It just goes to show you can’t be too careful!

You may recall my complaint about online comments and how they’re a sure sign of the end of humanity as we know it. Turns out I’m not the only one who’s noticed this. 

In a recent Observer column, British comedian David Mitchell describes, quite succinctly I think, these commenters as ‘inexplicably livid’. He also reports on the British government’s plan to allow users of public services to leave online comments of, for example, their nurses, all in the name of transparency, apparently. 

He also offers a suggestion for anyone reading a particular news item’s comment section where the discussion has turned sour. He asks readers to, en masse, start adding the reassuringly inoffensive one sentence comment: ‘It just goes to show, you can’t be too careful!’ 

I’m not sure what effect it’ll have on the the teeth gnashers over at the Globe and Mail’s comments section but perhaps it may just show how silly it is to yell at people anonymously over the interwebs.

His article also points to what has become my latest favourite website of the moment:  ifyoulikeitsomuchwhydontyougolivethere.com, which collects the best, most idiotic, racist online comments from British news sites.

I complain about these people but sometimes I don’t know what I’d do if I didn’t have them to infuriate and delight me.

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4 thoughts on “It just goes to show you can’t be too careful!

  1. I recently saw a photo of a handicapped kid crossing a finish line that had a caption something like: “Victory in the comments section is like the special Olympics. You win, but you’re still retarded.”

    Crass and derogatory toward the handicapped, but it makes a point.

    • I remember seeing that somewhere.

      I guess my obsession in online commenting goes back to the days when I’d read the letters page in the New Brunswick Telegraph-Journal and they’d publish any whack job with a pencil and an opinion. I knew, deep down, that these odd, paranoid souls didn’t add anything to the discussion but I couldn’t look away. Now, with the internet and news sites offering the chance to leave a reply for every mundane little story, it’s creating a perception that thousands of people are insane with rage, leaving those who would like to leave a more reasoned response figuring they shouldn’t even bother.

      It also just goes to show you can’t be too careful.

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