Tag Archives: comments

Process Post #12

Online comments & Community guidelines

The online comment area should be regarded as the embodiment of freedom and democracy. We can be frank in the comment area, exchange ideas in-depth and understand each other’s views to participate in the topic discussion. However, at the same time, it is also the place where language violence and harm are the most serious. One of the most common critiques of online comments cites a disconnect between the commenter’s identity and what he is saying (Konnikova, 2013). Psychologist John Suler calls this phenomenon the “online disinhibition effect” (Konnikova, 2013). The theory is that when you get rid of your identity, the usual constraints on your behaviour will also disappear (Maria konnikova, 2013). This can be even worse with anonymity. 

Konnikova said that of the 900 randomly selected user comments on articles about immigration, 53% of anonymous commentators were uncivilized, while 29% of registered non-anonymous commentators were uncivilized (2013). Therefore, Konnikova concluded that anonymity encouraged rude behaviour (2013). How should we deal with such physical behaviour? Becky Gardiner et al. said it was simple: “do not read comments,” or turn them off completely (2016). Many people have done this by permanently disabling their comment threads because they become too laborious to disturb (Becky Gardiner et al., 2016). However, simply deleting comments is not a perfect solution. Konnikova said that deleting comments will affect the reading experience (2013). It may take away the motivation to participate more deeply in a topic and share it with a broader audience.

My attitude towards my comment area is to welcome everyone to express any opinions in the comment area since I found this blog. I encourage everyone to participate and create an atmosphere of shared learning and discussion. I have not received any comments so far, not to mention malicious or offensive comments. However, through this week’s reading, I really should consider the concern of comments, so I may create an online community guide in the future to maintain a friendly, open-minded, and respectful discussion area. For example, I might make the first rule that any derogatory comments of any race, religion, gender, age, or ability are unacceptable.

Moreover, I will make it clear in the community guide that such comments will be reviewed and may be deleted. I hope all discussions will focus on topics of common interest rather than offensive comments about others. At the same time, based on my desire to create a shared learning environment, my community guide will make this point clear again. For example, I would advise people to post valuable and relevant content to help others. Furthermore, expect users to submit content based on their own honest opinions and experiences.

This is my current idea for community guidelines, and I will create a dedicated community guidelines page in the future. Starting from the mission and value of my website, I will list out clear key points and rules that create a safe space for my entire audience to connect and interact with each other.

Reference:

Featured Image via Pinterest

Gardiner, B., Mansfield, M., Anderson, I., Holder, J., Louter, D., & Ulmanu, M. (2016, April 12). The Dark Side of Guardian comments. The Guardian. Retrieved March 28, 2022, from https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/apr/12/the-dark-side-of-guardian-comments 

Konnikova, M. (2013, October 23). The psychology of online comments. The New Yorker. Retrieved March 28, 2022, from https://www.newyorker.com/tech/annals-of-technology/the-psychology-of-online-comments

 

Week 12 – Diving into the Deep End of Comments

The comments section can be a nasty place.

We learned early on about the online disinhibition effect, which implies that anonymity may allow one to shed their usual restraints or integrity. This means that you may say something you wouldn’t normally or engage in a conversation you would usually avoid because no one actually knows who you are.

This is easily facilitated throughout comment sections that allow people to post anonymously. An article from the New Yorker discusses how comments are often uncivil because there are no consequences for your words. Posting anonymously allows you to say whatever you want and then hide away and pretend it never happened.

“Without the traditional trappings of personal communication, like non-verbal cues, context, and tone, comments can become overly impersonal and cold.”

Maria Konnikova

This article also notes that anonymity is not always bad, but it can promote engagement, risk taking and creativity. Konnikova discusses how people may be more likely to participate in a conversation.

Another article posted by the Guardian talked about who faces the most abuse online. This article showed data revealing that women, people of faith, or members of the LGBTQ+ community received the most abusive comments.

I have often left comments on friend’s posts, or community events, but I often leave this section alone because of all the hate and abuse that can occur. It hurts my heart to see the words people post when they are protected by the anonymity of their computer screen.

But can these interactions be turned into something good?

We watched a Ted Talk in class from Dylan Marron that showed how negative comments could be turned into positive interactions. He has received tons of internet hate from the videos he has created, and he decided that he would call them to try and regain the humanity behind their comment.

A lot of these phone calls went really well, and Marron was able to prompt commentors to think before they post. The most impactful thing he said was that empathy is not endorsement. We can disagree with someone but still try and understand their viewpoint.

“Empathy is not endorsement.”

Dylan Marron

This is so needed today. There is so much hate and division between people with different political or cultural views.

Empathy allows us to extend understanding to the people around us.

Empathy allows us to realize that we all have different upbringings, relationships with our parents, and histories of abuse.

Empathy allows us to see the human in the person before us and take a moment to understand before jumping into hate.

There are people behind every post. Extend empathy before posting cruel messages or a critical comments.

Enjoy the sunshine today friends 😊