A dissection of insane commenters on a YouTube video

Filed under: Playground Bureau, Weird But True, That's Entertainment

What could possibly be more innocent than a laughing baby? According to YouTube commenters, apparently, an awful lot.

Slate has a fairly awesome article about this fabulously wheezy Swedish baby who gained Internet notoriety after his father posted a benign video of his son laughing uproariously at a "blong!" noise his father was making. The video has garnered over 45 million views, and over 58,000 comments -- and as the Slate columnist writes, many of them are not just the sweet "lol" and "cute baby!" variety.

As someone who has logged over four years writing on the Internet, I am uncomfortably aware that even the most banal blog subject matter can be twisted into nefarious accusation. But YouTube commenters are an especially unwieldy sort; able to morph even the most benign subject matter into something precarious and highly controversial. The Slate author pokes fun at the adversarial nature of online video commenters, dissecting the laughing baby video commentary into categories: everything from armchair pediatricians to sell-out advice to pure, unadulterated insanity.

It's a refreshing read, especially for heavy social media users. And it reiterates once again, that Internet advice should be taken with a very weighty chunk of salt.

As the Slate author asks: are we laughing at the laughing baby, or is he laughing at us? I tend to believe it's the latter.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.