Don’t Read the Comments!

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photo credit Doug Wildman on Creative Commons on Flickr

This week’s course readings are on Internet trolls. I must live in a bubble because I have never thought about the negative comments and trolling that women go through. Though I am female, I guess I live in a white privileged matriarchal family so have not had to think about it too much.  I, of course, sadly see racist comments on Facebook though.

That being said, I get upset at the littlest thing on Facebook. If I post something about teaching and I get a negative or anti-teaching comment back from a relative I get upset. If I post something on Facebook venting about how hard parenting is and then someone tries to give advice then I get upset.

If I read something about the upcoming Saskatchewan election then I get upset.

If I make the mistake of reading the comments after a news article then I get upset. (Like I said I live in a bubble so I thought this was the worst it got…)

I can’t even imagine what my reaction would be to some of the hateful comments that others have received.

The John Oliver video that we viewed for class this week does a good job of explaining Online Harassment:

Our instructor Katia wrote a blog post about provoking trolls.

I found this article about not reading the comments: “Don’t read the comments”: The trolls, racists and abusers won — reasonable online feedback is a thing of the distant past where the author talks about the abuse that female on line writers suffer. I must admit that I was barely aware of the word misogynist before this class. I also had to look up what doxing meant.

I would argue, though, that if we don’t read the comments that it actually defeats the purpose of having an online community or professional learning network.

How are we going to protect our students from these sorts of comments?

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