11.22.2010 08:37 AM

Solberg in the Sun: comment on comments

When I read the comments section of any website that covers political news, I get the urge to destroy the very Internet that Al Gore invented and that I perfected.

Yes, some of the reader comments are insightful. Some are witty. This is especially the case with Sun readers! But it pains me to note that most of the comments on most websites most of the time are comprised of conspiracy theories, sweeping generalizations, random thoughts and ugly venom. If you struggle with depression, please avoid reading them.


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    Cath says:

    What Solberg suggests doesn’t just happen in the comments section of websites. The petty and personal attacks are the mainstay of many partisan blogs out there that I’m growing really, tired of. It boggles my mind that on some partisan Liberal, CPC and NDP blog sites that folks spend more time kicking the other guys instead of taking the opportunity to move their own man in support, links, kudos…..anything remotely resembling ground support via grassroot bloggers.

    The good thing about freedom of choice is that one can always stop frequenting blogs they don’t like.

    Just for fun I’d be interested in learning from contributors here their top three blogs for each party and why?

    I find that “comments” sections of media websites sometimes a collection of assorted nuts but every once in a while there’s a cashew when you least expect it. As with visiting blogs the “comments” section can be ignored.

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    A says:

    Actually, I find them easing depression. If these morons are around, why think of suicide? I deserve to live more!

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    Paul R Martin says:

    There certainly are a lot of wild conspiracy theories that show up in the comments section following most newspaper stories that are of a political nature. I guess that some people prefer complexity even if they are completely off base. They just do not realize that other well meaning people can have a different viewpoint than they do. Personally, I tend to prefer the “keep it simple stupid” type of analysis rather than conspiracies.

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    Doug says:

    News sites should get out of the comment business. There are dedicated discussion sites, like Reddit or Digg, which have much better systems for managing comments and filtering out garbage. I would much rather see a link to the various discussions at the bottom of a news article than a poorly implemented dedicated comment section.

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    WesternGrit says:

    Newspapers should allow “comments” from other journalists/experts in the field, rather than Joe “Idiot” Public.

    How’s that for a REAL difference. Warren writes an article/post, and people like Solberg, Don Martin, Chantal Hebert, Kady O’Malley, etc. get to comment on it. Get some real political science profs’ comments thrown in for good measure. THAT would help steer the conversation to a lively political debate (with good grammar and accurate spelling – hopefully), without the hatemongering of so many “readers” who just want a pulpit for their extreme views…

    Bring commentary into the new age. Let the experts debate “live” online. Why not allow columnists from different media sources comment on the sites of other sources? Imagine the discourse when a Sun columnist gets refuted by some Star columnists…

    More importantly, it would become a bit like a sport, increasing competition between papers/media outlets, and more than likely would BOOST SAGGING NEWSPAPER SALES… Real journalism would become more important, as skillful debate would replace pure rants. Fans of papers would line up to buy the latest snipes and jabs by their favorite columnists.

    It would be a news revolution.

    ps: My idea… I’m “patenting” this… lol… Warren, if you want to give this a shot, contact me.

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    Dana says:

    “The best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter.”

    Winston Churchill

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    Brian says:

    As I noted in the comments section under the local reprint of his article, I’ve watched Solberg’s depressing columns for some time now. And it’s hard to tell his own hyperpartisan tirades and the comments he’s attacking apart.

    Look in the mirror, Monte. This is the “new politics” you helped to create.

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    Scott Searle says:

    …I usually think Monte Solberg is hilarious, but for one of the most acerbic and sarcastic voices in the House of Commons for 10 years to criticize “ugly venom” and “sweeping generalizations” in comment sections on websites seems a bit rich!

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    Cameron Prymak says:

    Solberg is so right.

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    Cath says:

    This is very good discussion. I give readers of columns some credit for being able to identify the flame throwers for themselves. I like the “comments” section. It’s almost an extension of the most read section of any newspaper – the letters to the editor. It allows papers to read immediate feedback to a story/writer. I cringe though that those who think they can hide behind an “anonymous” moniker because on the internet you’re not really EVER anonymous. If someone wants to find you out it’s possible to do so.
    As you’ve said before Warren, what’s written on the internet is here forever.

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