Online Comments

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.

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2 thoughts on “Online Comments”

  1. I agree that his point lacks some sort of point. because of our online anonanimity we can say anything we want and cannot be held accountable. unless someone figures out our online personas and compiles our comments. if you think about it, you would almost never verbally abuse someone on the street for no reason unless you were very heated and then at that point you could be subject to a good ol’ fashioned maiming. but the internet has allowed all of us to become virtual bullies with nobody to answer to. if the internet were to somehow make us more accountable for our words maybe we would moderate them as we would in the real world. today the only people who really have to watch their words online are public figures because their reputations mean something, they cannot go off like therest of us can, their names are literally on the line.

  2. Comments are for the people. The comments should be chosen by the people. Imagine if our president was chosen by only political leaders, like an editor would only choose which people can contribute comments or something? Bogus.

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