The staggering degree of stupidity and general mean-spiritedness of Internet comments is a well known and undeniable phenomenon. But what can be done to prevent the anonymity of the Internet from causing people to write inhumanly monstrous things in Internet comment sections?
Fig 1: Even if your web site is about historical Danish model trains, your comment section will quickly fill up with arguments about subterranean trilateral commission lizard people. But perhaps there is some way to dissuade the stupidest comments?
The solution is simple: if a user wants to comment on a web site, they first have to put on and plug in a USB shock collar. Then, while the collar is on, they are free to comment to their heart’s content.
However, for a certain amount of time after the user has commented (say, 15 minutes), the shock collar will remain active, and a small “lightning bolt” icon will appear next to the user’s comment. Anyone who thinks the comment is stupid (or perhaps this is a privilege reserved for the site moderators) can click the button and administer a presumably-non-fatal electric shock to the commenter.
Fig 2: This USB device consists of a shock collar which you 1) put on yourself and 2) plug into the USB port of the computer that you will be writing Internet comments from.
To discourage the commenter from attempting to game the system by unplugging the USB cable early (before the comment-vetting period has expired), the collar could be set up to automatically administer additional painful shocks if the cord is disconnected prematurely.
PROS: Reduces the frequency of stupid Internet comments without sacrificing the (occasionally very valuable) anonymous nature of the Internet.
CONS: May result in electrocution. This peripheral could draw unfavorable comparisons to the Milgram experiment (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milgram_experiment).