A virtual community such as Iranian.com promises to be accessible from many individuals’ keyboards in their homes and offices all over the world. It is a meeting place for real people who mostly contribute under anonymous names and persona. It is a place to get information, humor, networking, and solace from homesickness and displacement from a land now far away. Many people come here to learn, to laugh, and to feel like a community. Some people come to have a dialogue, hear the others’ points of view and say their own. But, is it my imagination or do some people come here to hate? If so, why is that? What is the point of having a community when we can’t love, respect, or at least tolerate each other? I saw a new blog a few weekends ago. The amount of hate that blog was receiving was so blinding, it felt awful following it. Unverified anonymous users were posting hateful comments at a feverish pace, calling each other names and giving away such venom and hate, it was really not for the weak of heart to observe!
This community has come a long way from when it first started allowing users to publish their comments on posts. It was so bad in the beginning, many users skipped over the comments section altogether and only read the post itself. Some registered users left and never came back. As an example, following is one of the more benign comments you could find on the site, written by a provoked user who felt passionate about a noble cause:
“That is his opinion and wish for you. You are already in a prison, the prison of your small mind. No, you and your kind will simply be forgotten, like lepers. You will formally and finally be rendered what you already are. Insignificant. Inconsequential. No, to kill you because of your ideology is to be lower than you, and I will not stoop to your depths. Besides, you are already dead to me. As I have already nailed you down like the simpleton you are, the next step is to completely ignore you, and no longer give you the attention you crave like crack. So, crawl back into your hole and rot.”
Phew!! These days we have a lot less of that kind of potent and cutting language, but still, the rhetoric in the comments section could get pretty horrible to read. Take a look at these comments:
“Terrorists not welcome on this web site. Get out of this web site, as a matter of fact this country. Your are not welcome. IRI supporters like you belong in jail. Iran and Iranian people will be freed from IRI islamic fascists like you.” Or: “…leave your IRI style type of argument for your Hezbollah friends and your friends at the mosques when you are planning the next bomb attack.” Or: “I guess you’re not intelligent enough to understand the point of my post…but here, I’ll spoon feed it and change the caliber of the writing to fit your mental processing capabilities. …”
As you can see, there are no profanities in these comment, but can you feel the hate? Why is that? Can we discuss this?
P.S. Though I have shared some of the hate comments, thankfully comments which are interesting, to the point, supportive, kind, and encouraging are not scarce at all! Do share your thoughts about those comments, too!