Yes. It's a quick indication of what actual people think and it will quickly call out any BS in the article. That's why EWN don't want comments anymore they don't like people disagreeing with the nonsense they write and embarrassing them all the time.
They like to think their audience is made up of delusional SJW just like their journalist.
I liked using the comment section on MyBB articles, but now I'd rather make comments in the forum. The reason is that you can't seem to be critical about the article or the subject of the article without a MyBB disqus mod removing them.
Example: pointing out how useless the recent Huawei/iPhone comparison article was got my comment removed in disqus.
They publish their content on Twitter and Facebook, where people can have a field day commenting, either about the content, other commentators or anything unrelated. There is no benefit to having comments on the publishers site imo, there is still an outlet for people to make comment if they want.
Back in the day, the comments section on many news websites had meaning, and was generally friendly. Now days, the comment section of so many news websites is just toxic... guess this stems from people generally not being happy with anything, and the general sense of negativity going around.