Creator Turns Negative Online Comments Into Thoughtfully Productive Real Life Conversations

Writer, performer, and video maker Dylan Marron stood before a Vancouver TED audience to talk about some of his socially-themed YouTube projects, his inspiration for these projects and the hateful comments that inevitably followed. While Marron is quite able to take this kind of the vitriol in stride, he decided that accepting it wasn’t enough. In a quest to find out who was on the other end of these nasty comments, Marron reached out where he could. He then created the podcast “Conversations With People Who Hate Me“, to share these conversations. What he found, in many cases, was he had more in common with the other person than he thought and in some cases, even changed their minds.

Before I started this project, I thought that the real way to bring about change was to shut down opposing viewpoints through epically worded video essays and comments and posts, but I soon learned those were only cheered on by the people who already agreed with me. …Sometimes, the most subversive thing you could do – is to actually speak with the people you disagreed with, and not simply at them.