2548: Awful People
Title text: Hm, this burger place has a couple of good reviews, but LakeSlayer7 says he got food poisoning there and everyone should try this other place down by the lake instead.
Megan and Cueball are having a conversation about social media. Cueball mentions that when responding to textual comments on a screen, it can be easy to forget these comments are made by thinking, feeling humans (a sentiment expressed before on XKCD). Megan agrees, but also relates a negative comment she got from a stranger about her taste in movies. The twist is that it turns out the person criticizing her was a murderer. Although this does not inherently negate his taste in movies, it does free Megan from the burden of weighing his opinions equally to her own.
The title-text mentions the “LakeSlayer7” which is clearly a reference to the "Lake Slayer" in the comic. They mention, contrary to several other reviewers, that a burger joint in town is unsatisfactory, and that the reader should come to a place “by the lake” instead, which might be (and probably is) a plot to lure people to the lake and to be slain.
In many social and news sites there is a tendency to surface negative content. This can be editorial intent, naive algorithms, or both, attempting to induce rage to drive engagement. Review sites can exhibit a bias in either direction, with minutiae burying valid feedback.
- [Cueball and Megan are having a conversation while walking.]
- Cueball: The Internet makes it easy to be a jerk and forget the person we're talking to is a human.
- Megan: Yeah...
- Megan: But it also makes us see messages from awful people and assume they come from normal peers.
- [Closeup on Megan. Above Megan is a picture of a "reply" post from a man with sunglasses. The post has a title above it.]
- Megan: Recently I got a mean reply from a stranger. It was minor but it really got to me.
- Post title: Replies to "Favorite Movie"
- Post: Every group has one person who likes that movie, and it's the friend they all secretly hate.
- [Blondie as a news anchor behind a desk. A "News4" logo is displayed on the desk. There is a picture of the man with sunglasses with "Arrested" under his name. His picture is next to a picture of a house with "Breaking" above it. Megan's dialogue appears above the picture, but she herself is not shown in this panel.]
- Megan: Then the next week I saw that guy on the news. He was an actual murderer!
- [Megan and Cueball standing next to each other.]
- Megan: I can't believe I spent a week stressed out that my taste in movies wasn't shared by the East Valley Strangler.
- Cueball: Yeah, at least wait for a second opinion from the Lake Slayer.
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