Online manners

Am I being over-sensitive or is it becoming more acceptable for people to be nasty to each other? Perhaps my memory is failing me but I honestly don’t remember a time when people were so 
openly hostile towards each other 
simply for holding differing views (other than in the House of Commons and Holyrood, that is).

I blame the anonymity of the internet.

One only has to look at the comments left by people under online news stories.

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I understand that these people wish to champion their own 
beliefs, but do they truly think they will talk anybody round by being abusive?

I am reasonably certain that doing the internet equivalent of yelling at them will have quite the opposite effect. Nobody likes getting shouted at.

Personally, I have only ever been persuaded to change my mind about something when I am presented with clear, convincing facts and the person with whom I am communicating sounds reasonable and respectful.

Perhaps people who comment online should be made to 
supply a photograph of themselves, as removing anonymity would shame them into having some manners.

ELIZABETH BENJAMIN

St John’s Road

Edinburgh