Leftie in the Sticks
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Well the Philadelphia Inquirer has finally decided to dispense with allowing user comment "on most articles". Very well written explanation of exactly why. Sometimes I wouldn't mind if the Washington Post did likewise instead of probably hiring another dozen moderators every so often to keep up with the trolls and the banned trolls re-upping with another ID etc...
A few excerpts
The comments on far too many Inquirer.com stories are toxic, and have gotten worse as mounting extremism and election denialism pollute our national discourse. Our staff and readers deserve better.
A few excerpts
Why not just invest in more moderation?
Experience has shown that anything short of 24-hour vigilance on all stories is insufficient. The dedicated bad actors in our commenting community are adept at changing their identities. Many have been banned over and over again, only to reappear with a new username later the same day. Many news organizations have made the decision to eliminate or restrict comments in recent years, from National Public Radio, to The Atlantic, to NJ.com, which did a nice job of explaining the decision when comments were removed from its site.
We’d rather invest in vital local journalism than an endless and expensive game of comment whack-a-mole.
Are we turning off comments to silence criticism? Is this a violation of the First Amendment?
No. The Inquirer embraces diverse points of view, relevant criticism of our work, and robust debate. Some comment threads include those elements. Most do not.
The First Amendment limits the government’s ability to regulate speech. It does not require news organizations to treat all speech as equal, or to provide an open forum for comments. Rather, the First Amendment ensures The Inquirer’s right to publish what The Inquirer chooses to publish.