Is it time for us to show some love online for a change?

IS it time to show the love and some positive encouragement for a change?

Spend any time reading comments on news or social media sites and you realise how downright nasty people can be.

Hiding behind the veil of a false user name, they have no trouble in letting fly.

In Australia, our politicians have always been fair game.

But is it time that we started to think about what we say about one another - and even our leaders.

As a long-time journalist, I am the first to admit that I have thrown plenty of stones.

So right now, I am sitting in my glasshouse ready to be hammered.

But having watched the online medium for quite a while now, I am genuinely disturbed by how savage a sport posting comments on articles has become.

Our news sites have guidelines around what comments are published.

Generally, we don't allow comments where people are attacking one another.

But with the thousands of comments we moderate across our network each week, some always slip through.

And the war between users begins.

While it may be great to some spectators on the outside to watch, it's not the environment we want to create.

We want a place where people can share ideas without fearing being attacked.

And as communities, surely it's time that put some energy into praising the positive.

I wonder what outsiders reading our websites much think of our regions at time when we see local residents continually running them down.

Perhaps, it's time to show the love for a while. After all, it is Valentine's Day.

* Mark Furler is APN's Group Digital Editor and the former editor in chief of the award-winning Sunshine Coast Daily.



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