The internet has changed all of our lives – at least those of us who are old enough to remember the pre-Internet world. It has revolutionized business, socialization, culture and politics.
But there’s a dark side.
Ever read the comments on a blog post, a YouTube video, or a news story? It can be disheartening. But, dedicated observer of cultural phenomena that I am, I have taken it upon myself to visit such comments sections and compile a set of three rules, which shall henceforth be known as Animal’s Rules of Internet Commentary, and will now present them here for the edification of True Believers everywhere.
- The Facebook rule. Facebook itself is bad enough; it has without a doubt the worst noise-to-signal ratio on the internet (and that’s really saying something) but it’s also easily ignored. Not so when a blog or news site uses the Facebook commentary plugin. The Facebook rule states that the use of the Facebook commenting plugin reduces the average IQ of commenters by 36%.
- The YouTube rule. Bad as Facebook is, YouTube commenters are worse. But there’s a bright side; there is no YouTube comment plugin. But a few moments spent reading comments on any YouTube video upload – go ahead, choose one at random and see for yourself – and observe the stupidity for yourself. But be careful: The YouTube rule states that even reading YouTube comments can cause temporary or, in some cases, even permanent brain damage.
- The Left-Wing Site rule. The reasons for this are the matter of some speculation, but the facts of it are well-documented; left-leaning web sites are far less tolerant of dissent than right-leaning sites. So much for the vaunted ‘tolerance’ of the Left; try posting dissenting opinions at HuffPo or Daily Kos, and see how long your posts/accounts last. The Left-Wing Site rule states that you are 98.723% more likely to be banned for dissent from a left-leaning blog or site than from a right-leaning one.
Many hours of study went into these observations, and a considerable amount of income went into the purchase of draft beers and Scotch to help erase the effects of reading Facebook posts and YouTube comments.
But that’s all right. I did it for you, True Believers; I did it for you.