A great philosopher and student of sociology once observed: “I get the distinct impression that most people are without any depth or substance; have very few original thoughts and ideas; are virtually illiterate; have an extremely short span of attention; lack insights into most matters – but have opinions and views on every subject under the sun.” [Ref-1]
An article lauding the N24 moderators, quotes various other posters as being hateful in their responses. [Ref-2]. Elimu claims if it is expected that people must simply believe scientists, then that is akin to indoctrination. [Ref-3] So we look in the mirror and we trust scientist at our peril?
N24 supplies news, (by their definition), and allows comments by readers. They have a comments policy[Ref-4], that sometimes is seen as arbitrary applied. Some comments posted are rather sulphurous, some mild as milk, some funny, some insightful, some factual etc. At least there are comments. “Nothing is worse than someone not talking about you” –OW as quoted by MP.
With the above as background, one could perhaps argue that N24 offers opportunity, (mostly[Ref-5]), to all readers to “have opinions and views on every subject under the sun”, and to air them. This situation per se would infer that any response could and should be tolerated, be it ad hominem, illogical, unrelated, irreverent, accurate, off topic, funny or factual?
In a way the system is self regulating in that the most illogical, racist, off topic, inappropriate comments and articles receive the most negative responses. There do appear certain individuals (trolls, but not all of them?), who apparently thrive on getting thumbs down responses. Unfortunately not all of them get the message that the mainstream / majority of readers do not agree. Does this however, not speak well for a democratic and free speech society?
Should one not compelled to be utterly sarcastic and as vitriolic as possible when responding to certain categories of posters? Examples:a) Dear tatu De Klerk, no sir you are European sir, not an African. Even if you were born here in Africa, uxolo tata you are too white to be an African. Yours faithfully.....Xamba. [Ref-6]b) marikana ? people where killed by who? [Ref-7]c) Shoot the boer dubula ibhunu.Afriforum Tereblanche why u mind about SA .i hate all the whites [Ref-8]d) Could not so easily get an insult to blacks, but they are there. Readers are welcome to post them. (With references)
How should one treat a comment that has repeatedly been refuted with adequate references and evidence? One that is totally illogical? One based on a patently false premise? One that clearly demonstrates that the author is using incorrect data, or believes incorrect facts? One where it is obvious that the author has not even properly read the comment he/she is responding to?[Ref-9]. What about a complete comment written in Crap?[Ref-10] Should we have different rules for philosophical topics, where the nuances of arguments are less obvious?
One certainly cannot presume that most readers of N24 are palsied, (nicely politically incorrect, so please comment on this!), or PC illiterate? Surely most can use a mouse to scroll, or are reasonable well experienced to operate a touchpad on a laptop?[Ref-11]
Nothing compels one to read an obnoxious comment. Is it not each individual’s decision to react to any comment in whichever manner, be it anger, amusement, contempt etc, and then to respond, or not?
The frequency of each illogical comment, untrue statement and unprovoked insult is a true barometer of the un-sophistication of our education system; of that section of the population who have access to, and will participate in/on social media. Perhaps even an indictment in certain way, of our society and our leadership.
It is also an indication of our tolerance of bigots, racists, the politically incorrect, idiots and those that disagree with us. The fact that we allow comments, not the content of the said comments!
It is this same medium that will hopefully ensure that an accelerating slide towards a dictatorship and police state will not happen, as all the incipient signs are there.
Use or we will lose it........
Ref-1 -Irukandji -www.news24.com/MyNews24/Do-you-follow-my-Twitter-20140106Ref-2 -The Fox 5366 - www.news24.com/MyNews24/Look-Into-The-Mirror-MyNews24-Haters-20140108Ref 3 –Elimu -http://m.news24.com/news24/MyNews24/Just-Believe-the-Scientists-20140107Ref-4 –Every comment, the link just towards the right and next to that red block that indicates “Report Comment”Ref-5 –Various –Especially those whose comments get deleted and more particularly those who suffer from this over weekendsRef-6 -Mngqusho Xamba - October 25, 2013 at 22:54Ref-7 -Masakane Sesoko - October 26, 2013 at 07:26Ref-8 -Poloko Pique Mphatsoe - November 9, 2013 at 07:55Ref-9 -Regular as my niece’s bowels -just about any article with more than 10 commentsRef-10 -www.news24.com/MyNews24/My-whacky-world-20140108Ref-11 –If all fails, use that button with the little pointy thing that shows towards you.
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