In a similar vein... (Score: 3, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on 2014-09-04 02:24 (#2S1D) If you enjoyed the Alan Jacobs article, here are some related critiques.Freddie deBoer, a social liberal, on viciousness in online forums:http://dish.andrewsullivan.com/2014/08/21/where-online-social-liberalism-lost-the-script/David Sessions, a social conservative, on the quality on online media:http://www.patrolmag.com/2014/08/25/david-sessions/the-state-of-the-internet-is-awful-and-everybody-knows-it/Pew survey on Social Media and the Spiral of Silence:http://www.pewinternet.org/2014/08/26/social-media-and-the-spiral-of-silence/Xianhang Zhang on the Evaporative Cooling Effect:http://blog.bumblebeelabs.com/social-software-sundays-2-the-evaporative-cooling-effect/Pipedot still has a small number of articles and comments, but the civility and quality we have here are becoming increasingly rare online. Maybe it's not such a bad thing that Pipedot is small and growing slowly. Re: In a similar vein... (Score: 1) by firstname.lastname@example.org on 2014-09-04 08:28 (#2S1H) but the civility and quality we have here are becoming increasingly rare online.I happen to disagree. I have refrained from commenting on more than one article because the initial comments were so hostile that I couldn't imagine any useful discussion would come out of it. Re: In a similar vein... (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on 2014-09-04 08:51 (#2S1K) You don't need to reply to the initial comment. Just add a separate top comment, and let moderators care about the bad apple.If everyone refrains from commenting on an article just because there's a bad comment already, then the bad comments will take over.If I don't write a comment to an article (after having opened it), it's usually because I don't feel I've got anything to say about it. It certainly is not because someone left a bad comment earlier. Re: In a similar vein... (Score: 1) by email@example.com on 2014-09-04 09:02 (#2S1M) Most times I don't have much to say about a certain topic, because there's no controversy between me and my opinion,Only when we disagree is a discussion interesting. But when the initial comment is borderline rude, I can't imagine any useful discussion taking place. And I have better methods to waste time than to engage in a shouting match with strangers online.If everyone refrains from commenting on an article just because there's a bad comment already, then the bad comments will take over.I agree. But I'm not sure that's my problem.and let moderators care about the bad apple.Unfortunately, some inflammatory comments get actually modded up. That says to me: "If you disagree, go somewhere else." Which I do.