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Writer: Internet Comments Belong On Personal Blogs, Not News Sites

Soulskill posted about 3 months ago | from the going-godwin dept.

The Internet 299

sixoh1 writes: Nicholas Jackson at Pacific Standard suggests that internet comments are permanently broken (in response to an issue Jezebel is having with violent misogynist GIFs and other inappropriate commentary). He argues that blogs are a good-enough solution to commentary and dialog across the internet. "They belong on personal blogs, or on Twitter or Tumblr or Reddit, where individuals build a full, searchable body of work and can be judged accordingly."

This seems to hold true for most broad-interest sites like newspapers and magazines where comments can be downright awful, as opposed to sites like Slashdot with a self-selected and somewhat homogeneous audience. It seems unlikely that using only blogs for responsive dialog with authors and peers could come close to matching the feedback and community feel of comments such as we see here. Is there a technical solution, or is this a biological problem imposed on the internet?

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

gotse (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47665283)

gotse.jpg

does i win teh interwebz?

Re:gotse (1, Insightful)

buswolley (591500) | about 3 months ago | (#47665307)

A good troll is better than a bad human.

Jezebel? (3, Informative)

dontbemad (2683011) | about 3 months ago | (#47665293)

I think the example given in TFA is an absolutely terrible one. Jezebel, as a site, has been known to pander to fairly extreme, militantly feminist views, while trashtalking and flaming any counterpoints or opposition. While commenting on legitimate news outlets may be a problem, Jezebel is certainly no more credible than a blog, and honestly should be treated as nothing more serious than such.

Don't allow jpg or gif or ... (3, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | about 3 months ago | (#47665371)

Whether you agree with the politics of a particular site or not, the easiest solution is just to not enable posting graphics.

If someone wants to make an offensive graphic and host it somewhere, fine. But why would anyone running a controversial site allow posting such?

Imagine /. with goatse images.

Re:Don't allow jpg or gif or ... (5, Insightful)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 3 months ago | (#47665521)

the easiest solution is just to not enable posting graphics.

Except in the case of Jezebel, they WANT the misogynist graphics. Very few news sites allow graphics in the comments. Jezebel allows it specifically to keep their readers riled up, and to justify their existence.

The way to have a good comment section is right in front of you: A moderation system, like Slashdot has. It isn't perfect, but good comments (like this one) tend to bubble to the top more often than not, and the filth goes to -1.

Re:Don't allow jpg or gif or ... (2)

toonces33 (841696) | about 3 months ago | (#47665705)

Even here, many of the highly rated comments are really just wisecracks which might be funny, but don't add anything to the discussion. Things that are truly offensive tend to get downrated fairly quickly, which I guess is an improvement over most news sites.

Re:Don't allow jpg or gif or ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47665751)

That's a bit unfair. The Kinja commenting system is for all Gawker Media sites, not just Jezebel. Images in comment sections seems to be on at all the GM sites, so I'm not sure an individual site can turn them off or not

Re:Don't allow jpg or gif or ... (2)

TWX (665546) | about 3 months ago | (#47665569)

If someone wants to make an offensive graphic and host it somewhere, fine. But why would anyone running a controversial site allow posting such?

Because like it or not, traffic is traffic, and even controversial or offensive content will drive traffic. Now everyone will go over to Jezebel (still part of Gawker, right?) to see what's going on.

Some will argue that we're seeing outliers, but I don't think that's so. The Internet in is quasi-anonymity is the ultimate Ring of Gyges, allowing one to express how one truly feels without having to be identified. Even on Slashdot, where anonymity is somewhat disparaged (ie Anonymous Coward) we still use handles, alises that shield our full identites from casual knowledge, though it's generally not hard to pierce that veil if one really needs to.

People act civilly because society forces them to. If society isn't able to force them to then they would probably act much more like their online personas. Even trolls, in their efforts to stir up trouble, and probably showing more of their true selves than they realize.

Re:Don't allow jpg or gif or ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47665759)

though it's generally not hard to pierce that veil if one really needs to.

Only if you're a fucking moron. If you use throwaway email address and some random name you've never used (not strictly required unless you've posted your name somewhere using that nickname), you should have no problems.

People act civilly because society forces them to.

That's why the real world is so boring, and why anonymity is so important. People will want you to act "civilly" and you therefore must hide your real self. Maybe society thinks that being a homosexual is unacceptable, or that disagreeing with the insane "for the children" crowd makes you a pedophile.

