A professor of political science somewhere in the Midwest (he chooses to remain mostly anonymous) offers this post. He writes:
Eventually we realize that most of the people who comment on things online are merely trolls who enjoy saying whatever will raise your ire, or people who are in earnest but who are far too stupid to either make a coherent point or understand the ones anyone else might make.
We also learn that with increased visibility comes more criticism, and that is a reality in any facet of life or format for communication. More hits mean more trolls. It’s just the way of the world. The absolute best way to handle it, whether you are a famous celebrity or a highly visible author or a minor blogger of no particular renown, is to ignore it. There is nothing to be gained, ever. At best it is a total waste of time as you try to engage a stranger who most likely does not have any interest in a legitimate exchange of ideas; he/she simply wants to tell you that you suck and then move on. At worst, it makes you look bad – petty, thin-skinned, overly sensitive, and possibly a little unhinged.
If you should read the comments to online articles, you’ll invariably and immediately confront the behaviors described by Ed, of ginandtacos.com. What strikes me, in addition to the incivility, is the level of anger. People are mad as hell and, given their predispositions, quick to vilify, besmirch, or worse.
So, I’ll be avoiding the commentariat and drop the option of commenting on my blogs. If you’ve got something to say, start your own blog.