Quite some time ago 2oceansvibe closed down comments and implemented a 100% verified system called DISQUS. Comments dropped to almost zero, as the trolling ground to a halt. Looks like news24 are doing the same.
We made a decision many moons ago, as we didn’t understand why everything online had to be discussed, or had to be a debate. Sure you can Tweet back-and-forth about a topic, or discuss it on Facebook, but why MUST every online publication have a debate (slanging match) below the article? That doesn’t happen when you read a newspaper or a magazine. But suddenly because it’s online then everyone should be allowed to debate the topic.
Check it out – from news24:
We have decided to switch off comments on articles as a default from Friday and to implement a different approach to how we handle user contributions and engagement with our content on our platform.
Our decision to change our comments policy follows months of internal debate and discussion which has seen us consider all options practically available to us on how to wrangle the thousands of comments which are made on 24.com each day.
The end result of these debates is that we have decided that we wish to be known for the quality of our content rather than for our comments.
Our decision is part of the evolution of 24.com as South Africa’s leading digital news source.
This year has seen a significant investment in original journalism on News24. We have recruited and deployed a team of journalists across South Africa to build the country’s first truly digital-first newsroom.
The same is true for Facebook’s ‘closed’ groups. Take the ‘Hout Bay Organised‘ residents’ Facebook page for example. It’s common knowledge that people are making up Facebook accounts and ‘baiting’ the militant Hout Bay residents, with commentary about unsavoury activity in Hout Bay. Needless to say the residents go absolutely bonkers, rising to the bait every time.
Again, there is no such thing as a ‘closed group’ on Facebook. It’s no wonder all those neighbourhood Facebook groups are migrating in droves over to websites like OurHood – the private online platform for neigbourhoods – where every user is verified and the people you talk to really are your neighbours.
I tested this now and registered to join the ‘closed’ Hout Bay group. I was accepted almost immediately. And no, I don’t live in Hout Bay. Surely that is the most dangerous scenario? With everyone talking about crime and their private business? Think about it guys – this can only end in tears.
I did the same now for Green Point Connected’s Facebook ‘closed’ group. What are you guys doing?
Things don’t have to be a certain way, just because they’re there, people. The internet isn’t always right. Stop and think for a little bit, and realise that we’re in the starting phases of this whole thing – just because things are presented in a certain way, doesn’t make them right.
Things will get refined over time.
Be careful out there.
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