Re:Don't allow jpg or gif or ... (1)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | about 3 months ago | (#47665809)

Whether you agree with the politics of a particular site or not, the easiest solution is just to not enable posting graphics.

Ding ding! That's the first thing I thought of when I read about this "crisis" yesterday. If the problem is that you have offensive graphics appearing in your comments, then the solution is to disable graphics in the comments. It's another case of "this is why we can't have nice things", because people ruined it for everyone else. They already have a comment rating system, so an alternate fix would be to allow people above a certain rating threshold to post graphics. They are talking about all sorts of possible solutions like tracking and banning by IP (which would obviously do nothing to stop the graphics), switching software providers, turning off comments completely, etc. For some reason the idea of not allowing graphics for low-rated accounts apparently never crossed their minds.

Re:Jezebel? (5, Insightful)

xevioso (598654) | about 3 months ago | (#47665405)

Actually, the latest events on Jezebel proves the point of many of Jezebel's authors, which is that much of the internet is openly hostile to women. Jezebel is an awesome blog and has fantastic stories about the crap that women have to put up with in this country and around the world every single day. They call out misogyny on the internet, and are promptly spammed with rape gifs. They aren't the problem at all; it's the jerks who posted the gifs who are the problem, so yes, their example is a perfect example.

As for "militant", I don't think that word means what you think it means.

Re:Jezebel? (5, Interesting)

kruach aum (1934852) | about 3 months ago | (#47665475)

What it proves is that there are people that find enjoyment in pushing other people's buttons. It has very little to do with hating women and much more to do with entertainment.

There are of course some people out there who do actually hate women, and they may be involved in this as well, but I very much doubt it is anything but a minority.

Re:Jezebel? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47665823)

What it proves is that there are people that find enjoyment in pushing other people's buttons. It has very little to do with hating women and much more to do with entertainment.

There are of course some people out there who do actually hate women, and they may be involved in this as well, but I very much doubt it is anything but a minority.

In real life they are most certainly a small minority, but on the Internet the failed and frustrated people get an outlet that let's them become a so vocal minority that they dominate many forums. One online newspaper I read about had done research on their comment section and "hate" posts and found that thousands of posts came from something like 30 nicks, that came from 5 consumer ISP IP adresses. So in this case just a handful of very angry, very frustrated people with a ton of time on their hands, generated thousands of hate posts on this single newspapers online forum and completely dominated.

Re:Jezebel? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47665865)

What it proves is that there are people that find enjoyment in pushing other people's buttons. It has very little to do with hating women and much more to do with entertainment.

There are of course some people out there who do actually hate women, and they may be involved in this as well, but I very much doubt it is anything but a minority.

In real life they are most certainly a small minority, but on the Internet the failed and frustrated people get an outlet that let's them become a so vocal minority that they dominate many forums. One online newspaper I read about had done research on their comment section and "hate" posts and found that thousands of posts came from something like 30 nicks, that came from 5 consumer ISP IP adresses. So in this case just a handful of very angry, very frustrated people with a ton of time on their hands, generated thousands of hate posts on this single newspapers online forum and completely dominated.

Forgot to add, most don't show this kind of extreme fervor and effort, spending a huge amount of time with countless very emotional posts on multiple nicks just to push peoples buttons, they already have their own buttons pushed permanently.

Re:Jezebel? (1)

hypergreatthing (254983) | about 3 months ago | (#47665517)

Please no! Not the GIFS!
It's more like people know what buttons to push because it's so obvious.

Re:Jezebel? (1)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about 3 months ago | (#47665787)

Please no! Not the GIFS!
It's more like people know what buttons to push because it's so obvious.

Better GIFs than auto-playing audio/video clips.

I'm about to the point where I'm going to give up on getting news from the Internet and re-subscribing to dead-tree newspapers. At least THEY don't start making a racket the minute you open them.

And the lunatic rants are mostly confined to the editorial pages where the professional lunatics and amateur lunatics can both be ignored by simply skipping that section.

Re:Jezebel? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47665525)

Jezebel is a horrible blog with insane stories and rarely something useful. The comments happen because of that, not because they're calling anything out. Both Jezebel and the trolls are the problem.

Re:Jezebel? (1, Insightful)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | about 3 months ago | (#47665627)

Oh please, put your mangina back in your bloomers and explain this shit to me: http://jezebel.com/294383/have... [jezebel.com]

Muh soggy knees!

