No matter you personal opinion of Gwyneth Paltrow and whether she’s one of those who continuously puts a proverbial foot in mouth, there’s no denying her basic thoughts about nasty online comments are correct. While the analogy she used was one of the worst comparisons anybody can conjure, there may be some truth to the problem of online comments in comment sections and social media being a near war. When it’s something said about you, it becomes much more of a big deal than if we’re just passively reading them about someone else and perhaps getting laughs at the celebrity’s expense.
After all this time, you’d think that something more could be done to eliminate the anonymity problem of online comment sections. They’ve been the bane of existence for more than a few online media sites, with some of them closing down comment sections completely as a result. Others keep them going as a reminder that the First Amendment is still very present and that people love to abuse it more than any other law of the land.
Should there be a war declared on those who post hateful comments online under the guise of anonymity? Why aren’t more sites taking steps to force users to use their real names when making comments as a sense of taking responsibility for the comments they write?
Are Online Comments a Real Problem, or Just Worth Ignoring?
The above question might be one of the toughest social questions you could ask about the Internet today. With the Internet being around long enough now where true evolution has occurred in the direction of how people communicate, nothing much has been done to correct the anonymity aspect. It’s only been in recent years when some media sites closed down comment sections rather than face the headaches of hiring moderators who had burnouts trying to control the chaos.
You can see some evidence, though, that comment sections are strictly playgrounds for some people. Rather than post hateful comments, some just go in to rib other comments or impersonate a notable name. Admittedly, some are very funny, and can make reading a comment section sometimes worth the time just to see those who come in and bring a little smart irony to the environment.
In that regard, perhaps comment sections should be taken more lightly as being akin to the playground in grade school. Even there, we had to deal with an assortment of every Freudian personality. When combined with the seriously depraved comments, perhaps we should just let it be what it is without making it a major sociological concern.
Again, though, it’s easy to say that when the comments aren’t disparaging us. When comments get too personal about a notable person, would users of comment sections be able to say the same things under their real name?
The Age of Brazen Honesty
It’s amazing comment sections even exist any more when social media allows a much wider forum. And as we’ve seen with many people on places like Twitter, saying exactly what’s on our minds has become standard activity. No longer are people afraid to spout very honest and unfiltered things about situations and people right under their own name. In many cases, it’s celebrities themselves doing this.
While many of those who’ve been overly brazen on Twitter have paid the price of being criticized, it hasn’t necessarily ruined their careers. Alongside so many others doing the same thing on social media with their real names, why wouldn’t websites force comment section users to do the same thing?
This simple fix would be one of the greatest social tests ever done to see if those who’ve posted in comment sections anonymously since the 1990s would do the same under their real name. In an age of more honesty, you have to assume they still would, if perhaps eliminating the very worst ones that warrant legal action. The latter situation is still a problem and one that’s worth exploring as going to war with in order to bring civilized criticism rather than complete anarchy.
So perhaps Gwyneth Paltrow is right in many respects, despite also being the victim of not simply ignoring it rather than making an effort to read it all. Eventually, though, comment sections may become reserved for the very worst few as everyone better moves over to social media where the communion in honest dialogue under our own identities seems to increase every day.