On comments and commenting

Andrew Sullivan

Once again I am receiving emails from loyal readers who are sick of rubbish comments from trolls.

Andrew Sullivan, who doesn’t have comments, comments:

Dan O’Connor blasts what blog comment sections have become:

It is time, I think, for us to accept that disabling or deleting idiot comments is no more anti-democratic or elitist than refusing to engage with a person harrassing you on the street. Just because everyone is allowed to have their say, it does not follow that the bilge they say is worth listening to. I love the internet. I love social media. And the only way we will save them from themselves is by accepting that, more often than not, comments are rubbish.

Gawker is implementing a new comment system to deal with the problem. Recent Dish on a wildly successful comment section here. We’re sticking with posting the best and most informative of your emails. For the Dish, reader input plays a key role in airing debates and discovering facts from readers with deep knowledge of the subjects at hand. There is a way, in other words, to create a web space where readers add and don’t detract from the experience.

It’s called editing.

My own preference is to have a free reign with comments, but smack down outrageously racist, misogynistic or hateful comments. I have a firm belief that my “army’ will deal with any silliness. I don’t want a heavily moderated and sanitised comments section like Red Alert. I enjoy comments from Kosh now he is well trained, less so from Phil who seems untrainable and still posts tl;dr comments.

Personal unfounded attacks on me are dealt with swiftly and permanently with no recourse.

However I think that Dan O’Connor as quoted above does have a valid point.

Is it time for me to start doing this too, or do I need some volunteer moderators to deal with the more foolish of trolls?


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