Friday, March 14, 2014

Mean, Anonymous Posters

Has social media unleashed the next "beast" to society?

"It doesn’t take long to find a cruel, anonymous comment on everything from newspaper websites to Yelp and Amazon.

“That’s the stupidest book I’ve ever read,” wrote one person while reviewing a novel on Amazon.
Well-known vlogger, ZE Frank, recently taped a YouTube video responding to online critics. In it, he says: “For example, some young gentleman said he wanted to punch me in the face because my voice was so annoying.”

A Pew Research study found 25 percent of people admit to posting anonymous comments online. A communications professor at the University of Houston studying the issue found anonymity contributes to less civil discourse. He looked at online comments in newspapers for more than a year and half and found 53 percent of comments were uncivil in papers that allowed anonymity. That percentage dropped to 29 percent when newspapers required names or links to Facebook accounts."

Anonymous posting has affected agricultural forums, too.  But even they are treated like those of us who post our real names and email addresses.  Ag forums generally draw good people and agriculture is pretty much the cream of the crop.  There are some crackpots in every part of society though, even agriculture.  I decided a long time ago, when I first bought into the idea of an Internet that I was going to post my name and address and not be secret.

60 Minutes proved last night you are not secret.  Our data trail leads right back to us.  About anyone can find about anyone from our past.  That has been true forever, if someone wants to find you, they will.  It's so much easier today with technology so the gap continues.

Mean, anonymous posters ruins a good thing for me but it truly shows what people are made of.

Like what I type or say or how I live or not, you know what you got.

I've even invited you to our farm and we have guest rooms.  We will leave the light on for you.

Ed Winkle


  1. I agree completely. That's why I always sign my anonymous posts.

    One thing about social media, contentious gossip type statements invite contentious comments. People are subscribing to and sharing contentious information. Cause and effect you know.

    David Seck

  2. On the contrary. When I first started on the internet with the common wisdom was to never reveal your real identity in online forums. I've had the same internet identity since the days of AOL. I think it is important to keep a bit of firewall between the imaginary world of the internet and my personal email, bill paying, business communications, family life, my actual physical address, the real name of my child.
    My real identity is not really that much of a secret and I have crossed that line and had communications with people like yourself Ed. I just like keeping a separation.
    But, I'm not a crop consultant, and if someone wants to come to my farm and visit me I'd like to communicate with them a little in advance.
    You are getting a lot more comments than you once did and a little argument is not a bad thing.

  3. It's only because of the anonymous haters that I prefer to stay anonymous online. Anonymity does not change how I post. I am not paid for posting either, and I don't live a sad bitter life where I would need to evacuate this frustration by posting insults or trolling comments.

    But mostly, like Budde, I hate the fact that anybody can find anything about anyone with just a bit of googling. It should be a personal choice if you want to expose this information and change its status from private to public. That's why I don't have a Facebook and don't post comments where authentication is required, like in HuffPost or IMDB. Besides, I have yet to see one web site use this authentication for a specific purpose. They don't prosecute users in trials for hate comments. And it's all too easy to bypass authentication entirely with fake accounts, so even in the case of legal trials, you would need to make sure that you are prosecuting the real culprit, not the name that anybody could fill in an online account form, or the one that signed this comment.


  4. Such things would be ended by simply not allowing anonymous comments. Few people will get really nasty even using a phony name. Perhaps because they realize that even phony names are often clues to their real identity.

  5. So anyone who disagrees with your point of view is a "mean poster"?

  6. I think I have some of the best comments of any blog I've read. I was speaking of social media in general. Ag Talk has had some mean spirited debates but overall I don't think it's too bad. I don't think anyone who disagrees with anyone else is a mean poster. I am talking about the name calling and complete disregard for a person's comments. Ag Talk has some classy people posting and though I am biased, I think this blog has even more.

    Keep posting with the sincerity and objectivity you have!


    The 60 Minutes article brought to mind and then one of you sent me the link to the

    1. I'd have better comments but that one winter when I was really depressed Chimel abandoned me. I get Ralph, Orin, Gorges, Muddy Valley, that guy from Montana who has a cannon that shoots bowling balls, and you!

    2. Well hello? All your equipment kept breaking just as you looked at it, it was very depressing for me to follow you too. ;) I see nothing has changed, a busted bucket and short circuits in the electric fence in your last post, but at least the posts seem to have better endings now...

  7. I've been lucky, not too many negative or insulting comments on any of my blogs or youtube (yet). It is tempting to be more critical when you are anonymous I think. I try to stick with the old saying, "if you have nothing good to say, then say nothing at all."

    1. Ralph, you are not so controversial as I am?


  8. If you find an Anonymous bowling ball in your yard , It's not as serious of a warning as a horse head in your bed . ( as in the God Father ) Probably just be the shot heard around the world from my friends new , yet to be fully tested Mortar . :>)

  9. "Sticks and stones may break me but the words you said just tore my heart in two." - Tracy Lawerance

    I wish the rule about needing a name and location was for all areas of the forum.

    The other guys at the seed co were impressed with the few people that stopped by at the farm shows to say hi to me and shake my hand. Nobody took a swing at me ;)

    I think the guys that are reading to learn something value those who show who they are, what they are doing on thier farm and not just running off at the mouth.

    Its nice how some of the experts disappear when it gets to late summer and guys have issues. Must only check agtalk when they are in sales mode.