Q guest host Nora Young:
Journalists, and especially critics, have long been on the receiving end of irate letters from readers. Now that reviews and articles are posted online, though, commenting is much easier, and the comments are posted for all to read.
For the most part, opening up that conversation has been great, both for journalists and the broader community. On the blog for my regular show, Spark for instance, we get tons of great ideas for stories, conversations get started, errors get corrected, and sometimes we get justly chastised for messing up.
But what happens when the commenting gets out of control and spills over into vitriol and ad hominem attacks?
That's something New York Magazine film critic David Edelstein faced recently. He was one of the few critics who panned the new Batman flick, The Dark Knight. What followed was an onslaught of unrelenting personal attacks. Was the intense 'fanboy' culture of the comics to blame? Or perhaps it was something about the nature of the Internet as a medium? David Edelstein and I had a good chat about it on Q. (You can have a listen to it here.) You can read David's review, and the comments, here.
So, what better to throw to the blog Q than this very online question: Is the Internet mob reducing the diversity of opinion online and in our culture, at large?
Have you ever been attacked online for expressing an opinion that ran against the grain of the masses? Have you ever found yourself tempted to do the attacking?