Study: The “Vermont Way” Is Apparently To Be Nasty

by Rob Roper

Wired Magazine ran a story about where the nastiest people on the internet come from based on an analysis of “92 million comments over a 16-month period, written by almost 2 million authors on more than 7,000 forums that use [Disqus] software.” This is the comment platform used by Vermont Digger, VPR, etc. Vermont, it turns out, is the absolute worst. Trolls inhabit the Green Mountains!

Some examples of what “toxic comments” are: “You are a disgusting, subhuman, painfully stupid waste of cells,” “You are a racist pig, a slime ball,” “Liberals are devil lovers.” Seems like a reasonable standard for toxic. And, as the story puts it, “The proportion of crummy comments is higher [in Vermont] than in any other state.” 12.2%. And this study didn’t even include Facebook!

This is ironic considering how much we pat ourselves on the back for abiding by “The Vermont Way,” which is supposed to be a more civil approach to political discourse. Maybe what the Vermont Way really means is, “I’m a civil, tolerant, thoughtful person, and if you disagree, you’re a disgusting, subhuman, waste of cells.”

Though we may not always live up to the intended spirit of the Vermont Way, we should certainly aspire to. This may be a silly little story, and who knows how much credence to put into this data, but it will hopefully serve as a reminder to us all to be polite and respectful — even to the slime balls and devil lovers out there.

One more interesting note on this, however… The least nasty cyber state in the union is right next door in New Hampshire. Maybe not having to deal with income or sales taxes makes people a little more chill. Just a thought.

Rob Roper is president of the Ethan Allen Institute


{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Diana Mara Henry August 25, 2017 at 10:11 pm

What a great story and your commentary just fits it perfectly! I have a smile on my face for the first time today. “Something is rotten in the state..” And it is us! Thank you.


[email protected] August 30, 2017 at 2:23 am

How much of this is the current trend for teens to gang up on some underling and trash them continuously.
We have seen teen suicides, lots of self cutting, and teen angst, since these evil creatures are able to hide behind thier technology to do the “non-violent” work of gang bangers, and street thugs.

“……..but words can never hurt me!” no longer applies


THADDEUS SEVERY September 3, 2017 at 10:53 am

I think it is because of the leftists. The “left” in this country are the judges, judging everything from flags to vehicles, food to money, religion to parenting, success to failure the list is never ending. Furthermore, the left has spent us into debt and like the article said is responsible for our never ending taxes. The left moved here with the intention of transforming Vermont in the 70’s. Prior to that Vermont was a red state for over 150 years and WIG before that. So the conservative base here who were content to leave people alone quickly became outnumbered with people who refuse to leave people alone.

It’s no surprise a study like this points out Vermont as the worst. Vermont is 49th worst to do business in, one of the top states for taxes, one of the worst states for population retention. The invasion of the left has destroyed our once peaceful and prosperous state.


Vicky Gilmore September 4, 2017 at 3:52 pm

Maybe life is a little too easy for some people.
People who have gone through poverty, abuse, homelessness, family suicide, are usually ones who have learned some lessons the hard way. When the mean-spirited trolls have to roll up their sleeves, and join the rest of suffering humanity, rather than flinging nasty comments from afar, maybe they’ll become better persons. A person who has gone through heartbreak is not a mean-spirited troll anymore….life will catch up with them, it happens to everyone.


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