Another responsible act

January 19, 2006 at 11:46 pm | Posted in Taking Action | Leave a comment

The Washington Post Blog is also turning off comments.

I’d really prefer moderated comments to this. But if you are too busy, or it takes too many resources, to moderate, then by all means shut down comments. Follow Totten’s and WaPo’s lead! It is better than letting some hateful idiots piggyback off of your hard work to spread their filth. It brings you down with them.

WaPo’s letter:

Comments Turned Off

As of 4:15 p.m. ET today, we have shut off comments on this blog indefinitely.

At its inception, the purpose of this blog was to open a dialogue about this site, the events of the day, the journalism of The Washington Post Company and other related issues. Among the things that we knew would be part of that discussion would be the news and opinion coming from the pages of The Washington Post and washingtonpost.com. We knew a lot of that discussion would be critical in nature. And we were fine with that. Great journalism companies need feedback from readers to stay sharp.

But there are things that we said we would not allow, including personal attacks, the use of profanity and hate speech. Because a significant number of folks who have posted in this blog have refused to follow any of those relatively simple rules, we’ve decided not to allow comments for the time being. It’s a shame that it’s come to this. Transparency and reasoned debate are crucial parts of the Web culture, and it’s a disappointment to us that we have not been able to maintain a civil conversation, especially about issues that people feel strongly (and differently) about.

We’re not giving up on the concept of having a healthy public dialogue with our readers, but this experience shows that we need to think more carefully about how we do it. Any thoughtful feedback on that (or any other issue) is welcome, and you can send it to executive.editor@washingtonpost.com.

Thanks,
Jim Brady
Executive Editor, washingtonpost.com

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