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Welcome to iBrattleboro!
It's a local news source by and for the people of Brattleboro, Vermont, published continually. You can get involved in this experiment in citizen journalism by submitting meeting results, news, events, stories, reviews, how-to's, recipes, places to go, things to do, or anything else important to Brattleboro. Or, just drop by to see what others have contributed.

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Feb 20, 2003 to Feb 6, 2013

There Be Toxicity


In many online comment sections you can expect to find nasty comments. It’s not an accident that many online sites with comments are populated with people who post using a pseudonym. Being anonymous undoubtedly emboldens people to speak their minds. No one should use comments sections unless they are prepared accept a variety of comments good, bad and ugly. According to Wired.com, “The proportion of crummy comments is higher in Vermont than in any other state.” Wired.com teamed with Disqus.com to nationally survey thousands of websites to find out which state makes the most snarky comments.

Vermont has the distinction of having the highest percentage of toxic comments at 12.2 percent. Wired.com “analyzed 92 million comments over a 16-month period, written by almost 2 million authors on more than 7,000 forums that use the Disqus software.” Iowa at 10.3 percent has the second highest percentage of toxic comments online.

Apparently, trolling the internet to “make a deliberately offensive or provocative online post with the aim of upsetting someone or eliciting an angry response from them” is a serious pastime. However, freedom of speech is such a necessary and powerful tool that to prohibit speech is to threaten all other freedoms necessary to a free society.

The danger of cleaning up of online “toxic commenting” is one thing. Cleanup of hazardous wastes is quite another matter. In looking at dumping on people online in Vermont it led to a search for other for other forms of toxic wastes locally. Evidently, as of 2003, Brattleboro has 34 active hazardous waste sites – “17 Air Pollution Emitters, 1 Inactive/Closed Landfill, 9 Large Quantity Hazardous Waste Generators, 20 Small Quantity Hazardous Waste Generators, 1 Superfund, 2 Water Discharge sites. [Toxics in Vermont: A Town-by-Town Profile 2003:  

http://www.middlebury.edu/media/view/255483/original/toxicmapreport.pdf ]  

Toxicity is all around us. You might say that this fifty-year generation is the most toxic in human history. This virulent, noxious, deadly, dangerous, harmful, injurious and pernicious society should be deemed a “superfund” of itself.

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