A commenter named So …

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There is someone who comments on this site. He calls himself ‘so,’ but—predictably—never uses his name or e-mail address.

He is, in every possible definition, a coward.

‘So’ says that he wants me to die. ‘So’ insults my wife and 7-year-old daughter. ‘So’ calls me ‘a bitch,’ yet—once again—does so with incredible irony. No name. No e-mail address. Just another gutless internet loser who thinks it’s funny.

This dolt symbolizes what is, without question, my least-favorite part of modern media. With blogs and (relatively) unedited comments sections below columns on sites ranging from si.com and espn.com to cnn.com, people like ‘so’ are able to write sans consequence. I’d say 95% of people here either use their real names and/or e-mail addresses, or post anonymously in a respectable manner. That doesn’t mean they agree—they often slay me. But it’s done decently.

‘So,’ however, symbolizes THE FACE IN NEW MEDIA: 2010. Some half-witted fool, sitting in his basement, taking shifts between crudely mocking people (with no regard for decency) and downloading t&a shots of Meghan Fox (here’s a freebie). He thinks he’s smart and clever, not understanding that smart and clever people use their brains, write something, step back, think again, step back again—then hit SEND.

I am not mad at ‘So,’ because—as I was just telling my wife—I pity him. This blog, as well as the SI.com column and the books, gives me an outlet. A wonderful, powerful, fantastic outlet. He, however, has none. He feels voiceless and sort of alone, and needs the anonymous vent to offer some sense of self worth. Without it, he is nothing. Nobody listens. Nobody responds. Nobody even notices.

Hence, ‘So,’ I offer you this gift.

I have noticed—and I love you, too, Mom.

8 thoughts on “A commenter named So …”

  1. Can we please stop with the “in his basement” nonsense? Who cares from where he makes his comments, or from where bloggers blog their blogs?

  2. I’m glad you said something, I don’t think I’ve commented here before but I’m glad at least some people are willing to call people out for behaving in this manner.

  3. I am, definitely, a fan of free speech and expression and debate. And I like this blog very much, even though I agree with virtually none of the opinions it presents.
    However, I kinda think there needs to be a new law that anyone who presents opinions on the Internet needs to do so under their own real names, or, at least, a pen name that they use consistently. Otherwise, this just gives idiots the opportunity to say dumb things and issue threats with complete immunity. If he had any balls, he would use his real name. If he doesn’t, what he writes probably isn’t worth reading.

  4. A new law requiring people on the Internet to use a consistent name?

    This has the benefit of being both totally unenforceable and actually dangerous for free speech. Information, at times, can only be spread anonymously. The threats of reprisal, both corporeally and otherwise, are real, and they are used to keep people quiet.

    If the byproduct of that is random internet trolls, then so-be-it.

  5. Keane; maybe “law” is a misguided word to use. I am thinking more like a rule that all of those that open their blog up to comments agree on. I share your concerns about free speech, but I just don’t see what is gained in society by allowing idiots to make threats on the Internet with complete anonymity.

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