July 7, 2015

We’re turning comments off for a bit

We’re turning comments off for a bit

From the very start, community has been at the heart of The Verge — we are unique among almost every major media brand of our size in having a vocal, engaged audience that cares deeply about what we cover, why we cover it, and how we do it. The Verge audience knows our staff and genuinely cares about us. They write us long posts about ways to improve the site and what they like, and when they leave we get heartfelt breakup letters. It’s terrific, and intense.

And sometimes it gets too intense. What we’ve found lately is that the tone of our comments (and some of our commenters) is getting a little too aggressive and negative — a change that feels like it started with GamerGate and has steadily gotten worse ever since. It’s hard for us to do our best work in that environment, and it’s even harder for our staff to hang out with our audience and build the relationships that led to us having a great community in the first place.

That’s a bad feedback loop, and we want to stop it. So we’re going to call timeout for a while and turn comments off by default on all posts for the next few weeks. It’s going to be a super chill summer.

Comments will be back. Freedom lasts forever.

We’re still dedicated to community, so our forums will remain open — in fact, we’ll be doing more to promote great posts from the forums on our front page and on our social channels than ever before. And we’ll be turning comments on on a post-by-post basis when we want to open things up, so look for that.

But in the meantime, let’s all take that minute and relax. Let someone else curate your playlists, you know? Comments will be back. There will always be another party. Freedom lasts forever.

I’m definitely not a fan of sites that do this! OK, so you’re turning comments off for a while, fine… as long as you turn them back on! We don’t need to give everything to Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Tumblr, (um… I mean Yahoo!)


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