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May 18

Discussion vs. Ear-Piercing Debate Online

Social Media is a crazy place for deabate

Twitter can be a harsh place. I get responses daily to my tweets that might make your hair rise on end. Here’s the most negative tweets – unfiltered – I got in a random week (April 21-28, simply the week before I wrote this intro):

  • “As the False Prophet, he [Pope Francis] will be one of the greatest deceivers in human history.”
  • “No matter how u twist & turn & contort the English language there are no rational religious beliefs.”
  • “Councils (Trent) were of Holy Spirit? Was the torturing & murder of 75 million people of Chirst?”
  • “The real problem is that JEWS decide which media personalities get fired for making the “wrong” statements.”
  • “Apparently, your collar doesn’t make you bright.”
  • “Mr. Pontifex takes a breath of fresh air, awaiting the arrival of his Muslim masters.”
  • “Isn’t she [Elizabeth II on her 90th birthday] the queen of freemasonry?… She’s had time to convert, hopefully b4 she dies.”
  • “and the church suddenly has an interest in science? Figures, it’d be pseudo science #propaganda”
  • “Allah The Most Gracious The Most Merciful The Only One True God Has Saved Jesus Christ.”
  • “Another shameless photo op” [referring to Francis hearing confessions in St Peter’s Square]
  • “I am sorry the education system has failed you so thoroughly.”
  • “#ProLife activists like @FrMatthewLC will be happy. Vote for #Trump! Back to middle age in a few months.”
  • “that could only have been written by someone who isn’t in a loving relationship where you give yourself completely lovingly.”

I’m sure many of you have noticed how online there tends to be more ear-piercing debate then honest and thoughtful discussion. People even made jokes about the YouTube comments section as a place to find the lowest dregs of humanity. Instead of narrowly talking about Twitter or YouTube, I want to address online discussions in general. I want to look at the philosophy that divides us, how technology enables negativity and yelling, and a few ways we can respond.

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