Skip to comments.A Third of Online Comments About Obama Arenít Civil
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.
And their point is?
He does not deserve civility. He does not love this country nor respect the office he holds.
More than a third of 0bama’s comments about Americans aren’t civil.
The filthy rat-bastard reaps what he sows.
So that means 2/3 are civil. A better treatment than GW Bush, likely.
90 percent of those comments are documented to come from me.
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?)
Only one third?
Hell that’s just the ones posted by me.
"That depends on what the meaning of 'civil' is."
They would encounter “Lerner-esque” type server meltdowns if they just checked KOS or DU archives from November 2000 through October 2008.
As opposed to the two thirds that were uncivil to Bush.
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.
I agree, the sleazy slimeball narcissist brought it all on his own nasty self.
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.)
Any movies about The Won’s assassination, to be lauded as “free speech” by the right? Exactly.
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.
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