Re:Jezebel? (2, Insightful)

sexconker (1179573) | about 3 months ago | (#47665413)

Yup. As soon as I saw "Jezebel" I knew what was up, and I knew that they brought it upon themselves. I also knew that they love it, because they get to play the victim card while spewing their hateful misandrist shit.

Re:Jezebel? (-1, Flamebait)

xevioso (598654) | about 3 months ago | (#47665453)

Misandry isn't a word.

Re:Jezebel? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47665513)

Of course it isn't [merriam-webster.com]

Re:Jezebel? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47665523)

Of course not. Misandry itself is an attitude. But the actual word "misandry" does exist and is most certainly is a word.

Re:Jezebel? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47665557)

Prove it.

Re:Jezebel? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47665469)

Awwww.... did the poor little Men's Rights Activitist get his feelings hurt? Did they make fun of your fedora?

   

Re:Jezebel? (4, Insightful)

kruach aum (1934852) | about 3 months ago | (#47665575)

I like the irony in your use of stereotypes to exert power

Re:Jezebel? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47665611)

Comments like this. And people wonder why sites like that get trolled?

I'd say they were... ...asking for it!

(No, seriously, Jezebel's a clickbait site. It's deliberate.)

Re:Jezebel? (1)

sexconker (1179573) | about 3 months ago | (#47665613)

No. And I don't own a fedora.
Keep trying though.

Re:Jezebel? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47665641)

Yeah! It's called a trilby you fucking pleb.

*strokes beard*

Re:Jezebel? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47665633)

Awwww.... did the poor little Men's Rights Activitist get his feelings hurt? Did they make fun of your fedora?

Comments like this are the reason women will always be subserviant to men.

Re:Jezebel? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47665897)

What the heck do you have against Red Hat? What did they do to you? They have women who wear the Fedoras too.

Re:Jezebel? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47665483)

You tell them son!

Why, I went up to Jez the other day and posted "I'm just here for the rape porn." boy! Did I get flamed!

Bitches!

Protecting women is militant? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47665587)

Well call me a soldier!

Seriously, the attitude you white men have for women that don't have themselves is just shameful.

Re:Protecting women is militant? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47665791)

If it were merely about protecting women, all would be well. Sadly, it's about much more than your straw man claims.

Re:Jezebel? (5, Insightful)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 3 months ago | (#47665603)

Slashdot, as a site, has been known to pander to fairly extreme, militantly fanboyist views, while trashtalking and flaming any counterpoints or opposition.

Re:Jezebel? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47665677)

Damn right. If they didn't want rape porn posted, they shouldn't have written those provocative articles. They were just asking for it.

Re:Jezebel? (1)

Chalnoth (1334923) | about 3 months ago | (#47665909)

So, you think it's extreme to suggest that women are people who deserve fair treatment? Who shouldn't have to deal disproportionately with violence and rape, and threats of the same?

Never read the comments anyway (1)

Hsien-Ko (1090623) | about 3 months ago | (#47665299)

When I have interest in an article of news, it's certainly not for the gratuitously added comments section below it. I never had the desire to.

It's just webmaster feature creep at that point.

Re:Never read the comments anyway (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47665341)

neither do I

Re:Never read the comments anyway (2)

SQLGuru (980662) | about 3 months ago | (#47665455)

This is Slashdot. We read neither the article, nor the comments.

Re:Never read the comments anyway (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47665799)

Otherwise your asshole can become cursed, and the only cure is to re-post a special post.

Moderation? (2)

disposable60 (735022) | about 3 months ago | (#47665303)

A lot of noise here gets buried by the moderation/karma system.
Does Dice offer the Slashcode for sale?

Re:Moderation? (1)

Sowelu (713889) | about 3 months ago | (#47665423)

I'm amazed at the noise that doesn't get buried. If you don't browse at 2+ or even 3+, there's an awful lot of juvenile trolling. Yes, yes, I know the normal Slashdot response, if you don't like trolling then you're too thin-skinned to live. But if I go to a nice restaurant, or hell even McDonalds, at the very least I don't want some nutjob banging on the windows flashing his junk at everyone. That's like...at least half the articles here, and it takes hours for those comments to get moderated down to -1.

Re:Moderation? (3, Interesting)

ultranova (717540) | about 3 months ago | (#47665675)

I'm amazed at the noise that doesn't get buried. If you don't browse at 2+ or even 3+, there's an awful lot of juvenile trolling.

Really? Because while there's certainly a lot of views I don't agree with, I see little if any trolling at +2.

But if I go to a nice restaurant, or hell even McDonalds, at the very least I don't want some nutjob banging on the windows flashing his junk at everyone.

