Where ignorance is bliss, ’Tis folly to be wise.
That was the conclusion of the poem Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College, written by Thomas Gray in 1742. But if you take a look at some of the comments posted on the your favourite blog recently, you’ll realise that not much has changed in 250 years.
Whatever happened to intelligent conversations? I guess a requirement for an intelligent conversation is that the participants have knowledge of what is being discussed and then offer their two cents. But in this age of Internet, everyone thinks of themself as an expert. Sorry, THE expert- the guy that reads the first two lines of an article and magically assumes they know EXACTLY what the rest of the article is talking about. Not only do they assume that they know what’s written, but they will brutally argue in the comments section over things that the author has no idea of.
How did we get to this stage? And can we do anything at all to make it any better? I think its time we see some brilliant minds put an effort into creating filters that can gauge the stupidity of the visitor and block their comments before they go live. Here are some potential kickstarter ideas that I would love to contribute to:
1) Let the user type their comment and right after they hit the submit button, an IQ test pops up that has to be passed before their comment is posted.
2) Create a captcha where the visitor has to type out a line that fundamentally describes the article. Pasting the headline is not allowed.
3) Invent an algorithm that detects the stupidity of the comment and greys out the submit button. Or better yet, makes the submit button jump to another part of the screen as soon as the mouse hovers over it.
4) Increase the voltage supplied to the keyboard every time words like “Its a fact” , LMFAO and “You’re a tool” are typed.
5) If a comment is screened and detected to be trolling, the computer or mobile device is locked with a message that you are not fit to use the Internet.
6) Using a Siri like technology, the comment is tauntingly read out loud to the user before posting. Hopefully that’ll make them realise how unworthy their comment is.
7) Show an animated gif before the comment is posted that ends with a “click here for more.” If they click- congratulations!