book hack

Reading the Comments

Joseph M. Reagle Jr.

5 mins

3 key insights

Visual, audio & text

Reading the Comments explores the effects of comment sections all over the internet, whether at the bottom of news articles, under social media posts, or in consumer reviews.


Reading the Comments

Reading the Comments

by Joseph M. Reagle Jr.


The comment is at the core of what makes social media social. The comments section has permeated our world as we have become more and more interconnected via the internet.

While comments are always reactive, they're not always engaging or substantial. Comments can be used to inform, improve, manipulate, alienate, and shape us. Comments can fuel gossip, help us make life decisions, and completely alter our behavior.

Joseph M. Reagle Jr. is an author focused on digital technology and Associate Professor of Communication Studies at Northeastern University in Boston. Reagle posits that we can learn a lot about our social psychologies by looking at the comment sections throughout diverse areas of the internet.

Favorite quote

We live invested in an electric information environment that is quite as imperceptible to us as water is to fish.

- Marshall McLuhan, media theorist

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