I am not remotely surprised that the Daily Record in Glasgow has decided to close the comments section of its sports website. Imagine the small-minded rivalry shown by fans of our own parochial clubs, multiply it by a million and then throw in a whiff of incense and I’m amazed they even bothered to give these people a platform in the first place.
And it’s really sad. The comments fields should be a real asset to our websites; a forum for reasoned, intelligent debate which takes the story forward. Instead they’re all too often a cesspit of irrational abuse, deep-seated hatred, blatant racism and outright lunacy. I’ve
given up completely on national newspaper website comments.
They are tedious and tiresome, populated by keyboard warriors with an axe to grind who quickly abandon any pretence of discussing the story involved to bleat their predictable bile. It’s like the Tower of Babel only in pixels. Even the Evening Beast site suffers from this froth of online indignation.
Amongst the regulars are mrreasonable, the hanging and flogging candidate, who bickers
endlessly with womanwithballs, who I can only think has been banned from The Guardian for extremism.
A lady called lickmelola subtly touts her services as a visiting bringer of relief to weary gentlemen (although she could just as well be an 18-stone lorry driver called Derek), while killallblues just wants to, well, kill all Blues.
What we need are properly resourced and moderated comments sections. Let’s raise the bar a bit so that contributors actually have to contribute something before getting access to our forums. It sounds revolutionary, but we could even make it a bit like an old fashioned readers’ letters page where, on good weeks anyway, the green crayon-wielding nutters are chucked in the bin instead of gaining the credibility of a perceived nod of approval.
When you think about it, it’s like having every raving loony, axe murderer or BBC children’s telly presenter for miles around banging on your front door. And at the moment we just open up and welcome them in. Not the smartest of moves, I think you would agree.
REGULAR readers will know that I am not a great fan of that pie-faced poltroon Piers Morgan (probably because he still owes me two grand). So I was predictably entertained to read waspish actor Rupert Everett’s view of the man after he collided with him on a Celebrity Apprentice programme, as reported by Decca Aitkenhead in The Guardian.
“To me, Piers Morgan was a person who just reminded me, exactly, of all the people I was terrified of at school. I don’t like how he is; I’ve seen him on a few other Apprentice-like things and he takes it too seriously. He’s a killer. He’s pathological. “But, at the same time … he could play Oscar Wilde if you put him in a long wig – he’s so kind of slobby and elephantine. But I can’t imagine him with poor Celia Walden [Morgan’s wife]. She’s gorgeous and very funny. I mean, she deserves to be fucked by a god … [but] I’ve always imagined him to be hung like a budgie underneath it all.”