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Is disabling comments on internet articles and videos brave or idiotic?

When online publications release a video or an article that covers a controversial topic or expresses a provocative opinion, more and more frequently the moderators of the website decide to preemptively disable the comments section. Is this a smart idea, given that some topics on more popular websites will inevitably draw internet trolls or similar undesirables to flood comment sections with useless vitriol that overpowers legitimate discussion? Or is this an idiotic action that stifles any chance of legitimate discussion for fear of having to deal with hateful or useless material? Are moderators afraid of being accused of fostering a hateful environment if they allow this material to be presented in their forums? This is especially relevant given that many websites feature a voting system for their comment sections which allow audiences to give relevant comments more visibility based on the opinions of the people actually reading the article or watching the video, thereby allowing audiences to self-regulate what material they choose to engage with.

  • I would suggest being wary of using qualitative terms like "brave" or "idiotic" without strong supporting data (statistics, news headlines, polls, website usage data, etc.). What defines "brave" or "idiotic" is subjective. This feels like it could include a bigger discussion about freedom of speech, censorship, cyber bullying, and hate speech. I would be very interested if this focused on one platform like a case study (YouTube, Twitter, Twitch, 4chan, etc.) because it might be a lot of work to do a broader examination of online commenting. – Eden 7 months ago
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  • If the comments are very/all negative, then you absolutely must disable them. Of course, if the content is disturbing or shouldn't be seen and it causes public outrage, then disabling them seems redundant. However, for something innocent or religious, disabling comments would definitely be necessary. – OkaNaimo0819 2 months ago
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  • Interesting topic! You could possibly explore reasons why disabling comments would be appropriate or argue that it is never appropriate depending on your stance. – Dena Elerian 1 month ago
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The Heroine's Journey

Maureen Murdock created the Heroine’s Journey as an alternative to Joseph Campbell’s famous the Hero’s Journey. She believed that the Heroine’s Journey would align better with the female experience.

Analyze the possible applications of the Heroine’s Journey in writing. Compare the Hero’s Journey and the Heroine’s Journey. What do the differences between them imply about society and our perceptions of masculinity and femininity? Are there any examples of the Heroine’s Journey prevalent in literature and pop culture?

  • I am not as familiar with Murdock's work as I am with Campbell's work and Vogler's interpretation of the Hero's Journey in his book "The Writer's Journey." That being said, Vogler suggests that the real difference between male and female journeys may be in their form: that men's journey is more linear, "proceeding from one outward goal to the next," while women's journey may spin outward, inward and outward again. I think this form suggests that a woman' journey is more introspective than a man's, who--according to Vogler--must achieve his needs of going out and conquering, possessing and achieving. – Paula Rai 9 months ago
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  • I'd love to see an article about this topic! – Sean Gadus 7 months ago
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  • Great topic! Cheryl Strayed's novel-made-film Wild (2012, 2014) would be a great text to examine through the Heroine's Journey. There's a clear quest structure (leaving home, enduring trials, etc.) along with a lot of movement between the outward and inward and a lot of treatment of the mother/daughter relationship.How we look at something affects what we see end up seeing. It'd be interesting to examine how we get different things from a single text if we look at it through Campbell's model or through Murdock's model. – JamesBKelley 7 months ago
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How fan-fiction has evolved through the years.

Analyzing how fan-fiction has evolved as something sort of niche and obscure on the internet, written by a usually younger audience to explore the different ideas they wanted to see from shows and movies they loved. Now it has become a wildly viral thing where some people explore those same ideas but with real people including YouTubers, band members and Hollywood celebrities. An interesting approach might be how the ones based on true people might affect those celebrities or internet personalities.

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    How Blogging Can be a Great Escape

    Analysis of how using a blogging platform can free the mind and creativity, as well as potentially even releasing writer’s block. Open to any other thoughts on where to take this.

    • I like this, but I would suggest a little clarification. What does it mean to "free the mind" and what is the advantage for writers? Can you find any concrete examples (i.e. quotes, statistics, examples of authors) that either support or do not support blogging as beneficial for writer's block? I think this could be a useful article for young writers. – Eden 5 months ago
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    • I agree with Eden that this needs to be more fully outlined, especially as there are many blogs used for a range of purpose, are you advocating the process of blogging about writing or just doing a blog in general? This is an interesting suggestion but obviously difficult to measure. – SaraiMW 5 months ago
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    • Since I won't be the one writing it, I decided to leave it up to whoever decides to, and let them have free reign on it. Sorry if it sounds kind of floppy, but I wasn't sure how to go about it. – sophiebernard 5 months ago
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    • I began blogging to release all the anxious thoughts that were piling up in my head. I found it much more cathartic than simply writing it in a notebook because submitting something to the internet makes it feel as though that thing has been taken out of your hands and released to strangers forever. – veritygrace 5 months ago
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    • A good idea-probably requires some theme, where the writing develops around some central issue or theme so readers see how it expands. – Joseph Cernik 5 months ago
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    • For whoever takes this, I might also suggest thinking about the social aspect of blogging. How might this help--or complicate things if someone lacks confidence or is shy when engaging with others online? – Emily Deibler 5 months ago
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    • I would recommend as a blogger myself discussing how blogging creates a community and an ability to network as well, which can catalyse this 'escape' – waveofsalt 4 months ago
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    • Do you mean blogging as in writing about day to day life for the world to read? Or do you mean blogging as in writing about one's passion? If you elaborate more on your view, it would help bring this piece together. – Dena Elerian 1 month ago
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    3

