Washington Post columnist Courtland Milloy isn’t happy about what he’s seeing in the comments section of his column. He thinks some folks act like drunken bums in a barroom brawl. But you know what? It’s not just Courtland’s columns or the Washington Post that have this problem. You see this in quite a number of newspaper sites that allow comments. The comments areas says to report abusive posts but does that help any? I wonder if the Post or any other paper really monitor their comments section.
By Courtland Milloy
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Who are you people?
You get invited to make comments about my work on The Washington Post Web site, and you turn my online message post into a dart board. You swagger into cyberspace under assumed names and start hurling invectives like drunks in a barroom brawl.
Sorry, but I must ask some of you to go elsewhere.
I wrote a column recently about alleged racial discrimination in the D.C. fire department, then went to see what I hoped would be your enlightened responses. What I found was uva2manassas and ged0368 at each others’ throats. And now I’ve had enough. I’m used to getting impassioned feedback, but this was out of hand.
UVA2: “Instead of stupidly reponding ‘racism’ to every critism, prove blacks aren’t lazy morons by bettering yourself.”
GED: “you are a racist white reneck. White ppl did the slaving on every race.”
Look at that, using broken English like shards of a whiskey bottle to attack each other.
Such uncouth behavior not only discourages thoughtful guests from expressing their views, but it also diminishes my online reader profile. As my colleague David Ignatius noted in his op-ed column Sunday about the future of the newspaper business, newspaper Web sites need to become more profitable if we are to survive. And the more we know about our online readers, the more precisely we can sell their demographics to advertisers.
Sure, I get some intelligent comment, but lately I’m wondering what to make of the growth of an increasingly noxious demographic.
I’ll read the comments in a few articles but most times I don’t bother cause some folks are just plain crazy.
That’s why I’m happy that blogs like WordPress let you have the opportunity to approve comments. I tried the other method of letting folks comment without approval and let’s just say never again. Some folks just don’t know how to respond to a blog post in a civilized manner.