Blog: Facebook political 'trash talk' at nasty fever pitch

7:56 PM, Nov 4, 2012   |    comments
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Monday's WKYC Wendel on the Web blog: political "trash talk" on Facebook has reached ultra-nasty, highly disrespectful level.

Sure, it's been bad before, two years ago when there wasn't even a presidential race, but I am almost hesitant to check my news feed when I open the page nowadays.

The hate and the venom spewing from normally reasonable people is actually quite shocking.

For those of you who aren't on Facebook -- like my longtime friend who calls it "Facepage" and won't join in -- the news feed is where you see the listing of everyone's "status post" from their pages.

If someone posts that they are going to an Obama rally or a Mitt Romney appearance, very quickly the comments start piling up, usually bashing the President or the Republican candidate. And these aren't just partisan comments, as there is a lot of name-calling and disrespect involved in the comments.

And if that isn't enough, sometimes people post political comments on totally unrelated posts.

Case in point. About 5:30 p.m. Sunday, a story with a picture was posted on the WKYC Facebook page that a WNIR radio personality had died unexpectedly at age 58.

The very first post under the story/picture began with "Very sorry to hear that. Here are a few thoughts I would like to share with you..." and then the person proceeded to write 12 paragraphs bashing the President and supporting Romney.

Several people who posted after that person asked why that person posted a political message "under a photograph of a man who just passed away?"

The political post was deemed "inappropriate" and removed, after several other posters objected to it as well.

Now, I am a politics junkie and I love the fervor of an election and the reasonable exchange of differing opinions but this election has become hateful and mean-spirited. I just want people to get informed and vote.

And just one more thing that really irked me today on Facebook.

After my beloved Cleveland Browns lost to the Baltimore Ravens 25-15 (the 15 points we did get were 5 field goals by kicker extraordinaire Phil Dawson), I lamented the fact in my status post.

I then mentioned that my two sisters always ask what I want for Christmas and I posted that I wanted "a new coach for the Cleveland Browns, preferably Bill Cowher...offer Cowher whatever he wants, Jimmy Haslam...." referencing Jimmy Haslam III, the new owner of the Browns.

Well, know that sports is always a "vigorous" topic on Facebook and there's always Sunday trash talk about NFL football but it is usually mostly repectful.

Then I see a post under my post on my own page by someone (who is a friend of a friend) who wrote that she was a Steelers fan and Cowher would never coach the Browns and gave her reasons. OK, then another friend disagreed with her and respectfully gave his reasons.

Whoo! Then she responds all nasty-like to him AND me, saying, among other things, "By the way the new owner's name is James Hassell. I'm not a fan but at least I know the name of the new owner."

And this is on my own post on my own page!

Yikes, lady, everyone -- like the NFL, ESPN, yardbarker.com, SI -- knows that his name is James Haslam III and that he has been called Jimmy Haslam for years and years. So her snotty retort was wrong...and she also added that "the Steelers record speaks for itself" after bashing the Browns again.

So, I am being generous and chalking it up to her having a snarky day. But seriously, folks, respect each other a bit more, especially after Election Day Tuesday when one person will win and another will lose. We are all Americans.

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