Skip to comments.Trolls win: Rude blog comments dim the allure of science online
Posted on 02/17/2013 8:41:52 PM PST by Kevmo
Trolls win: Rude blog comments dim the allure of science online February 14, 2013
The trolls are winning. Pick a story about some aspect of science, any story, scroll down to the blog comments and let the bashing begin.
"Wonder how much taxpayer cash went into this 'deep' study?
I think you can take all these studies by pointy headed scientists, 99 percent of whom are socialists and communists, and stick them where the sun don't shine.
Yawn. Climate change myth wackos at it again.
This article is 100 percent propaganda crapola.
Speaking of dolts, if you were around in the 70s, when they also had scientists, the big talk then was about the coming ice age. And don't give me any of that carbon emission bull@!$%#."
Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-02-trolls-rude-blog-comments-dim.html#jCp
Such nasty back and forth, like it or not, is now a staple of our news diet, and in the realm of online science news, the diatribes, screeds and rants are taking a toll on the public perception of science and technology, according to a study by researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
UW-Madison science communication researcher Dominique Brossard < /br> study showing the tone of blog comments alone can influence the perception of risk posed by nanotechnology, the science of manipulating materials at the smallest scales.
The study, now in press at the Journal of Computer Mediated Communication, was supported by the National Science Foundation. It sampled a representative cross section of 2,338 Americans in an online experiment, where the civility of blog comments was manipulated. For example, introducing name calling into commentary tacked onto an otherwise balanced newspaper blog post, the study showed, could elicit either lower or higher perceptions of risk, depending on one's predisposition to the science of nanotechnology.
"It seems we don't really have a clear social norm about what is expected online," says Brossard, a UW-Madison professor of Life Science Communication, contrasting online forums with public meetings where prescribed decorum helps keep discussion civil. "In the case of blog postings, it's the Wild West."
For rapidly developing nanotechnology, a technology already built into more than 1,300 consumer products, exposure to uncivil online comments is one of several variables that can directly influence the perception of risk associated with it.
"When people encounter an unfamiliar issue like nanotechnology, they often rely on an existing value such as religiosity or deference to science to form a judgment," explains Ashley Anderson, a postdoctoral fellow in the Center for Climate Change Communication at George Mason University and the lead author of the upcoming study in the Journal of Computer Mediated Communication.
Highly religious readers, the study revealed, were more likely to see nanotechnology as risky when exposed to rude comments compared to less religious readers, Brossard notes.
"Blogs have been a part of the new media landscape for quite some time now, but our study is the first to look at the potential effects blog comments have on public perceptions of science," says Brossard.
While the tone of blog comments can have an impact, simple disagreement in posts can also sway perception: "Overt disagreement adds another layer. It influences the conversation," she explains.
UW-Madison Life Sciences Communication Professor Dietram Scheufele, another of the study's co-authors, notes that the Web is a primary destination for people looking for detailed information and discussion on aspects of science and technology. Because of that trend, "studies of online media are becoming increasingly important, but understanding the online information environment is particularly important for issues of science and technology."
Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-02-trolls-rude-blog-comments-dim.html#jCp
Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-02-trolls-rude-blog-comments-dim.html#jCp Interesting Comments .
Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-02-trolls-rude-blog-comments-dim.html#jCp
Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-02-trolls-rude-blog-comments-dim.html#jCp Interesting Comments .
AWaB Feb 14, 2013 Rank: 4 / 5 (16) *Chuckles* I notice how all of the comments used as an example would be most likely found from right wing commenters. I hope the UW study was a little less biased!
Q-Star Feb 14, 2013 Rank: 3.9 / 5 (11) Ya sure came to the right place. This one should be big fun.
wiyosaya Feb 14, 2013 Rank: 3 / 5 (8) *Chuckles* I notice how all of the comments used as an example would be most likely found from right wing commenters. I hope the UW study was a little less biased! That's one way of looking at it; however, I think this line from the article captures the essence of what lies behind such comments: When people encounter an unfamiliar issue like nanotechnology, they often rely on an existing value such as religiosity or deference to science to form a judgment,
Shootist Feb 14, 2013 Rank: 3.2 / 5 (13) UW-Madison? Uh-huh. Even the professors think Madison is left of Lenin.http://althouse.blogspot.com/
AWaB Feb 14, 2013 Rank: 3.7 / 5 (9) Wiy, I hope that line in the article is correct and actually unbiased. If it is, then there are things that can be done about resolving people's predispositions toward topics in science. However, if that's the researchers' bias speaking, I don't think there's much value to be gained from the study. Hopefully, it was nothing more than one of phys.org's awesome writers trying to sound witty. Not uncommon, unfortunately!
