Flutterby™! : Stop Internet Misogyny week

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Stop Internet Misogyny week

2011-11-06 22:09:44.296368+00 by Dan Lyke 6 comments

[ related topics: Net Culture ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2011-11-07 08:51:07.875466+00 by: brennen

This all feels kind of depressingly intractable in a lot of ways. The problem seems so big that it's hard to think in terms of constructive action.

That said, there's one structural/technical fact that's come to mind as I've been thinking about this for the last few days: The majority of comment systems on the web (including a lot of those on blogs and pretty much every newspaper/magazine site I can think of) are worse than useless and should probably be removed. Comments are, more often than they're anything else, cost- free channels for all the worst sorts of vapidity and viciously abusive sub- rhetorical hate-spew.

You wouldn't put a stop to this behavior by getting rid of those comment sections (this doesn't even begin to address e-mail, Twitter, etc.), but it sure wouldn't hurt. I think maybe we-who-make-the-web need to start thinking a lot harder about how we can stop littering the network with spaces so susceptible to diseased minds.

(I suppose this could read as kind of ironic in a comment on a blog, but I'm not exactly talking here about carefully moderated spaces with smallish groups of regulars...)

#Comment Re: made: 2011-11-07 13:26:05.053485+00 by: jeff [edit history]

@ brennan...

I tend to agree with you. The amount of "hate-spew" seems to have increased dramatically in the last couple of years.

This could by symptomatic of the poor economy or simply the overall degredation of our society. Or a combination of both.

Empires and great societies typically take their last breaths at the top of the throne shortly after their own internal societal structures start to break down and disintegrate.

Perhaps that is what we're seeing with this disturbing societal trend...

#Comment Re: made: 2011-11-07 15:51:51.764523+00 by: Dan Lyke

I think that the big issue with comments is that they need to be actively curated. I was reminded this weekend of how amazing the Flutterby commenters can be, and realized I need to go back and find a way to highlights some of the "best of", like D.I.Y.: R.I.P. in 2002. Remembering that vs TC's experiment with the "French military victories" thread, I realize that Flutterby has done better by way of having a fairly limited audience, and that if you extended it out to, say, your average newspaper readers, I'd have to be far more heavy handed than just pulling 3 or 4 threads, and maybe selectively deleting 30-40 comments (most for obvious spamming) over the 13+ years.

I don't, however, know if the hate is getting widespread, or if it's just that our social contact now spreads much wider. When I moved to Chattanooga, the KKK was notable for a cross burning on Lookout Mountain, but that was really local news, showed up in the paper and then disappeared. Letters to the editor were curated. Now, "letters to the editor" have been replaced by short, size limited, comments without curation or editing. What used to take effort, building a cross to burn, putting it up, lighting it, dancing around it, being physically there, is now as simple as clicking "submit".

Further, I think we're also becoming more aware of the hate. Women have made huge strides since the '50s, '60s and '70s, civil rights have come a lot further, so a lot of what used to be tacitly accepted is now unacceptable behavior. We're shining the light deeper into the recesses, even as the darkness is receding.

#Comment Re: made: 2011-11-07 18:34:47.288586+00 by: TheSHAD0W

Does it make me a misogynist if I think *some* women are sane? Maybe as much as ten percent?

*runs away!*

#Comment Re: made: 2011-11-07 18:53:39.712194+00 by: Dan Lyke

Only if you think that fewer than 90% of men are batshit crazy.

#Comment Re: made: 2011-11-07 23:38:39.047277+00 by: TheSHAD0W