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Fri Feb 22, 2013, 07:10 PM

Why Is Everyone on the Internet So Angry?

Why Is Everyone on the Internet So Angry?

A perfect storm engenders online rudeness, including virtual anonymity and thus a lack of accountability, physical distance and the medium of writing

By Natalie Wolchover and Life's Little Mysteries

A perfect storm of factors come together to engender the rudeness and aggression seen in the comments' sections of Web pages, Markman said. First, commenters are often virtually anonymous, and thus, unaccountable for their rudeness. Second, they are at a distance from the target of their anger be it the article they're commenting on or another comment on that article and people tend to antagonize distant abstractions more easily than living, breathing interlocutors. Third, it's easier to be nasty in writing than in speech, hence the now somewhat outmoded practice of leaving angry notes (back when people used paper), Markman said.


Communication, the scholars say, is really about taking someone else's perspective, understanding it, and responding. "Tone of voice and gesture can have a large influence on your ability to understand what someone is saying," Markman said. "The further away from face-to-face, real-time dialogue you get, the harder it is to communicate."

In his opinion, media outlets should cut down on the anger and hatred that have become the norm in reader exchanges. "It's valuable to allow all sides of an argument to be heard. But it's not valuable for there to be personal attacks, or to have messages with an extremely angry tone. Even someone who is making a legitimate point but with an angry tone is hurting the nature of the argument, because they are promoting people to respond in kind," he said. "If on a website comments are left up that are making personal attacks in the nastiest way, you're sending the message that this is acceptable human behavior."

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=why-is-everyone-on-the-internet-so-angry

32 replies, 2019 views

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Arrow 32 replies Author Time Post
Reply Why Is Everyone on the Internet So Angry? (Original post)
KoKo Feb 2013 OP
kairos12 Feb 2013 #1
NightWatcher Feb 2013 #2
KoKo Feb 2013 #14
elias7 Feb 2013 #16
AndyA Feb 2013 #32
fujiyama Feb 2013 #25
Jamaal510 Feb 2013 #22
fujiyama Feb 2013 #23
4nic8em Feb 2013 #3
R. Daneel Olivaw Feb 2013 #9
Nine Feb 2013 #4
zbdent Feb 2013 #5
CaliforniaPeggy Feb 2013 #6
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #7
greytdemocrat Feb 2013 #15
Jim Lane Feb 2013 #17
NV Whino Feb 2013 #8
frazzled Feb 2013 #10
BlueJazz Feb 2013 #11
KoKo Feb 2013 #18
Kalidurga Feb 2013 #12
johnp3907 Feb 2013 #13
smirkymonkey Feb 2013 #19
theKed Feb 2013 #20
Festivito Feb 2013 #21
datasuspect Feb 2013 #24
loli phabay Feb 2013 #26
datasuspect Feb 2013 #27
loli phabay Feb 2013 #28
datasuspect Feb 2013 #29
Ian David Feb 2013 #30
Scootaloo Feb 2013 #31

Response to KoKo (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 07:13 PM

1. Road and Internet Rage

The anonymity of both the car and the computer give people license to act in very ways.

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Response to KoKo (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 07:14 PM

2. never read the comments on any YouTube video

It could be a video of kittens and the comments will degrade into the nastiest name calling.

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Response to NightWatcher (Reply #2)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 09:08 PM

14. Agree. or Huff Post or WaPo or NYT and Yahoo.

It's kind of awful..

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Response to KoKo (Reply #14)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 01:40 AM

16. ...or Democratic Underground

The tone here has become appalling over the past two years. Just plain nastiness from many who probably don't even realize they're being rude...

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Response to elias7 (Reply #16)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 07:41 PM

32. I think some people intentionally try to stir things up

I'm to the point where if I do respond, it's usually once and then I don't even read anything else they post.

Some try really hard to twist your words to make them something they can get outraged over.

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Response to KoKo (Reply #14)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 05:29 PM

25. I have found NYT comments sections/responses to articles

relatively civilized compared to the others. I think the educational level of Times readers is a bit higher.

Yahoo and youtube are by far the worst and seem to bring out the absolute worst in humanity. But any news site that has responses on facebook are also really bad and display a lot of ignorance.

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Response to NightWatcher (Reply #2)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 04:04 PM

22. I can definitely vouch for this.

For example, just a while ago I read some comments of Justin Bieber's "Baby" video, just for the Hell of it, and it was like a magnet for bigoted slurs. A video doesn't even have to be about anything political; on most videos I read the comments on (especially comments on rap videos or videos of fights), there are always people getting called "n*gger", "coon", "f*ggot", "b*tch", etc. YouTube really does a shitty job at moderating its comments.

