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Fed up with comments that are "mean, pointless & frankly threatening in some situtations," Engadget has turned off commenting.
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Avatar Administrator
from dannysullivan 1722 Days ago #
Votes: 0

While I like them standing up in this way, i don't think a time out alone will "shake out" trolls and spammers. I think Engadget, like many publications, really will need to learn to police its comments. To me, it's like the "broken windows" theory of policing. That if an area has a lot of broken windows, people assume it's all's fair in crime and war. Mean, hateful or spammy comments are just bacteria that breed more of them. If your commenting activity sets a high bar, a good example, then I think that leads to better quality. Of course, that might mean less actvity -- and less page views that some publications seem to want more. And more work -- you can't just sit back and let the Web 2.0 magic happen, because sometimes it ain't that magical.



Avatar Moderator
from graywolf 1722 Days ago #
Votes: 0

While there are some places where comments do create a richer experience, in the vast majority of places they are nothing more than a time suck for the site owner. As spam bots grow more an more sophisticated they will start to look more and more human like, and gain the ability to bypass captcha and registration walls. To be honest it's just a whole lot of time and money thrown at a problem that almost never gives you any ROI.

Maybe I'm off base but I think the few people who want to enable comments are people who want to produce content without having to maintain or put up a blog or micro blog or any other spot to publish. It's like passive aggressive thing, they want to be part time publisher without making the long term commitment to being a publisher, and want you to do it for them.

I fully appreciate the sublime irony that this itself is comment about how most comments don't have value ...



Avatar Administrator
from dannysullivan 1722 Days ago #
Votes: 0

To be clear, I don't think comments are required for anyone to have. If you don't have time to monitor them, I'd certainly agree in turning them off. Otherwise, I just see too many examples where they turn into festering ponds of spam or trolling or other stupid stuff.

But comments can create a richer experience with care. That's the problem I'm saying. Too many places just open it up and figure the garden will tend itself. It won't. It gets overgrown with weeds.

Pull the weeds, tend to your comment garden, and you can have a beautiful and enriching experience.

Don't, and you have a mess.

Don't have time to tend your garden? Hey, cover it with rocks and let nothing grow. At least it won't let the rest of yo



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