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Online anonymity breeds unkind dialogue

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The comment section has a reputation for being a cesspool of negativity.

Comments+on+the+YouTube+video+for+the+Official+2015+Jeep+Super+Bowl+Commercial+range+from+supportive+to+degrading+to+personally+attacking.+
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Online anonymity breeds unkind dialogue

Comments on the YouTube video for the Official 2015 Jeep Super Bowl Commercial range from supportive to degrading to personally attacking.

Comments on the YouTube video for the Official 2015 Jeep Super Bowl Commercial range from supportive to degrading to personally attacking.

Screenshot

Comments on the YouTube video for the Official 2015 Jeep Super Bowl Commercial range from supportive to degrading to personally attacking.

Screenshot

Screenshot

Comments on the YouTube video for the Official 2015 Jeep Super Bowl Commercial range from supportive to degrading to personally attacking.

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The anonymity of online commenting encourages unnecessary rudeness. People hide behind made-up screen names and say things they never would to another person’s face. This trend toward rudeness doesn’t seem to be fading, and it has earned a reputation.

It is pretty much a rule-of-thumb for perusing the Internet that if you don’t want to be angry or upset, don’t visit the comment section of any website ever. The comment section has a reputation for being a cesspool of negativity.

Even topics that appear uncontroversial on the surface can be a source of comment commotion and debate. It can literally be anything from a commercial to a blog about movies. People will find something to complain about or just to be plain mean about.

How do we combat such a prevalent problem? The obvious way would be to ignore the rude commenters, and the easiest way to do this is the aforementioned protocol of not even venturing to the comments section at all.

But, that’s kind of a bummer for those of us who want to engage in intelligent and thoughtful dialogue about a blog post or news story only to be bombarded with hateful messages.

Clearly, we don’t advocate censoring people who don’t have anything nice to say, as they too are entitled to an opinion. ”

Clearly, we don’t advocate censoring people who don’t have anything nice to say, as they too are entitled to an opinion. It would be nice, however, to have a place for thoughtful and respectful dialogue only. It can become too easy to get wrapped up in a comments section debate with someone whose only intent in commenting is to cause harm and hurt feelings.

The only viable solution is to just ignore the haters and make your intelligent comment with the hope that it reaches the audience you intended. In the meantime, we should acknowledge the societal influences that make this rude commenting so common among online forums.

We are sending a message to our younger generations that it is perfectly acceptable to take advantage of the anonymity available online to spread hate and negativity. Cyber-bullying is so much more harmful and prevalent than anything children experienced and participated in before technology advanced to where it is today.

The ability to torture a fellow student 24/7 through social media while remaining completely anonymous is appealing to many bullies, and they utilize it without a second thought because the anonymity allows them to separate themselves from the act of bullying.

There is no clear way to combat these issues, but the best we can do for now is to make sure that we are the people spreading intelligent and positive dialogue online and elsewhere. Hopefully, the rest of the online community will catch up soon.

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