|Spearhead readers: Not actually as cool as Fonzie.|
When sites enable users to upvote and downvote comments and posts, the rationale is generally that it improves discussion and filters out trolls. In practice, this is almost never the case; instead, the up and down arrows offer the majority a way to reward those who simply rehash the party line and punish those who dare suggest anything even remotely challenging. This punishment is accentuated on sites on which dissenters who are downvoted beyond a certain threshold see their comments literally vanish, unless readers click a special link to make them visible again.
We’ve seen in the past the sorts of things that get massively upvoted on The Spearhead. A comment suggesting that “a woman’s vagina/body is her one and only asset” got, at last count, 58 upvotes and only 4 downvotes. Comments suggesting that women are “parasites,” “dumb as bricks,” incapable of logic or empathy each got dozens of upvotes and only a handful of downvotes, as did comments suggesting that women should never have been given the right to vote. Heck, one recent comment suggesting that Daniel Hernandez was “a traitor to men” for helping to save Gabrielle Giffords’ life got twice as many upvotes as downvotes. (As I pointed out in a recent post, there were actually a number of comments in that vein; they all got more upvotes than downvotes)
So if these sorts of comments get upvoted, the question arises: what sort of horrible, beyond-the-pale nuttiness actually invites downvotes on the site? Well, in a recent guest posting there, someone calling himself Big Daddy From Cincinnati offered some (not really very good) internet dating advice for the misogynist masses. Along the way he opined that “women are amoral creatures, flakes, and they will reject you for anything, everything, nothing, the phase of the moon, or who knows what. They will lead you on and waste your time … . ”
While most commenters seemed to agree with this characterization of the ladies, one anonymous gal suggested instead that:
Yep, you can practically hear the Spearhead guys furiously downvoting that bit of heresy. What an outlandish opinion, clearly the work of an evil, misandrist troll! Probably a lesbian, too. I mean, what kind of crazy man-hating monster would she have to be not to be utterly smitten by the Spearhead men?
If you enjoyed this post, would you kindly use the “Share This” or one of the other buttons below to share it on Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, or wherever else you want. I appreciate it.