Monday, August 9, 2010

Grain of Salt


I take great pride in posting comments at politics blogs and sites. I try to be honest and thoughtful. I sign my name to all my comments to hold myself accountable -- well just my first name because I don't want any stalkers. But I respect the premise of the comment.

But after years of commenting at all kinds of sites, I've learned that not all comments are written by people with integrity and/or facts. There are an abundance of comments that make declarative statements without any quotes or links (not that I would follow links in a comment anyway). And it seems the more definitive -- yet lacking in support -- the comment, the more people adopt that comment as fact. I see this happen mostly on right-wing sites and or places that like to stir the pot rather than have a true discussion.

So over time, I've started limiting my reading to a few select sites and if I am in a grouchy mood I avoid the comments altogether. For the most part, however, I tend to read the comments only at sites I am familiar with and feel confident that the comments are written by people who know what they are talking about, or when the comments can be easily cross-referenced.

Perhaps that is why I was shocked and awed when I saw several job postings at a freelance website for commenters. Yes, some people get paid to comment.

And others get paid to re-write articles: have you ever noticed how right-wing blogs will have all of the same "information" but written differently and rarely with any links? It appears that several people get the scoop which gives the effect that it must be right.


vicki c. said...

You know JHW22, I'm not sure if I should be grateful, or if I should shoot the 'messenger'. :)

You are shattering my illusions here! I am SHOCKED to read about paid commenters, though the rewrite jobs seemed more plausible. I am old enough that I used to believe that if it was in print and accompanied by a picture then it was true. These days I don't know what to believe. Now I have to admit that my skepticism of media has grown rapidly over the last decade, what with photoshop pictures, doctored videos, overly biased pundits and now paid commenters on blogs!! Good thing there are bloggers like you, and a few others I frequent, who still seem to be living in the 'real' world where an effort is made to be share facts fairly, and allow me some space to form my opinion. I too like BC's blogs, because he always seems to give a little more/slightly different information on the common issue being shared. Thank you both, and keep up your efforts.

jhw22 said...

@Vicki C,

That was a wonderful comment to read. I hope you weren't paid to compliment this blog. ;)

I was shocked and disappointed to learn that this type of thing happens, although I shouldn't have been. I read plenty of comments that are absurd and people will make money off of anything, so I guess I should have put it together before seeing the reality.

Thanks for reading the blog.


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