The Chicago Sun-Times and other titles of the Sun Media Group has temporarily eliminated commenting on its website, until it can come up with a system that will “foster a productive discussion rather than an embarrassing mishmash of fringe ranting and ill-informed, shrill bomb-throwing,” managingeditor Craig Newman announced.
While commenting on the Internet offers a marvelous opportunity for discussion and exchange of ideas, but anyone who has ventured into comment thread can attest that these forums often turn into a morass of negativity, racism, hate speech and general trollish behaviors that detract from the content.
Newman further adds, “To that end, we are working on development of a new commenting system we hope will not only allow for free discussion, but encourage increased quality of the commentary and help us better police the worst elements of these threads. We’ll have more in the weeks to come on this development.”
However patrons of the Sun are encouraged to connect on Facebook and Twitter to post in their comments and suggestions. Reassuring the fact that The Sun Media Group is not doing away with comments by implementing such measures, the group aims to take some time off to work on the qualitative aspects of comment monitoring to foster a productive discussion forum.
According to an opinion by TechCrunch, switching onto Facebook comments is effective for silencing trolls – but with a disadvantage of silencing productive commenter in the process as well. However studies suggest otherwise, which says that anonymous comments that are less civil, also promote for better engagement.
By: Savita V Jayaram