The Facebook comments under links to news articles are special. Unlike the comments section under a post you share with your family and friends, the comments section under news is ostensibly a public space, a place of near anonymity where anyone can stand on the table and say anything and anyone can tear down anyone. It’s theatrical, at its core. A bar fight.
In a world of kill or be killed, a comment that can hold its own is one that immediately repulses people of differing views while subtly suggesting that you, its author, are beyond help. Logic and facts will no longer speak to you, so don’t bother. This is a balancing act every quality comment must accomplish. Here are some foolproof ways to hit the mark every time:
1. Invoke conspiracy and/or the paranormal.
The perfect comment seeks to mimic them. Create a reality that supports your opinion. Play by new rules. Twist evidence. Call Hillary Clinton a witch. What can people say to that? A closely related device is abusing language, particularly slang. No one wants to discuss Obama’s legacy with someone who spells ass like “azz.” It’s a wink and nudge that you live in a Wonderland-esque reality where that sort of thing is acceptable.
2. Nicknames make everything stick.
The utility of a nickname is obvious; Donald Trump applied this tactic to perfection. But the selection of a nickname requires skill. One of the worst things John Oliver did this past presidential election was trying to coin “Drumpf.” Classic liberal elitism! To understand “Drumpf” you need to read a few Wikipedia pages, watch a 20 minute video, and have some sense of paternalistic outrage. “Drumpf” is a PSA, not a nickname. Meanwhile, “Hitlary” was knocking people dead. The connection is simple and obvious. A good nickname should feel like jazz! Spontaneous! Natural!
3. Subtlety is stupid.
A literary Facebook comment is like a totaled car with a sick coat of paint. Everyone knows this, but not everyone thinks to weaponize this self-awareness. Think Jenny Holzer. Walk the line of the sublime; utilize the shock of the image. Capitalize words for emphasis, not grammar. Use all caps liberally. Leave NOTHING up to the viewer.
4. Clothe yourself in the gods.
Thomas Jefferson. Ronald Reagan. Invoke the infallible or revered. “[Insert name], do you hate the United States?” is maybe the perfect rebuttal. A related tactic is referencing the devil, be it Fox News or “special snowflakes” or just “Republicans.”
5. Everything is an opinion.
It's not just an iconic quote from an iconic movie! It is also a way of life! This is the true left-hand path. Pick and choose what you accept as a foundation of reality. Evaluate news according to your gut feeling. Intuit your response. Keep in the forefront of your mind whether accepting a certain fact will be convenient to you. This is the secret to a perfectly awful Facebook comment; regardless of whether you openly display this or not, as long as you decide not to heed the criticisms of your views, your Facebook comment will be truly impervious.