Readers Usually Turn On Each Other Within Six Comments
I’ve noticed this trend for a long time now, years perhaps, but finally decided to pen something about it. I call it the Six Degrees of Flaming Stupidity. With the proliferation of blogs and videos, and their associated comments section, “intelligent” readers can now leave constructive, informative, and often hilarious comments.
I’ve often said when sharing or receiving a video or post that the comments are the best part. So often this is true…to a point. That point, I’ve discovered, is about six comments (or six degrees) before the whole thing degrades into a flame war.
Six Degrees of a Keyboard Warrior
I was recently reminded of this phenomena while reading an article about the Massachusetts Right-to-Repair. Sure enough, six comments in a reader uttered his or her words of wisdom, “You’re a dimwit.”
By today’s standards, dimwit is hardly flame worthy, but it is enough to loose the holds on civility and open the door for more nonsense and verbal sparring. Sites that don’t moderate their comments can really amp up the heat as keyboard warriors fight for the greatest punch they can dish out.
Try Six Degrees For Yourself
If you want to get in on the fun, start scrolling down to the comment section in blogs and videos you read or watch. See how many comments it takes for readers to direct their attention from the topic at hand, back towards each other.
You can even play against a friend! You get a point for every one that is six degrees or less, you lose a point if it goes beyond six. If you want to really rack up the points, choose articles and videos that are political in nature, or talk about COVID and the vaccine.
Six Degrees of Flaming Stupidity is great because you can play it on your mobile device too! There is a TV version as well for those that are less tech savvy. Simply watch Fox or CNN and note when they throw a disparaging remark towards the opposite network in any way. You can modify the game by counting digs towards specific political parties as well. Sadly, the games end quickly, so keep a score sheet handy so you can play again.