When the mayhem-making group LulzSec targeted Rupert Murdoch’s Rupert Murdoch’s Sun newspaper, its activity received broad approval from commenters on a broad selection of websites.
That’s NYU journalism department webmaster Tim Libert’s finding from an analysis of 2,838 comments on CNN, MSNBC, The New York Times, Wired, The Register and ZDNET. Libert focused on three news events: the arrest of a LulzSec leader, the announcement that the group was disbanding, and its hack of the Sun, a newspaper in the Murdoch empire.
Libert freely admits that comments are not a perfect proxy for overall public sentiment, but they are the forum through which a reader community tries to make sense of a given event. “[I]t felt as if I were watching the extant social fabric of the Internet attempt to assimilate and collectively understand this new force,” Libert wrote.