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Vibrant online communities? Or cesspools of abuse? Have comments had their day?

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via BBC:

Vibrant online communities? Or cesspools of abuse? Have comments had their day?

The debate about comment sections on news sites is often as divisive as the comments themselves. Recently outlets such as The Verge and The Daily Dothave closed their comments sections because they’ve become too hard to manage. And they’re far from alone. Moderating comments is a full-time job (or several full-time jobs) at many news organisations. Officiating comments on a BBC News story requires knowledge of more than a dozen different disqualifying categories. Alongside shouting, swearing and incivility, comment sections can also attract racism and sexism. BBC Trending recently found evidence of the latter when looking at live streaming app Periscope.

That’s the downside. But it’s also worth remembering that many news organisations – including the BBC – have used comments sections to make real connections with audiences, find stories, and turn what was once a one-way street into a multi-headed conversation.

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Ending reader comments is a mistake, even if you are Reuters

Howard Lake (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Howard Lake (CC BY-SA 2.0)

via Gigaom:

Anyone who has followed our coverage of online media probably knows that I am in favor of media entities giving their readers the option to comment — even though comment sections are often filled with trolls, flame wars and spam. So it shouldn’t come as any surprise that I think Reuters is making a mistake by removing the option to comment from its news articles. Even though Reuters is a newswire service with mostly corporate clients, I think the reasoning behind its decision is flawed.

In a post about the decision, Reuters Digital executive editor Dan Colarusso describes it as a necessary evolution, brought about by changes in reader behavior. In other words, he argues that the Reuters website doesn’t really need to have comments on its news articles any more because people are commenting elsewhere — primarily Twitter and Facebook:

“Much of the well-informed and articulate discussion around news, as well as criticism or praise for stories, has moved to social media and online forums.

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