Also on point to today’s online harassment discussion, Tablet Magazine is apparently trying to combat offensive comments by imposing a nominal fee to post comments to its articles.
Logistically, I doubt this would work in the context of real-time gaming but it’s an interesting approach that essentially regulates “free” speech by not making it “free”. It also reminded me of how the same speech in different forums can take on very different connotations. A racist comment, while still offensive, flippantly made in online communications during gameplay would be felt far more acutely in the comments section of a Jewish cultural publication. With this in mind, perhaps this type of regulation would be more effective in a gaming context where comments are made more for the sake of being offensive than for expressing a gamer’s genuine racist or misogynistic beliefs?
I’m rather surprised that the Editors of the magazine were willing to implement this “comment tax”. It will be interesting to see if there is a significant freezing effect and if there is any change in the relative proportion of offensive comments compared to non-offensive comments.