Conversations About Commenting

Are we surprised that people and their comments know few limits in the 21st Century online world? We keep hearing about awful language, trollers, at least some of whom are real humans, and increasing numbers of hateful comments. This post about teaching children to comment was written several years ago and is still relevant in 2016

Media! Tech! Parenting!

If you have ever written a comment at the end of an article or blog posting, you have surely read more than a few inappropriate and sometimes distasteful remarks. Sometimes people leave these comments anonymously. Posted by folks who do not understand why websites invite visitors to share thoughts and ideas, many unfiltered remarks are permanently attached to websites — indiscretions waiting for the whole world to discover.

Read a short post and watch a video on newspaper comments, uploaded by the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard. Some newspapers sites, such as the Boston Globe, post a short and succinct comment policy.

Helping your child avoid public website blunders is one reason to discuss commenting etiquette. Often children don’t know or forget that their comments leave a digital footprint trail that will last much longer than their per-adolescent and even teenage years.  Often confusion arises because many children first encounter commenting…

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