Internet Comments Can be Awful or Great Opportunities

December 14, 2016 Steven Mendelez, Fast Company

Go to the bottom of any online article (say, one about President-elect Trump?) and you'll often find the comments section to be equally horrifying and enlightening. 

If we're broadly generalizing, commenters tend to fall into two categories: trolls and people who actually care. 

The problem with this mix is that sometimes healthy debate turns into a crazy cesspool filled with one John.Doe1234 hurling insults at RobotTroll647 and people with actually real names trying to get everyone to be nice to one another. 

The conversation goes nowhere and businesses don't get to take anything insightful away. They also don't feel encouraged to further promote a system of feedback or online commenting depending on how scarring the interactions are. 

The saddest part about all of this is that it's just accepted that things will often go this way. 

Luckily there are those who are blending new technology with social incentives to turn this around into something productive. 

As Fast Company reports, it's people like The Coral Project and Civil who are challenging that norm to make it into something that benefits all. 

One comment at a time.

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