I was in a meeting the other day and someone was talking about how horrible the comment sections are on online news articles. This is a sentiment I've heard a lot, whether people are referring to YouTube videos, Facebook posts, news articles or blog posts - so long as it's an online forum of discussion where the general population is permitted access to the conversation, it's bad. Real Bad.
Prior to last week, I agreed with this. Then I started watching different types of videos on YouTube and reading the corresponding comment sections. The photography tutorials on YouTube had comment sections rife with people giving information about...photography - also, their suggestions on lens, their gratitude toward the video content creator for the advice and the time they took to make the video, helpful links to other photography videos or websites, etc. I scrolled and scrolled waiting to find the bomb of negativity and meanness, yet I found nothing. All that was there were the same positive, helpful, and kind comments. That's when it hit me that it's not the internet that harbors dubious characters wielding keyboard-warrior-death-comments...it's certain spaces on the internet that invite and romance negativity. Just like in the "real world".