Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Daily Mail and Telegraph: home of the best comment board-lurkers around

Internet comment boards are never the best place to hang around for sensible debate. More often than not, conversation descends into either a slagging-match or, equally often, an argument about who is most like Hitler.

However, for the crème de la crème of comment boards, you have to venture over to the stalwarts of mainstream political right, the Daily Mail and Telegraph. Here, you can see the loony right in their natural habitat, free to feed off each other's prejudices and to work themselves up into a frenzy.

There are four defining characteristics of regular posters on right-wing newspaper web sites, in particular the Daily Mail and Telegraph, and once recognised you could be forgiven for thinking it is the same handful of people posting under pseudonyms. 

These character traits - of flaws, depending on your point of view - are as follows:

1) A sense of barely suppressed rage, often manifesting itself in the use of RANDOM CAPITALS.

2) A powerful sense that everything is going down the pan, driven mostly by 'political correctness' and a pinko/commie-run education system. More often than not, the poster will pine for an idealised schools system that never quite existed, but mashes together elements of the Victorian-era and the 1950s. Amusingly, as Exhibit A demonstrates below, criticism of how far standards have dropped often takes the form of badly-written rants, complete with ironic spelling mistakes.

Exhibit A: You-couldn't-make-it-up spelling mistakes (this one from the Guardian comment thread)

3) Frequent use of painfully unfunny turns of phrase - that probably are rather witty to people that find Jim Davidson a cutting-edge comedian. Most frequent examples: NuLIEBore, EUSSR.

4) The most popular topic, of course, is immigration. It frequently rears its head in topics about the EU - and an EU referendum is a regular feature of the Mail/Torygraph Lurker Post - but what they really, really mean, is immigration. 

The best kind of post on immigration from these types is the post made - without irony - about the 'scandal' of immigration to the UK by people who sign off 'Mike, Singapore', or 'George, Costa Del Sol', or 'Jeff, Australia (left England when the imigrints took over because of NULieBore)'. That kind of thing. 

Or, as Exhibit B demonstrates, 'Long Beach California'. Or, in other words, someone who is themselves as immigrant

Exhibit B: Post made, without irony, about immigration to the UK from ex-pats (or, in other words, immigrants)