A nasty online community

A nasty online community

By Elizabeth Webb

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Comments on a Greg Abbott story regarding UNT on Fox4News
Every time I see a hot topic news article cross my news feed, I tell myself not to read the comments, don’t read the comments. Yet, I find myself reading the comments. It seems anytime I make the mistake of looking at the comments, I get annoyed at people’s ignorant, close-minded words. People are taking advantage of expressing themselves but going it in a way that comes off harsh and nasty. There is the right to exercise your right to freedom of speech but is it right to be a bully?

With online comments, we can hide behind our screens. Comments can be made without any mind to the repercussions of what effect they might have on others. I was recently reading an article about Sarah Thomas, the NFL’s first female referee. I told myself not to read the comments. I warned myself that some of the comments were going to be harsh and sexist. Many men were saying women should stay out of their sport, and some comments wondering if women were going to want to play football next. It was disgusting to read the obvious sexism, and yet not surprising at all.

Just recently I was involved in an interview on Fox4News regarding Greg Abbot coming to speak at the UNT commencement. I, once more, made the mistake of reading the comments on the Facebook story. People saying the students who wanted to walk out should grow up and weren’t worthy of graduating or obtaining our degree. It was disgusting to read that people felt such a way when others and myself were expressing our right to freedom of speech. Some people take to Facebook comments and twitter to bully and that is when people become nasty. People come off so angry when there seems to be no apparent reason for the harshness. I’ve heard of YouTube comments being disabled because users comments were way out of hand. When it comes to online comments, I think everyone should practice the saying, “If you can’t say something nice, then don’t say anything at all.”


Kaplan, Sarah. “How Sarah Thomas Became the NFL’s First Full-time Female Referee.” Washington Post. The Washington Post, 9 Apr. 2015. Web. 12 Apr.