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A Third of Online Comments About Obama Arenít Civil
New York Magazine ^ | June 30, 2014

Posted on 06/30/2014 2:14:40 PM PDT by nickcarraway

Have you ever really dug into the comments section below a controversial news article? The correct answer is "No, I am not a crazy person," but if you have you'll know that it's a Hobbesian netherworld down there, and a new study in Journal of Communication puts some numbers behind the all-caps hysterics.

Researchers from the Universities of Utah and Arizona examined more than 6,400 comments posted on the website of the Arizona Daily Star (those poor, poor researchers ... ) and found, in a result unlikely to shock anyone who has been called an OBAMABOT or RETHUGLICAN by a 12-year-old on the other side of the country, that we do not tend to interact with each other in a kindly manner online: Overall, one in five comments were not civil, but that number was often higher for more controversial subjects.

To the press release:

"We tracked six different kinds of uncivil language, but name-calling was far and away the most common," said Kevin Coe, assistant professor of communication at the University of Utah and one of the study's authors. "Many people just can't seem to avoid the impulse to go after someone else."

The study also showed that these types of commenters do not fit the stereotype of a few angry individuals who spend hours at their computers blasting others and making baseless claims. In fact, incivility was more common among infrequent commenters. Equally surprising, uncivil commenters were just as likely to use evidence in support of their claims as were the more respectful individuals.

As might be expected, stories that focused on well-known leaders with clear partisan positions garnered more impolite comments. In stories that quoted President Barack Obama, for example, nearly 1 in 3 comments were uncivil.

Disrespectful comments also tended to spike in discussions about weightier issues, such as politics, the economy, crime and taxes. The one exception to this trend was sports articles, which generated the highest percentage of these types of comments.

But buried in all the trolly trollness is a small, glittering kernel of humanity: "When one commenter was directly replying to another commenter, they were more likely to be courteous."

So it's almost as though being reminded that you're interacting with another human can help make you more civil online. Strange! And while things may look bleak, there are a growing number of troll-suppression solutions, some of which I wrote about a couple of years ago.

We welcome your thoughts below.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: obama; obamacorrupt; obamalawless; onlinecomments
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1 posted on 06/30/2014 2:14:40 PM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway

And their point is?


2 posted on 06/30/2014 2:15:18 PM PDT by DonaldC (A nation cannot stand in the absence of religious principle.)
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To: nickcarraway

poor baby


3 posted on 06/30/2014 2:15:53 PM PDT by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans)
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To: nickcarraway

He does not deserve civility. He does not love this country nor respect the office he holds.


4 posted on 06/30/2014 2:16:17 PM PDT by Resolute Conservative
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To: nickcarraway

More than a third of 0bama’s comments about Americans aren’t civil.

The filthy rat-bastard reaps what he sows.


5 posted on 06/30/2014 2:16:20 PM PDT by NorthMountain
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To: nickcarraway

So that means 2/3 are civil. A better treatment than GW Bush, likely.


6 posted on 06/30/2014 2:17:12 PM PDT by lurk
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To: nickcarraway

90 percent of those comments are documented to come from me.


7 posted on 06/30/2014 2:17:16 PM PDT by Defiant (Obama is not the anti-Christ. He is Satan's John the Baptist, preparing the way.)
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To: nickcarraway

A third? Only a third?

Hell, here at FR, we are proud to say that 99 percent of comments about Obastard aren’t civil.

(Why should they be?)


8 posted on 06/30/2014 2:18:31 PM PDT by Responsibility2nd (NO LIBS. This Means Liberals and (L)libertarians! Same Thing. NO LIBS!!)
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To: nickcarraway

9 posted on 06/30/2014 2:18:38 PM PDT by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both.)
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To: nickcarraway

Only one third?


10 posted on 06/30/2014 2:18:39 PM PDT by dainbramaged ( 165 grain nosler partition)
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To: nickcarraway

A third?

Hell that’s just the ones posted by me.


11 posted on 06/30/2014 2:18:40 PM PDT by cripplecreek (Remember the River Raisin.)
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To: nickcarraway

"That depends on what the meaning of 'civil' is."

12 posted on 06/30/2014 2:19:42 PM PDT by SoFloFreeper
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To: nickcarraway

They would encounter “Lerner-esque” type server meltdowns if they just checked KOS or DU archives from November 2000 through October 2008.


13 posted on 06/30/2014 2:21:49 PM PDT by edpc (Wilby 2016)
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To: nickcarraway

As opposed to the two thirds that were uncivil to Bush.


14 posted on 06/30/2014 2:22:16 PM PDT by MNnice
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To: nickcarraway

Most of Obama’s (and Hillary Clinton’s, and Harry Reid’s and McCain’s come to think of it) comments regarding me could hardly be considered civil.


15 posted on 06/30/2014 2:22:48 PM PDT by thorvaldr
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To: NorthMountain

I agree, the sleazy slimeball narcissist brought it all on his own nasty self.


16 posted on 06/30/2014 2:23:34 PM PDT by mrsmel (One Who Can See)
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To: nickcarraway

And not even a third of online comments by Obama supporters are civil. So what’s your point exactly?

(Not Nick, of course; this is directed at the author of the piece.)


17 posted on 06/30/2014 2:24:01 PM PDT by ZirconEncrustedTweezers (I'm not anti-government, government's anti-me.)
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To: lurk

Any movies about The Won’s assassination, to be lauded as “free speech” by the right? Exactly.


18 posted on 06/30/2014 2:24:39 PM PDT by mrsmel (One Who Can See)
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To: nickcarraway
Really? The man who uses his speeches to mock and insult his opponents isn't being treated civilly himself?

-PJ

19 posted on 06/30/2014 2:26:04 PM PDT by Political Junkie Too (If you are the Posterity of We the People, then you are a Natural Born Citizen.)
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To: nickcarraway

I reckon it is difficult to maintain civility when the subject is a serial liar, pretentious, ignorant, arrogant. affirmative action, commie traitor whose every effort has served to fundamentally transform the greatest, most free nation in the history into another third word socialist craphole where unemployment is rampant as inflation necessarily skyrockets and whose wife is an obnoxious, constant scold.


20 posted on 06/30/2014 2:27:17 PM PDT by Amagi (Lenin: "Socialized Medicine is the Keystone to the Arch of the Socialist State.")
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