The WashingtonPost.com said on Thursday that it had indefinitely shut off the ability for people to post comments on its blog Web site because of objectionable postings.
The company policy was to ban comments that were personal attacks or used profanity or hate speech.
"Because a significant number of folks who have posted in this blog have refused to follow any of those relatively simple rules, we've decided not to allow comments for the time being," Jim Brady, executive editor of Washingtonpost.com, wrote in explaining the policy change on the Web site.
"It's a shame that it's come to this," he continued. "Transparency and reasoned debate are crucial parts of the Web culture, and it's a disappointment to us that we have not been able to maintain a civil conversation, especially about issues that people feel strongly (and differently) about."
It's not the first time a major publication has closed down an interactive online reader service. In June, the Los Angeles Times closed a Web site it had launched three days earlier that allowed readers to rewrite editorials, saying it was flooded with obscene messages and photos.