Read the (Moderated) Comments! (1)


contexttext (author’s archives)

To attack or eliminate internet comments sections because they attract bad commenting is to attack the occurrence of thoughtlessness with a pre-emptive strike against thought. To celebrate or advertise the removal of comments as some kind of victory over barbarism by civilization is to replicate and extend the same pathologies on a different level.

The problems with comment threads at popular internet venues are in the end the same as the problems at smaller sites, even down to very small personal blogs like this one. The destructive proliferation of anti-social expression in a given virtually social environment, producing a failure of the commons in the usual pattern, can always be traced to an unwillingness to invest in solutions, or, to say the same thing, to a refusal to acknowledge and take responsibility for (or within) the community that every communications enterprise (indeed every dialogical act) necessarily establishes or re-confirms, and inherently represents.

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