This Is How We Roll asks the question and they identify three types of commenters.
The Troll — Everyone knows this guy (and it’s usually a guy), who intentionally visits sites in order to stir things up, provoke a furious reaction from other posters and then disappear. Classic examples are the Free Republic types who visit Daily Kos and vice versa.
The Droll — The mainstay of all fun sites, this poster regularly tosses out clever comments, plays on words, one-liners or amusing pictures. There are a lot of these characters on places like Fark.com
The Relentless Pol — Posters who can’t join any discussion without immediately using it to make a political point, i.e., “The current lack of sunspots is the direct result of the Bush administration’s failed policies.”
They point to this story at ABC which tackles this question.
Commenting is something I think most journalists didn’t consider when the ‘tubes were invented.
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