Gwyneth Paltrow Has No Love For Internet Commenters

“The Internet also allows us the opportunity to project outward our hatred, our jealousy. It’s culturally acceptable to be an anonymous commenter. It’s culturally acceptable to say, ‘I’m just going to take all of my internal pain and externalize it anonymously.’ … It has nothing to do with me. They have an internal object, and they’re putting it on me. I kind of look at it as, ‘Wow this is an interesting social experiment.’ You’re talking about a blind stranger having feelings about you. It can only be projection. …

You come across [online comments] about yourself and about your friends, and it’s a very dehumanizing thing. It’s almost like how, in war, you go through this bloody, dehumanizing thing, and then something is defined out of it. My hope is, as we get out of it, we’ll reach the next level of conscience.”

While I have my own complicated feelings about internet commenters, and certainly have no love in my heart for trolls who drop by just to stir the pot or call people names or spout racist/sexist/homophobic bullshit, I think Gwyneth Paltrow makes three big mistakes in this interview with re/code. First, she lumps all anonymous commenters together, as if they’re one hive mind that is, naturally, beneath her. Secondly, she shows no understanding of the very  legitimate reasons why people might choose to comment anonymously beyond just wanting the freedom to “project” their internal pain onto her. And third, she equates negative comments online to a bloody, dehumanizing war. Bad idea, Goopy. Anonymous commenters? Have at her if you’d like… [re/code]