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  1. #1
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Default Are internet comment sections reflective of the general population?

    What the title says.

    In the comment sections on news articles, streaming videos etc.. do the users there, and the statements they make, do a reasonably good job of representing the opinions and the intelligence of the entire population at large? Think in terms of averages here.

    Yes or no? What's your reason for thinking as much?
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  2. #2
    Senior Member prplchknz's Avatar
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    I hope not, but I'm often shocked and disgusted by people's views, well not really more like. ??? it seems that none are based in reality and what they get irate about doesn't actually effect them like a dude wearing lipstick.
    In no likes experiment.

    that is all

    i dunno what else to say so
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  3. #3
    I could do things Hard's Avatar
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    It's really tough to say. Reason being is that most websites are going to attract a specific demographic that isn't garunteed to reflect the general population. Reddit is a great example of this. It's huge, and has very obvious group opinions as a whole. It doesn't really reflect the general population though because of the types and groups of people it attracts. Same goes for news websites, blogs, etc. There might be several out there that are reflective, but I am not sure if we'd be able to easily find it.
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  4. #4
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    Hmm ...you mean the sort of people who respond to generic things like CBS news or YouTube videos? I do think an enormous number of American people are pretty ignorant. Our public schools aren't great, college is expensive, and we just aren't the most intellectual society in existence. Of course it basically confirms what I already knew, growing up in the South. Which is why I had to get the fuck out of there.

    On the other hand, I have actually encountered a great number of intelligent and educated people online, so the numbers may not be as bad as it seems, and just remember that even intelligent educated people have varying personal biases, some of them from being sheltered or privileged rather than ignorant.

    Also remember that even the most politically correct of the intelligentsia, like say some of the unbelievable ass hats who write for the Guardian, may also say shocking poorly thought out things, because they have either been over educated to the point of rigidity (a very real danger past a certain point in academia) or they have such devotion to being savvy or politically correct that they say whatever they think is most widely acceptable, in my opinion one of the most nauseating and dangerous being the blind leftist defense of Islam, but also extending in some cases to more extreme forms of feminism, and catty comments about celebrities they just don't like, just like anyone else, but they try to make it seem smrt by being passive aggressive and using deceptive vocabulary.

    One of my personal expressions is to go You Tube on someone, because YouTube is a real hotbed of people doing emotional venting over things like art, religion and politics, like walking in on the argument of a couple in their bedroom, it's not exactly the most logical place to have a discussion. It fascinates me though, all the same. For example, I found that many people actually feel exactly about Lana del Rey as I do from just watching her YouTube videos. People who had virtually the same response to her music, and who can articulate it credibly .. ..and I also found mini cults of conservative Christians who think she, along with Lady Gaga and Niki Minaj, belong to the illuminati. YouTube is actually pretty fascinating, it gives a much wider view of people I think than belonging to a special interest forum, or acquaintences on Facebook. I also believe that some of the people there are just trolls, or drunk, or fifteen, you have to take things like that into consideration, I have said some pretty ridiculous things when I was drunk or angry myself, the Internet is largely uncensored, so just remember that even average people and smart people do dumb things and crazy things, it's just that before the 21st century most mass communication was either rehearsed or edited in some way, and now we are literally reading people's journals and eavesdropping on their cocktail party small talk, which is what a great deal of Internet communications boil down to, the littles and the common tragedies of every day human existence. You can't expect it all to be academia.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hard View Post
    It's really tough to say. Reason being is that most websites are going to attract a specific demographic that isn't garunteed to reflect the general population. Reddit is a great example of this. It's huge, and has very obvious group opinions as a whole. It doesn't really reflect the general population though because of the types and groups of people it attracts. Same goes for news websites, blogs, etc. There might be several out there that are reflective, but I am not sure if we'd be able to easily find it.
    This is a very good point, and like minded societies reinforce one another, whether it's the local Daughters of Confederacy, or an Internet forum for Objectivists. While a wide variety of information is available online, the simple fact remains that with billions of people in the world and increasing online participation, everyone from MBTI enthusiasts to music fans to white supremacists can find a wide variety of people who will support and insulate their world views. I have actually learned a lot from being willing to argue with people online, from browsing places I most certainly did not belong like INTJ forum, PUA websites and Storm Front, to the garden variety more normative middle class bickering that goes on places like here about current events or politics, but after a while even that becomes counter productive and draining.

  6. #6
    Wake, See, Sing, Dance Cellmold's Avatar
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    They are reflective of the average within that particular website's demographic, depending on the context of the website.

    But it is difficult; misery or joy often breeds the same and websites have cultures of their own and people are malleable and changeable. How a person might act on one website can differ to another based on the persona they've bought into.

    And it can be difficult to escape a feedback loop of yourself that you've fed too much.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    What the title says.

    In the comment sections on news articles, streaming videos etc.. do the users there, and the statements they make, do a reasonably good job of representing the opinions and the intelligence of the entire population at large? Think in terms of averages here.

    Yes or no? What's your reason for thinking as much?
    The main demographic skewer would be age, as the great majority of people online are from the Millennial generation. You could take the forum membership here as an example. Beyond that I feel it is hard to generalise, because the nature of the internet makes it possible for you to carve out a niche for people in your own group.

    As for the comments themselves, well...I always think that people say online what they are afraid to say in public. Whether this is cowardice is another question, but uncomfortable truths often surface on the internet and I value it for that.

  8. #8
    libtard SJW chickpea's Avatar
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    I think there's a wide range of opinions represented, but that most people don't feel compelled to comment on articles. So it attracts more of a certain type of person, probably more people who have extreme opinions on either side.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    What the title says.

    In the comment sections on news articles, streaming videos etc.. do the users there, and the statements they make, do a reasonably good job of representing the opinions and the intelligence of the entire population at large? Think in terms of averages here.

    Yes or no? What's your reason for thinking as much?
    No, its the same as the question of whether or not parliaments, senates and "commons" represent the people.

    The internet I'm thinking is more and more of some cross between a human cesspit and day centre, most of the regular users online all seem to have something the matter with them or to be all too willing to take advantage of the same something the matter in other people.

  10. #10
    LL P. Stewie Beorn's Avatar
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    Not only do they not represent general sentiment they also are absolutely NOT NEWSWORTHY.
    So annoying to see a news report based on or including anonymous comments.
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