Nor do you, nor the restaurant, want PETA to hold a "meat is murder" demonstration outside. And it's all too easy to use anti-flasher policies to squash a protest that, whether you agree or disagree with it, is legitimate. And while a privately run website certainly has the right to disable comments, we should not forget that this results in it turning into an echo chamber where no dissenting voices are heard. People love to spend their time in such echo chambers, getting endless reinforcement for their identities and no challenges. The problem is that they get to vote in the real world, and will likely do so according to the fantasy world.

A website without comment section is basically a propaganda machine, telling people what to see and think. A website that's all comments - like Slashdot and yes, even 4chan - is a community discussing matters. Newssites with comment section are somewhere in the middle, and no, blogs are not sufficient replacement, because people only read blogs they agree with. On the other hand, a comment challenging your most dearly held beliefs can pop up anywhere.

Re:Moderation? (1)

timeOday (582209) | about 3 months ago | (#47665769)

That is just a general limitation of crowdsourcing (or democracy for that matter). There is a not-super-high ceiling of quality you will hit. But anything much better will, inevitably, come to resemble a scientific journal, and that's not what most of us want most of the time.

Re:Moderation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47665851)

if I go to a nice restaurant, or hell even McDonalds, at the very least I don't want some nutjob banging on the windows flashing his junk at everyone.

Therefore, don't use windows or flash.

Wah. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47665311)

Don't like it, don't read it. Avoid any and all news comments.

But really, if you cannot handle what comes out of people's mouths, you're probably to weak to live.

If you were to go live in Syria or Iraq, or even a century ago, you'd have far, far more problems than some idiot trolling the comments section of CNN.

As they say, the right to free speech* protects the speech no one wants to hear.

Seems some people just sit around looking for things to bitch about instead of applying their energy to real problem that are threatening this world with extinction.

Go outside, get some air and stop worrying about what other people are saying on the internet.

*Yes, I'm aware corporations can censor speech on their property including websites.

Re:Wah. (2)

xevioso (598654) | about 3 months ago | (#47665429)

Free speech is that protected or regulated by government...not that of an individual company to moderate what sort of speech goes on its website.

Surely you realize this?

And it's not about what people are saying...these are gif meant to evoke a visceral reaction in people. Looking a rape gif is not "reading" a comment. These are people who are actively trying to shut down the comments section of a website. They ought to be sued for harassment.

Re:Wah. (1)

TWX (665546) | about 3 months ago | (#47665643)

Unfortunately the definition of speech is broad enough to allow that horrible picture to apply. Hell, at this point if simply spending money equals free speech, than just about anything else can too.

The important thing is that no one is required to offer a forum, excepting some of the rules regarding fair distribution of political advertising in advance of an election. Since even nasty traffic is still traffic though, it's not in the forum's interest to curtail such behavior unless it actively drives away use.

Re:Wah. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47665655)

Free speech is that protected or regulated by government...not that of an individual company to moderate what sort of speech goes on its website.

Wrong. Free speech is the concept that you can speak freely. Things like the first amendment limit the government's power. I do think that government censorship is worse, and is forbidden, though.

They ought to be sued for harassment.

I can see you love free speech so much. So much that you'd be willing to get the government involved by suing people for posting gifs. "harassment" is subjective and we shouldn't allow any such nonsensical restrictions upon speech.

Re:Wah. (1)

war4peace (1628283) | about 3 months ago | (#47665685)

One would have to catch them first. If you read the actual article, you would have realized that chances to do so are slim.

Nothing to do with the internet. (1)

digsbo (1292334) | about 3 months ago | (#47665315)

How is this any different from regular vandalism? We see this stuff throughout history. Everything from gang signs, to burning crosses, to vulgar language spray painted on a street sign.

Re:Nothing to do with the internet. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47665401)

How is this any different from regular vandalism? We see this stuff throughout history. Everything from gang signs, to burning crosses, to vulgar language spray painted on a street sign.

Er, this has nothing to do with the internet?

A little company called "Facebook" would violently disagree with you.

First (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47665321)

Learn to play your class n00b!

Re:First (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47665359)

But seriously, yes something is terribly wrong. Just about any story's comments, on most news sites, just turns into name-calling and bashing, often starting with the first comment.

For example: http://www.cnn.com/2014/08/12/tech/black-hole-nasa-nustar/index.html?hpt=hp_t4
The very first comment is a troll. it's almost impossible to turn that conversation back into something serious following that.

