• Sean MacEntee
  • Not much of this on news comments boards

In a post earlier this morning I noted that author Jonathan Franzen had recently called Twitter “the ultimate irresponsible medium.” Commenting on that post on Facebook, a friend said the real ultimate irresponsible medium is the comment board—except for Facebook, where, he said, the comments are responsible because real names are used.

There’s a clear difference in tone between comments on news sites and on Facebook. While comments on news sites can be thoughtful and incisive, they’re far more likely to be hostile than FB comments, which tend to be exceedingly supportive. Of course, they’re being made to “friends.” But is the animus on news comments boards mainly a product of the anonymity? Is gender a factor? What others are there? Maybe everyone should have to become a “friend” before they can comment on news sites . . .

OK, commenters: fire away.