The new iteration of the 4th estate is represented online with gusto. Outlets such as MSNBC and Scripps insist on traveling at hyper speed with us on the information super highway. They have embedded the social tools and capabilities into their new web sites to allow us to have a voice. We can now weigh in on virtually anything on their websites with our thoughts and words. There is one looming and large problem though.
We have to be babysat. With good reason.
It’s like children who look around and realize that no one is watching and thus decide to do something stupid. I find it amazing that adults view the ability to freely and anonymously comment on any story, as a green light for stupidity and hate. Not realizing a few things:
- It has no value
- You’re weak because you hide behind a computer to make your anonymous comments
- You could be found
That’s not social media. That’s anti-social media. It has zero redeeming qualities. And yet we sit here and question criticize large media outlets for a) Not being transparent b) Not allowing comments and b) Censoring their comments because of 1st amendment rights. And they do the same-To allow anonymous comments or not?
In some cases some media outlets allow everything, some allow nothing, and still others blur the lines on what is acceptable. They prune foul language and spam and yet some things make it through. The bottom line, they can’t just “let it go”. It can’t run itself. People are incapable of behaving.
Here’s your example: You are a media outlet and you post a story about someone dying in a car wreck and through the open commenting system, some of the comments say something like, “He probably deserved it”? or “He was a jerk”.
What do you do?
Your bonus question. The commenter has revealed themselves. Do you allow the comment or not?