6 Reasons the Comments on This Article Will Be Useless
Cracked has written about commenters before: we've cataloged the different types of commenters available on the market today, listed which sites on the Internet have the worst commenters, and even provided advice on how to write more effective spam comments. But we haven't yet tackled the more fundamental question of whether there's even any value in allowing barely sentient ass-breathers to put words on the Internet.
LOL FIRST.Before we get too far, let me outline what I think qualifies as a useful comment. It's something on topic, that expands on what's explained in the article and doesn't just parrot it. If I write a column about hiding cameras in Ray Romano's bedroom, a good comment might involve sharing your own tips for scraping the silver off the back of a mirror, or sharing your favorite profile of Romano when he's changing (mine's rear three quarters). And if you can be creative when doing it or even make people laugh, all the better.
Everybody LovesHow One Nut Is Much BiggerThan The Other, Ray
The ProblemsSo, with a good comment defined, let's look at all the ways this ideal is ignored, and itemize some of the ass nuggets routinely posted in its place.#6: Anyone Can CommentObviously this is also the main appeal of comments; that everyone has a voice. To comment on a Cracked article you don't need a M.Sc in Applied Comedic Sciences - a 6 year educational odyssey which few people complete, largely thanks to the Slapstick requirement's 30% mortality rate. Airing the opinions of not just the experts, but also the great unwashed is widely thought to be a good thing, especially amongst people who have never actually met the great unwashed.But, it turns out that a great benchmark for whether someone is worth listening to or not is whether they've convinced an editor and publisher and spell-checker that their ideas aren't dribbling birdshit. If someone hasn't broached those barriers, it's entirely likely that they're not worth listening to. The only way to tell if a comment is stool or not is to read it, making finding useful comments in a comments thread a bit like hunting for a needle in an outhouse. If there's one thing I know about readers on the Internet, it's that they don't have a lot of patience wading through crap to find the good stuff. This is the land of tl;dr, and expecting someone to shovel through three hundred misspelled racial slurs to read a good point about Ray Romano's balls is expecting a lot.
Like that they swap places every 28 days._
CLICK NOW FOR REAL LIBERTY UPSKIRTZ!This has been less and less of an issue as spam filters get better. But will that last, or our spam-amnesty's days are numbered? Surely there's an elite team of spam-programmers somewhere, draped in Gucci handbags and tall women, frantically working to defeat this.
"I dare you to post your address young man, because I will come to you, and I will break you."_
"Up, down, and all around, please."_
I've seen people almost come to blows arguing about whether David Spade should be allowed to be married._
The So-Called Experts' SolutionsA few solutions have already been developed around the Internet for dealing with these issues. All of them have some problems though, which I'll snipe at safely from my chair of Not-having-to-do-anything-about-it.
Comes with zero power or responsibility, wheels._
In a just world, the man who invented yelling 'First!' would live at the bottom of this, but not for long, because he couldn't breathe._
Your resume looks very impressive, but I think what we really want to know is what is your opinion on fighting children?_
"Get out of here you lousy Internet site, 'fore I break your legs!"A lot of sites simply can't afford that. And should they? On an article which draws several hundred thousands of readers, we're likely to get a comments thread with a few hundred commenters. Notwithstanding the fact that we really love the little morons, how much should we spend to improve the experience for a few hundred people, when we could use the same resources to research pictures of men in terrifying cow costumes?
It cost us $2800 to find and publish this picture, but we'll make three times that when the dairy industry pays us to take it down.
My SolutionsThe problem with all of the above solutions is that they've got no balls. To remedy this, I've come up with the following solutions for whipping more sense into a community of misanthropes, gleaned from my experience amusing misanthropes. These are all solutions that I intend to bring up during the next Cracked Quarterly Budget and Laffs Review meeting.
"And in conclusion..." -huge, leaping karate kick-__The Carrot Reward particularly good comments with benefits. Gold stars, extra content, special privileges. At Cracked we should start offering the best commenter from each day the opportunity to visit the Cracked offices, meet everyone, and caress Soren's face a bit.
"Unfortunately, thanks to the actions of Armpitsalsa23, we're going to have to close this wing, and will also need that kidney back."(Another option, if ruining the weak is somehow unpalatable, is that for every bad comment we somehow stop a pet from getting spayed or neutered.)This won't stop trolls, who'd love to see hospitals closed and cats fucking everywhere, so we'll need something a little more direct for these hard cases. Bans and post-deletions are moderating tools, not punishments, given how easily they're circumvented. And for a dedicated troll, they actually get a sense of accomplishment from being banned. Instead, we need something which is close to an actual punishment, something like a virtual spanking except something that won't give a boner to a huge percentage of its victims. Reverse mockery is one idea, where using cookies and IP tracking techniques we find the communities a troll lives in, and mock them there.
"Attention Citizens. Here are 6 Reasons Jonathan Morris, aka OprahDongFan, should be pelted with rocks. Reason #6: We hate him. Reason #5: His flesh is soft..."_