Angry and inappropriate commenters on the Internet have been around since . . . well, the beginning of the Internet, and nasty comments on articles or sites are common. But now that the popularity of social networks and tools like Facebook connect are commonplace, those formerly anonymous commenters are getting easier and easier to track down. For one Sports Illustrated writer, a few nasty tweets prompted him to address his attacker head-on.
After posting an article about the Baseball Hall of Fame, writer Jeff Pearlman got some nasty @replies via Twitter from a college student, one of them including a link to an inappropriate image. Something about the replies prompted Pearlman to track the tweeter down and directly address him. Long story short, the two spoke, the commenter apologized, and Pearlman concluded that all journalists should address their attackers in a similar fashion.
Find out why I like this story (and comment!) after the break.
I like what this writer's experience says about the greater Internet — it's bringing people together in new ways, that it's actually helping to hold people accountable for their words and actions, and that, unlike when words are printed on paper and distributed via magazine or newspaper, an actual conversation can take place. Of course, I'm not advocating angry, mean-spirited, unwarranted comments, but this little Internet love story warmed my editor heart.