    The real message behind Lord of the Flies

    Lord of the Flies is a classic book which I am sure most of us were forced to read in school at some point in our lives. Rather then discuss the possible meanings of the book, I want us to discuss why it is such a common book to be a mandatory read in classrooms, even today. My thought is that the government wants kids to take away from the book the message that society=good and necessary and that if we were to live without a government, without laws and structure, we would all revert back to animals and begin killing each other essentially. Let me know what your thoughts are!

    • You have the basis for what could be a fascinating article. However, it would be worth expanding this to look at other stories that have addressed the same or a similar theme. How do they compare? Can we find examples of stories in which survivors or a group of humans separated from 'society' do not descend into barbarism? The one that immediately leaps to mind is Eric Frank Russell's short story 'And Then There Were None,' published in the June 1951 edition of 'Astounding Science Fiction' (later developed into the novel 'The Great Explosion', published in 1962). Re 'The Lord of the Flies' in particular - it would be worth taking some time to research the author and understand why he decided his characters should all be male and not female, or a mixture of male and female. This begs the question whether an all female or a mixed male and female group would develop a more mutually beneficial society? Also bear in mind that Golding held religious (Christian) views about morality that would have undoubtedly influenced his writing, although it's interesting to note that Golding personally considered women superior to men! Purely as a piece of trivia - William Golding was my father's English master at Bishop Wordsworth' School (Salisbury, Wiltshire) and my father has memories of his class proof reading early drafts of 'The Lord of the Flies.' – Amyus 5 months ago
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    • It can be a worthwhile speculative endeavor. I was expected to read and submit commentary on it during high school. It wasn't a pleasant experience in spite of the mostly youthful characters and the eden-esque setting. One of the teacher's observations still haunts me to this day. Suffice to say, given the obligation to write this article I would venture into a discourse on the ambiguous, round-robin aspect of the title. Humans can and do reign supreme over most of the creatures on Earth. But, when the tables are turned, the outcome can be disturbing to say the least; becoming fodder for lesser creatures. I can elaborate further if so warranted. – L:Freire 5 months ago
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    Rupi Kaur and the Rise of Tumblr Poetry: Does using line breaks make you a poet?

    Despite a successful release in 2016, Milk and Honey garnered its fair share of negative attention from poetry fans who claimed that while Kaur’s work was evidently intended as free verse, that it lacked the finesse and proper execution needed in order to differentiate itself from text posts found on teen Tumblr blogs. Similar criticisms have been made of Lang Leav, another Tumblr-based poet. Have these authors paved the way for this style of poetry, and can they be compared to the likes of E.E. Cummings? Discuss.

    • At the end of the day, poetry should be free verse - isn't it about expressing a universal theme or state of mind? It's a shared feeling. How could they possibly be compared to someone who's works were written nearly 100 years ago? The future is now. – lettersfromadreamgirl 6 months ago
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    • Rupi Kaur has lately gained so much attention from teenage for her thoughts and writing. She has written some books as well based on her real-life experiences. – arristarose 5 months ago
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    • I personally enjoy Rupi Kaur's work, but I can certainly understand why it is not everybody's cup of tea. I think that there is beauty in all types of poetry. In free verse, in poetry following strict formulas. In poetry which is complex and multifaceted and in poetry which is straightforward and simple to understand. Rupi Kaur's work is, in my eyes, certainly not "deep" and clearly she uses simple language and simple concepts. And there is something undeniably beautiful about poetry such as that of E.E. Cummings, which is flowery and complex and which rolls of the tongue beautifully. But I do not personally believe that certain types of poetry is better then other types of poetry. Rupi Kaur's poetry may not be traditional in the way that she presents it but it is poetry. Real poetry is material that makes people feel. And I think that the reason why Kaur has become a bestseller is because her poetry does just that:it makes people feel. It may not be complex or profound, but it addresses important topics in ways that people can relate to and in ways which make people feel what Kaur must have felt in order to write the poems that she has written. – NataliaNybida 5 months ago
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    • Rupi Kaur is responsible for re-lighting the fire for poetry in today's society. Without her work, much of today's youth would not look twice at a poem. Even if her work is not the poetry of the past, it is the work that we needed today. – brittanynieman 5 months ago
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    • While Rupi Kaur is a particularly egregious example, "Tumblr Poetry," or "Prosetry," as some have called it, regardless of its artistic merit is questionable in its status as poetry by definition. Poetry is defined, generally, by the usage of the aesthetic or rhymic qualities of literature to create a work of art, often utilising stable symbols and motifs to invoke the meaning without outrightly stating it. Kaur and her contemporaries take a more conversational style or even a confessional one. Now, while this is neither inherently good or bad, in its lack of the utilisation of poetic techniques as a whole it is questionable as to whether it is, indeed poetry. Again, while I'm certainly not a fan, I'm not here to pass judgement on the aesthetic or artistic qualities of this genre but in saying that, if we are to compare it to Cummings, the only commonality is that they're both writing. – benjamindmuir 4 months ago
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    What's in a Non-de-plume?

