2. What They Deserve

[sic] The typos are not mine. None of these words are mine. All errors in these statements are a reflection of their authors. Each statement was collected verbatim from the comments sections of online news sources, mostly Yahoo News and the Huffington Post, in 2012. These are real people’s views, suggestions, admonishments of reports on real crimes.

We now allow unprecedented levels of vitriol into our homes through the medium of online comments.

The rise of comments sections as addendums to journalistic writing has been both the new height of the demotic voice of “the people” and a troubling reflection of citizenship. Behind a society that appears to be civil in its day-to-day interactions lurks the id of humanity’s most brutish, primal urges. Or so the comments would lead us to think. We can’t be sure of their true intentions, or whether the people who seem to be present in anonymous online comments are constructed identities.