A Tragedy of the Commons
In an attempt to be a responsible citizen, I like to keep up on local current events, and seeing as I spend most of my time in front of a computer screen, nola.com is unfortunately one of the main sources of my news. I tried subscribing to the print T-P, but more often than not it would just sit there unopened, so it seemed like a big waste of money and paper. I watch the local news sometimes but I can’t make a habit of that either. I’m in that internet generation, and that’s where I get my news.
As if reading the news in New Orleans was not already a painful, depressing exercise, nola.com has decided to move all of their news stories to a “blog” format within the last few months. This means that registered users are now able to post comments at the bottom of most of the news stories. And this typically means that the most ignorant, illiterate, racist morons — people whose opinions were previously limited to call-ins on AM talk radio — are the people posting comments. It means that even the most innocuous stories, including articles about an NFL player’s accidental drowning, are turned into racially charged flame wars between the stupidest people in the city.
It also means that I’m less and less compelled to read the articles because my eyes are invariably led to the train wreck of the comments section, and I am then filled with utter contempt for my fellow man. I know, I already hear people saying “why don’t you just ignore the comments,” which is much easier said than done since the comments are directly below the articles, rather than on a separate page. You just can’t help but read them.
Since when was the news a two-way format? Since when does any fucking twit with a keyboard deserve to have their opinions counted? I thought that was the point of blogs. You read something in the “legitimate” press, and if you feel compelled to do so, you respond to it on your own blog. If the public cares enough about what you have to say, they will read your blog, and maybe give feedback. If you’re an illiterate troll, nobody cares and your opinions end up where they deserve to be – a dark corner of the internet where your bullshit is inconsequential.
I have tried to remain positive and think maybe this is a good thing, maybe it will help foster some sort of dialogue and help people understand each other better.. but mostly it appears to foster petty fighting and hatred between the stupidest shit-for-brains people imaginable, while anyone who might have something intelligent to say knows it would be a waste of time. So, nola.com, I am begging you to remove the comments feature. It is an embarrassment, a liability, and a huge turnoff.