You’re probably familiar with the comments sections of blogs and online newspapers. It’s where people write nice, harmonious, agreeable comments about the article, the article’s author, and the President. No, wait that must have been a dream I had.
I have always felt that a lack of accountability in the commenting process unfortunately brings out the worst in people. Today, anonymous Internet commentary is similar to prank phone calls prior to the introduction of caller ID.
Of course, what is or is not appropriate depends on one’s political, social, and economic perspective, and in many cases, anonymous comments can influence the direction of an online dialogue. Some commenters rely on their anonymity to avoid angering their employers. But most do so in order to freely post awful comments, because they themselves are not so nice. Writers put themselves out there every day, exposing themselves to the world, subject to every person’s inner mean side, cloaked in cowardly anonymity.
Facebook has rolled out a tool that allows any website to attach faces to comments, which would create a certain degree of accountability.
According to InfoWorld, “TechCrunch, which implemented Facebook Comments as an experiment, reports that while the total volume of comments is down significantly, the comment nastiness quotient is approaching zero – except, apparently, for nasty comments about their new commenting system.”
I see this as a positive. There is enough nastiness in the world and we all need to tone it down. Do your research on this issue. There are plenty of colorful opinions on what Facebook Commenting may mean. Many are for it, and many more are against.