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On The Media

E-Commerce and Free Speech

Friday, April 25, 2014

If the process of unmasking anonymous negative commenters is too easy, then defamation lawsuits could be used to intimidate consumers. If it’s too hard to find out who’s slandering your business online, then business owners are basically being told to sit there and take it. Alex Goldmark of WNYC’s New Tech City takes a closer look at both sides of this complicated issue.

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On The Media

Hunting For YouTube's Saddest Comments

Friday, April 04, 2014

YouTube's infamous for having one of the worst comment sections on the internet. There's no reason to ever read them. Unless you’re writer & filmmaker Mark Slutsky.

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On The Media

TLDR #12 - Hunting For YouTube's Saddest Comments

Sunday, January 26, 2014

YouTube's infamous for having one of the worst comment sections on the internet. There's no reason to ever read them. Unless you’re writer & filmmaker Mark Slutsky. Mark spends hours scouring the comments section on YouTube, and occasionally, scattered in the dross, he finds small poignant stories for his site Sad Youtube.

 

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On The Media

#12 - Hunting For YouTube's Saddest Comments

Friday, January 24, 2014

YouTube's infamous for having one of the worst comment sections on the internet. There's no reason to ever read them. Unless you’re writer & filmmaker Mark Slutsky. Mark spends hours scouring the comments section on YouTube, and occasionally, scattered in the dross, he finds small poignant stories for his site Sad Youtube.

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On The Media

The War On Bad Commenters

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

It's strange what you can get used to. Since its inception, we've all mostly agreed that it's normal for YouTube's comments section to be a maw of hateful idiocy. 

Imagine if, in the 60's, CBS had a comments crawl where racial slurs and non-sequiturs scrolled beneath whatever program you were watching. An alternate reality where, when the Beatles were playing on Ed Sullivan, underneath we got to learn that Eric201 from Cincinnati thinks that they all look like idiots or that World War 2 was an inside job. 

Anyway. This week, YouTube announced they'll roll out a system meant to clean up their comments system. Commenters will still have anonymity, but a system of reputation and moderation will be exist to help mute the worst dreck. Assuming it works, or even half-works, we can look forward to a future where we're able to browse the latest Louis CK late night clips without sorting through a ton of hateful garbage on the way. 

Meanwhile, over at PopSci, the editors have decided to do away with comments entirely. They're surely not the first publication to do it, but what I found charming was their rationale, which is, of course, firmly grounded in science. 

...Even a fractious minority wields enough power to skew a reader's perception of a story, recent research suggests. In one study led by University of Wisconsin-Madison professor Dominique Brossard, 1,183 Americans read a fake blog post on nanotechnology and revealed in survey questions how they felt about the subject (are they wary of the benefits or supportive?). Then, through a randomly assigned condition, they read either epithet- and insult-laden comments ("If you don't see the benefits of using nanotechnology in these kinds of products, you're an idiot" ) or civil comments. The results, as Brossard and coauthor Dietram A. Scheufele wrote in a New York Times op-ed: "Uncivil comments not only polarized readers, but they often changed a participant's interpretation of the news story itself."

 

 

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On The Media

Huffington Post Disables Anonymous Comments

Friday, September 13, 2013

This week, The Huffington Post ended anonymous comments on its website in the hopes of engendering more civil discussions. Bob reflects on OTM's own issues with anonymous commenters, and speaks with Arianna Huffington about her site's new requirement to name names.

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On The Media

Tone Check

Friday, May 31, 2013

What if your email service could tell you, before you even press send, just how aggressive or angry your email is? In an interview from September of last year, Bob talks to Josh Merchant, CTO and co-founder of Lymbix, a Canadian software company whose program ToneCheck promises emotional spell-check for overheated emailers. 

 

JD Samson & Men - Life's Half Price

 

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On The Media

How to Create an Engaging Comments Section

Friday, May 31, 2013

Creating an interesting comment space can take a lot of time and energy. In an interview from December, 2011, Bob speaks to The Atlantic senior editor and blogger Ta-Nehisi Coates about his approach to internet comments and his own heavily moderated comment section.

 

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On The Media

Tone Check

Friday, September 07, 2012

What if your email service could tell you, before you even press send, just how aggressive or angry your email is? Bob talks to Josh Merchant, CTO and co-founder of Lymbix, a Canadian software company whose program ToneCheck promises emotional spell-check for overheated emailers. 

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On The Media

Comments on Comments

Friday, September 07, 2012

In an interview from 2008, Bob talks with This American Life host Ira Glass about the inherent worth of online conversations, as at the time, This American Life had recently disabled user comments on his show's website.

Bibio - Saint Christopher

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