Maggnus Feb 14, 2013 Rank: 4.1 / 5 (9) I would have liked to have seen some follow up on whether the perceptions on science could be repaired, either by showing that the authors of the diatribes are wrong or by attacking them back. I see both aspects on this board and I wonder which is more effective. Or if something different works better.I like to believe the worst of the idiotic theories are seen to be the junk science they are, but I wonder. The scary ones are those which are presented reasonably well, such that those readers that don't spend some effort to confirm or refute them are taken in. I would give some examples, but I imagine this thread will get polluted enough as it is.Trying to fight back against the garbage out there is hard and often without reward, but like djr said somewhere, someone has to at least try.
ValeriaT Feb 14, 2013 Rank: 1.4 / 5 (9) Wonder how much taxpayer cash went into this 'deep' study? Why we have so much of "duh" science? The contemporary scientists definitely need way more of public feedback. I'd even accept the public expenses for apparently useless if not silly research, which will get forgotten fast - if the scientists involved wouldn't ignore the really important findings like the cold fusion from the same reason. The scientists are the same selfish meme or social lobby like the politicians, lawyers and bankers: useful at small doses, harmful at larger ones. What's worse, they're payed mostly from mandatory fees, so that the public control of scientists should be twice-times as thorough there. The rest of society shouldn't follow their rules and interests non-critically.
Maggnus Feb 14, 2013 Rank: 3.4 / 5 (5) Yes it is true ValeriaT that some public feedback is good, and that scientists should not ignore important findings, yet in the same sentence you make a pitch for a technology that has shown no promise to work! And you are wrong in saying that they are paid from "mandatory fees" whatever the hell that is supposed to mean! There are many different means by which they are paid, from universities, to government, to private sector, to special interests, and on and on. Many of them don't get paid at all, or are paid a pittance. To suggest that scientists should be controlled by anyone is ludicrous, and to suggest that such control should be exercised by some nebulous entity called "the public" is beyond belief!
ValeriaT Feb 14, 2013 Rank: 1.7 / 5 (6) Rude blog comments dim the allure of science online I'd rather say, they're reflecting it. If some politician gets the rude comments on his blog, then it's just a manifestation of public agreement with his behavior. What's worse, the opinions which don't attack the particular people reflect the disagreement with situation the more, because they're separated from individual animosities. Why the scientists believe, that the "rude opinion" don't reflect the actual attitude of public toward science but some bias from their idealized situation? Such a stance indicates, they're getting separated from reality in similar way, like the hypocritical politicians. I can feel an unspoken tendency for application of censorship of uncomfortable opinions beneath such a stance.
ValeriaT Feb 14, 2013 Rank: 1.9 / 5 (7) yet in the same sentence you make a pitch for a technology that has shown no promise to work! The only problem is, 1) it wasn't demonstrated in peer-reviewed official journals, despite 2) just the mainstream physicists are loudest in dismissal of cold fusion finding. Such a paradox is very suspicious - why just the mainstream physicists are so convinced about their stance, when just their stance has so weak support in their own sources? Actually even by now, after twenty years we still have no official replication of nickel fusion experiments! We have dozens of official negative experimental confirmations of many effects, which would supposedly violate the mainstream theories, like the general relativity and quantum mechanics - but no one of mainstream physicist is willing to publish the negative results of nickel fusion in Nature or Science journals. Apparently the studying and publishing of certain negative results is way more important than the publishing of other ones..
ValeriaT Feb 14, 2013 Rank: 1 / 5 (6) We should say quite clearly and loudly, that the absence of official replication of some phenomena isn't the official evidence of absence of this phenomena - but an official evidence of the pathological skepticism about it. If the scientists are really so sure, that the cold fusion doesn't work, they should find a courage in accepting of personal responsibility for such stance. So far we are just facing coward quiet ignorance of anonymous crowd of mainstream physicists. Which is one of reasons, why these people are losing their credit and social status in the eyes of the rest of society.It's as simple as it is. I'm indeed willing to accept, that the whole cold fusion is an experimental error or artifact - but I want to READ ABOUT IT in rigorous peer-reviewed official journal. If nothing else, than just for practical importance of this subject.
