Online Politeness Out the Window!

I visit quite a wide range of websites with either discussion forums or comment systems; however there seems to be more and more foul language and abuse on the internet nowadays, which I have never seen before at this level. There are people who moan about moderation online, however there are so many people who just go on websites to cause problems and stir things up, it is now quite frankly impossible to ignore.

Thankfully after quite a lot of experience with moderation on the gaming website I ran which had 10,000 members and now my Yamaha Keyboard Enthusiast site with over 3000 members, you realise it is a very fine line between keeping the atmosphere pleasant and censoring opinions. There is a definite skill involved in something as simple as forum/comment moderation.

The internet is a bubbling pot of ideas and imagination, allowing anyone and I mean ANYONE to have their say, no matter if you agree or disagree with that response. Free speech is great and should be cherished, but don’t you just feel that sometimes people take life far too seriously? The internet is all about choice, if you don’t like something, then you can go somewhere else to find what you are looking for. Feedback is wonderful, but it should be constructive and helpful. Suggest how things can be improved, rather than just pointing out all the negatives. After all feedback should be used for enhancement and not nastiness.

Above: Red Vs Blue: Real Life Vs Internet – How right this is! (WARNING Crude content)

I spend a fair amount of my time working on projects that I find interesting and entertaining to do, however some people just don’t seem to get it at all and this happens on many other websites. This is greatly outweighed by the positive response I receive via email and other methods, so thank you. The problem with the internet is people are far more willing to leave negative comments than a positive one, this is probably just down to the fact, people need to get negative comments off their chest when something is annoying them, making reviews and opinions distorted.

Remember although the internet is a bunch of code that circulates on computers around the world and even though blogs and other websites can seem emotionless and impersonal, there are still people on the other end to consider and deal with.

Moderation is here and is going to stay, and sites that don’t moderate risk having severe backlashes between its visitors. The only alternative is to simply have no comments system whatsoever! Now that is awful :(

James Woodcock

Freelance Journalist, Author, Blogger & Podcaster specialising in gaming and technology. Ever since he experienced the first controllable pixel movement on the television screen, he has been entranced by the possibilities and rewarding entertainment value generated from these metal and plastic boxes of delight. Writing hundreds of articles including commentary and reviews on various gaming platforms, while also interviewing well known industry figures for popular online publications.

  • Film, ang gaming sites need moderators because any age can be visiting them, and no person should be excluded from a decent well mannered discussion. As a fellow forum owner, I understand the problems you have to deal with and it’s a shame we can’t all get along…