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Thread: News24, fairwell to comments.

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    Diamond Member AndyD's Avatar
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    News24, fairwell to comments.

    I see News24 has taken a policy decision to have comments on news articles switched off by default.

    They cite reasons such as;

    ......we wish to be known for the quality of our content rather than for our comments.......

    Many commentators insist on pushing the boundaries of free speech available to us in South Africa.

    Comments tediously drift towards hate speech at worst and, at best, are often laced with prejudice.

    Interesting and considered contributions are drowned out by a cacophony of insults from a minority of users.

    This is not the experience we wish users to have in our home.
    The full article is here; http://www.news24.com/Columnists/And...hange-20150908

    Having seen the comments over the years I can certainly see why they've taken this decision but I also think they've taken the easy way out to some degree at least.
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    Platinum Member Mike C's Avatar
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    I agree wholeheartedly. Certainly they had their share of haters and trolls ... but the comments were often more interesting and enlightening to read than the articles themselves.
    An education isn't how much you have committed to memory, or even how much you know. It's being able to differentiate between what you do know and what you don't. - Anatole France

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    Diamond Member adrianh's Avatar
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    I loved the comments. It is amazing how witty people can be. My favourite haunt for great/silly/clever/funny/good/bad/you name it is Reddit!
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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Probably no coincidence that the story is raised here by a member of the TFSA Admin Team. Every now and then we feel a little tested too

    My kneejerk reaction was "they're copping out," but I wanted to chew over it a bit before saying so here. And after some reflection -

    At the end of the day they're primarily a news site - the comments facility is definitely secondary. That said, I certainly think dropping the comments is going to be a loss as it often added depth to the story. However, that level of interactivity does require an investment in leadership and moderation, which can be quite challenging. But it's not a challenge they're obliged to face.

    Their site. Their choice.

    Perhaps what they should consider instead is introducing "Letters to the Editor". In this online age where we're used to full blown interactivity, it might seem regressive. But it works just fine in the paper world. Fair chance it'll work in their situation too.
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    Diamond Member Justloadit's Avatar
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    They decided to rather disable by default comments, as their was an average of 5,000 posts a day. Quite a number to read and moderate.
    There then would be comments against the moderator for making a a decision on a comment mmmmm a difficult one I think to manage.
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    Moderator IanF's Avatar
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    I read the comments a few times and they degenerated very quickly into racial slogans with no clear purpose other than to troll.
    I won't miss the comments.
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    Diamond Member Blurock's Avatar
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    I agree. It is too easy to slander others while hiding behind a nom de plume. The cowards will never use their own names. Unfortunately there are a few on the Forum as well. It's easy to identify the sarcastic name callers.
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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blurock View Post
    Unfortunately there are a few on the Forum as well.
    There have been some ugly exchanges that have played the man rather than the ball, and it's clear there remains some tension between a very small (albeit at times vocal) minority of members.

    However, I must give credit where it's due - it is clear to me that those same members do respect the underlying ethos of TFSA, and do try to restrain their more ferocious side. Despite this, every now and then things boil over, but incidents of late have been more along the lines of skirmishes than war. (Long may that continue).

    Of course, every now and then we have a newbie that goes over the top early on as has been allowed unchecked on news24, but it doesn't take long at all for them to realise that level of b.s. isn't tolerated around this part of the internet. Best of all, more often than not the moderators don't even have to step in - the maturity level of the active membership here tends to "steer them in the right direction" pretty quickly.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Diamond Member wynn's Avatar
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    I see a great business opportunity, set up a N24 comments site or blog and sell advertising space on the side?
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    99% of comments were just hate speech anyway, hardly worth reading...

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