After the announcement that Facebook users would be allowed to comment on Deadspin, many Deadspin users reacted in horror. How dare the hoi polloi mix with Deadspin commenters! After all, won't every single person on the Internet rush to be a part of Deadspin if given the opportunity?! I hate to break it to them, but the answer is "no". After about two weeks of fun, Deadspin will return to normal, and it will actually help get some new talent into the comment section after some weeding-out. I'm in favor of the move. Still, when confronted with so much free paranoia, I had to investigate further.
As you could guess, I couldn't resist such a golden opportunity to see just how angrily Deadspinners would react to the unwashed Facebook masses in their midst. So I created two Facebook accounts. The first was "John Anderson", a relatively normal Facebook user who would make relatively funny comments. I wondered if the Deadspin commenters would put up with even a halfway decent commenter from Facebook such as John Anderson. For the record, here's the profile pic I used (not sure if this could be seen on Deadspin or not). Ah, college kids.
The second was "Ali Caps", a, um, not so normal Facebook user. As regular readers of this blog know (wait, do I have those?), MR CAPS is a returning character on this blog (see past posts here) that types smack in ALL CAPS and refers to himself in the third person ala Rickey Henderson. As you can guess, hardly any commenter on the Internet is both that megalomaniac and dumb (to use all caps) at the same time. And you can also tell it's a joke because of the name itself (Ali Caps = ALL CAPS). Would the Deadspin commenters be subtle enough to detect the obvious bait from Ali Caps, or would they take his writings seriously? Here's his photo:
Comment #1, John Anderson, on the High School Football story about cheerleaders passing along cellphone pics. It's a relatively funny, slightly lewd comment--perfect for Deadspin.
Reaction from commenters: Confusion. Hockey Mountain makes a good Deadspin in-joke about Fred Hickman, but if I just got to Deadspin from Facebook, the humor is wasted, right? Others thought I was trying to make a Miss South Carolina joke. Still, overall the reaction was fair. It's hard to react to someone if you don't know their joke style.
DEADSPIN COMMENTERS 1, MCBIAS 0.
Comment 2: John Anderson, on the Tennessee Titans story. Comment on Kid Canada's comment about there being too much Tennessee content.
Reaction from commenters:
Ah, the sweet smell of commenter paranoia...smells like victory!
DEADSPIN COMMENTERS 1, MCBIAS 1.
Comment #3: ALI CAPS, on the post about Bill Stewart's press conference. I left an intentionally sarcastic comment that Bill Stewart made me want to move to West Virginia, like so:
"MR CAPS IS AMAZED AT THE WISDOM OF COACH STEWART AND WANTS TO MOVE TO WEST VIRGINIA TOMORROW"
Reaction from commenters: Ten frustrated and irritated replies. Highlights:
"I think I'm beginning to understand why Iracane quit."
"HOCKEYMOUNTAIN DOESN'T THINK EVEN STEPHAN A. HAS THE BALLS TO REFER TO HIMSELF IN THRID PERSON WHILE USING ALL CAPS"
"WV has more crackers than a NABISCO factory."
"Mr Hafner is not amazed that Mr Caps' commenting ability has been disabled."
DEADSPIN COMMENTERS 1, MCBIAS 2.
Reaction from Pete, Deadspin Combudsman: My commenting was disabled in about 10 minutes. However, my ability to update my status was not disabled. So I posted this gem:
""Ali Caps CANNOT GET HIS COMMENTS TO WORK. AT LEAST STATUS STILL WORKS."
I followed up with the following e-mail to Pete (an approximation):
"MR CAPS IS EXCITED ABOUT COMMENTING FROM FACEBOOK. HOWEVER, MR CAPS CANNOT MAKE HIS COMMENTS WORK. PLEASE FIX THIS TECHNICAL GLITCH. MR CAPS HAS MUCH WISDOM TO SHARE WITH THE SPORTS BLOGGING WORLD."
Sadly, Pete has yet to fall for this by returning my e-mail. I sent the following follow-up e-mail to him:
"MR PETE, IT APPEARS AS IF MR CAPS' PRIVILEGES OF COMMENTING STILL HAVE NOT BEEN RETURNED. MR CAPS UNDERSTANDS YOU ARE A BUSY MAN. MR CAPS TOO IS BUSY WITH HIS PROFITABLE BUSINESS AND BEAUTIFUL YOUNG WIFE. HOWEVER, MR CAPS DEMANDS YOU PLEASE GET YOUR BEST MEN WORKING ON THIS PROBLEM. MR CAPS HAS WATCHED SPORTS FOR YEARS ON HIS MASSIVE WIDESCREEN AND PLAYED FOOTBALL HIMSELF IN HIGH SCHOOL. HE CAN MAKE A HUGE DIFFERENCE IN TRAFFIC. YOU NEED MR CAPS IN THESE HARSH ECONOMIC TIMES.
Sincerely, MR All CAPS"
The bait is well-placed; surely Pete can't resist crushing MR CAPS' ambitions of blog commenting nirvana via e-mail, right? I'll be happy to publish it if he does fall for it, but for now, I admit defeat.
DEADSPIN COMBUDSMAN 1, MCBIAS 0.
UPDATE: But wait! Later on in the same post, Combudsman Pete couldn't help himself, and dropped an F-Bomb on MR CAPS. Yes! I have salvaged a tie after all.
Final Score: DEADSPIN COMBUDSMAN 1, MCBIAS 1.
Part 2 is here.