Content websites are increasingly shutting down their comments sections, CNN is reporting. Re/code recently did it, along with Popular Science, Reuters and CNN itself. Comments must be approved before appearing on Gawker websites.
The reasons are the same: trolls, spambots, inflammatory conversation, the pain of moderating, and interestingly, the idea that conversations are moving to social media like Twitter, Facebook and forums.
I don’t know if I’d make the same decision. We haven’t seen much trolling on the Cornerplay — a side benefit of being a smaller, more intimate blog — but according to WordPress, we’ve gotten about 25,000 spam comments so far. That’s crazy. If not for WordPress’ excellent spam filter, that would have been unmanageable.
Yet, checking the comments of an article is one of my favorite things to do. Sometimes, a commenter can provide valuable, additional insight to the article. Sometimes, it’s just seeing a different point of view.