brni (brni) wrote,
brni
brni

A comment on comments

Yesterday I went to my parent's house to help my dad with his computer. As I was nearing their home, a large number of emergency vehicles shrieked through the intersection ahead of me - ambulance, 2 marked police cars and several unmarked cars - all with lights flashing and sirens going.

For a moment, my gut twisted. The last time I was passed by wailing sirens and then had to turn and follow them, I'd been on my way to work, and found them parked in front of our door. And George was lying dead of a heart attack inside.

The light changed. I followed. They turned left on Coventry, a street where my brother and his family used to live. I continued to my parent's house, got involved with stupid computer tricks and forgot all about it.

The incident was on the news today. The girl who died was a student at the middle school I attended. Not a lot of information released yet, but a young male was in the house at the time of the shooting.

http://dailylocal.com/articles/2010/12/11/news/srv0000010261085.txt?viewmode=fullstory

It's a tragedy, even without knowing any details. For the kid, and for the family. Lives are crushed.

The first comment on the story was a snarky comment about the NRA. And I'm as critical of the NRA as you're likely to find, but this is not the place. The second comment was a snarky comment saying the kids should have paid more attention to the NRA safety videos. A later comment blamed the parents.

I'll say it again: THIS IS NOT THE PLACE.

I've seen it over and over in the comments of news articles. Something awful happens to someone and people get in there with political rants, or blame the victim, or blame the people who have been most hurt.

This should be fucking clue to all online news outlets to TURN OFF THE DAMNED COMMENTS FOR ARTICLES. You are not a blog. The chance that any comment to an article will add something of value is negligible. (Editorials are a different story, of course, because that's all about opinion.) The chance that there will be at least one hurtful, awful comment that WILL be seen by the victims is very far from negligible. By allowing comments in situations like this, you are aiding and abetting emotional abuse.
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