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Re: Even "dry" science news is not immune from abuse ...

Welcome to the internet.

It's interesting to see what people's behavior turns into when social
and economic consequences removed. Quite revealing.

I've found that at least half of the people online in any given venue
(well, some more so than others) are either jerks, idiots, or both,
and the debates between idiots who think that vehemence and repetition
are logical arguments on the one hand and jerks who believe their
intelligence gives them a moral imperative to be belligerent and
asinine on the other far too frequently drown out the respectable half
of the participants.

It's all relative, to be sure, and scientists aren't immune, of
course. No demographic is. But I believe that scientists and people of
like mindsets really should take it upon themselves to demonstrate
civility and constructive debating technique. A core aspect of science
is to move towards objectivity via mutually respectful debate, a
concept utterly lost on too many internet users, whose egos take full
reign once they realize that online status has little to do with
decorum - or, god forbid, politeness. (Or objectivity, in most cases.)

And lest it seem ironic, yes, I recognize that people who use the
internet for showing off or getting self-righteous need to take a
broader view. ;p

/end rant

I wonder if there's a market for professional site-moderation.