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Response to Jamaal510 (Reply #22)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 05:25 PM

23. Youtube and Yahoo seem to bring out the worst

Facebook comments sections are also full of idiotic responses.

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Response to KoKo (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 07:39 PM

3. The remaining and continuing effect

from the 8 year reign of Dimson and his teabilly policies...

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Response to 4nic8em (Reply #3)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 07:53 PM

9. I'm not so sure about that.


Since the inception of the chat room I have see vile posts, and that is Clinton era.

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Response to KoKo (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 07:40 PM

4. WHAT'S IT TO YOU??!!!

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Response to KoKo (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 07:43 PM

5. F*ck off ...

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Response to KoKo (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 07:44 PM

6. Perhaps it's because the internet is available.

People are frustrated in their daily lives and often do not have an outlet for their feelings. The internet is widely available, and so people use it to vent on.

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Response to CaliforniaPeggy (Reply #6)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 07:49 PM

7. +1

 

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Response to CaliforniaPeggy (Reply #6)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 09:27 PM

15. That's a big part of it.

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Response to CaliforniaPeggy (Reply #6)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 08:20 AM

17. Yes, the causation works both ways.

People who are on the internet are angry, for reasons noted in the OP.

But people who are angry are on the internet. Since before there even was an internet, it was noted that people were more inclined to speak up about what displeased them than about what pleased them. ("The purpose of language is to complain," or words to that effect, from Jane Wagner, The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe.) The internet doesn't fundamentally change this. People are more likely to post when they're moved to do so to express their negative, angry thoughts. On days when they're happy, they just read stuff, and leave the commenting to the people who happen to be ticked off at that time.

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Response to KoKo (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 07:51 PM

8. Lack of money, political folly and Republicans

Not necessarily in that order.

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Response to KoKo (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 08:02 PM

10. Crossfire?

I had to laugh at that one. It hasn't been on for, like, ten years.

I miss it, damn it! (I'm expressing appropriate anger now, having merely thought of that nasty show.)

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Response to KoKo (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 08:28 PM

11. In my experience, there seems to be as many angry,mean/pleasant, nice people in real life..

...as there is on the web.

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Response to BlueJazz (Reply #11)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 09:58 AM

18. Agree...but, it's easier to avoid those types in Real Life than in

places I like to visit on the web. And, yes...one can always avoid the comments, but many times there are informative comments that further discussion but mixed in are those by the angry, mean, misinformed or just plain trolls who make it difficult to separate the informative comments from the trash.

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Response to KoKo (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 08:45 PM

12. It's rather odd...

I try to be nicer on the internet. My words are there for so many more people to see in just a typical exchange between me and another person. They may not be forever, but they hang around for a lot longer than the few minutes it takes me to type a response. I am also well aware there is another person who made the post I am responding to as well as I don't know how many other eyes.

It's affected my real life exchanges as well, I am a bit more gruff in real life, but I try to take other people's feelings into consideration. That is not my strong suit at all.

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Response to KoKo (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 08:53 PM

13. WE'RE NOT ANGRY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

WE JUST SEEM ANGRY BECAUSE WE TYPE IN ALL CAPITALS AND USE A MILLION EXCLAMATION POINTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Response to KoKo (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 10:09 AM

19. Hey! Fuck you!

Just kidding.

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Response to KoKo (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 10:10 AM

20. Who wants to know??!

What are you, the cops?!

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Response to KoKo (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 03:32 PM

21. I think it's because we have so much money.

It's worth hiring political hacks to hack and hack and hack.

Not to discuss and understand, but, rather to state improbabilities in order to get people to perform atrocities while the money is stolen off camera.

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Response to KoKo (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 05:26 PM

24. because deep down inside, everyone is an asshole

 

simple.

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Response to datasuspect (Reply #24)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 05:29 PM

26. truer words have never been spoken on the innertubes.

 

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Response to loli phabay (Reply #26)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 05:30 PM

27. in include myself first and foremost among them

 

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Response to datasuspect (Reply #27)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 05:33 PM

28. its important to know oneself and be true to oneself lol

 

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Response to loli phabay (Reply #28)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 05:33 PM

29. to thine own self be true

 

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Response to KoKo (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 06:00 PM

30. LORLEAN!!! THIS LIBTARD WANTS TO NO WHY WERE SO ANGRY!!! HOW DO I TYPE IN THE BIG BOX LORLEAN?!!!!!!

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Response to KoKo (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 06:55 PM

31. Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory (GIFT)

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