Story sparks real estate witch-hunt

Mood of the Market

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When it comes to writing articles for the Web, I've been around the block a few times. I've been doing this for enough years, and have written enough articles and posts that I am very well aware of one significant occupational hazard: crazy comments.

I'm all for civil debate on the merits of an argument, but something about the anonymity of the Web makes people think that it's perfectly fine to attack writers and even their fellow readers and commenters personally and wildly when they don't like something they've read.

In my own readership, the lovely, smart, respectful readers outweigh the wack jobs about a million to one, so I really can't complain. But when things I write get posted to some of the larger websites, I tend to either hold my breath or just not read the comments at all, out of a concern for the random bizarreness that I might find.

Recently, a piece I wrote for a large publication landed on the welcome screen of one of the...