IOL closes online comments

Independent Online (IOL) says it will close comments on its online articles with immediate effect.

It follows a similar announcement by News24 editor-in-chief Andrew Trench last month.

said in a letter on the group’s website on Thursday (15 October) that instances of abuse in the comments section have become untenable.

Dear IOL reader, we need to talk …

I thought you should be the first to know that Independent Online (IOL) will be closing comments on its online articles with immediate effect.

It is a difficult but necessary decision to make and we arrived at it after careful consideration of all the factors at play.

The freedom of expression guaranteed by our Constitution was never meant to override the personal freedoms and human rights of our fellow citizens.

Let me be clear that commenting on an article is not a right, but a courtesy afforded to you by IOL as a reader.

If you are prone to being racist or sexist in your thinking, by all means express yourself on other platforms that may find such behaviour acceptable, but not on IOL.

IOL said it will publish the public’s opinion where it believes it is conducive to healthy debate.

“From now on we will only tolerate meaningful contributions that take place with dignity, respect and clarity of though,” the editor said.

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IOL closes online comments