I think we all know that the comments sections on most websites can be like the Wild Wild West. Most of the time they’re unregulated, and even when they do have moderators, unless each comment has to be manually approved before it appears, it’s nearly impossible for the moderators to catch even some of the worst offenses.
ESPN.com is pretty well-known for having a comment section that Deadspin calls a “‘cesspool’ and ‘wretched hive of scum and villainy’ and ‘somehow even worse than Yahoo’s comment section,’” but very even among the worst, nothing tops Yale graduate Eric Yee who was arrested today for his comments about LeBron James’ new shoes, allegedly saying something along the lines (the actual comment has been taken down) that he would shoot the kids who wear them. He even mentioned that he could see children from where he was, and that he had no problem killing them. Wow.
A moderator over at ESPN.com (Deadspin says,”they do exist!”) happened to see this comment and call the cops, who traced Yee to Valencia, California where his home had a view of—yes—a school, two in fact! And—yes—he had guns!
Yee is now being held on $1 million bail.
What do you think of Eric Lee’s arrest and high bail? How seriously do you think threats Internet trolls should be taken? How does this differ from the case of Anita Sarkeesian who dealt daily with public threats of rape and murder?
Do you think Eric Lee was serious about his threats, or is this another case where someone uses the comments sections to say things they would never say in real life? Are comments like these perhaps a cry for help from someone who is struggling?
How do you think authorities should handle these situations?
Image of gavel and keyboard courtesy of Shutterstock