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“Feminized vegans” leave the UK open to immigrant infiltration, and other barmy insights from Daily Mail readers

By David Futrelle

The Daily Mail is famous for its uniquely British mixture of judgy prurience and good old-fashioned xenophobia. So naturally the comments section of its online edition is home to some of the worst takes the internet has to offer.

The other day I was introduced to a Twitter account that catalogs the worst of these terrible takes. Specifically, to this tweet, which I obviously needed to share with you all:

Bad science and racism, two terrible tastes that taste extra terrible together! And the misspelling of “testosterone” as “tostesterone” is … chef’s kiss!

Also, I’m pretty sure most French people aren’t vegan.

But this tweet is only the top of the iceberg. Here are some other, well, illuminating insights on assorted gender-related issues that The DM Reporter has plucked from the vast wasteland of the Daily Mail comments.

This final tweet really doesn’t have anything to do with gender but I feel sort of bad for the Daily Mail’s Russian Misery correspondent

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Anonymous
Anonymous
3 years ago

Katamount –

To be fair to the “Daily Wail”, the articles themselves are not as hateful as the comments; but the problem is *most* of the comments are like that, showing you what their audience is like.

Wetherby
Wetherby
3 years ago

The”daily hail” is a new one for me; I’ve always heard it was nicknamed the “daily wail”…

It’s been called the Daily Heil (as in Hitler) for as long as I can remember.

Given the paper’s enthusiastic support of Hitler in the 1930s, I wonder if it dates right back to then?

Moggie
Moggie
3 years ago

@Buttercup, if Trump is an example of the effect of high tostadarone levels, I’m happy to be a soy boy.

Moggie
Moggie
3 years ago

Some older lefties still refer to the Mail as the Daily Forger, thanks to its publication of the infamous fake “Zinoviev letter” in 1924, which greatly aided the Tories (as no doubt it was designed to do).

Personally, I’m not really comfortable with using events from the best part of a century ago to bash the Mail, when there’s no shortage of more recent things it can be criticised for.

kupo
kupo
3 years ago

To be fair to the “Daily Wail”

Why would one want to do that?

the articles themselves are not as hateful as the comments

That they mask the hate with more acceptable and palatable language doesn’t make it better or less hateful.

Fishy Goat
Fishy Goat
3 years ago

I had always heard it referred to as the Daily Fail. Honestly, all the names seem appropriate.

Wetherby
Wetherby
3 years ago

That they mask the hate with more acceptable and palatable language doesn’t make it better or less hateful.

The problem is often more an editorial than a journalistic one. I know someone who reluctantly gave an interview to the Mail after being impressed by the level of knowledge and interest displayed by the journalist who contacted him. (Whatever one’s personal feelings about the paper, it has a huge readership base that stretches well outside the confines of the so-called chattering classes, so cultivating it is sometimes a necessary evil.) And to a certain extent the gamble paid off, because the resulting article was absolutely fine – fair, balanced, factually accurate, scrupulously reported, you name it.

The problem was that it appeared under a massively inflammatory headline – which, needless to say, was not written by the article’s author, and which used language that he pointedly refrained from using in the piece itself (for instance, describing people into fully consensual BDSM as “perverts”).

Katamount
Katamount
3 years ago

@Anonymous

Which is why I never bought the bullshit rationalization of “Well, I can’t control my audience.” You get the audience you cultivate, really, and especially on social media and YouTube, it’s easy to do the necessary gatekeeping to keep out those you don’t want to have befouling your comment sections. Yet those trolls are still perceived as clicks and people feel they need to cater to them as much as everybody else.

This is what’s always bothered me about any of these reactionary fucksticks, be it GamerGaters or the CHUDs that vote down Captain Marvel or obnoxious Twitter trolls: they bank on their status as consumers to give them outsized and unmerited leverage when ordinarily, they’d be told they’re dipshits and banned outright. Trump is the perfect example: the whole world has to treat him with deference despite him being an obvious moron and charlatan just because of his temporary job title.

Moggie
Moggie
3 years ago

@Katamount:

But what really baffles me is who spends their free time trolling newspaper comment sections spamming the same hateful nonsense over and over.

Somewhat deluded people who greatly over-estimate the importance of newspaper comment sections?

Back when print newspapers still reigned, getting your letter published in the “letters to the editor” section was kind of a big deal. Space was limited, and that page was heavily curated. If your letter was published, it felt like a Very Serious Person had selected it from perhaps hundreds of others as being worthy of being seen by other Very Serious People. It was possible to imagine your missive being read, with furrowed brow, by a cabinet minister, who would then mutter “my God, they’re right”, and resolve to change a policy.