    A cursory glance at the names of contributors to The Artifice shows that many of us choose nom de plumes (pen names). My own pen name is a variant spelling of a character’s name from an Agatha Christie novel, whilst other contributors have chosen pen names that either reflect their interests, their sense of humour or they serve as a personal statement. There are many reasons to use pen names. Some may be for political or cultural reasons. George Eliot (1819-1880), for example, was writing at a time when it was difficult for a female writer to be accepted simply as a writer and not be judged by her sex. Conversely, I recently met a male writer who writes romantic fiction under a female nom de plume; and very successfully too. Discuss how the invention of a ‘literary double’ might empower the writer and, just as importantly, have our nom de plumes become characters in their own right?

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      How Much Should One Read before Starting to Write Fiction?

      If one does not read extensively before starting to write, one runs the risk of doing what has already been done. What one might think is original might not be original at all (although there is nothing wrong with a new treatment of an old topic, as long as one is aware of this). Many of our basic story lines go back hundreds or even thousands of years (to the Greeks). One can also learn much about writing fiction by reading a lot of it. However, it is difficult to read all of the important fiction of one country, not to mention the literature of all the world’s nations. How much fiction, then, should one read before embarking on doing it oneself?

      • There's no definite answer to that, keep reading and keep writing. Keep doing both, you'll know when you are ready, one can never stop learning. – iamdharmesh1 9 months ago
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      • If one reads just extensively enough, which if it is not clear I am being cheeky, one can only hope to do what is already done. The literary achievements of an Aeschylus, for example, come from a mind of unparalleled attentive faculties as well as the creative brilliance to retell old stories which were fresh on the minds of audiences at the time. If you wish to be inspired by any school of literature that should not be too difficult. If you view things on a large enough scale you can find yourself lost in a textual wilderness. So, my advice is to take things one word at a time, one sentence at a time, one paragraph at a time. – jesheppard 9 months ago
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      • Reading is excellent for learning how to write. The issue comes when we, as writers, cease to read out of a desire to learn and start to read out of a fear that when we stop reading and put our own words into the world we will fail. – Sophie Bouey 9 months ago
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      • This depends on what the writer wants to write about. I think writers should read widely and indiscriminately as often as possible, but should also write every day. When starting out I think it’s good to write anything you feel like. Once you’ve written a lot, you start to know what genre you like to focus on. That’s when immersion in the genre comes in handy to identify any gaps and see what has already been done. It’s helpful to remember that everything is intertextual. No idea has sprung from nothing, and nothing is original. Everything is a reiteration or recombination of what already exists. – KiarnaAnne 9 months ago
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      • As much as you can I would say. & it depends.. For some people a couple of books is OK for other not.. I would consider that you folk is love Fiction & would count the number, just read as much as he or she can) – KatynOr 7 months ago
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      • I don't believe ones work would necessarily reflect whether or not you've written a great fiction story or not. Reading the works of others is great for learning how fiction, or any genre for that matter, is supposed to flow as well as the what works and what doesn't. It definitely gives the necessary guidelines to help lead you into a more successful path. However, the whole point of writing fiction is to let your mind run wild and get as creative as you can. By constricting yourself with previous pieces you have read, it defeats the purpose of the initial intentions. Overall, I believe you should take guidance from the common factors that make a successful piece but don't lose the personal touch that can help distinguish your work from the work of others. – janaibrahim 7 months ago
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      • Interesting question, although the topic seems rather broad considering as a writer, you never, ever stop reading (take it from somebody who knows). Maybe the question hiding under here is, what kind of fiction, or what titles, an author needs to read depending on the voice he or she wishes to create. – Stephanie M. 6 months ago
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