The Trend Of Killing News Comment Sections Because You 'Just Really Value Conversation' Stupidly Continues

from the mute-button dept

Over the last year, there has been a tidal wave of websites that have decided to close their news comment sections because the companies are no longer willing to invest time and effort into cultivating healthy on-site discussion. While that's any site's prerogative, these announcements have all too often been accompanied by amusing, disingenuous claims that the reason these sites are muting their on-site audience is because they're simply looking to build relationships or just really value conversation. Nothing says "we care about your opinions" like a shiny new muzzle, right?

And judging from this NiemanLab conversation with a lot of the sites that have chosen to shutter comments, most of the websites have no intention of looking back. After all, what's the use of a local, loyal, on-site community when you can just offload all conversation (and that traffic) to Facebook and Twitter, right? Dan Colarusso, executive editor of Reuters, for example, doesn't think comments are important because damnit people -- Reuters isn't looking to argue!
"We’re not the kind of news organization that’s about giving our ‘take’ on something. We’re not looking to start an argument; we’re looking to report the news. We felt that, since so much of the conversation around stories had gravitated toward social, that was the better place for that discourse to happen. We did keep comments on our opinion pieces, because we felt that that is where you are trying to start an argument in the best possible way."
Except comments aren't just about having arguments, they're a legitimate and transparent avenue for readers to publicly correct your errors right below the original article, which is something many of these sites likely grew tired of. Sure, poorly managed comments can devolve into a cesspool of banality, but good commenters almost always offer insights the writer or website may have missed, could have been wrong on, or never even thought of. In short, we want you to comment -- we just want you to comment privately so our errors aren't quite so painfully highlighted. For the sake of conversation, of course.

Last week On The Media was the latest to quietly kill comments on the bottom of its newsletter, informing readers that comments just don't provide the "kind of dialogue" they wanted:
"We value our listeners above all and are always keen to know what you're thinking, to hear your questions and concerns, to get feedback on what you like and dislike. So why shut down the comment section? As we hear more from listeners through Facebook and Twitter and directly through our website, we've concluded that the comment section just isn't the best way to have the kind of dialogue we want with our listeners."
By "kind of dialogue" you mean transparent and public? Over at the last bastion of website interaction known as Twitter, Mike amusingly highlighted the disjointed logic of claiming to value dialogue while dramatically reducing the number of avenues for it, and the website's response doesn't really make sense:
Of course "nobody in our writing or editorial staff wants to take the time to cultivate local on-site community" or "we don't like having our mistakes highlighted publicly right below our articles" don't make for very good explanations when it's time to save a little money and axe ye olde comment section. So what we get instead are these vague bloviations about how this is really about an evolution in conversation, and punting the problem to Facebook is really the best thing for everyone. It's really time for some new, flimsy excuses for why websites can't be bothered to value local, on-site dialogue, because "we killed a major, on-site avenue of conversation for the sake of conversation" still doesn't really sound all that convincing.

Filed Under: comments, news, on the media, value conversation


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  1. identicon
    Matt, 7 Sep 2016 @ 1:53am

    News sites nixing comments

    This is about the fact that the major news networks have been allowed to canabilize one another and monopolies allowed to flourish - all allowed like our telecom industry to be bought by foreign nationals - especially Israelis- or American dual nationals and Zionists. Add to that that the news media has been proven beyond a doubt to be 100% treasonously complicit and essential to the 9/11 attacks and on going false flag attacks which incontrivertible evidence proves was a Mossad run op in conjunction with treasonous neo cons and project for a new America dual citizenship Israelis allowed by some unfathomable depth of corruption to actually hold some of the highest and most sensitive senior posts dealing with national security - making it easy for them to be in position to order the release of some 200 plus Mossad agents arrested on September 11th posing as "Art Students". Many with explosives and taped taping the towers blowing up while dancing and high-fiving each other atop an explosives filled van with a logo mural of an airliner exploding into one of the Twin Towers. Another group actually taped & shot themselves working on one of the topmost floors of tower 1 and filling it wall to wall with boxes of detonator caps made for mini nukes by a company owned by Haliburton and traced to Cheney. These detonating caps are for mini nukes exclusively. They were allowed to use it free till the day before the attacks by its new owner- Larry Silverstien, a Zionist who bought the Towers just weeks before the attacks in a Port Authority asbestos condemned building crazy sale- for 3 dollars - ensuring them for 3 billion specifically against a terrorist attack using airliners. Something insurance companies almost never allow. Yet all these agents were released by their fellow Israeli Zionists in our government and all News reports by the Zionist owned media ignored those reports and focused immediately on Israel's enemies who could never have mounted such an attack in the first place- period. Now these same treasonous news media are busy completely skewing US election poll results and misreporting or under reporting candidates that are more populist or beating those they've paid for and own in both parties - that is when they allow them any coverage whatsoever. Since they are all also owned by the .01% of the worlds population that even the corrupt Major National News Media actually ADMITTED will own 99% of the worlds wealth and resources in 2016- whilst the rest of us billions and billions of 99% of the population ALL SPLIT BETWEEN US THE LEFT OVER 1% of wealth they've not yet figured out how to steal from us slaves yet. But that one time report on this was the only time it will be reported on by these propaganda arm kingmakers of the .01%... So - comments sections that will allow the 99% to post their outrage and the truth and see our own numbers and stregnth? Hahaha! Don't hold your breath, my fellow 99%r's! It's time to take back our country and government. We should start with the treasonous major news media. Remember- they are literally nothing. We are the 99% (Mossad & Rothschild .01%), DONT TREAD ON US

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