Afternoon Inqueery

AI: “Don’t Read the Comments”

On my various social media feeds, I frequently see links to social justice or other (sadly) controversial articles with the admonition not to read the comments.

I then, of course, proceed to read the comments.  What’s funny is that I don’t, normally, even.  I take it as a given that articles on news sites in particular will be inundated with badly-written, uninformed BS.  But when someone specifically says not to read them, I do, out of some degree of morbid curiosity mixed with a sense that at least next time someone looks at me incredulously and says “do people actually SAY that?!” I can say definitively, yes, yes they do.

Do you read the comments when you expect them to be infuriating?  How does being told not to affect your likelihood of reading them?  Why?

The Afternoon Inqueery (or AI) is a question posed to you, the Queereka community. Look for it every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday at 3pm ET.

Featured image is from xkcd.


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Dae is a chemical engineering graduate student who aspires to become a mad scientist, but is prepared to settle for being a professor. Her extracurricular academic interests are an ever-shifting list, but currently include temperament psychology, philosophy, transhumanism, and pre-modern literature. She identifies as a bisexual cis-woman, as well as a feminist, humanist, atheist, and roleplaying game enthusiast.


  1. July 11, 2013 at 1:51 pm —

    I never think on my own not to read them, but I appreciate the warnings because it gives me a moment to pause and tally my sanity points to decide whether I will.

  2. July 11, 2013 at 2:08 pm —

    I’m one of those people that does what I’m told not to do. Curiosity is usually the culprit. Are the comments really -that- bad? I’ve never once read the comments after being warned not to and said, “Huh, that wasn’t so bad.” I usually have to lay down afterwards and think about puppies and chocolate, not together, of course.

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