The Point

Angry? Step Away from the Keyboard

11/18/20

John Stonestreet

Roberto Rivera

If people seem more short-tempered and intolerant recently, it’s not your imagination. The stress of pandemics, lockdowns, and politics have chipped away at our already-thin veneer of civility. 

It’s especially bad online According to a recent story on the Canadian Broadcast Corporation, COVID-related stress has left online moderators overwhelmed. People’s tempers are already short, but even quicker than usual, disagreement becomes anger, and anger becomes insults, ad hominem attacks, and obscenity.

Moderators find it it increasingly difficult to enforce rules on civility and fact-checking.

On the discussion forum Reddit, moderators—who are volunteers—are just walking away. More than a few articles in the last few years have described the trauma experienced by the moderators at Facebook… and they’re paid.

So, here’s some advice, not least of which for the sake of our own online moderators: when agitated online, back away from the keyboard, say a prayer, go for a walk, and remember you are dealing with image bearers, even online.

Originally Aired September 9, 2020

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