Thursday, January 10, 2013

Bummer: English major Chris Mooney doesn't like it when commenters disagree with his claims that trace amounts of CO2 cause bad weather

The Science of Why Comment Trolls Suck | Mother Jones
The online peanut gallery can get you so riled up that your ability to reason goes out the window, a new study finds.

Everybody who's written or blogged about climate change on a prominent website (or, even worse, spoken about it on YouTube) knows the drill. Shortly after you post, the menagerie of trolls arrives. They're predominantly climate deniers, and they start in immediately arguing over the content and attacking the science—sometimes by slinging insults and even occasional obscenities.
The study did not examine online climate change trolls directly—but there is good reason to think that the effects of their obnoxious behavior will, if anything, be worse.
To be sure, we all retain the option of not reading the comments. Which, in light of the latest research, is looking smarter than ever.

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