Monday, August 27, 2007

On commenting and civility

Nicole Simon has posted her thoughts on the video which has been making the rounds - you know the one, which imagines what business meetings would be like if they were conducted like the comment threads on some tech blogs. I liked her response to it, and then the further responses to her entry in the comment thread.

What do Pittsburgh bloggers think about this? Are there moments when you have spread an "umbrella of protection" for someone else? Has someone done that for you?


  1. I think the frustrating thing about this video for me is that it showcases the tendency for people not to obey social norms online. Egos, insecurities, prejudices -- all kinds of personal issues -- are just aired unchecked. This kind of thing doesn't happen (or is less rampant) in meetings because there are consequences for disrespecting others and disrupting the flow of a meeting. (It's interesting to note, though, that this kind of behavior takes place in a forum where people by and large are not being paid for their time.) All in all, with regard to women, I feel this is just an unfortunate reminder that, even in the sometimes comfy cyber universe, mistreatment of women is just as real and relevant an issue as ever.

  2. i think that was vell put. i couldn't have said it any better. thanks.

  3. Jess,

    Well put. I'm curious as to how "cyber norms" are evolving? Will anonymity prevail or will there be a shift, as in real life, with the entrance of more and more women into cyber-discourse?

    Yet another example of how The Society can forge new paths ...

  4. We need to delete the stupid comments and call out inanity for what it is and not try to "dialogue" or reason with it. The anonymous commenters are the real problem. Of course, some have legitimate points to make but can't allow the world to see who they really are. Early on before hardly anybody read our Web site, we were subjected to some vicious emails (it isn't just women who are cyber-attacked) but that all stopped a long time ago, I guess after people saw what we do. We might get 2,000 plus unique visitors in a day but I can't recall the last unfavorable email (unless you include the misspelling police). One prominent newspaper person opined to me that people don't want to become our target, which is a good point, because I AM vindictive.