Comments, oh the power they hold. We always want comments. We want to feel like people care about what we’re putting out into the world. On an instagram post the more comments correlate to your ‘popularity’ in a sense. We love to feel supported and have that validation that our content is good, but is that validation really worth the hate that can come with it? Hate comments have a real effect on people and their mental health. Major youtubers, social media influences, and many more have closed their comment sections, so that they can keep the hate comments from accumulating on their platforms.
I have never received a hate comment on any of my social media accounts. This is probably because I’m no one when it comes to having a following on these platforms, and I’m not a controversial figure. Even though I have not been on the receiving end of these hate comments I don’t think the solution to these comments is to not allow these comments to be posted.
It’s unfortunate that people feel the need to pick apart people on the internet, but I do think there is a solution to this after reading what Maria Konnokova had to say in her piece in the New Yorker. She stated that “a quarter of Internet users have posted comments anonymously” (Konnokova, 2013, para. 2). This makes me wonder if we were somehow able to prevent people from posting comments anonymously if they wouldn’t post hurtful comments in the first place. I have found in life, and I think it’s pretty commonly known that people are less likely to say negative things to your face. The trouble with the internet is that these people can hide behind their screens while having anonymous profiles. I personally will not deactivate comments on my media platforms, but if I do see comments that I don’t like I think it is fair that I have the option to take them down. I want my viewers to know that I value their opinions and I want them to be able to say what on their mind, just as I am doing.
I am a firm believer that everyone has the right to their own voice, so who is to say what you can and can’t say on the internet. I think the way to go about the hurtful comments is to educate people about what these comments can do to a person. I would say from my own experiences that people are usually pretty supportive of each other, heck if bots can say they love my posts why can’t humans do the same! I don’t think this is an internet issue, but rather a humanity problem.
Konnikova, M. (2013b, October 23). The Psychology of Online Comments. The New Yorker. https://www.newyorker.com/tech/annals-of-technology/the-psychology-of-online-comments