Opinion

Keep your rubbish to yourselves

HAVING been placed, rather hastily I might add, into the esteemed position of QT online editor this week, I have also had the job of moderating the comments that come into the website from all manner of paranoia-crazed individuals.

In this instance, "moderate" is a word designed to soften the blow - a kind of weasel word to replace the word "sift", because being the "moderator" of comments on a news website is more like being a lowly stable hand, whose job it is to shovel up the huge piles of waste left behind by some useless, disobedient, pig-rooting stallion that is just ticking off the days until it ends up in the knackery.

It is true that, to some people in the online newspaper business, the comments section is seen as a fantastic tool by which you, the informed and highly literate reader, can intelligently interact with those who claim to deliver your daily injection of information and truth.

In theory it should work - an open forum in which readers can contribute their opinions on the events of the day in a way which, in turn, provides additional information, suggests new ideas or possibilities for a follow-up, even correct errors in the story - but the reality is far less Utopian I'm afraid.

Far be it from me to criticise Joe Public for not using something on the Internet for its intended purpose either - this is hardly a big crime.

My complaint is with the content of the comments that are arriving in the moderation queue, day after day, from the same self-righteous pseudonyms.

It seems there is a toxic group of about four or five keyboard warriors who have become locked into a perpetual political slanging match which, sadly, is doing nothing to promote intelligent debate in and around this newspaper's internet content.

With abysmal spelling, grossly misguided grammar and non-existent punctuation, this otherwise insignificant, dark pocket of society is succeeding in taking over the reins of our comments sections on a daily basis, reducing the level of conversation to that of a Jerry Springer special on pregnant teenage crack whores.

Ok so maybe I exaggerate a little. What I am really talking about is the constant argument and counter-argument that goes on between two individuals who invariably reduce a story down to a meaningless Labor versus Liberal debate - often one that has little actual bearing on the original story.

Among all the waste there are the odd moments of sanity, humour, and gold - exceptions that prove the rule maybe.

I just wonder whether it is still worth the hassle of providing the opportunity for comments if a fair cross-section of the readership isn't bothering to take part.

After all, the whole premise of the internet was meant to be that it was a democracy.

Topics:  naughty korner, opinion



Ipswich pensioner wins $260K on scratchie

BIG WIN: A woman purchased a ticket at a Goodna newsagency and is now $260K richer.

Found out while waiting in the doctor's surgery

Shark warning! Ipswich to erect signs at river hot spots

BULLISH: Brisbane and Bremer rivers are full of bull sharks so warning signs are planned to go up alerting residents to the dangers.

Sharks still teeming in Brisbane, Bremer rivers

Firm told to apologise, pay back $16K to Korean backpackers

Boonah Packing Pty Ltd supplied labour to one of Australia's leading carrot producers, Scott Moffat & Co, trading as Moffatt Fresh Produce who supply carrots to major supermarket chains like Woolworths and Aldi.

Boonah business caught ripping off foreign workers

Local Partners

Homer Simpson thanks Australia during Opera House visit

Homer Simpson visits the Sydney Opera House.

ANIMATION favourite gets attacked by seagulls in viral video.

Channel 9 orders second season of Doctor Doctor

Rodger Corser stars in the TV series Doctor Doctor.

RURAL medical drama finds a loyal following.

Katy Perry gets naked to encourage people to vote

Katy Perry in Funny Or Die sketch

Katy Perry has stripped naked for a comedy video

Jogging Tom Hanks crashes wedding in Central Park

Tom Hanks stopped for a selfie with this bride and groom

MOVIE REVIEW: Storks delivers family fun

A scene from the movie Storks.

ANIMATION can be hit or miss but when it hits, it hits hard.

$40million hotel, shops development project for Mackay

Mt Pleasant hotel and retirement accommodation, proposed at 194-202 Malcomson St.

$40m development to take Mackay to 'the next level'

Housing report points to a lift in local market

AFFORDABLE HOMES: First home buyers have the opportunity to purchase modern new homes in the Ipswich region for under $400,000.

Region shaping up as the "final frontier” for affordable housing

Five ways to slash household bills and save the environment

THINK GREEN: Considering the environment when building or buying your next home can save you big dollars. The Village Building Company, who is responsible for Woodlinks Village at Collingwood Park, builds homes with this front of mind.

THERE is nothing as sweet as slashing dollars from your bills.

Investors out-bid first-home buyers in booming market

Housing generic.

Ipswich's housing market is putting more cash into sellers’ pockets

Another Ripley development

THE ENTRANCE: An overview of the last planned development for the fast growing Ripley area.

85 more home lots released

Property 200m from ocean selling for just over $100K

BEACHCOMBER PARK: Work has started on a new $19.2 million development at Toogoom.

The estate's developer is offering huge discounts for early buyers.