Reader Views Not Wanted: Websites Shut Down Comments
Websites are sick of commentary from readers that are violent, threatening and have poor grammar.
Google, Huffington Post and Popular Science have joined the growing number media sites are forcing users to use their real names when commenting to “restore civil discourse”.
According to Yonatan Zunger, principal engineer and Nundu Janakiram, product manager for YouTube: “Starting this week, when you’re watching a video on YouTube, you’ll see comments sorted by people you care about first. If you post videos on your channel, you also have more tools to moderate welcome and unwelcome conversations. This way, YouTube comments will become conversations that matter to you.”
Last September, Popular Science made headlines for telling their readers that commenters and trolls were synonymous and therefore they were shutting down their comment’s availability to readers.
Suzanne LeBarre, online editor for Popular Science, announced to web users of their news site are shutting off their comments option because it “can be bad for science.”
LaBarre maintains: “As the news arm of a 141-year-old science and technology magazine, we are as committed to fostering lively, intellectual debate as we are to spreading the word of science far and wide. The problem is when trolls and spambots overwhelm the former, diminishing our ability to do the latter.”
Popular Science is concerned about attracting “vexing commenters” who are “shrill, boorish specimens of the lower internet phyla.”
The “fractious minority wields enough power to skew a reader’s perception of a story” and this is not good for scientific dispensation.
This is the exact definition of a “troll” according to the MSM.
LaBarre cites a study entitled, “The ‘Nasty Effect’: Online Incivility and Risk Perceptions of Emerging Technologies” which expounds that “uncivil discourse is a growing concern in American rhetoric, and this trend has expanded beyond traditional media to online sources, such as audience comments.”
With data collected from 1,183 participants that led to the assertion that those exposed to “rude comments ended up with a much more polarized understanding” of the subject matter of the article.
Essentially, the comments influenced the reader’s perspective, comprehension and opinion about the information they received from the article more than the article itself.
Mainstream media’s reaction to this is to point out that “online comments have always been — and probably always will be — one of the Web’s thorniest problems. At their best, comments add depth to stories, videos or other pieces of online content. At their worst, they undermine stories, link people to scams, make you question the state of humanity or, well, just want to take a shower.”
One focus is that commenters be held accountable for their comment by forcing the user to identify themselves – and not be able to use an alias. By tracking users, Google has become a perfect example of this.
The idea that comments are “bad for online journalism” is being implanted into the social consciousness with other MSM articles.