[LINK] The Internet's problem with comments

Kim Holburn kim at holburn.net
Thu Sep 26 12:39:30 AEST 2013


> YouTube tries to rescue its terrible commenters from themselves
> YouTube comments are awful, but still not bad enough for Google to go nuclear.

> YouTube has announced plans to reformat its presentation of comments below its videos to turn them from some of the Internet’s worst dreck to relevant and—even more daringly—useful content. Rather than the chronological organization that the site has always used, comments will now consist of a mix of comments from YouTube personalities, “engaged conversations,” and friends on Google+.


> The Internet’s comment problem is not a secret; most large online publications are dealing with it daily one way or another. Where some see a system for encouraging discussion and surfacing new perspectives and information, others see an echo chamber of bad grammar, unchecked stupidity, and the constructive interference of emotions that blow up “problems” like whether a camel is funnier than the E-Trade baby or whether a commenter is a lesbian.
> Gawker developed its own system, Kinja, that recasts each commenter’s contributions in the form of a blog. Its comments are also integrated with a voting system. Popular Science recently announced that it was doing away with comments altogether, arguing that comments are “undermining bedrock scientific doctrine." Comments that may advance the discussion aren't worth the ones that derail it, PopSci says.


> (Comments) were born into a world of small online communities that didn’t cross paths with each other for the most part.


> The study that Popular Science uses to justify doing away with comments proves that hostile and polemic comments negatively affect the reader’s perception of the article they appear under. But the study doesn’t address how civil or informed comments might improve a reader’s perception of an article.

Kim Holburn
IT Network & Security Consultant
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