A Brief History of the End of the Comments

EARLIER THIS WEEK, Vice’s technology and science news site Motherboard dropped its comments section, opting to replace it with an old school “letters to the editor” feature. Then Reddit launched a news site called Upvoted that didn’t include a comments section.


Postmedia now only allows comments from Facebook account owners, the Sun has abandoned comments entirely, I can’t help but think this will cost them readership.

Ostensibly the reason given is that moderation has become a problem, well  when your “flagship” columnists etc are being daily ripped to shreds by the commenteriat that is a problem.

As K has long noted news sites need to be read from the Comments Up.

My suspicion is the former gatekeepers are retreating in defeat.

  • DMB

    The thing I love the most about BCF is the comment section. Quite often they are better than the articles themselves. There loss is BCF and other blog or online news media site gain.

    • I believe so.

    • The only things missing here? Some beer and the nachos.

    • Plus you all get to enjoy my company.

      • Maggat

        My wife loves you, well, the real Putin.

        • David Murrell

          Isn’t this poster the real Putin?

          • Eleanor Dobos

            Work Staying At Home…..Last weekend I Bought A Brand new McLaren F1 after earning 18,512$,this was my last month’s paycheck ,and-a little over, $17k last-month .No-doubt about it, this really is the most comfortable work I have ever had . I began this 8-months ago and pretty much immediately was bringing home at least $97, p/h….Learn More right Here.
            ➤➤➤➤ http://www.googleswebsupportzemploymn861.blogspot.com ❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦

          • David Murrell

            By the way, “NetGoogleCash”, you are one sleazy SoB whore.

          • moraywatson

            The proof is in the putin.

          • Coca-Cola Classic Putin.

  • dagawker

    It has always been a policy of mine,to not give credence to those that that don’t value free movement of information.

  • Jay Currie

    It is hilarious on the papers which still allow comments to read more informed commentary from the public when some deep green stenographer puts out more alarmist crap. The warmists have largely given up commenting because they just get killed with science. The “journalists” – arts graduates to a man – write up the most idiotic alarmist dreck and, instantly, have their heads handed to them.

    No wonder comments are disappearing.

    • It was fun while it lasted.

      • dance…dancetotheradio

        They won’t last.
        We will.

        • Maggat

          Here’s hoping.

      • Justin St.Denis

        A real blast!

    • Xavier

      When journalists abdicated their position as truth checkers and became advocates, the public moved into the slot they abandoned. Comments are being closed because advocates don’t like having their lies challenged by people they look down on.

      • David Murrell

        E.g. Andrew Coyne at the National Post.

  • FactsWillOut

    So, their new business model is to stick their heads up their arse.

  • mauser 98

    ……….TPP trade deal not all about trade
    “which experts say could block web content, invade your privacy, and make your Internet more expensive”.

  • I’ve heard that parsing through comments is just a chore coupled with a hassle. Some publications would rather not do it.

  • mauser 98

    pro Rob Ford comments always shut down TorStar article comments section early

  • Liberal party operative Jon Kay must have hated the comments err the truth.

    • mauser 98

      Kay destroyed National Post

      • He is vile.

        • Justin St.Denis

          Kay is a steaming pile of vile.

      • I recently removed NP’s app off my phone.

      • dance…dancetotheradio

        And…rew Coyne, too.

  • Waffle

    I think the Comments Boards died because they became infested with paid trolls (IMHO) — or just run-of-the-mill trolls with nothing better to do. Not only did they hurl juvenile insults at the columnist, but also at each other. The topic got lost in the maelstrom and it became impossible to have any kind of discussion. The moderators didn’t moderate — just as fact-checkers and copy editors seem to have gone the way of the dodo. So it’s probably for the best.

    • dance…dancetotheradio

      And yet here we are in our comment community.

      • Waffle

        Yes, a civilized little oasis. Trolls don’t last very long here.

      • Maggat

        Different kinda folks here buddy.

        • dance…dancetotheradio

          A B C D E F Guy!
          H I J K L M N O Buddy!
          Q R S T U Fwend!

        • dance…dancetotheradio

          Also you remind me of Minnie Bannister.

        • Justin St.Denis

          And different kinds of trolls here, but trolls nonetheless. Let’s be honest…

      • moraywatson

        The answer to free speech is more free speech.

      • Petey the First

        Not true. Try to bring up truth and issues regarding negroes and see how fast you get get shut down and your comments deleted.

  • dance…dancetotheradio

    Last election I used to read Macleans all the time.
    And, I’d post, too.
    Mainly, in response to that paid liberal poster OriginalEmily.
    She denied that Ignatieff got booed at a junior hockey playoff game.
    ‘He wasn’t there.’ she said many times until the truth came out in pictures and on blogs to such an extent that the media couldn’t ignore the ignatieff story any more.
    This time around Macleans, which gets over a million dollar annual subsidy from Canadian taxpayers requires you to sign up and log in.
    I don’t read Macleans anymore.

    • El Martyachi

      I once got Paul Wells to engage me, briefly. He seemed moderately assholeish.

