4 Things I Don’t Understand About Comment Sections on the Internet

1. People Responding to Trolls

In every comment section there will be some troll that posts something inflammatory that clearly serves no purpose other than to get a reaction out of other people. There are two common types of responses. The first is to actually try and argue with them. The funniest part is that what the troll posts is obviously wrong and completely ridiculous but the person who responds does not even address that it is ridiculous and finds some local part of the troll’s “argument” to attack like it is a real debate.

The second type of comment is just yelling at the troll telling them that they are an idiot, which they obviously are. What I don’t understand about this type of comment is that the commenter must know they are a troll that only wants to get a reaction out of people and decides the best course of action is to yell at them. This is the only possible explanation I can give to what people are thinking when they respond to trolls.

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2. 10 People that Comment the Exact Same Thing.

Inevitably in posts that elicit opinions you will get ten people, often times more or less in a row, that all literally say the exact same thing. Really, do you think you are that important that it is not enough for people to see this opinion. They need to know that you came up with it yourself. Its okay if you acknowledge that your opinion has already been expressed and say something like “I agree with X” or “Like people have been saying..” but people craft the exact same complex argument like it is completely original. Even worse, but happens just as much, is when the post is some puzzle with an objectively correct answer. And you will get 20 people that all post the same correct solution. Why is this socially acceptable? Do you really feel the need to show strangers that you were smart enough to solve a puzzle?

3. People Responding to Famous People that they Have Never Met like a Close Friend.

This happens every time anyone remotely famous posts anything. For example a famous person will post their breakfast (Something I don’t condone of btw) and say something like “Better than sex” and then some random person who has never met the poster in their life will respond with “Not that you would know ;)”. Or even worse, the commenter will know something about the famous person’s personal life and use it to craft some “inside” joke. “I hope you didn’t get any ideas about putting those roller blades on. ‘Cause we both know what happens with you and roller blades.” I’m not sure if this happens too often with really famous people but it is constant with kind of famous people.

4. People that Disagree with Long Thought out Articles by Experts with Hubris and No Explanation.

Now, I have no problem with people disagreeing with experts if they have a good argument and they act with some humility. But, for example, people will respond to a 10,000 word article about the complexities of nuclear energy and why it could be promising with “Actually, nuclear energy is bad.” WTF do you expect will result in your comment. Will someone finish the article thinking “Wow, nuclear energy actually could end up being really good” and then read your comment and be like “Well, I guess I and the person who wrote this article were wrong. Nuclear is energy is bad”? Now sometimes this is a troll, but more I often I think it’s an incredibly serious person who really does just think their opinion matters that much. Pure narcissism

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