Many newspapers and online media companies have begun disabling comment sections because of widespread abuse and obscenity. Of course, that vitriol is not meted out equally: The Guardian analyzed its comments and found the 10 most abused writers of the past decade were female and/or black. (The Times moderates comments in an effort to keep them on-topic and not abusive.) [Emphasis added.]I don't know if the Guardian, which did the analysis even thought of comparing the content of the writers' articles, but their analysis doesn't list the names of either the hated writers, or the mostly white men who, for some reason, don't inspire hate.
Have comment sections — once thought to be a democratizing force in the media — failed? [Have Comment Sections on News Media Websites Failed? , NYT Room For Debate, April 18, 2016]
Here's what the Guardian has to say:
New research into our own comment threads provides the first quantitative evidence for what female journalists have long suspected: that articles written by women attract more abuse and dismissive trolling than those written by men, regardless of what the article is about.While there's no list, the Guardian does bring on three of the top ten abused writers to talk about it:
Although the majority of our regular opinion writers are white men, we found that those who experienced the highest levels of abuse and dismissive trolling were not. The 10 regular writers who got the most abuse were eight women (four white and four non-white) and two black men. Two of the women and one of the men were gay. And of the eight women in the “top 10”, one was Muslim and one Jewish.
And the 10 regular writers who got the least abuse? All men. [Emphasis added.]
[The Dark Side of Guardian Comments,, by Becky Gardiner, Mahana Mansfield, Ian Anderson, Josh Holder, Daan Louter and Monica Ulmanu, April 12, 2016 ]
Steven Thrasher's Guardian page has generally hateful articles like these:
As for Sudanese Muslim Nesrine Malik, she was attacking surviving Charlie Hebdo writers for racism just 25 days ago:
How did Charlie Hebdo get it so wrong?Well, maybe there are innocent Muslims, but they're not writing for the Guardian.
In blaming all followers of Islam for terrorism, the French magazine is finding its catharsis in bigotry
‘Charlie Hebdo’s editorial gives credence and sanction to the view that there is no such thing as an innocent Muslim.’
April 4, 2016
So if three of the ten most "abused" columnists in the Guardian are these hateful people, then maybe the reason that the most "abuse"—also known as complaints, pushback, objections and protests—has gone to "eight women (four white and four non-white) and two black men" is because they're generally more hateful.
And if the ten least hated are white males, it may be that they're generally more rational and reasonable. Perhaps the Guardian could reconsider its employment policies?