Earlier this week, Vice’s technology and science news site Motherboard dropped its comments section, opting to replace it with an old school “letters to the editor” feature. Then Reddit launched a news site called Upvoted that didn’t include a comments section. (You can still comment on the stories on Reddit itself.)
What’s going on here? For years, comment boxes have been a staple of the online experience. You’ll find them everywhere, from The New York Times to Fox News to The Economist. But as online audiences have grown, the pain of moderating conversations on the web has grown, too. And in many cases, the most vibrant coversations about a particular article or topic are happening on sites like Facebook and Twitter. So many media companies are giving up on comments, at least for now. So far this year, Bloomberg, The Verge, The Daily Beast and now Motherboard have all dropped their comments feature.