“Bettman has only a marginal interest in the weaker teams. He only wants the NHL to make a bigger profit as a whole.” -- Dominik Hasek

May 4, 2007

Civility? During the Playoffs?!

The hockey "blogosphere" (I hate that term) is a funny place. Like any subculture dominated by diehard devotees, hockey has a knack for producing foul-mouthed jerks bent on insulting anyone who disagrees with any opinion to which they adhere. The playoffs compound this infinitely.

I tend to spend too much time perusing blogs from all over the league, and at a lot of those with teams still in the playoffs, the comments sections have gotten pretty nasty. Name-calling, personal insults, even homophobia and some veiled racism here and there. Fans from one team will torment the blog of another for days, especially after their team wins a game. It's pretty sad.

Sometimes, cooler heads prevail. In one case, the blogger himself pulled the plug. In another, those who commented policed themselves and actually DISCUSSED the merits and weaknesses of each playoff team without petty attacks and cheap-shots.

Can more hockey fans keep their heads about them and act like adults, instead of like children free to lash out from behind the protective anonymity of the Internet? I'm not holding my breath...


tapeleg said...

The answer to that is: no. They can not. I learned this lesson the hard way: don't start blogging if you want a conversation. Comments are an open forum used by some of the most and least insightful people out there.

I had a comment thread on my blog go wildly off topic and become something pretty vile to me. So vile, I rarely speak to or of that blogger anymore. It was pretty unfortunate, but that's the internet. Some want discourse, some want complete homerism, to the point of ridiculous insults and childish behavior.

Hockey forums are even worse. The trolls, the lack of respect for other people, the plug-your-ears-I-can't-hear-you behavior is not usually worth my time. Blogs are the pinnacle of civility compared to some of the forums I have seen.

Really, don't expect much out there. I get trolled on my blog all the time, and those people are rarely there when their team loses. Go figure. The open framework of the internet. Power to the people.

Also, such antics are part of why I stopped reading A2Y.

B_Washington said...

It's not just hockey blogs, it's everywhere. I read a few video game forums, cooking forums, etc. etc.

Just the other day I was trying to have, what I thought was, a decent thoughtful conversation on the close call the late no-goal in the Buffalo-NYR over on Blueshirt bulletin. While the original blogger was very kind to me the comments accused me of being a Buffalo homer (obviously I'm not), a whiner, and pretty much everything else.

Basically ignore those idiots. People like to get people riled up and become jerks. Don't feed the trolls.

Mike said...

My friend and fellow blogger on Shaved Ice and I were mainly the point men on the receiving end of the A2Y 'incident'. We have now chosen to stay away from A2Y for the obvious reasons. What we thought was good natured ribbing and trash talk did turn ugly, and we bear some responsibility. I don't feel that either of us crossed the line, but everybody has a different definition for that.

Even so, I do have respect for IwoCPO, and found his posts, even the ones that blasted us, entertaining.

The "don't feed the trolls" mantra works. Another one does too: "Don't take yourself too seriously." It's when people get their dander up is when the conversation seems to turn ugly.

Dear Lord Stanley said...

I think part of the problem in comment threads comes from people simply wanting to save face. Somebody they're arguing comes up with a really great point that they can't argue against, and they resort to name-calling and insults so they don't look like they lost. Then, the recipient responds in kind in order to preserve HIS face in the argument and it snowballs from there.

And the thing is, who cares? So what if some stooge on a hockey comment thread says something insulting? How does that effect anything in anyone's life?

People lose perspective so quickly on the Internet. And then all we have left to read is foul language and dirty jokes. What fun.

B_Washington said...

What's wrong with foul languege and dirty jokes?

tapeleg said...

I think part of the problem in comment threads comes from people simply wanting to save face.

I think it's even simpler then that. I think most people just like to be right. It's easier to bully your way into being right in the forum of opinion then actually converse with anyone.

B_Wash - You should have come over to my blog, I have some thoughts on the matter, and would be happy to talk about it. I should find a new chat box (like Waiting for Stanley who borrowed the idea from me), for just little snippets.

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