Unless you're a Slate columnist, it's no big secret that the Internet is full of assholes: trolls, ideologues, people having a bad day. Dealing with rudeness on the Internet is part of the cost of admission. 

Of course, there are a lot of assholes in the real world, but plenty of sweet, caring, loving, and awesome individuals as well. The Internet is no different, and the new website presents a welcome alternative to the invective and ad hominem attacks that characterize so much online discussion. doesn't want to school you about your poor life choices, lacking rhetorical skills, or the alleged merits of a Ron Paul ReLOVElution. It just wants to give you a big Internet hug.

The promo video, set to "I Have Never Loved Someone" by My Brightest Diamond, gives a quick introduction to what to expect: strangers from all walks of life, walking towards a camera to give you a big hug over YouTube. The site collects these submitted virtual hugs, and plays them in succession. It's a nice pick-me-up whether you're dealing with a bad boss, were recently dissed by Gawker, or drank a bit too much the night before.  

But this isn't only a one-way arrangement: wants you to spread the love as well. Fire up Photo Booth, turn on the webcam, and upload a hug to YouTube. Once you do that, drop an email with a link. You never know—you just might make a stranger's day.

Paul M. Davis


Paul M. Davis

Paul M. Davis tells stories online and off, exploring the spaces where data, art, and civics intersect. I currently work with a number of organizations including Pivotal and

Things I share: Knowledge, technology, reusable resources, goodwill.