ValeriaT Feb 14, 2013 Rank: 1.5 / 5 (8) Because I'm not so stupid and misinformed as many PO readers here, I of course DO REALIZE, that the ignorant stance of mainstream physicists regarding cold fusion is just a replication of the ancient case of Galileo opponents, who simply refused to look through his telescope for not to face the logics of experimental evidence. Even the personal motivation of these hypocritical people remained the very same: the financial one. The opponents of Galileo were engaged in research of alternative astronomical models, which were source of their income (you know, all these horoscopes and void scholastic books full of formal geometrical crap, similar to contemporary theories of mainstream physics). These people just found the way, how to cheat the rest of society in safe reliable way - so they didn't want to lose their source of income and social credit.The history just repeats again by now - after all, as it repeated many times after Galileo.
DavidW Feb 14, 2013 Rank: 3.4 / 5 (5) I have heard and learned all kinds of things from the other posters here. Some have an exceptional way of explaining their thoughts. Others provide the needed contrasts. Everyone is equally important.The problems arise when those that are completely out of touch with their own truthful choices in life respond in frustration, to actual choices that they participate in, that are intentionally hurtful to life and have no basis in science, such as consuming animals needlessly. i.e. They attempt to defend a position that is not defendable in any logical context.I have also seen generalized attacks on the mental health of those that believe in God. Many of these scientists have never experienced the intolerable and so have no personal association to what that word really means. There is a reason the saying exists, "There are no atheists in fox holes".
ValeriaT Feb 14, 2013 Rank: 1.8 / 5 (6) Actually the difficulty of contemporary science-the physics in particular - makes the scientists even more conservative, than the astronomers at the time of Galileo. When you spend whole half of your productive life with learning of some theory and another portion with its laborious extending - then you of course will not willingly accept any indicia, that the whole your existing life was based on just a misunderstanding. These psychosocial problems are getting the worse, the more money and time the individual scientists are spending with learning and justification of existing models of reality.And please, don't believe, that the layman society is less religious and less misinformed about it, than the people in medieval times. Due the information explosion the contemporary laymans are forced to accept way more facts without actual understanding, than the average people of Galileo era. The counterintuitive character of contemporary science just forces them in their religious attitude
DavidW Feb 14, 2013 Rank: 2.6 / 5 (5) It's a work in progress for us all. Except, we are the generation that has to get it all done! We have a huge responsibility.I spoke incorrectly to state others as scientists, I mean those that practice science. Breaking with the lying scripts may seem a huge workload, but in the real scale of things sticking to the truth is the lightest of all, as it does not bare the weight of the results from making mistakes.I want everyone to get right and to be who they really are. Everyone is going to get it in the near future. I choose to avioid thinking about gazing on your faces when that day comes.The best we can hope for is to experience falling apart like Schindler, where more could have been done, and we did some. The rest of us will end up being the ones that did the actual killing and attempted to surpress the truth at every possible opportunity.
ValeriaT Feb 14, 2013 Rank: 1.6 / 5 (7) For example, when I point to the fact, that the spreading of energy in vacuum shares a number of similarities with spreading of waves at the water surface, then the only response is downvoting and furious dismissal - despite I do provide many tangible examples and experiments published in mainstream press (Couder and others). For me such a negativist - if not hateful - attitude toward all indicia, which could threat the established paradigm is not quite normal and it points to deeply religious approach, in which the results of mainstream science are adopted with layman publics. This religious attitude is even more apparent between young naive people, who never met with alternative opinion in their life, only with official scientific propaganda. It's sorta generation inversion: the old people are less conservative, than the young ones! Actually because of counterintuitive character of mainstream science these people have no other option, than to accept all these facts religiously.
antialias_physorg Feb 14, 2013 Rank: 4.5 / 5 (15) "Blogs have been a part of the new media landscape for quite some time now, but our study is the first to look at the potential effects blog comments have on public perceptions of science," I'd argue that only a tiny percentage pf people who go to comment sections want to argue/debate. Most just want to state an opinion. So I'd see very little influence on public perception due to comments. What influence can there be if people already have a fixed opinion before even posting? Case in point: Religion is a fixed opinion (you believe - and that's that). How can someone like that be expected to be able to honestly argue/debate science? Even the professors think Madison is left of Lenin. So? What's wrong with that? And more to the point: What has it got to do with the issue portrayed in the article? The contemporary scientists definitely need way more of public feedback. Science isn't a democracy. You don't vote on whether something is true or not.
rwinners Feb 14, 2013 Rank: 5 / 5 (5) I may comment on an article in Phys.org, but I rarely put much weight on others comments. There are a few ID's that I'll ckeck out. Still, I read Phys.org and other sites for their informational input, not for viewers comments.
