When you’re reading comments on a [blog|youtube|forum|news article], and it’s the kind of toxic or wide-open environment that breeds bad comments, you might experience the following:

  • Comment 1: hay guise i think this is cool i don’t know about you but i like pickles
  • Comment 2: THE PRESIDENT IS A SCIENTOLOGIST MY COUSIN TOLD ME ABOUT IT PASS THE WORD ON
  • Comment 3: This post kind of reminds me of Neuro Linguistic Programming or something. Also, the president is not a Scientologist. He is, however, a robot.
  • Comment 4: Macs suck, they dont have viruses becuz nobody even cares enough to right them lolol

After skimming those comments, I get the distinct feeling that “yeah, maybe the president is a robot.” It’s as if anyone who can string along a coherent sentence in a real landfill of a comment thread becomes a trustworthy informant, and things they follow with seem a little bit less crazy.

That, right there, is The Comment Transcompetency Halo Effect. Now that you’re aware of it, don’t ever be fooled by it again.