Bob Garfield of Ad Age didn’t like reading about how his Super Bowl ad commentary was framed as “retarded” on the interweb’s most popular ad blog. So he did what any good citizen of Media 2.0 does—engage.
Here’s the difference between criticism and whatever it is you and your commenters do:
A critic makes judgments supported by analysis and argument, then signs his name and takes responsibility for his words.
What you do, and encourage your readers to do, is take cheap, anonymous potshots devoid of evidence, argument and, most often, facts. A common tactic is to grossly misrepresent somebody’s point of view — mine, let’s just say — and use that as a point of departure for ad homimen attacks.
It pisses me off, but more than that it makes me sad — sad to see how the internet has brought out so much meanness, childishness and, above all, cowardice.
“Retarded,” Steve? RETARDED? I know you’re in the snark-for-its-own-sake business (sad in itself) but you really should be ashamed of yourself.
Speaking of anonymous postings, Agency Spy has a good piece on why it so often goes down this way in online Adlandia.