The comment section on an average news story tends to bring out the worst in people these days. A browse through a typical story online could bring out political, religious or racial agendas. The fun doesn’t stop there. Entertainers usually are a huge target for those wishing to get their point across.
It’s happened so frequently that by now you have probably heard of the term “troll.” What is a troll? It’s someone who “trolls” the online news stories of the day and waits to pounce with their agenda. Trolls don’t usually have a genuine comment or interest in the article-they just want to prove a point about how they believe. Most likely these trolls aren’t just posting their agenda on the post you are reading.
The increase of trolls has caused some publications to shut down their comment section. The comment section of a news story was meant to serve as a conversation “add-on” to the story of the day. Genuine thought and discussion are the hopes of editors of stories. The unfortunate thing is that the comment section has become a venue for trolls, people posting ads or back links and random thoughts.
Comments on celebrities like Justin Bieber, Chris Brown and the Kardashians usually include some very harsh dialogue. The conversation quickly erodes into a meaningless or hateful discussion. Sometimes those who comment wage war on one another.
It can be quite depressing to tune in to the average comment section these days. Many people opt to simply “not go there.” The general public can provide some pretty off color remarks about even the most simple topics. There are also those who just want to illustrate comedic skills. The topic generally doesn’t get discussed and that’s why the comment section could eventually disappear completely from online news stories.
The editors of such stories have a dilemma with the possible removal of the comment sections. Do they give up something that provides even more “hits” on their web page? Sometimes the comment section provides the most “talk-ability” of the web site that day-even if it is produced by trolls.
So editors are faced with the question of whether or not the “comment section” can evolve. Some site have users rate other users. Comments can be flagged or marked as inappropriate. There are several vehicles that are set in place to avoid the conversation dissolving into a war on trolls by the trolls.
Perhaps editors will brain storm about other possibilities of making comment sections more readable someday soon. As is, most comment sections provide for more laughs and depression than suitable discussion. It’s counterproductive to check into a comment section only to feel as if everybody hates one another. Sometimes regular people probably just wish they didn’t know the answer to the question, “what are trolls?” Unfortunately, they are here to stay until comment sections are deleted completely or modified to make trolling less frequent.
The scary thing about trolls is some comment sections are strictly using Facebook profiles these days for posting. Trolls still post even without an anonymous name and are still growing in number. Now we just know who they are. The boldness of some people who comment is amazing and depressing at the same time.
Maybe a psychologist could examine the question of “what is a troll” and figure out why people are so intent on posting their agenda. Until then, most viewers of comment sections will have to accept that trolls are part of the process and here to stay.