Times have changed, and nowadays anyone with any sense knows that those comment sections are cesspools, and should carry no more weight than youtube comments. But there appear to be people who still think that, by commenting, they’re performing the important task of speaking truth to power. You see this when comments are disabled under a story, and the usual “Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells” suspects turn up under an unrelated story to protest that they will not be silenced.

Perhaps every comment form should have a disclaimer which you must accept before posting: as fair as newspaper staff are concerned, your badly-spelled rant about whatever the fuck you’re angry about today will probably only be seen by the demoralised interns we have doing moderation duty. Most of our journalists don’t bother reading “below the line”, unless they’re looking for material to laugh about on twitter. In the wider world, nobody who matters will take any notice. Knock yourself out.

Jenora Feuer
Jenora Feuer
3 years ago

@Katamount:
There’s a reason why the CBC website took to closing comments on any story involving First Nations peoples.

It’s kind of a truism these days that unmoderated comments sections will become cesspools because the stink tends to drive out the people more willing to make positive contributions.

varalys the dark
3 years ago

Paul Dacre was the despicable editor in charge of The Fail for way too many years. A few months ago he got kicked upstairs much to his displeasure and the new editor was told by the people holding the purse strings to cut down on the rabid pro-Brexit shit. Whether this new moderation will cover the rest of the print paper’s topics remains to be seen.

The newspapers in the Uk are circling the drain anyway. They are only read by boomers like my mum (and she only buys the weekend Guardian and Observer for the crossword now), jobs are being shed all the time. The Express and Mirror have merged news desks. I read Private Eye and it covers the state of the UK press extensively. Quite eye opening.

Moggie
Moggie
3 years ago

One detail about Paul Dacre’s editorship of the Mail: staff are said to have referred to his editorial meetings as “the Vagina Monologues”, because of how frequently he would use the c-word. Not a pleasant man to work for, apparently.

Wetherby
Wetherby
3 years ago

This long, detailed and sometimes eye-opening New Yorker profile of the Daily Mail has dated in that Paul Dacre is no longer the editor, but it’s well worth reading anyway.

Scanisaurus
Scanisaurus
3 years ago

I’ve always considered the conflation of veganism and feminization idiotic, just look at Arnold Schwarzenegger, who is vegan and still looks like somebody tried building a man out of a pile of nothing but biceps, and if the man who played both the Terminator and Conan the Barbarian isn’t manly enough, then who on earth is?

Wetherby
Wetherby
3 years ago

Clive James’s memorable description of him was “a condom stuffed with walnuts”. Although I daresay that’s pretty vegan in itself.

John
John
3 years ago

Regarding comments sections….I think the worst are the ones that boost certain comments and show them out of order, based on “engagement.” This definitely happens in some comments sections, and it is exactly what Facebook and Reddit are. It allows “them” (read: algorithms) to set the terms of the “debate” by feeding us “both sides.” Regardless of how stupid the debate is, like global warming or vaccines.

Yes, I get how silly this is for me to say because David would have booted me for my positions by now, but I do generate some “engagement” while being mostly civil and fairly ignorant so….yeah, it’s all so absurd, but it is what it is.

Regarding French cooking….well, I learned almost everything I know from Julia Child, not just directly from her shows are recipes, but also because she taught pretty much everyone in America how to cook. There is nothing nicer than a butter finished pan sauce over meat. I really, really respect ethical vegans. I just can’t do it. Hell, I can’t even go vegetarian.

It does seem that one debate is meat vs. no meat vs. no dairy/eggs…..however, fresh vs. prepared may be a bigger deal for human health. I don’t know, but that is where I’m making my bet, and I’m cooking up some pasta sauce from scratch now.

Regarding immigration….Europe’s problems are not American problems. It is sad to see Europe’s struggles, and I’m far from denying that we have our own considering the orangutan currently in the White House, but immigration will help keep the United States strong.

Scanisaurus
Scanisaurus
3 years ago

@John

Regarding immigration….Europe’s problems are not American problems. It is sad to see Europe’s struggles, and I’m far from denying that we have our own considering the orangutan currently in the White House, but immigration will help keep the United States strong.

As a Swede myself, I really wish to say that the problems with immigration in Europe have been vastly didtorted and blown out of proportion by right-wing media, and I find it troubling how even in more progressive circles many Americans still buy into the myth that northern Europe is on the brink of collapse. In reality, people like Victor Orban is a far bigger threat to justice and democracy in Europe than immigrants.

John
John
3 years ago

As a Swede myself, I really wish to say that the problems with immigration in Europe have been vastly didtorted and blown out of proportion by right-wing media, and I find it troubling how even in more progressive circles many Americans still buy into the myth that northern Europe is on the brink of collapse.

