Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Popular Science magazine shuts down comments on its stories

Popular Science magazine is discontinuing comments on its articles because of the growing tendency of even civil comments to change readers' perceptions and interpretation of stories. 
"It wasn't a decision we made lightly,"said Suzanne LaBarre, the online content editor of PS. "As the news arm of a 141-year-old science and technology magazine, we are as committed to fostering lively, intellectual debate as we are to spreading the word of science far and wide. The problem is when trolls and spambots overwhelm the former, diminishing our ability to do the latter. 
"That is not to suggest that we are the only website in the world that attracts vexing commenters. Far from it. Nor is it to suggest that all, or even close to all, of our commenters are shrill, boorish specimens of the lower internet phyla. We have many delightful, thought-provoking commenters."
She said that comments sections  
"tend to be a grotesque reflection of the media culture surrounding them [and] the cynical work of undermining bedrock scientific doctrine is now being done beneath our own stories, within a website devoted to championing science." 

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