Happened to check my “spam” comments queue the other day, and got a bit of a surprise. In addition to the regular spam I’ve seen there before, usually of the pharmaceutical sales variety, there was an insulting comment. It didn’t bother me, as it didn’t seem specific to my post. Since the same comment showed up 3 days in a row from different email addresses it wasn’t hard to figure out it was just generic crap.
Did make me think though……like things usually do. You wonder just who the actual humans are at the other end of the “Send” button. Just judging from the grammar and terminology used, I’d have to say it is a native English-speaker, and probably one who is a little older at that. So much for the frustrated-13-year-old theory. To take the time and whatever skills are needed to mine email accounts, etc. just to send out generic insulting comments to people they don’t know is the part that makes you think.
What causes or generates this type of activity? Is it a general feeling of being powerless? What thrill is there to it? Just striking out at a universe that doesn’t even seem to know you exist? We’ve always had vandals and randomly destructive people, but with the advent of the internet it seems we’re starting to mass-produce them.
You see this type of anonymous anger all over the Net – it doesn’t really even raise an eyebrow anymore. But to think that there is a real human on the other end spawning this stuff as the best use of their time is the part that makes me feel kind of sad for our technology.