The Freelance Creative

10 Ridiculous People Who Comment on Articles

Every day, thousands of pieces are written, published, and put online. And every day, readers assemble at the bases of these articles and talk about what they’ve just read. It’s like a round table discussion or water cooler talk—or, at least, that’s what it should be.

Instead, we got a bunch of Statlers and Waldorfs.

There are so many of these nonsensical commenters that any attempted discourse on popular news sites is all but wiped out. Comments serving to forward the discussion get buried under “your mom” jokes and rallying cries about liberal bias and conservative apocalypses. The only thing these commenters are giving back is the ability to spot them coming from miles away.

Here, for your enjoyment, are the 10 most ridiculous types of people who comment on articles:

1. The Explainer

Here is the person who already knew more about your article before you were born. He’ll write you 2,000-word tomes on something tangentially related to your subject, missing the point entirely, then throw his metaphorical hands up in the air if you refuse to examine to the 135 academic papers from the early 1990s that refute your points. Full of bluster, this person uses as many five-syllable words as he can (usually incorrectly) to show off his advanced knowledge. He’ll mention advanced degrees and work experience he may or may not have to “prove” to you that he’s an expert on your topic. You know, the one you wrote.

2. The Anecdoter

This commenter has a personal story to counteract each statistic and claim you make in your article. She knows that all poor people are just like her horrible neighbor and all parents are spoiling their kids these days because she saw a screaming toddler get a cookie in a grocery store once.

The Anecdoter frequently tries to one-up anyone in her way, since she has a story that is more dramatic than your silly personal essay every damn time. She doesn’t know why you’re complaining about losing your job (which you weren’t anyway) when she lost three jobs and her husband came down with pneumonia and they still managed to stoically carry on with their lives. She also wants to let you know that she lived through a tornado and a hurricane during that time. So there.

3. The Flouncer

This is the fine individual who is always morally outraged he spent three minutes reading your piece. Sometimes he’ll address you specifically, calling you stupid or something equally illuminating. Other times, he’ll lash out at the “drivel” you’ve “been allowed” to post. He is super mad you probably got paid some pittance to waste his precious brain-space. Sometimes, he’ll pretend he’s your mom and reprimand your priorities. “Don’t you have anything better to do?” He does this completely unironically, as if commenting in this manner is bettering the future of humanity.

If he’s not lashing out at the writer, he implores or berates the publication, certain his complaint will be taken to the highest tier. He’ll scoff at the “paper of record” which allowed “this tripe” to be published and he’ll call for your firing (whether or not you actually work there). He usually he ends with, “This is the last straw. You just lost a loyal reader, publication-I’m-mad-at.”

Somehow, even after loudly unsubscribing from 100 publications a day, this commenter shows up on your next article with the same chorus.

4. The Blamer

This commenter already knows what you are about: pushing the liberal/conservative/federal government’s/Big Pharma’s agenda. That essay on your cat clearly has ties to the Obama administration, and last week’s piece on the data analysis of the ACA was obviously a paid-for publicity stunt by Obama himself.

Every once in a while, you’ll be lucky enough to attract a true conspiracy theorist, so make sure you always have your tinfoil hat ready. You never know when the NSA is going to come swooping down over your listicle on environmentally friendly products.

5. The Googler

This commenter has a lot to tell you about your piece and it all comes from the first three hits on a Google search. He knows Wikipedia inside and out, so don’t question him about how many Gospels the Bible has; obviously, it’s six. He leaves links all over his comments to back up his point of view and will not hesitate to pull out Web M.D. to refute your expert’s quotation. Unless, of course, you’re using Web M.D. to make your point, in which case, the commenter will immediately Google some expert who can discredit your ideas.

6. The Slacktivist

The Slacktivist is really concerned about world problems. She organizes rallies and protests (in her mind), and swears she’s going to get around to donating to March of Dimes someday. For now, she’s content belittling your piece by invoking the fact that people are starving in Africa and Syrians are fleeing their homes. It all indicates how frivolous you are. As she puts it, if you really wanted to counteract cultural inequality, you’d click on these five crowdfunding links for obscure nonprofits run by her friends. She would do it herself, but she has bills to pay, so…

7. The Drive-By

“You suck and this is garbage,” writes anonymous405. And then he is never seen again.

The drive-by is often accompanied by “The Replier,” who, unlike the original commenter, is usually a regular in whatever comment section you are reading. He never makes an in-depth comment, and he never starts a thread, but he is always there, reminding you that he is always there.

“Right on,” The Replier replies, “This x 10,000.”

8. The Derailer

Your article may be on the evolution of pop music, but this commenter really needs to talk about how Christians are oppressed in society. She’ll find a faint line between your piece and her problem of the day and insist on commenting not only to you, but replying to everyone else’s remarks in the same vein. She will not stop until someone else who is reading your article on stem cell research talks to her about the new El Niño. She has priorities and will blast you with them no matter what.

9. The Title Reader

Every so often, The Title Reader will be upfront enough to start her comment with, “I didn’t read the whole article, but…” which signals that you should stop reading. Usually, this commenter goes full fire into how faulty your article on divorce rates in the United States is because it’s titled something clickbaity like “Why Divorce Is Men’s Fault.” She’ll present an irate argument up to five paragraphs telling you quite specifically how you are wrong about all the things you never even said.

10. The Hate-Follower

This commenter hates everything you’ve ever done. He, in fact, hates you, too, you big stupid meanie head. He takes time to rake over your piece, looking for turns of phrase that might offend him. “Not all men!” he bellows below a piece on sexual assault statistics. He was just trying to come out for a good time, and he’s honestly feeling so attacked right now.

He loves ad hominem attacks and basic frothy blather filled with mostly harmless disgust. The best part about this commenter is he can’t stay away. He a regular reader of your work. A fan, you might even say.

He’ll follow you around, popping up in random publications that have nothing to do with each other, every time you write a piece. He’ll link your past work to show you he’s keeping tabs on you.

Soldier on, fearless freelancers of the world. Provide the fodder for Internet idiocy. We have an important role here, I feel. We bear the weight of the reader’s ignorance. But our shoulders are broad.

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