The Comments Section has Restored My Faith In Humanity
This morning I clicked on an article from the Christian Science Monitor called “The surprising relationship between intelligence and racism“. I made it through the third paragraph before I threw up in my mouth a little bit. I’ll sum it up for you so that you don’t have to read that awful piece of work. It basically says that libertarians are smart, but libertarians come to their beliefs through socially entrenched racism, not through their superior intellect.
Okay, I may be spinning that a little bit, but not much. Anyway, I was about to drop some truth bombs on the comment section on Facebook, but it had already been done! In fact, most of the comments were mercilessly tearing apart the article. This was one of those re-runs that pops up in your feed a few months after publication, and I have to wake up early to beat everyone else to the punch these days.
Over the past couple of months the comment sections for various mainstream news sources have restored my faith in humanity. I was on the verge of unsubscribing from most of these sources on Facebook, but I have started to see a real shift in the responses that makes following mainstream media worthwhile.
Sure there are still your basic trolls and low information troglodytes, people who clamp their hands over their ears and scream racist at anyone who offers a different point of view from their own. There seem to be fewer of them in the comment section than even a year ago, however. I wonder if most of them have been given jobs at VICE, and now write the stories rather than the comments.
The sensible, logical, and sarcastically witty people have taken over the news comment sections with spectacular results. The writing, sources, and journalistic integrity of your average comment now far exceeds the article it is posted under. This is the new trolling. Journalists working for sources like the New York Times have studied for years at prestigious universities to become the most obnoxious brow beating propagandists that they could be, only to be challenged, rebutted, and refuted by random people on the Internet.
I used to be one of the few offering logical and well researched dissent in response to news stories, but now I don’t even bother posting a comment. I just like the one posted by someone who was thinking the same thing as me. At most I look up a couple of sources to bolster their argument against one of the few brainwashed defenders of the status quo who still exist in the free market of ideas online.
Sometimes, when all we see are headlines and cable news stories, it can be easy to feel depressed about the state of American intellect. The next time you see a story that makes you see red, just click on the button that says “355 Comments” and bask in the glory of the Internet, the redemption of humanity. I don’t know where all of these amazing, smart, and devastatingly funny people came from, but I’m happy to share the unsafe space of the comment section with them.