Belfast Telegraph

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How the web is now spinning a better class of current debate

By Robert McNeill

Published 27/07/2012

My fine sensory social antennae detect qualitative changes in yonder internet. I refer, in particular, to the quality of online comments, blogs and whatnot.

When all that malarkey started, we were exposed to the full horror of the mob mind and to the malevolence lurking beneath outward social pretence.

Bolstered by anonymity, these goons never had a good word to say about anything and expressed this nihilism with comically bumptious logorrhoea.

But, gradually, the situation is changing. Often, comments are enlightening, even grammatical. With blogs, you must sift wheat from chaff but, soon, you find the ones worth reading. There are even investigative news sites now: hard work for little reward beyond exposing truth.

True, there are still trolls and bullies.

And some of the online comments in a few London newspapers are truly frightening and grotesquely ignorant.

But change is under way, I tell 'ee, and the noble human spirit is starting to shine through our screens.

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