Sunday, June 15, 2008


Oh how I love learning new words! I'm talking about words that aren't just new to me, but are new to the English language. I'm doubly thrilled when the definition seems long overdue.
Nutpicking: The practice of sifting through the comments of blogs, email threads, discussion groups and other user generated content in an attempt to find choice quotes proving that the advocates for or against a particular political opinion are unreasonable, uninformed extremists.
The word was apparently coined by readers of The Washington Monthly in 2006, so maybe I'm not a fashionable early adopter, but I'm early enough to identify the nutpicking strategy in the 2008 election. The right-wing blogs are pointing out anti-semitic hatred on the Obama blogs, and the left-wing blogs are pointing out the racial slurs on McCain's blog.

Of course, there are bound to be some crazies in every movement, but I must point out the irony that it was McCain who introduced the Stop the Online Exploitation of Our Children Act of 2006 (PDF) which would have regulated blogs and held bloggers responsible for the comments posted by others... responsible to the tune of $300,000!

What a mess that law would have been! Consider the Twat-O-Tron script which spits out incoherent xenophobic rants. Now consider that when these rants are posted on the BBC's Have Your Say website, they are actually rated quite highly by other readers. (h/t Kuro5hin)

So if ever such a blog regulating bill passes, then the Internet will become a battle ground of nutpicking scripts attempting to incur penalties on enemy blogs by launching the weapon of stupid comments and bad grammar.

And I bet when you clicked this post you thought I'd be writing about what people do when they have crabs. Fooled ya.

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