In a recent message to readers, website Re/code announced that they decided to remove commenting features from their site.

 

They wrote, “as social as continued its robust growth, the bulk of discussion of our stories is increasingly taking place there, making onsite comments less and less used and less and less useful.”

 

Furthermore, Re/code claims “that social media is the new arena for commenting, replacing the old onsite approach that dates back many years.” So, is that it — are onsite comments a thing of the past? Perhaps.

 

Other websites have also been deleting or making changes to their comments section. The Chicago Sun-Times, for instance, recently disabled comments. Similarly, Gawker Media websites made it necessary for comments to be approved before appearing publicly.

 

Online trolls have been a large factor behind the push to end online comments.

Online trolls have been a large factor behind the push to end online comments.

Earlier this year, Guardian moderators deleted 494 comments on stories about Ukraine, which had been infested with pro-Putin and pro-Russia propaganda posted by trolls. Trolls have become a pressing issue, and hinder constructive, well-informed online discussion (mainly in a website’s comments section).

 

Perhaps, it is to avoid trolls that many websites are pushing for discussion exclusively on social media. However, allowing for discussion to take place on only one type of platform introduces an entirely new set of issues.

 

Should readers who desire to contribute to the conversation about a certain subject be forced to voice their thoughts and opinions through social media? Doing so compromises the individual contributor’s privacy and personal security. Plus, restricting conversation to a certain pool of people (namely, those who are willing to make use of social media) restricts and deforms the conversation itself.

 

Do you think that online comments should be kept around? Comment below or find me on Twitter @ryanlawlessness