Re:First (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47665713)

It's CNN, who the fuck cares...

no, it's because News sites try... (3, Informative)

xevioso (598654) | about 3 months ago | (#47665323)

to monetize the comments. There have long been multiple types of comment systems that handled comments from spammers very well. Ones that require authentication, ones that allow people to downvote a comment into oblivion, ones that get hidden because no one reads them. The Kinja system they used was horrible, and their moderators were too slow to deal with complaints of the types of comments they were having.

If your web business relies upon comments for page views and for actual income, then you should actually have multiple full-time people whose job it is to delete unwanted comments. It's that simple. If you can't afford to do it, then don't have the comments.

Re:no, it's because News sites try... (1)

canadiannomad (1745008) | about 3 months ago | (#47665571)

Yeah, I honestly thought this was what mechanical turk [mturk.com] was for....

Re:no, it's because News sites try... (1)

mlts (1038732) | about 3 months ago | (#47665877)

It can be a tough job:

1: Without an active moderator, it can get pointless.
2: Forcing people to register or means people will create fake accounts and then troll the living heck out of the board.
3: Forcing people to log in with FB seems to help, as one can't create those accounts willy-nilly. However, I don't want FB to be my authentication provider. I don't trust them with private stuff, why should I with the key to the gates?
4: Having registering then having people pay for their account to be activated is another tactic, but unless the forum had a following, this wouldn't be viable.

I've wondered about someone setting up an authentication business. Users would register with them, then can get a handle to use at member websites. The member websites would not know the user's real name or other info (unless explicitly provides), but the website can do a ban by that person's name and any attempts at creating a second account to log on would be blocked. That way, people have privacy when posting, but yet there is some accountability, and bans mean something.

Best of luck with that. (1)

B33rNinj4 (666756) | about 3 months ago | (#47665333)

It appears that Nicholas Jackson does not understand how modern media works. The trolls are necessary in order to develop that inclusiveness...that "us vs. them" mentality. Otherwise, it's just a bunch of random people saying "I agree." on every article. That doesn't drive revenue. No, my friends, those trolls are necessary, in fact, I'd go so far as to say they are vital.

Re:Best of luck with that. (1, Troll)

xevioso (598654) | about 3 months ago | (#47665435)

It is possible to disagree with someone without being a troll.

You are wrong. And I am not a troll.

Re:Best of luck with that. (1, Troll)

canadiannomad (1745008) | about 3 months ago | (#47665599)

And I am not a troll.

I was ->.- this close to modding you a troll just for the above statement... But then I decided to burn my ability to mod on this article... :P

Re:Best of luck with that. (1)

B33rNinj4 (666756) | about 3 months ago | (#47665601)

I know that. However, our media is slowly turning more and more sensationalist, and thoughtful discourse is no longer encouraged. They don't want discussions. All they want are talking points and arguments.

Re:Best of luck with that. (1)

TWX (665546) | about 3 months ago | (#47665657)

It is possible to disagree with someone without being a troll.

Are you sure about that? It seems like a terribly foolish assertion to make, and that anyone saying that obviously isn't very smart...

Re:Best of luck with that. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47665687)

It is possible to disagree with someone without being a troll.

You are wrong. And I am not a troll.

What's this?! A civil disagreement? BOOOORRRRING. 2/10. Plz try harder next time.

Closing the tab now. Take that, Dice's ad impression income stream!

no mod points (1, Funny)

turkeydance (1266624) | about 3 months ago | (#47665337)

agree with "Jezebel?" above. please mod up.

Re:no mod points (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47665547)

u mean the troll?

Nobody Reads Blogs (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47665355)

I also find that the slashdot comments are often more useful than the actual article.

Re:Nobody Reads Blogs (5, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 3 months ago | (#47665389)

I also find that the slashdot comments are often more useful than the actual article.

What article?

Re:Nobody Reads Blogs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47665749)

Yes what is this article you mention? Is this some new feature recently added to beta /. ?

Comments Belong With the News (5, Interesting)

Lonboder (3630313) | about 3 months ago | (#47665365)

I enjoy comments on mainstream news sites. To me, at least, random public sentiment is at least as important as the sanitized news version, if not more so. Public opinion is a lot more likely to affect me, and provides a better indication of what I'm more likely to face in "reality" than what the news writers provide. Does people's anonymous behavior suck sometimes? Yes. But is it more honest? Absolutely. On any given topic, maybe one in four people secretly agrees with the worst of the worst trolls, and it pays to be away that other people around you actually do think/feel that way, even if it seems foreign and alien.