    • Maggat

      I’ll see how they go during the time left before the election. Right now they are on thin ice with me. I just got my copy in the mail this afternoon and a quick perusal makes me think they don’t need me.

    • Macleans has really gone downhill.

  • Clink9

    I never comment on blogs. Everything I say is a lie.

  • BillyHW

    You can tell when a news site hates its readers if they have something other than a Disqus commenting system.

    If they worship at the altar of political correctness they will have Facebook comments.

    And if they are in the business of lying to you, they will have no comments at all.

    • dance…dancetotheradio

      You just drank my milkshake!

      • Justin St.Denis

        I’ll make another one for you. Been straightening out people with my milkshakes for decades now.

    • Xavier

      …and if they let women comment they’re part of a conspiracy to bring down western civilization through matriarchy.

      Come on Billy you’re dropping the ball.

  • WalterBannon

    the media is afraid of the public

    • Chris

      They aren’t afraid of the public at all, they just don’t want anyone to think that there is any sort of dissenting opinions to the wisdom that they are importing on the great unwashed.

      • G

        I think both of these comments have truth in them. The media ARE afraid of the public so that’s WHY they don’t want any dissenting opinions. Otherwise they would be shown up for what morons they are.

        How many times now have reporters written stories or opinion pieces with errors in them so glaring that it made them look like idiots? When the readers tore them up for their errors in the comments they were humiliated.

        These people have big egos and are not as smart as they want to believe they are. So the easiest solution? No comments.

  • Maggat

    I’ve bought, subscribed and read the NP since it’s first paper hit the streets. I cancelled my subscription when they moved to facebook. I refuse to use fb. Sorry NP that’s the way the paper crumbles.

    • dance…dancetotheradio

      I refuse to use fb, too.
      There’s a bit of tulipmania involved with these social platforms.
      Mostly transitory they are seemingly quite permanent because they exist now.
      Until they don’t.

    • FB is way too intrusive.

    • Justin St.Denis

      I saw social media for what they are when they were first introduced to an eager public. “Free” FaceBook and YouTube and Twitter accounts!!!! Wow!

      I saw the perils and the slippery slope IMMEDIATELY, and advised all and sundry to stay far, far away from it all.

      People really are rather thick.


      NOTHING is free. Nothing ever has been free. Nothing ever will be free.

      This is what is called a “COLD FACT”. No matter how hot the promise of the free deal makes you feel, remember “cold facts” like “Nothing is EVER free” and save yourself a shitload of grief.

      • FactsWillOut

        When you don’t pay for a product, you ARE the product.

        • Justin St.Denis

          You got it, buddy! And it was SO OBVIOUS from Day One, wasn’t it? Maybe being over 40 when social media hit the marketplace had something to do with it. But many of my contemporaries dove right in like lemmings and/or sheep.

          Stupid. It can’t be fixed, so why bother even trying to understand it!

    • moraywatson

      Me three.

  • canminuteman

    I agree with the sentiment here. I usually read articles “upside down”. On
    instapundit, if you read the Reynolds commentary, then the comments you don’t need to read the article. The flip side of that is that on some sites the comments are so deranged and idiotic they are not worth reading. I watch youtube a lot. but on an awful lot of things the comments are not worth reading. Not because they don’t agree with me either. I can handle myself in any debate, and if I don’t know what I’m talking about I don’t comment, but some comments are just so badly written and so stupid you feel dirty after reading them.

  • Eleanor Dobos

    Work Staying At Home…..Last weekend I Bought A Brand new McLaren F1 after earning 18,512$,this was my last month’s paycheck ,and-a little over, $17k last-month .No-doubt about it, this really is the most comfortable work I have ever had . I began this 8-months ago and pretty much immediately was bringing home at least $97, p/h….Learn More right Here.
    ➤➤➤➤ http://www.googleswebsupportzemploymn861.blogspot.com ❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦❦

  • tom_billesley

    In Europe the rot set in with the European Court of Human Rights (hawk, spit) ruling on fines levied against Estonian news portal Delfi over anonymous comments.

  • Glenfilthie

    It seems to be an evolution going on. I remember back when you still saw the odd bit of honest journalism going on…but that didn’t sell so they started spicing things up with opinion and sensationalism. Now they openly troll their readership with politically correct idiocy to generate controversy (in addition to ratings and $$$) – and can’t handle it when their baiting goes horribly wrong.
    I use the comments sections to troll them right back and usually end up getting banned – which is fair. We go our separate ways at that point. I don’t read the Star or the Glob And Snail or even the national post. Nor do I see their advertisers or any attempts at rationality. The loss is entirely theirs.

  • Hard Little Machine

    Some sites charge you for comments. Some just use shadow-ban. What is shadow-ban? That’s when they set a switch so that only you can see your comments. Fark does this so does Salon. What slashdot does is even stranger. It allows other commenters to effectively ban you.

    • bargogx1

      I can attest to that. I’ve been shadow-banned by Salon twice. It’s quite indsidious because at first you don’t even realize that it happened.

  • winterdog1

    Sun use to be my go to paper ,not anymore I think THE REBEL has me hooked