The opposite of the screaming matches on the Net is not screaming back and is not staying quiet, but is hospitality.
This is a core term we Americans sometimes don’t pay enough attention to. Oh, we’re hospitable and sometimes spectacularly so, but other cultures hold the standard closer and higher. It’s one of the moral values that are not negative: Don’t steal, don’t lie, but do go out of your way to welcome those who are unlike you. Appreciate them. Enjoy talking with them. Understand that they find difficult the normal customs that you take for granted, so ease their way. (In fact, Loman Tsui, of the Berkman Center, is writing a dissertation that focuses on hospitality as a key virtue for news media.)
The story of Abraham and Sarah welcoming dusty strangers who turn out to be angels says it all. So I’ll stop now. It’s just that having been treated to kind hospitality today, it is on my mind. It is a virtue that makes the world better immediately.