Monday, January 12, 2009

Telling the Internet Bullies to Suck It

Last night I watched some of the Golden Globe Awards while I was catching up on some stuff around the house. While most of it was basically a snooze as award shows tend to be, one highlight that I managed to catch was Tina Fey's acceptance speech in which she addressed people who had insulted her on the internet, telling them to "suck it." It was awesome!!

The internet has become a platform for individuals to post their opinions, many overly rude and far more aggressive than any normal person would speak to someone face to face. Under the cover of anonymity these people feel free to say the most insulting things to someone they have never met (and never will) based on the idea that everyone has a right to their own opinion. Celebrities like Fey are faced daily with public scrutiny from all angles, and although they bargained into this life by pursuing a particular career, I don't believe that it is necessary to use the internet as a virtual bat and pummel the hell out of them.

Bloggers are also subject to internet critique and the more popular the site, the more the crazies seem to come out of the woodwork. Heather Armstrong of "Dooce" has a widely known blog and receives hundreds and sometimes thousands of comments on her posts. Known for her exceedingly dry wit and sarcasm, the comments she gets often indicate that many of her readers have absolutely no sense of humor, otherwise they would never write the things they do. Occasionally she writes a post dedicated to addressing some of the more vile comments, which is often more hilarious than her normal daily banter. She tends to post snippets of the comments and then critique their spelling and grammatical errors, as well as their inept misuse of the English language. Here is a piece of advice to people who leave nasty comments on blogs... it's called proofreading - try it.

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