Do comments sections on websites add value?

Kevin Lancaster

MyBroadband Editor
Joined
Apr 4, 2014
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13,564
#1
Many news websites have closed their comments sections, with Vice deciding to cut its comments in December.

Do comments sections add value to sites (the comments below the articles, not forums), or are they just a place for people to be sarcastic and attack one another?
 

copacetic

King of the Hippies
Joined
Nov 22, 2009
Messages
55,996
#2
I do not personally ever pay any attention to them. If there's a forum attached, which can be linked to the comments, then I don't see what the point it in the first place (as my MyBB).
 
Joined
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139,117
#3
The problem is the legislation and regulations that's forcing sites to close their comments sections.


None of the sites wants to hire a lawyer to moderate the comments...
 

supersunbird

Honorary Master
Joined
Oct 1, 2005
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46,681
#5
I now rarely go onto News24 after the comment section went bye bye.

Moneyweb ditched Disqus for some, way inferior, in house solution and I am less active on that site now as well.
 
Joined
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#6
Many news websites have closed their comments sections, with Vice deciding to cut its comments in December.

Do comments sections add value to sites (the comments below the articles, not forums), or are they just a place for people to be sarcastic and attack one another?
Why ask the question when you have already taken a step towards that direction?
But since my opinion can be given, why not state it here?

My view is that the comments sections allow those who know better to point out flaws in the articles, and to debunk fake news. It also allows for limited interaction between readers, like it was back in the day when you could write to the letters section of your favourite local rag. However I do fear that in these Orwellian times we live in, that this kind of liberty is being killed off.

Your view is that you likely see the comments, even if they are true, as bad for business, and a dig at your profession which you tend to take personally.
 

CamiKaze

Honorary Master
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May 19, 2010
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12,753
#7
I don't see the point in having a comments section and a forum section.
People usually type whatever they want in the comments section where they can reply to messages anonymously (guest). This eventually breeds racist remarks and whatnot.
Not to throw a spanner in "freedom of speech" but this needs to be controlled and that is why I think that a forum is a better way of controlling whatever crap someone types as opposed to the lack of control in a comments section.

Forum all the way.
 
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#8
For what it's worth, DISQUS in the main doesn't allow anonymous posting. You need a valid email account, and you need to go through an account verification stage
 

backstreetboy

Honorary Master
Joined
Jun 15, 2011
Messages
12,378
#9
Yes. They can debunk opinion pieces, point out "clickbait" headlines, add insightful information around the subject of the original article etc. If a site removes the commenting section then I just stop going to them aka News24, Iol etc.
 

MickZA

Executive Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2007
Messages
7,576
#10
Do comments sections add value to sites (the comments below the articles, not forums), or are they just a place for people to be sarcastic and attack one another?
The latter, usually ends up like this:

[video=youtube_share;hnTmBjk-M0c]https://youtu.be/hnTmBjk-M0c[/video]

...:whistling:
 
Joined
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#11
Look how popular reddit has become and that is purely because it is community driven with comments.

The reason news site shut it down as they don't manage it properly so it becomes a wild west without proper moderation.
The bad thing of not having comments is that writers can no longer be easily be called out for click bait , poor quality or no-substance articles.
That is one reason. Another is the inability to tolerate any form of criticism, constructive or not.
 

tridev

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2012
Messages
191
#12
That is one reason. Another is the inability to tolerate any form of criticism, constructive or not.
The US election is a prime example. Media thought it was impossible for Trump to win because they moderated his support so that you saw no positives.
 
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#13
Well let's be honest here, since we are still allowed to debate this.

I have seen this very site, grow, from a one-man-show, to what it is today. And of course, the current media "law" had to apply here too where its news all the time, all day, regardless of whether it is actually factually correct, or not.

The activist site, became a media conglomerate with clout, an activist forum transformed into a bona fide media corproration. It behaves as media corporations do, in line with all the others (Media24, IOL, etc..) and the current line in the media industry is to silence the man in the street and push on with its agenda of news, all the time, regardless of whether its true or not. This site belongs to all the media bodies such as the iabsa, etc... so you can be assured that, it would toe the line, and the rules of those mighty Koos Bekkers and others who rule the media in the modern world.
 

Bryn

Doubleplusgood
Joined
Oct 29, 2010
Messages
13,796
#14
As long as users have some means of discussing articles, I don't think a comment section is of much concern. I like the approach many sites have where the comment section is hidden by default and you have to click to load them. Keeps the site clean and retains comments. A system like MyBB with a forum link is probably the best method though.

Can you imagine how busy News24 forums would be? Seems like a missed opportunity by them.
 

garp

Executive Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2004
Messages
6,754
#15
MyBroadband owes it's entire existence to it's origins as a forum and I suspect a large share of it's traffic these days is thanks to the ability for the community to debate, rage and inform on them in the forum threads attached to the articles, so it is a somewhat weird question for a MyBB staffer to be even asking, IMHO. In fact, I'll stick my neck out and predict that the platform would be dead within months if you shut down the comments or forum or even started moderating too aggressively.
 
Joined
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139,117
#16
MyBroadband owes it's entire existence to it's origins as a forum and I suspect a large share of it's traffic these days is thanks to the ability for the community to debate, rage and inform on them in the forum threads attached to the articles, so it is a somewhat weird question for a MyBB staffer to be even asking, IMHO. In fact, I'll stick my neck out and predict that the platform would be dead within months if you shut down the comments or forum or even started moderating too aggressively.
He was not referring to the forum...
 
Joined
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Messages
2,196
#18
MyBroadband owes it's entire existence to it's origins as a forum and I suspect a large share of it's traffic these days is thanks to the ability for the community to debate, rage and inform on them in the forum threads attached to the articles, so it is a somewhat weird question for a MyBB staffer to be even asking, IMHO. In fact, I'll stick my neck out and predict that the platform would be dead within months if you shut down the comments or forum or even started moderating too aggressively.
Well that was my same initial thought.
But if I am to be honest my thoughts are that the times and tides have changed here. My feeling is that in a couple of years there'll be no more forum as we know it, the site will begin to resemble other well-known news sites out there.

In essence what I am trying to say is that, the common man in the street's ability to question and comment on news is being removed from under his nose. The media will eventually rule the world and control all of us as predicted in that novel.
 
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#19
But since every article on MyBB is linked to a forum thread and many threads are de facto comment threads on articles, I think it is pertinent.
I put it to you that about 90% of articles in the forum's News & Current Affairs section are NOT linked to the mybb front page.

I read the OP as questioning the comments section under the articles on the front page of MyBB (i.e. DISQUS).
 

rpm

Admin
Staff member
Joined
Jul 22, 2003
Messages
64,260
#20
But since every article on MyBB is linked to a forum thread and many threads are de facto comment threads on articles, I think it is pertinent.
We are currently looking at how to improve the comment section below articles, but the forum is not under discussion. The forum is working well, and has quality comments and debates.

I think MyBroadband has a major advantage over other news websites like News24 and IOL because of the forum. If the comment section (using Disqus under articles) ever becomes a real problem, we can always just use the forum for all comments.
 
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