August 12, 2008

Comment Query

So, I'm just a bit curious here, but I'm wondering what everyone thinks about the phenomenon of newspapers and other media outlets enabling online comments on their news and opinion content.

On the one hand, I kind of like it. At least it exposes the world to differing thoughts and opinions that would normally get shredded during the typical editorial vetting processes.

On the other hand, there are a lot of people out there who just post differing thoughts and opinions. . . because they can, not because they actually believe what they're writing; or at least that's the way I'm observing things.

Some people just like to be dicks, while others are contrarian just for the sake of being contrarian.

This has been the case for online commenters in general for the better part of the last decade, but now that they have free reign in the general media, it's somewhat tough to see the value.

Whatever, I guess. It's just weird to see news articles about John Edwards getting some tail on the side devolve into comment threads about Iraqi yellowcake intelligence and 9/11 conpiracies.

Posted by Ryan at August 12, 2008 08:26 AM | TrackBack

The SF Chronicle has been doing this for sometime now and I rather like it. A recent example of why some stories maybe shouldn't have comments is when a motorcyclist had a heart attack while riding, went off the road and died with many of his family members and friends watching. Some of the comments were pretty heartless and caused the family, who read the Chron, quite alot of additional strife.

Posted by: Erik at August 12, 2008 09:27 AM

The best comment thread ever was in the WDN after the Gin Mill burnt to the ground. The story was around three paragraphs, but there were more than seventy comments the first morning!

Posted by: Autumn at August 12, 2008 09:59 AM
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