thedailybell.com / By Staff Report / March 4, 2013
GRAY MATTER: This Story Stinks … In the beginning, the technology gods created the Internet and saw that it was good. Here, at last, what pay a public sphere with unlimited potential for reasoned debate and the thoughtful exchange of ideas, to enlightening conversational bridge across the many geographic, social, cultural, Ideological and economic boundaries that ordinarily separate us in life, a way to bills without a stamp.Then someone invented “reader comments” and paradise was lost … Comments from some readers, our research shows, can Significantly distort what other readers think what reported in the first place. In a study published online last month in The Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, we and three colleagues report on an experiment designed to measure what one might call “the nasty effect.” - New York Times
Dominant Social Theme: Reader feedback is a plague.
Free-Market Analysis: The New York Times , like other mainstream publications, is struggling with reader feedback.More and more mainstream media limits feedback to articles, in our view – and this is partially because the feedback seems to be getting more and more vehemently … and negative.
This editorial actually recognizes that trend and, in the tradition of other awful analyzes, has found a study that explains why ‘Net may be bad feedback: Feedback with a negative tonality Tends to polarize conversations. Whereas an article might seem acceptable if the feedback is polite, when vitriol is Introduced that same article is often viewed in a different light. Here’s more:
But here, it’s not the content of the comments that matters. It’s the tone. 1.183 We asked participants to carefully read a news post on a fictitious blog, explaining the potential risks and benefits of a new technology product called nano silver. These infinitesimal silver particles, tinier than 100 billionths of a meter in any dimension, have several potential benefits (like antibacterial properties) and risks.
Then we had participants read comments on the post, supposedly from other readers, and respond to questions regarding the content of the article itself. Half of our sample was exposed to civil reader comments and the other half to rude ones – though the actual content, length and intensity of the comments, Which varied from being supportive of the new technology to being wary of the risks, were consistent across both groups.
The only difference was that the rude ones contained epithets or curse words, as in: “If you do not see the benefits of using nanotechnology in these kinds of products you’re an idiot” and “You’re stupid if you ‘ re not thinking of the risks for the fish and other plants and animals in water tainted with silver. “
The results were both surprising and disturbing. Uncivil comments not only polarized readers, but they often changed a participant’s interpretation of the news story itself.
The assumption here is that the article is a civil one and deserving of respectful commentary. But when it comes to seeking mainstream publications as the New York Times , is that really so? As we have pointed out, and others, too, the Times is not just a publication of record, it is a publication that records what the U.S. Intel’s top agencies want it to. See here: NYT Reporter Confirms Paper Is Purposeful Mouthpiece for Military-Industrial Complex