Internet Comments Are Awful. Could They Be Awesome?
By: Fast Company
For years, it’s been a standard piece of advice to anyone reading the news online: "Don't read the comments."
It’s no secret that user-submitted comments on news websites are often angry, racist, misogynistic, or simply ill-informed. That’s contributed to media organizations from NPR and Reuters to Popular Science and legal news site Above the Law deciding in recent years to eliminate comment sections altogether. Other sites, such as the New York Times, have taken to heavily moderating what readers post and limiting when they can do so.
But many media companies remain committed to providing forums where their readers can pose questions, contribute their wisdom, and even civilly debate with one another. In part, many in the industry see it as important to offer a place where people can discuss current events outside "the friends and family echo chamber" of social media, says Aja Bogdanoff, cofounder and CEO of Portland comment tech startup Civil.