You see an infuriating headline, skim through some paragraphs just enough to know this story is terrible and you head straight to the comments section, your fingers itching to fly across the keyboard in utter rage.
But wait — it’s test time!
That’s the safeguard Norwegian public broadcaster NRK is putting on their online stories. Anyone who wants to comment must answer three multiple-choice questions beforehand. The questions are pretty simple and have to do with the content of the article. For instance, here are the questions for a story translated by Google to “Renaissance for Facebook’s super tool for search. Should you be terrified?”
In an interview with Nieman Lab, NRKbeta editor Marius Arnesen explained why the quizzes are on some of their stories: essentially, to take the edge off. As Arnesen said, “If you spend 15 seconds on it, those are maybe 15 seconds that take the edge off the rant mode when people are commenting.”
So instead of comments sections devolving into hate, conspiracy theories and insults, the quiz is supposed to keep commentary focused and more thoughtful — and maybe even related to the topic on hand.
The Norwegian news outlet is really determined to put an end to online rants without completely eliminating the option to comment on a story — which many sites (including Mashable) have decided is the best route to control online abuse.
Now if you really want to rant you have to do your homework.