I read the news to prepare for life. Other people (even terrible trolls) exist in real life. I value learning their opinions, even if only to prepare myself for dealing with them.

It sucks that people can be offensive, but... hiding it doesn't help anyone.

Re:Comments Belong With the News (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47665623)

I disagree. Comment systems on news sites are often exploited by the various vocal minorities, the extremists, and are often not representative of public opinion. Why give extremist groups undeserved power when thoughtful people will respond on their own blogs?

Re:Comments Belong With the News (1)

war4peace (1628283) | about 3 months ago | (#47665727)

Hiding is one thing, regulating extremes is another.
There are many ways of expressing a point of view, and I personally value civil methods of doing so.
One could express disagreement by saying "No" or by shooting someone else in the face with a shotgun.

Re:Comments Belong With the News (1)

blue9steel (2758287) | about 3 months ago | (#47665879)

One could express disagreement by saying "No" or by shooting someone else in the face with a shotgun.

Which one is appropriate depends on the point of view they're expressing.

Re:Comments Belong With the News (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 3 months ago | (#47665853)

But you don't get to see random public sentiment. You get to see the public sentiment of one site's readership, as filtered through their moderation policy.

Yes, by all means lets hide away the comments (1)

msobkow (48369) | about 3 months ago | (#47665367)

Yes, by all means, lets hide away all the comments because some people are mysoginistic or bigotted assholes. Heaven forbid those who stay on topic should be heard near the topic of discussion.

Censorship, much?

lol (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47665369)

"as opposed to sites like Slashdot with a self-selected and somewhat homogeneous audience."

You mean it's one big circlejerk.

Fix netnews instead (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47665373)

I would actually like it if all commenting interfaces gave up, and we fixed netnews, adding in some slashdot-like features. The fragmented conversation spread across all the websites in the world is mucking things up, and the still-centralized distribution of individual comments on blogs and other sites is subject to loss and disruption and cencorship that netnews was not subject too.

Disquis is not bad, but I hate handing control of the convo to them, also.

Also, this is silly: (1)

xevioso (598654) | about 3 months ago | (#47665377)

""They belong on personal blogs, or on Twitter or Tumblr or Reddit, where individuals build a full, searchable body of work and can be judged accordingly.""

he misunderstands what comments are for. They are for a discussion. People like to have a discussion after they read a news article on some relevant topic. And just like in real life, some people try to hijack that discussion.

And as in real life, the only way to deal with those people is to physically remove them from the conversation. That is, have a moderator whose job it is to delete the posts and evict the poster, even if it is a throwaway account.

Much as it pains the Slashdot editors.... (2)

musth (901919) | about 3 months ago | (#47665397)

This seems to hold true for most broad-interest sites like newspapers and magazines where comments can be downright awful, as opposed to sites like Slashdot with a self-selected and somewhat homogeneous audience. It seems unlikely that using only blogs for responsive dialog with authors and peers could come close to matching the feedback and community feel of comments such as we see here. Is there a technical solution, or is this a biological problem imposed on the internet?

Ummmm, I would not classify Slashdot among the non-broken sites with broadly thoughtful, intelligent comments. And the hokey voting system here works just as much to hide thoughtful, but unpopular, opinion as it does to make trolls invisible. I believe Jackson is holding up sites where depth of though reigns and which don't depend on technological thumbscrews to maintain a veneer of quality.

The "push" model dies hard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47665403)

Seems that ultimately this type of complaint is a natural one to make for those comfortable with the historical model of communicating news--where the communication was one-way, from the "authority," and if you felt it objectionable in some respect, you were fully free to keep quiet about it, or at most, yell futilely at your TV.

No, in reality, the reporter's viewpoint is not by definition superior to the audience's. If there is a true difference in information available, that needs no artificial amplification beyond than the information itself. The historical paradigm will be difficult to overcome for some, though, if for no other reason than an unwillingness to let go of the perceived status of being the presenting side of such uni-directional communication.

Yet another reason (1)

tyggna (1405643) | about 3 months ago | (#47665417)

that the traditional news-media is doomed to slide further and further from relevance.

Bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47665431)

Comments may be angry, hateful, off topic, inappropriate but that is what moderators(in any sense) are for. Commenting on news sites is something that keeps the reporters accountable for what they write. Comments on a news article prevents a reporter from saying something is with the voice of God, and declare it to be so without an avenue for a response. It makes news a two sides discussion instead of potentially one-sided bullshit. It allows for people to discuss the news. Communication is good. If news sites enable people to talk about a specific issue, that is good because it brings different viewpoints on the table and they can duke it out. Sure it weakens the voice of the writer, but that is just searching for a problem where there is none.

