I'm currently engaged in a campaign to stop myself reading comments made by the public on news items and facebook posts, youtube posts and such. It's difficult to maintain any level of engagement with a story when the comments section deteriorates into mindless ignorance, insults and profanity within a very short time. I'm not even talking about the trolls that we have all come across out there - I'm talking about a lack of basic intelligence and common sense.
I don't mind if somebody doesn't understand a particular idea - we've all experienced that, and I'm certainly no stranger to scratching my head from time to time while I wrestle with a concept. The kind of stupidity I resent - and which seems to be so much in evidence - is the rabid bigotry, the uninformed red-neckery, the self-centred application of 'isms' to defend indefensible opinions (generally from the extreme right of the political spectrum). This kind of thing generally manifests itself in the form of insults and bullying tactics, usually replete with outrageous spelling errors (of the kindergarten type), and a total disregard for the facts.
I'm tired of reading comments from people with nothing constructive to say. The internet allows us all to have a voice; that can be a very positive thing, but it can also be a very negative thing. Some people, it has to be accepted, have little of value to add to a debate or discussion.
I am therefore committed to stopping myself from scrolling down the page to read the 'comments' section...so often (as in: almost always) it is only the baying idiots who feel the need to scream their vitriol at the world.