That’s actually really good to know. And yeah…your point is solid, it’s not just the right wing here that doesn’t have a particularly good read on the situation. I’m guessing deeply ingrained American exceptionalism has something to do with it.

I would love to visit your beautiful country one day.

Flora
Flora
3 years ago

There is no immigration crisis, only HUMANITARIAN crises. But of course if you call it that then you sound like a monster telling people to go back where they came from. Nobody hangs out in a refugee camp for fun.

Kat, ambassador of the feminist government in exile
Kat, ambassador of the feminist government in exile
3 years ago

OT
I haven’t had a chance to read this article but it looks informative. Buying weapons? That’s scary.

Canada’s new far right: A trove of private chat room messages reveals an extremist subculture

An analysis of 150,000 chat room messages paints a picture of a group that is actively recruiting new members, buying weapons and trying to influence political parties

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-canadas-new-far-right-a-trove-of-private-chat-room-messages-reveals/?utm_source=pocket-newtab#comments

Anonymous
Anonymous
3 years ago

Incidentally, “heil” is pronounced (roughly) like “HI-yl”, not like “hail”. There was a neo Nazi idiot (but I repeat myself) who, in prison, actually changed his name to “Hi Hitler”, on the assumption that that was the Fuhrer’s full name, which the Nazis were shouting.

As for why be fair to the”Daily Wail” – if you are knowingly UNfair to anybody you criticize, no matter how despicable, you are no longer engaged in criticism but, at most, in counter-propadanda.

Anonymous
Anonymous
3 years ago

Just to clarify, I mean being fair in serious criticism. Satire, parody, etc., are not *supposed* to be fair. But they don’t claim to be serious criticism.

Anonymous
Anonymous
3 years ago

>>>>>>As a Swede myself, I really wish to say that the problems with immigration in Europe have been vastly didtorted and blown out of proportion by right-wing media, and I find it troubling how even in more progressive circles many Americans still buy into the myth that northern Europe is on the brink of collapse.

I’m not surprised at the distortion. I am from Israel and met lots of Americans who think we essentially live in bomb shelters. Conversely, I know Israelis who think that Manhattan or Chicago look like in “Escape from New York” or gangster movies. Media portrayals of just about *anywhere* are distorted, often (as you say) due to ulterior motives.

Anonymous
Anonymous
3 years ago

Kat –

>>>>>Buying weapons? That’s scary.

Indeed, but that is what they say in chat rooms. I’ll bet good money they couldn’t hit the side of a barn if they actually bought any rifle, but I agree that better safe than sorry.

They keep talking about *weapons*, because they’re sexy and manly, to them. They never speak about all that boring, unimportant stuff, like fuel, batteries, spare parts, or food and water, that is also necessary for any military action – to say nothing of numerous other things.

Their “uprising” will never happen since – to name just a few reasons – each one will want to be the big boss (just like in video games); they will get hungry and thirsty; nobody will have any idea where anybody else is, let alone after dark; and they really have no idea what their goal is.

I am just an old Master Sergeant, and even I can see they couldn’t be organized enough to cross the street without losing half their force. They post a risk as bitter loners, yes, but as a military threat, as a group, they are less than hopeless.

Katamount –

Unless you allow free speech in your comments section there’s no point to having it. So every comment section anywhere will have *some* distasteful or racist comments. Free speech can always be abused.

But is it 5% racist comments by trolls others ignore, as in some papers… Or 90%+, like in the “Wail”?

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee
weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee
3 years ago

It’s not distortion in the media. It’s willful right wing fear mongering about immigrants/people of color. With the fame of Ilhan Omar I’m starting to see internet propaganda about how Somali immigration has turned my city, Minneapolis into a dystopia. That’s not just a distortion. It has no connection to reality whatsoever. The reality is we are always near the top in national quality of life rankings and near the bottom in unemployment.

You can not transition a society from a democracy to an authoritian regime without first convincing a significant portion of the public that reality isn’t reality. Facts aren’t facts. People have to be scared to willingly embrace human rights abuses and trade in their rights for protection.

This shit isn’t garbled facts and rumors. It’s part of a global propaganda machine designed to get people in democratic nations to look the other way while democracy is stripped away bit by bit.

It’s kind boggling to me that you, Anonymous, are repeating right wing lies and fear mongering about immigrants in one thread and commiserating with us in this about media distortion. It’s like you’re close to seeing that you’re a pawn (still true if you’re trolling and don’t believe all you’ve written BTW) but can’t quite make the connection.

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