But there is a very negative side to the internet as well and I’d like to mention a few of those.

I started thinking about this when I was watching Idols last week. I realised that this Top 10, and the Top 10s from a few years back, had to deal with more than just low votes. They had to deal with Twitter, Facebook and the internet as well. If they hit a false note, almost anybody could tweet at them about it.

Now this isn’t entirely bad. We should all be open to constructive criticism, but trolls generally spoil everyone’s fun. I kept thinking about how some of these contestants might have to deal with a few trolls throughout this competition. Not to mention that their performances can be put on YouTube. If anything can be considered a dirty place on the internet, it will be the comments section on YouTube. It is unfortunate that comment sections that can be used to stimulate debate can be misused by a few individuals and be turned into a horrible thing. I don’t mean to sound like a Moaning Myrtle, but it’s true.

Comment sections in general can become unpleasant, which is sad because there are many well-informed opinions out there. However, the few malicious commentators can destroy the online experience for everyone. PopularScience. com switched off their comment sections recently because they said that trolls and spambots overwhelmed their comment section and prevented them from fostering lively and intellectual debate. Huffington Post has shut down their anonymous comment section because they could not manage all of the nasty comments they were receiving. This might be indicative of a problem we are facing at the moment.

I did find some good news about this though. Steve Cooper wrote on Forbes that commenting systems are starting to change to combat negative commentators (read trolls). The comment section on YouTube is going to be powered by Google+ now. The programme will push comments from people you know, or from people who are in your Google+ circles, to the top of the comments section and it will allow users who want to comment on certain videos to control who can see their comments. Apparently this will moderate comments better than before. The added bonus with these moderating tools is that Google+ will be able to “bury” comments from people who are commenting in a troll-like fashion. Good news, I think.

Moving on, this is our first edition after the holiday. I hope everyone has had a good rest and is ready for this last stretch of the university year. Try not to think about other students who are on holiday already or only have a month to go. And if you feel down or exhausted, just retreat into nature to be revived by the sublime like the Romantics did.

We have a full features section this week. There is an interesting article about the universal flu vaccine on page 6 and one about sugar addiction on page 7. I’m convinced that it’s a real thing. We also covered In the City this weekend on page 9, so you can check that out if you missed it. There is also an article about how Sasco is planning to boycott the SRC elections on page 3 and an update on the BRT system can be found on page 4. Once they start working on the roads in the area, I think parking is going to be an even bigger nightmare.

Only a few more months to go

Margeaux

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