As the site continues to grow in readership, one of the nagging issues that has never really gone away has been the struggle to moderate comments. Like many news outlets have done, we’ve debated removing them altogether, we’ve struggled with moderation that ranged from blissful ignorance to a strong hand, and we’ve moved some of the commenting to Facebook, where
I’ve long been troubled by the vitriol that anonymous commentary permits and have tried to use this commenting policy to guide my moderation. Even that fairly reasonable set of expectations, that commenters be honest about their (assumed) identities, refrain from personal attacks, and stay on topic has largely failed to control some of the most significant abuse in our comments.
So, while we debate which direction to go next, I thought I’d test out my new polling plugin and ask you to visit the site to weigh in. Do comments have value? Should we keep them? Feel free to answer in the comments below and answer our poll here.