Get Off My Internets

So, Get Off My Internets almost shut down this weekend, but apparently readers/commenters donated enough money to keep it going, even with all/most of its ads being pulled. You can find other pages with more info on all the drama.

I’ve had this post half written in my head for a while. I used to really like reading the main page. They level a lot of legitimate criticisms:

Super un-PC Halloween costume

“Pinkwashed” products that do squat for breast cancer

Fake shopping service scam

But also some really weak snark lately:

Lady says she has kicked her sugar addiction but she still totally eats sugar you guys

This dining room makeover is not really that awesome

The forums are a whole nother ballgame, and I suppose that’s where most of the real scandal is. The comments are sometimes valid criticisms, but a lot of times the conversation just devolves into nitpicky meanness.

But it seems to me like the most graceful way to react to the comments is to ignore them. (Obviously easy to say here from the sidelines, I might feel differently if I had pages of mean stuff written about me.) I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone engage or react in a way that really improved the situation. Fighting mean, anonymous comments on the internet doesn’t seem like a great use of time.

I suppose what I’m trying to say is that on one hand, you have people saying this is a cess pool of jealous hater monster bullies. And on the other hand you have GOMI alleging they are policing the internet to root out lies and unfairness and providing valuable feedback to the blog world, and really neither one is right. Because you can’t just sum up thousand of comments from thousands of people that neatly. Some of them are insightful critics, some are monster bullies.

When I see something that makes me roll my eyes on a blog, call me old fashioned, I just email it to a friend or read it out loud to Chris. I see why we like to share that moment, to say OMG this is ridiculous, right? I’m not sure keeping the snark private makes me any better than people who post in those forums.

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