Hakan1997 Feb 14, 2013 Rank: 5 / 5 (8) Evidence speaks for themselves. The explanation of this is simple.Who, with a real job, has the time to sit and write comments all day long? And who has the time to read all the crap that is written by crackpots? ValeriaT is a notorious troll, only on this article he has posted 7 long comments - all with negative content towards real scientists.Shear volume in comments does the trick.Surely, he must be paid by someone write this - I wonder by whom?Maybe the taxpayers?
kochevnik Feb 14, 2013 Rank: 2.1 / 5 (7) Actually the problem is other sites are heavily censored. Write something that is less than complementary about Israel or banksters and your post isn't even published on reuters and you are banned on Gawker. Of course it's no secret that the oligarchs control the US government. They even staged a coup in 1933 employing Butler to raid DC with 500,000 troops. So banksters and industrialists edit textbooks and newspapers and openly launch smear campaigns to target opposition in any one of their promotes stereotype pigeon-holes like "socialist", "ecoterrorist", "seditionist", "conspiracy theorist" etc. It's laughable because conspiracy is the very fabric that weaves DC togetherBullshit and perception management are at the core of any managed economy. The haves are desperate to have more and view the masses as an erosive force, forever demanding liberty over tyrrany
ValeriaT Feb 14, 2013 Rank: 1.6 / 5 (7) Science isn't a democracy. You don't vote on whether something is true or not. It apparently doesn't work for proponents of mainstream science at most forums, who just use the downvoting for "arguing" of uncomfortable opinion nearly exclusively. Actually the contemporary science is nothing less, nothing more than just about intersubjective opinion, which just uses the public voting (i.e. impact rank) for its establishing.So sorry, I'm forced to refuse your opinion on everyday observational basis supported with my personal experience. You're trying to describe some hypothetical idealized (ideal?) state - not the real situation with contemporary science. Of course the science is sorta democracy - of scientists involved. In ideal state it should be a meritocracy, independent of the carriers of opinion.
ValeriaT Feb 14, 2013 Rank: 1.9 / 5 (9) ValeriaT is a notorious troll, only on this article he has posted 7 long comments - all with negative content towards real scientists. Towards contemporary scientists you say. This is indeed a difference. The people, who are refusing the cold fusion at nickel, ZPE engines, the room temperature superconductivity or antigravity experiments without even bothering to try it yourself aren't REAL scientists in my eyes. The layman public is gradually realizing the ignorant attitude of mainstream physics too - most of progress in 21st century is done outside of official mainstream physics labs. Now I'm talking about actual progress, which is able to change the everyday life - not about abstract theories and useless findings.
antialias_physorg Feb 14, 2013 Rank: 4.7 / 5 (14) It apparently doesn't work for proponents of mainstream science at most forums, who just use the downvoting for "arguing" of uncomfortable opinion nearly exclusively. Science needs no one to promote anything ('mainstream' or not). The notion that there is even something like 'mainstream' science is only in your mind and the minds of those who don't even know what the word science means (look it up).Science is about doing stuff no one has ever done before (otherwise it's just engineering). How can you have 'mainstream' with something that is always new?And if you think that voting on a comment section has anything to do with how the ARTICLE is viewed then you must be out of your tiny little mind. So sorry, I'm forced to refuse your opinion on everyday And you would not believe the amount of [insert expletive of choice] I do not give on whether you agree with me or not.
antialias_physorg Feb 14, 2013 Rank: 4.2 / 5 (10) In ideal state it should be a meritocracy And if you had ever worked in science (which you never have) you would know that science IS a meritocracy. Those that do good science are re spected. And that EXACTLY to the point in time when they publish their next work - which is the time at which the respect of the community has to be earned anew from scratch. on everyday observational basis supported with my personal experience. You cannot claim an observational basis or personal experience since you've never 'been and done' in science. You only can claim an "I heard on FOX news..."-basis. But that is neither scientific nor much of a basis for anything.
