NPR last week announced its decision to shut down comments on its website in favor of comments on social media—saying “the audience itself has decided.”
In a post explaining its decision, NPR’s ombudsman and public editor Elizabeth Jensen says only .06 percent of site users comment on the site. NPR guesses that the commenters on the NPR site are not representative of the demographic of their listenership. Conversations are, instead, being held on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media. Based on the cost of the system and the small fraction of users, maintaining comments just isn’t worth it for them—or even feasible.