by Richard H
The article describes Gawker Media founder Nick Denton labeling online comments a “joke.” He describes that web comments are usually “off topic and toxic” and attempts to moderate are ineffective at the cost of high amounts of effort. The moderation attempts that he mentions are writer and editor participation in discussion, a “up-vote and down-vote” system that allows the users to control which comments are worth viewing, and elimination of anonymity of commenters.
I don’t know what Denton wants from making this accusation of the uselessness of online comments. Perhaps he wants to justify a removal of the ability to comment on articles of his websites. I wouldn’t hold it against him if he did, because besides the over-generalization, he is basically right about the uselessness of comments on content.
Just think about all of the many pages of Youtube comments that nobody reads or are insulting and unproductive. I think the implementation of comment helps somewhat in keeping comments that are worth reading at a level that people would read at, but a problem arises when people only vote on the top comment because that is the only one that is so far deemed worth reading. People will miss out on other possibly helpful comments, because everybody has already seen that already top rated comment. That is probably why we always see one comment with a thousand up-votes but the second to the top one has less than twenty.
Gross, D. (2012) Have online comment sections become ‘ a joke’? CNNTEch.