ValeriaT Feb 14, 2013 Rank: 1.9 / 5 (8) The situation with labeling of contemporary science is complicated with the fact, not all areas of science are in the equally bad shape. Many areas of science, which don't depend on massively inertial theories are quite progressive even by now. Actually it's mostly the physics, the theoretical one in particular with suffers with conceptual problems (other than overemployment). And believe it or not, some scientists are even useful for tax payers. .
Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-02-trolls-rude-blog-comments-dim.html#jCp .
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Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-02-trolls-rude-blog-comments-dim.html#jCp . < br /> . < br />
The Cold Fusion/LENR Ping List
Keywords: ColdFusion; LENR; lanr; CMNS
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Ain’t no FReeper going to read that!
Is there an executive summary?
I don’t have to be exposed to rude comments to understand the laity’s unease about nanotechnology.
The idea that something very small can be injected into the human body during a vaccination, without the knowledge of the person receiving the injection, scares the Hell out of me. Such a technology in the hands of a tyrant dictator...you get my drift!
So no, I do not like nanotechnology. I do think it could have wide and vaired applications in space, such as in zero gravity manufacturing, but I really do not want it used here, earthside.
Center for Climate Change Communication
Where I realized it was rubbish.
They can’t even put up with “rude” or critical blog comments? The left is so thin-skinned.
Their basic summary is that the people cynical of whatever’s posted have no idea of what they’re talking about. I think it’s a fatal assumption.
What’s a nasty reply from one person’s view is pretty darn funny from another’s.
And they used terrible examples. Global warming? The fact that 30 years ago these “experts” were talking abiout a global ice age? I mean the posters are cynical but their cynicism isn’t based in lies but in what others actually did and said and were promoting just as hard hte the global warming nuts. And we’ve had temperature data around showing the global “warming” really ended pretty much in the late 1990s. That their models have never incorporated the sun into them as a factor in the global temperature, or the oceans. The fact that there have been many, many instances of incorrectly calibrated and improperly placed temperature sensors giving artificially high data because they were next to heat ducts, on blacktop, etc.
oh look,now I’m one of them.
You know they say nobody listens to us, they think we don’t even deserve a response from them anyway. I don’t know why they bother since nobody pays attention to us.
Maybe their itty bitty baby feewings are huwt.
Yeah, just check around on DU and see all the “civility”. Can’t swing a cat w/out hitting an f-bomb there or a death threat against someone they can’t stand.
Obviously the government needs to enact “common sense” speech control.
Trolls win for rude blog comments? Yes, telling the truth is frequently considered rude...by those “outed”.
Yes, telling the truth is frequently considered rude...by those outed.
***How can you prove it is the truth? Or more towards the common demoninator, where is the evidence that you are telling the truth?
You have a good point. So from now on only happy, happy thoughts and happy, happy comments on cold fusion and the devices utilizing it that are certain to come on the market this year or next will be permitted.
I may even change my tag line to “Don’t Worry, Be Happy (or else)”.
Global Warming Fraud and the Future of Science - J. R. Dunn
The "scientists" who perpetrated the global warming scam approached their science in exactly the opposite manner as the approach described above. They formulated a theory based on political ideology (as well as the path of least resistance to "grant" money) and then did whatever they had to do with their data to "prove" it.
What the world has now seen with the expose of the "global warming"/"climate change" scam through the leaked email dumps of November 2009 and November 2011 puts a new spin on the old saying: "Figures can lie and liars can figure." The discipline of science has taken a massive hit over the past three-plus years and it could take decades for science - - and scientists - - to regain any credibility with the public. A lot of that burden must fall on honest scientists, and the first and most important thing they must do is scream for the heads of Michael Mann, Phil Jones, and the rest of the "climategate" fraudsters. I guess we'll see if they have the integrity to do it. (No, I am not holding my breath.)
LOL. How about sticking to discussion of the actual science presented instead of the constant cascade of denigrations of those doing the work. "Happy thoughts" not equired...simple civility will do.
Arcane scientific papers and curious lab experiments just might require more than happy thoughts to move a car.
"Arcane scientific papers and curious lab experiments just might require more than happy thoughts to move a car."
And if so, the NORMAL practice of science will eventually disclose the truth. The world does NOT need you and a few others to protect it from itself. That mode of thinking is "of the left". In other words, you're just another vigilante censor.
Note that the treatment of the topic of LENR has NOT been the "normal practice of science". Not even close.
An analogue of "crony capitalism" is very appropriate....."crony science", just like "anthropic global warming". The sole difference is that with AGW, the cronyism is in favor, and with LENR, it is opposed to the subject.