I avoid reading the Arizona Daily Star online. I avoid it because of its comments section. I avoid it because whenever, whenever, I click on a story, I can’t help but look at the comments section afterwards. I think I’m compelled to do this for the same reason that people stare at trainwrecks and car accidents.
Much like staring at a horrible accident, I come away from the experience feeling disgusted and questioning the possibility that we live in a kind or just universe.
Imagine my amusement and surprise when I saw this little headline. In just a few weeks, comments on the Daily Star site will need to be linked through your Facebook account. The amount of hand-wringing and whining this announcement has produced is truly legendary. Over 1300 comments the last time I checked!
Of course I read some of them.
To be fair, this won’t stop all the idiots from posting idiotic things. If you’re a bigoted asshole, you probably are Facebook friends with other bigoted assholes or you don’t have any friends in the first place, in which case public shaming won’t really do much. The fact that your comments will stick to you is nice, although a truly motivated troll can create a fake Facebook pretty easily. Still, it’s a nice gesture.
If nothing else, the fact that it will sweep out the paranoid conservatives will be amusing to watch. The number of “I’m never posting here again!” cries is especially good; these guys are clearly amateur-hour when it comes to understanding forum ecology. Almost anybody who feels betrayed enough to post a “gone forever!” comment is almost certainly going to keep on posting, or lurking, or both. Seriously, guys. We figured this out during the BBS days. You need to catch up.