This is probably just stemming from poor writers getting fed up by all of the grammar corrections or critiques on their poor writing. JK.
The article mentions rape and pornographic comments. With I would like to think would be an edge case which shouldn't undermine the whole commenting system in media. Removing comments from these sites is just taking us backwards. We already complain about mainstream media, their biases, and its problems. But the comments on those mainstream websites at least allowed other ideas to be expressed to the mainstream...(which is important)

The article attempts to cover people with my position. But I think that their counter argument is bullshit.

"An argument for the end of comments isn’t actually an argument against the value of comments. They just don’t belong at the end of or alongside posts."

I think an argument for the end of comments is effectively an argue against their value, because it is overlooking their value in favor of a different outcome...

But Jezebel IS a blog (5, Informative)

Joe Gillian (3683399) | about 3 months ago | (#47665465)

I don't know if the author realizes this, but Jezebel (along with pretty much every other Gawker-owned site) is essentially a blog and not at all a news site. In fact, this ENTIRE THING sounds like a typical Gawker tactic known as "clickbaiting" or "nerd-baiting" - essentially, blog authors on Gawker get paid by how many times people read their stories, so they have been known to make headlines that are overly controversial and inflammatory in order to get people to click on them.
'
As an example, there is one author on Gawker's "Kotaku" gaming blog named Jason Schrier. About a year ago, Jason Schrier wrote a series of articles decrying the game Dragon's Crown (which features stylized characters with exaggerated body proportions) as sexist and an insult to females and the LGBT crowd. 90% of what he posted were pure opinion pieces that were geared toward baiting as many people into clicking and commenting as possible, because this is how Gawker Media makes money. One of his most-clicked "articles" was a photo of his E3 badge (which featured art from Dragon's Crown) and a blurb about him potentially "boycotting" E3 because they used Dragon's Crown in their promotional material. The whole affair was ridiculous, childish, and geared toward baiting as many people into reading as possible.

There's also Patricia Hernandez, who writes long-winded articles about how various video games are sexist. Her articles are pure tripe, and even she knows it - but she wants to bait as many people into reading as possible so that she makes money.

Jezebel is exactly the same thing, but with feminism instead of videogames. They advocate a position that is so extremist as to be unrealistic, and attract a crowd of feminists who have.. less-than-mainstream views. In fact, I would not be at all surprised if these "rape .gifs" are a false-flag to drum up more attention (and thus more money) for Jezebel - it would certainly explain why Gawker Media would refuse to do anything about it.

Re:But Jezebel IS a blog (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47665785)

I like how this is +5 informative for exactly the kind of extreme handwaved opinionated clickbaiting it purports to decry. Do you have any actual reason to believe that Jason Schrier was clickbaiting and didn't just genuinely feel more strongly about the issue than you do?

Re:But Jezebel IS a blog (1)

omnichad (1198475) | about 3 months ago | (#47665819)

Oh, good. Someone already explained this for me. Their site is set up (like every other Gawker site) in more or less a Slashdot fashion. A (more long-winded) summary, a buried link to the original article it's regurgitated from, and then the comments.

Slashdot, a sanctuary of intellectual discussion (5, Funny)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 3 months ago | (#47665479)

Global warming is faaaaake!

dickbutt.jpg

It's about the money. (1)

Dutchmaan (442553) | about 3 months ago | (#47665489)

Never gonna happen. Most people just read the headline then jump right to the comments section to roll around like pigs in slop flaming each other. News sites rely on traffic for revenue/value. I don't know about you but I certainly perceive a story as being of less value when there is no comments section.

Re:It's about the money. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47665697)

They do, however, still get the hit, when someone visits, notices there are no comments and leaves.

I disagree with the headline (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47665495)

Because then it would taint up my search results, just like that pinterest BS.

He's just in the pocket of someone emotional... (1)

MobSwatter (2884921) | about 3 months ago | (#47665497)

"Nicholas Jackson at Pacific Standard say's that far too many news subjects are getting their feelings hurt"

Middlemen (1)

Sir Holo (531007) | about 3 months ago | (#47665503)

Yes, who needs a middle-man? Or, who needs "a portal to the web?"

AOL tried for years to situate themselves between individuals and ... other individuals (early web). Didn't work.

