Sunday, February 13, 2011
Comment Rage: Posting Comments and the Will to Kill
"THINK ABOUT IT!!!!! before you go accusing everyone of being fools just for calling this revenue-raising, like Mike is (11/02/2011 11:55:58 AM)"
"I take it your parents didnt love you enough so you are taking it out on everyone? Never had consensual sex in your life? pull your head in and stick to the subject you sensationalist!"
"Go beat and abuse your children you neanderthal."
"Who is this idiot? Clearly, you dont read much."
"Could the moderator please explain what is wrong with my last 2 comments?"
"You seem to be doing your usual trick of attacking the small things while leaving the bulk of what I said alone."
"What I have to say to the rest of that comment wouldn’t get through the moderator and would be insulting to your mother but I’ll try to get my previous comment through point by point if that’s ok with you."
(Above: all comments extracted from separate websites)
What do public comment posting sections of websites reveal about human beings and society?
When reading the comments beneath news, current affairs websites and blogs, it's interesting to see how vicious people are to each other.
They'd never behave like that face-to-face.
More than simply making a "comment", many people respond to the response rather than the issue. And that would be fine, but often there is such a disdain for the commentor. More than is necessary, individuals are shot down for making allegedly stupid comments and when that fails to silence, shot down for personal failings.
Comment rage is often personal. Yet it is interesting to note that the person launching the attack would never say such a thing face-to-face (and here's a hint at why it's so popular).
As almost all conscious human behaviour is a facade used to hide the ugly truth, We wondered what was behind the vituperative invective of comment rage and post rage found in Comments Boxes across the cyber world.
For those fond of studying social behaviour or group psychology, and within the context of modern-day social networking fora, go watch people attack, despise and denigrate each other in any website's public comment posting boxes.
In some cases, one poor devil gets picked on by a large group, the situation having snow-balled out of control from a handful of attackers enticed by the blood-lust human instinct craves at the sight of an overwhelmed weakling - just like in high school, or at the office!
What the hell is going on here? Why are average people transformed into cut-throats as soon as they start reading Comments?
Why? First, why not? Because it's anonymous. There's no repercussion. You can't get in trouble.
And Why? Because you have just satisfied the unsatisfiable. The oldest anti-social survivial instinct. The will to kill. The killer instinct.
The yearing to attack others is very deep within all of us. It is hard-wired into our lizard complex and is the reason we stayed alive the first million years.
Yet we hardly ever, mostly never, get to satisfy this primordial urge. Our imagination gives us relief through vivid fantasies of being that animal for just a minute: after our boss has reprimanded us, after that bully made us look stupid and feel helpless again, after the news report of that rapist, that drunk driver who killed those kids.
But that's as far as the ancient, raw and hideously true instinct gets. Why no further? Why do we not take the will to kill further than our imagination? Fear. Fear of being caught acting on it, fear of going to jail, of being vilified, being sacked, having all that we love taken from us. Fear of doing something wrong. It is wrong to attack someone, isn't it? Or does it depend? Do we want to risk all to find out? Doesn't there have to be a really good reason to attack someone?
We can't go around killing people, but we can attack them in other ways - if they deserve it. But the fear of repercussions from society's moral and governmental institutions stops us from even attacking, even just a little attack.
So we all sit quietly, utterly frustrated.
The price of satisfying the will to attack is too great. Or should I say "was" too great.
Now there's this thing called the Internet. You can hide in it (to a certain degree). You can anonymously join a comments section on a website, get angry at someone and attack them.
You can attack a person's intellect, their reasoning, their inexperience, their argument, their stupidity, their values, their morals. It's awesome!
Sometimes a frenzied horde will join in! Not because they agree with your comment, but because they get caught up in the chase, the hunt, the taunting, teasing and horribly playful game. The pack attacks the wounded weakling, not for food, but for something else. Something natural.
You see it in schools, you see it in the workplace and now you see it on the Internet.
Bruce Lee used to try and consciously summon his killer instinct in order to defeat his opponent. If he was alive today, he would simply use his iPhone to go online and then jettison his target through the air in an orgasm of instinct-satisfaction.
It's now almost completely safe to attack people on the Net. No one knows it's you! You got away with it. Even if they do know your username and generally where you live, they can't do anything about it, because you're never gonna meet.
Oh the freedom! Oh the satisfaction!
Oh how pathetic.