The Verge temporarily cans comments for 'a super chill summer'

The Verge

Add another outlet to the list of media organizations fed up with commenters.

Citing a desire to curb the onset of troll-y messages from Verge readers, Editor-in-Chief Nilay Patel said Monday that the technology and culture site will "call timeout for a while" and turn comments off by default over the next few weeks:

And sometimes it gets too intense. What we've found lately is that the tone of our comments (and some of our commenters) is getting a little too aggressive and negative — a change that feels like it started with GamerGate and has steadily gotten worse ever since. It's hard for us to do our best work in that environment, and it's even harder for our staff to hang out with our audience and build the relationships that led to us having a great community in the first place.

This does not mean, however, that the site's forums are going to be closed, Patel writes. The community will remain open, and The Verge will work to boost engagement among its readership there.

RELATED: "Don't Turn Them Off: How to Improve Online Comment Sections"

Several news organizations have distanced themselves from their comments or shut them down entirely in recent months. As part of its redesign, the Los Angeles Times de-emphasized the often acerbic missives from readers; the St. Louis Post-Dispatch shut down comments for its editorial section late last year, citing a glut of incivility in response to the riots at Ferguson, Missouri; Reuters similarly eliminated comments on news stories, as has Popular Science and the Chicago Sun-Times.

(h/t Peter Sterne)

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    Benjamin Mullin

    Benjamin Mullin is the managing editor of He previously reported for Poynter as a staff writer, Google Journalism Fellow and Naughton Fellow, covering journalism innovation, business practices and ethics.


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