I forget who tried it next. Didn't work.

OK, just a list is enough: MySpace, Time-Warner via a reboot of the AOL idea, .... currently it's Google+ and FaceBook.

I can use email (etc.) myself, thanks. No need to run every message and page-view through a third party. More hassle, they read them, and could disappear at a moment's notice.

In future, someone else will think they force their way in to being an uninvited middle-man. It hasn't worked yet..."

Re:Middlemen (2)

omnichad (1198475) | about 3 months ago | (#47665837)

So what brings you to Slashdot, then?

Typical (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47665629)

"Since too many people disagree with me, we should stop allowing comments."

news storied rebutted in comments (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47665661)

All of the corporate media are going real name or just dropping comments all together.

I'm sure it hurts to spend time making a propaganda piece, only to have someone come along and destroy the whole scam by pointing out the story is wrong or just plain Hogwash, only a few minutes after the story is posted.

User moderation (4, Interesting)

T.E.D. (34228) | about 3 months ago | (#47665747)

They belong on personal blogs, or on Twitter or Tumblr or Reddit, where individuals build a full, searchable body of work and can be judged accordingly

This bit right here tells me the author doesn't know much about Twitter. Twitter has an almost identical problem [polygon.com] . One person I follow (who happens to at least front as an African-American female), has a dedicated Twitter stalker who makes new accounts every day just so he can make sure she gets to greet each new day with a tweet calling her the N-word. Rape threats are endemic there for identified females too. A "searchable body of work" is only a concern for those of us who care about our reputation. Trolls don't care in the slightest.

The only even partial cure I know of for crap like this is reputation-based user moderation, like you find in sites like Slashdot or Stackexchange. This at least allows the manifold eyes of your readers to do some of their own policing, and provides for much more prompt cleanup. A dedicated troll can create a hopeless amount of soul-killing destruction for one or two poor beleaguered individuals. But against a community of hundreds (or more) moderators, the amortized work is manageable. More importantly, the troll isn't going to get much satisfaction, as almost nobody sees their handiwork before someone mods it away.

If you have an online commenting system, you really need a user moderation system to back it up. I'd suggest Discourse [discourse.org] , but there are probably other drop-in solutions available.

Welcome to Thunderdome! (1)

dave562 (969951) | about 3 months ago | (#47665833)

The internet is the ultimate gladiator arena for thoughts. If an idea cannot stand up to the harsh scrutiny of a bunch of anonymous trolls, it probably does not deserve to thrive permanently in the public realm. The reality of internet trolling is that people are free to say what they actually think, without the tethers of society keeping their ego in check. It does get ugly and unproductive at times, but let's face it, ideas are stronger for running the gauntlet.

I especially think that news sites need to support comments. The primary reason for that is so that that informed members of the public can provide counter points and make persuasive arguments to influence people who might be on the fence about the subject. Every site, from a mainstream site like CNN to the darkest fringes of the internet, is biased. As a society, we need to be able to counter the bias and the best way to do that is with discourse.

Get it right, pls. (1)

djupedal (584558) | about 3 months ago | (#47665835)

Jez is part of gawker. gawker loves to gin up controversy. This is how the outfit sells ad space, in which case some ads pose as stories, etc. The more feathers get ruffled, the more eyeballs gather to watch. It's about a busine$$ model, not about bad actors in public or self-restraint or hiding anything. gawker painted themselves into this corner and now they have to live with the monsters they've created.

They're loving how these conversations are helping their bottom line, so be sure you get your cut for helping to promote the train wrecks over there.

Old News (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47665843)

It's long been shown that comments on any site which doesn't have a specific theme/focus have little value.

People Read Those? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47665849)

The comments section of 99% of sites out there are now astro-turfed. It's so bad you can never really tell who is a real person and who is a paid shill. Go take a look over at CNN's comments and try to find me 1 legitimate person in there. A real one, with DNA all its own.

This is why comments sections should be removed from news articles. All the comments section is is a land for astro-turfers to continue or deviate from the article in hopes of changing a reader's opinion to one that they want.

But what do I know? I'm just a paid shill, too...

I'd have to agree (1)

ilsaloving (1534307) | about 3 months ago | (#47665911)

With the sole exception of Slashdot, and The Register, I hate reading comments on articles. They're, at best, a minute fraction better than the comments you see on youtube videos....

And I think this article explains very well why comments, or modern day public discussions in general, are crap:
http://theconversation.com/no-... [theconversation.com]

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