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Engadget Turns Off Comments

by skimike4 / February 5, 2010 12:25 AM PST

I'm just curious to see where everyone is on the subject of engadget turning off comments, then making the viewing of comments an opt-in choice.

Personally, I really like it. Comments are like M&Ms. I'll eat M&Ms if they're in a bowl on someone's desk at work, but I don't go to the store and buy them. I'll read comments because they're there, not because I really care that much what people (often including trolls) think.

Thoughts?

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I'll read comments about 0.00001% of the time.
by kwahhn / February 5, 2010 1:10 AM PST

I'm sure their message sent fear into the hearts of all trollers. I think we all learned a valuable lesson here.

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Turning off comments
by PhiladelphiaMike / February 5, 2010 3:07 AM PST

I'm wondering if other sites will do the same. Or maybe doing that would decrease page hits enough to be a problem.

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Apparently they are back already....
by paintguru / February 5, 2010 6:07 AM PST

...that didn't last long. I personally have no use for comments.

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I think
by Nicholas Buenk / February 5, 2010 8:04 AM PST

Trying to silence people is unethical.
They could just make you link a link to get to the comments if they think it negatively affects the site.

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I actually found it pretty naive
by erier2003 / February 5, 2010 8:29 AM PST
In reply to: I think

The notion of a cool-down period doesn't apply on the Internet, where the majority of problems come from trolls. Those guys won't stop no matter how long you make them wait -- it will only make them angrier. Engadget is free to moderate or deactivate comments however it chooses, of course. I, however, think that this incident displayed a sort of underestimation of the truly disruptive members of Internet society.

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Of course they're free to do what they like
by Nicholas Buenk / February 5, 2010 9:00 AM PST

I said it's not ethical not that it's illegal.

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According to Josh Topolosky on the Engadget podcast
by minimalist / February 5, 2010 11:12 PM PST

yesterday it did have a good effect. Trolls live for attention and when they can't get it they move on. Plus they banned a few hundred of the most offensive commenters.

Engadget has mentioned that they are looking into a commenting system that ties your posts to your real name (like Facebook Connect) to make people consider their words a bit more before they post something truly obnoxious. I would not be surprised to see other major sites move in this direction either. Anonymity is the biggest reason why people say vile things they would never say in real life. There's no perfect system of course but there are better systems and I think something with greater accountability would really help change the tone of the discussions on a lot of boards.

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the trolls have no clue
by minimalist / February 5, 2010 1:12 PM PST
In reply to: I think

they rant on and on about "censorship" as if they have a some inalienable right to post whatever they want wherever they want (they also overestimate their own importance being jut a fractions of a fraction of a site viewership). Discussion boards hosted on private, commercial servers are not forums that guarantee free speech nor are they democracies. In the end, the Engadget crew (like the BOL crew) is out to make a profit. If you can't behave civilly you deserve to have your butt banned.

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A time out is necessary sometimes....
by Magishine / February 13, 2010 6:12 AM PST

...though from what I've seen before this happened, Engadget was getting tired of the comments about their apple coverage. Most of it was true though. The site was practically overwhelmed with ipad articles. A lot of people pointed out that Engadget hardly gives anything else that level of coverage.

Though I think that's true of most sites in general.

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But
by Nicholas Buenk / February 13, 2010 12:14 PM PST

It was the biggest story. It even was covered by morning shows and the nightly news.

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the week after any big announcement is
by minimalist / February 13, 2010 11:31 PM PST

almost always dominated by more news and analysis of that announcement. That's just the way the news cycle works. It happened with the G1. it happened with the Droid. And so on and so on.

Not to mention, Engadget isn't stupid. They know how much traffic coverage of certain pieces of tech brings to the site. And for every angry fanboy who complains in the comments there are probably 50 non-commenting people who come to read the articles. It doesn't take a genius to figure out who's going to prevail in the end.

Commenting communities are a very small portion of a site or show's vastly overestimate their influence on sites. Just look at all the people who complained various BOL hosts here.

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