Image via WikipediaAn interesting thought (well, to me at least) to end the week. We've got this little phrase, 'the devil's in the detail', a version of 'never look a gift horse in the mouth' and many other similar wee pieces of wisdom that boil down to 'that looks like a great deal, why don't you take a good, long, hard look at it and make sure you know precisely what you're getting into here.'
When we're looking at information and opinion posted online, the devil's actually not so much lurking in the detail as in the comments - whatever you've got to say, it's how people, the 'community', reacts that's perhaps more telling. Take this example, the article that sparked my thinking about this. It's a really, really nice piece that tries to take a reasoned, moderate tone about the whole controversy revolving around the infamous South Park/Prophet Mohammed debate (and, by inference, the original Danish Cartoon Saga and the recent 'Let's All Draw The Prophet' saga). It basically asks Muslims to consider what the Prophet himself would do and counsels them to, effectively, turn the other cheek. I liked it.
But read the comments. Read how quickly that feedback descends into vituperation, unreason, hatred and bigotry.
What amazed me is how much stronger it all made the original post and how much the howling of the 'haters', directed at a moderate and well-argued voice, made that voice seem more reasoned and even more powerful.
The devil, these days, is certainly in the comments. But sometimes devilment doesn't half backfire!