Why sites like Sodahead and Tea Party Community are good for the quality of humankind

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Head of Fizzy Drinks

A few years ago, I stumbled across a quaint little site called Sodahead, an opinion site where people could ask questions about world-shattering issues such as if blondes have more fun than anyone else today and between Kirsten Dunst and Julia Stiles, which one is less annoying.

One of the most amazing things is that it is chock-full of mud-covered vitriol that is flung about every single minute. For example, the top opinion for a question asking if you would celebrate Obama’s birthday:

What a kind birthday wish for the President of the United States.

In fact, this is what most of the News and Politics and Religion sections look like. If you utter death threats or belittle anyone who considers themselves (or is considered to be) a Liberal, the raves (the thumbs up on the side of the image) above will come flying in at you like crazy Justin Bieber fangirls. You’ll also get to engage in very enlightening conversations like this one on firing gay employees because the left wants to destroy Chik-Fil-A (excerpted for being moderately long posts and all original emphasis in bold, added emphasis in italics):

Questioner: …I’m sorry, but how is boycotting supposed to be harming someone? It might hurt them financially, but it is up to the consumer to decide if he or she wishes to patronise a business with their money. […] Should customers be forced (per your logic) to eat [at an incredibly bad restaurant] so that they’re not harmed?

Pompous Jerk: And it is up to a person who manages people if he wants to fire an openly gay person for the reason you state. But when you boycott a business because you disagree with their political/social positions you are trying to harm that person, so I say, fight back and harm those doing the protesting

Questioner: Are you inciting violence, [name]? […] Refusing business is the courteous (and as such the suggested way of dealing with people you don’t like) method of making things less stressful for both parties: the costumer, who will not have to deal with the service/goods any further, and the business, who will not need to deal with an angry customer. It’s win-win.

PJ: Where is there violence in firing someone. Firing someone is the courteous way of dealing with someone you do not like. See we go out looking for people like you and complain to your management to get you fired. It works both ways

Questioner: Those people you have mentioned might not even work for the business, so your argument that there is violence in firing someone is kind of moot. I’d rather not delve into the world of office politics, but you’d better have a really good reason why I should be fired.
And what do you mean people like me, anyways? Are you talking about people who still have a modicum of rationale?

PJ: Oh it is easy to make one up. You have not shown that you are a rational adult. But yes we seek people like you out and get you fired

Questioner: Given the previous few posts from you, you clearly haven’t either.

And this leads into the next thing that happens frequently on this site: blocking. When blocked, you can click the reply button of a post the person who’s blocked you has made, but the resulting reply bubble retracts immediately. If the blocker has created a question, you will see at the very top of the screen:

Whoops.

Blocking also has the effect of screwing up polls (if they weren’t screwed up already with ridiculous options), such that whatever small insignificant meaning it has within the confines of the site are invalid. Aside from a select few, this site is a festering pile of elderberries and should be avoided if you still hold high hopes of humanity being a noble creature.

Gathering for a Festival of Tea

In January 2013 some people decided that Facebook was just too liberal for their tastes and launched the following month what was essentially a Facebook clone to as a “safe haven for the conservative movement where we can share ideas and thoughts and express ourselves without fear of retribution.” On February 2nd, the Tea Party Community was launched, where it was promptly overrun by a legion of trolls to the point where they had to actually block registration for a while. I myself managed to join this site (though quite inactive) and here’s one of the many status posts on the site that graced my feed today:

FireShot Pro Screen Capture
Warning: a very long “conversation.”

And while I might not be a veteran or a regular of the site, a number of articles written on it have been quite negative ([1] [2] [3]), and now has a Tumblr dedicated to little blurbs that members say.

I still don’t get the title, though. :/

Ah, here we come to the big question: why are these two sites good when they spout horrendous and vile designs?

Because they work as echo chambers.

These sites provide an outlet for people with thoughts of shooting Liberals (or “the gays” or whatever creed of people they’re hating on today) with people that agree vehemently with their sentiments. By effectively quarantining them, they’re kept in places where their opinions can be ignored by everyone else on the interwebs and at the same time not disturbing everyone else.

A very important thing to consider however, is the degree of insanity the users partake in. While the users of both sites may be irritating, they’re not crazy enough to be homicidal or do anything dangerous. If this were not the case, authorities would need to crack down on these people and fast.

If you’re looking for decent conversation these sites are not for you. But be rest assured, these sites will act as sponges to soak up people with unpopular opinions. If you’re planning to troll, however, feel free to grace these places with your wit.

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