I love the internet, I spend far to much time on it but there is one thing about it I really do dislike.
Anonymity. Well not all anonymity. The odd anonymous blog is ok and Wikileaks is great but it's those nasty little postings on comments sections that I have problems with. People who harbour unpleasant views but aren't brave enough to publish them under their own names. If you are going to call someone names take responsibility for what you have to say, even Richard Littlejohn does that and he's a twat. See, I called him a name but you know that my name is Martyn Norris so that's ok. Well it's not because it is rude but I was only doing it to make a point. Although he is a tosser. Nasty, unpleasant, racist, smug tosser.
When I rule the World, and I will some day so by nice to me, I will make sure that at least an e-mail address is published with these racist, homophobic or misogynist comments. It seems only fair.
Not just them, obviously, all comments.
The likelihood is that you wouldn't say these sorts of things to people in the street so why do you feel that it is ok to type it? Well it's not.
The worst offenders are, of course, the comment sections on Newspapers website. The Express has a section called “Have Your Say” which is filled with vile unpleasantness obviously but they do have a really liberal Moderator and you can comment on other comments. The Moderator does seem to let pretty much anything get published which does mean you can get your liberal ideas on to the website which is quite fun. However you can't vote on them like you can on the Mail's website. The Moderator on this site is much more strict and will let virtually no criticism of the paper or views that differ form that of the paper's editing staff onto the site.
Now, if you use Twitter you may be familiar with @polljack. They encourage you to help alter the results of the polls on that the paper puts up so that it looks like Mail readers are actually quite liberal. They have showed me how to turn off the cookies on my browser so that I can vote over and over again. It turns out you can do the same thing with voting on the comments section. Many an afternoon has been spent recently refreshing Firefox so that lovely liberal comments are the most popular. Yes, I know I should get out more but it gives me a little warm feeling knowing that I'm helping to annoy Mail readers.
So my message to you today is be brave enough to use your real name when posting comments, it's the polite thing to do, even if your post isn't very polite.