Finally, software developers are building a filter that blocks unintelligible comments
(Fortune Magazine) -- Internet veterans have long complained about the steady erosion of civility -- and worse, intelligence -- in online discourse. Initially the phenomenon seemed to be a seasonal disorder. It occurred every September when freshmen showed up for college and went online. Tasting for the first time the freedom and power of the Internet, the newbies would behave like a bunch of drunken fraternity pledges, filling electronic bulletin boards with puerile remarks until the upperclassmen could whip them into shape.
Things took a dramatic turn for the worse in 1993, when AOL (Charts, Fortune 500) loosed its tens of thousands -- and then millions -- of users onto the Net. The event came to be known as the Endless September, and true to its name, it continues to this day.
It's a serious problem. Fools and bandwidth hogs have a way of driving traffic away from the most successful online destinations, a phenomenon that could ruin the emerging social networks and user-generated aggregators like Digg.
But there's still hope for intelligent life on the Internet. A team of software developers is hard at work on a "stupid filter" that promises to do to idiotic online comments what a spam filter does to junk and unwanted e-mail: put it in a place where it can't hurt anyone anymore.
(Ref. CNNMoney Fortune)