In a sign of the times, Automotive News will be killing comments on its articles, starting next year.
Don’t worry, we have no plans to follow suit.
Automotive News says the issue is a lack of civil discourse. As much as we source AN for our blogs here, I haven’t spent much, if any, time reading comments on its site before today, so I can’t say for sure if the issue is trolls or if users are losing their cool behind the shield of anonymity or if bots, not people, are to blame for bad behavior.
Among the last few days to light up Automotive News comments section w/ your most deranged and unbalanced words pic.twitter.com/grwCJ1vuR6
— Reilly Brennan (@reillybrennan) November 29, 2021
Comments go away Dec. 1, though you can still comment on articles via AN’s Facebook page.
I’ve seen other journalism outlets — mostly outside the automotive space — kill comment sections as bad behavior has taken over for good-faith, civil discourse. Spam bots are also an issue. On the one hand, dropping comments might make the user experience better for readers.
On the other hand, given the price one pays for an Automotive News subscription, it’s a bit surprising the company isn’t investing in better moderation. It’s also surprising that the bad behavior is occurring in the first place — you might expect a site that’s free to read drawing people with bad intent, but it’s harder to wrap your brain around why people who pay a lot for content would spend their time acting like jerks in the comment section.
On yet the other hand, humans can be a-holes, and perhaps there’s a feeling of entitlement brought about by spending so much?
All I know is that our comment section is going nowhere, and we’ll thank our hard-working mods for keeping our section (mostly) free of spam, bad-faith arguments, flame wars, and bigotry.
You in the B and B are a big part of this site. Please keep things civil — apparently, those who visit AN couldn’t do so.
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