Tips for Commenting Online – Comment Etiquette

Online engagement has skyrocketed over the past decade. Comment sections of various websites, ranging from YouTube to blogs and forums like Reddit, have become an interesting way of communicating ideas, humor, and information. However, like any other social interaction, they are full of harsh criticisms and mean comments. People abuse each other over various disagreements ranging across many topics due to the anonymity that the internet provides us. There’s a civil way to disagree and counter someone’s opinion online, but then there are trolls. They are bottom feeders that thrive on people’s online anger. No wonder this is where the phrase ‘don’t feed the trolls” comes from!

As Justin McClure says, online etiquette is no different than etiquette in real life. Anonymity does not give you the right to talk without respect and eloquence. Here are some of the important points you need to remember for maintaining etiquette online.

No Cussing And Swearing

Perhaps this is a generic one, but it is very important. Be it any online comment section, swearing and cussing is a big no, no matter how offensive the other person is being. The best you can and should do is alert the administrators about the abusive user profile, and there is a good chance that the profile will be blocked.

No Caps Lock

Caps lock means that you are yelling at someone. Today, although many are aware of this standard rule, there are many who aren’t and may get blocked or get a warning strike if they type in all caps. On the other hand, those who are aware of this rule should refrain from doing so.

Stop Annoying Spam

Many users will spam the comment section with content that is unrelated to the topic being discussed. This brings down the quality of the whole topic and comment section. Most likely, such spammers will be banned from making any further comments in the comment section. Justin McClure strongly detests this on his website’s commenting sections as well as on any other platform.

Avoid Making Redundant Comments

If you are asking a question, check if it has been asked earlier in the comment section. That way, you do not make redundant posts. Redundant posts make the comment section bland and long-drawn and the real valuable information gets mixed in with the noise. Keep the comment section clean and free of redundancy.

Comment Briefly

Simply, don’t beat around the bush! If you have something to say, try to say it in as little words as possible and get directly to the point. Wondering the whole city only to get to your neighborhood doesn’t make sense. This not only makes other users lose their patience but it also irritates them. This may lead to them not making any further posts in the section, thus not contributing to the content. You may actually lose some real advice or information that could be life-changing.

Understand The Culture Of The Forum/Website

Every website or online forum has a type of culture. For example, the culture of a bodybuilding website will be vastly different than a website about digital marketing. By understanding the culture and creating content and comments related to the topic, you can avoid being ignored by other users or even banned by administrators.

These were some of the basic but important rules that one should follow when commenting online. A big takeaway from this information is that you should not ‘feed’ the trolls. The more you get triggered and answer them back, the more it encourages them. Online forums are meant for exchanging ideas, therefore you, as an educated person, are expected to understand the dos and don’ts of online etiquette.

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