another person with a big dose of inappropriate language. Please take it elsewhere. This should be factual, not name calling. I think most of us are not amused. Thank you. -------------------------------
Is Internet Civility an Oxymoron? By L. GORDON CROVITZ For those of us tempted to hope that new technology might improve human nature, the Web has proved a disappointment. The latest online reality: comment sections so uncivilized and uninformative that it's clear the free flow of anonymous comments has become way too much of a good thing.
The common practice is for news and other Web sites to treat all comments equally, whether made anonymously or using real names, via obscenities or reasoned debate. The hope was that people would be civil. Instead, many comment areas have become wastelands of attacks and insults.
"Too many of us like to think that we have made great progress in human relations," wrote Doug Feaver earlier this month in the Washington Post. "Unmoderated comments provide an antidote to such ridiculous conclusions." Mr. Feaver writes a blog called dot.comments that covers what readers are saying on the Post's site.
Part of the problem is that people who conceal their names seem to feel free to say things they never would if their identities were known. There are obvious cases—dissidents living in authoritarian countries—where anonymity is needed. But as Miami Herald columnist Leonard Pitts Jr. wrote recently, message boards dominated by anonymous comments often become "havens for a level of crudity, bigotry, meanness and plain nastiness that shocks the tattered remnants of our propriety."
---- abriged for space. Rest of article is on page A17, if interested.