Salon commentators

I read Salon.com because I think it’s a fun, trendy, edgy kind of place online that you can go to stay in touch with somewhat controversial research on things like pharmaceutical controversies and male pregnancies. I also like the essays on the site because they are usually well written and geared towards the writer-ly crowd.

I like Salon, yes, but I think some of the commentators on Salon are horrible. I think of all the sites I frequent online, Salon is one of those few places where the metaphorical trolls live and play basketball. They love the Salon comment fields because, I’m guessing, it feels safe. It feels safe in a post on breastfeeding to call the writer of the said post a “douche bag” who “doesn’t deserve children.”

Salon is the place to vent, I think. It’s where some people go to “unwind” at the end of a long, hard day at work in which the “man” (read: boss) was “riding” them about getting their work done.

There are unhappy people there. Some would call them trolls. But I always remind myself that trolls are characters. People online who are angry for no particular reason are angry in real life, but they’re usually too afraid to show their anger.

Anger in real life is not safe. It can cost jobs, marriages, and other things that I can’t think of right now. So, instead of being angry where they need to be angry, some people come online or they drive cars really fast and honk and give you the finger if you get in their lane.

Misplaced aggression.

Yes, that’s what the commentators over at Salon have.

Stop.

Do you read Salon? What do you think about the commentators on the site?

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4 Responses to Salon commentators

  1. Only You says:

    I actually don’t read Salon though have maybe been there a few times because someone posted a link. I do remember the Motherlode section on the New York Times. That brought out some vicious commentators. I never could get why it wasn’t enough to disagree, that people also had to insert name calling and judgmental and rude attacks. I really agree with you that it’s misplaced aggression. There are too many areas in “real” life where you need to control yourself and hold emotions in. Call your boss or wife a douche bag? Well, there are consequences. That is why it’s so easy to take anger out on children and on the internet. You can let steam out but what’s the worst that’s going to happen? Either someone snaps back at you on line or your comment gets deleted. No consequences whatsoever. People are not held accountable. It’s a shame. As for Motherlode, I just ended up leaving it completely. What benefits I gained from reading their posts and comments were outweighed by the sick feeling I would get from the trolls.

    • Jessica says:

      I enjoy reading Motherlode, too. I think conversations on anything parenting related on the Internet bring out the worst in many people because most are defensive about how they are parenting their children. We all want to do this right, so it’s like when we read that someone is doing it differently, rather than accepting the difference as a valid way of doing things, the trolls have to attack. It’s unfortunate. The negativity that happens online is so unnecessary!

  2. woahmolly says:

    I actually find myself avoiding the comments section of most articles altogether these days. It’s a shame, because it used to be a place to engage in enlightening discussion, whereas now it’s generally overtaken by people who are filled with hate and ignorance. It’s far too depressing.

    • Jessica says:

      It is. I wonder what made the comments change. I was reading the comments on an essay there the other day and was struck by how much attention most commentators pay to how the writer writes– their style, rather than what they are writing. It’s a shame.

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