We Asked 8,500 Internet Commenters Why They Do What They Do
FiveThirtyEight - 11/28/2016
Comments often serve as identity badges, said Joseph Reagle, the author of “Reading the Comments: Likers, Haters, and Manipulators at the Bottom of the Web” and a professor of communication studies at Northeastern University. “You see this particularly on social media,” he told me. The comment is meant to tell the world, “This is who I am.” People may also comment to gain approval and solidarity with their social group, he said. “It’s a way of saying, ‘I am like you.’” Of course, offering a correction can also be a means of propping up one’s own ego.