There was a time when I would venture into the swamp that is the comments sections placed, appropriately, under stories. I wanted to see what people were saying, test the level of discourse. 

What I found, more often than not, was that the level of discussion is measured by the float in a toilet cistern that stops it overflowing. It goes down when flushed, taking the badness away before filling up again to give them another chance. And, so, I stopped reading the comments. It was a place for shouty people, a trapdoor for cowards and do-ne’er-wells to lurk under before popping up behind you to whack the back of your ankles with a ruler. ..

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