Wednesday, 26 August 2009

You have the right to remain silent

Internet forums. They are great. Where else could you read pure, unadulterated bile?

So, Ted Kennedy died. It's been coming for a while. It's not a shock to anyone. It is, however, a form of catharsis for those people who disagreed with him to be able to express their disagreement in a public place, the internet forum.

I went on the Fox News website (it likes to refer to itself as Fox Nation, oh so many issues...) to see what it made of the death of someone who is the opposite of everything it stands for. And, well, the news coverage was dignified.

The comments from the public were not. I saw vile, disgusting comments that can only serve as an act of transference. I saw comments from people who, whilst not defending Kennedy, were at least suggesting a little respect was due. And consequently bile poured onto them. Mind you, not all of the counter comments were particularly well thought out.

So as not to thrash away at the members of the Fox Nation (because they just don't like the one they've already got), I read the comments on the Guardian's website.

It was more of the same only with more comments related to Northern Ireland.

Now, I realise there is a pot/kettle/black scenario here but the internet has really given a voice to some of the most disgusting views. It allows them to be written down, to be given a sense of permanence, a sense of perceived importance. After all, education system constant espouse the importance of literacy as the principal form of intelligence. Without proficiency in reading and writing there is no success in education. If someone has the opportunity to write something where others can see it, it must be important and worthwhile.

Good job no one reads this but then it isn't attached to a news organisation's website.

There comes a time when saying nothing is more than enough, when internet forums should be substituted for genuine human interaction. If you want to hear more, give me a ring.