‘Daily Camera, BuffZone end story commenting’

Read the story here. Quoting from it below:

We’ve decided to no longer allow — at least for now — people to comment at the end of stories appearing on DailyCamera.com and BuffZone.com.

Commenting on stories, while a sound idea in principle, presents a host of challenges for us and we simply do not have the tools or adequate resources to ensure story commenting provides positive value to our readers.

We indeed have seen times when there are good comments and reasonable discussions of issues in the comment sections — intended to be a sort of virtual town square of reasoned, rational, calm debate. Yes, commenters also have graciously pointed out errors that we’ve then corrected. And some have given us additional story angles and ideas to pursue, which enabled us to better serve you, our readers.

We’d hoped the commenting community would be self-policing to provide everyone a safe place to be heard.

But that hasn’t happened.

The vast majority of the time, the comments are dominated by a small group of people, most posting anonymously, and who, frankly, tend to simply shout down or ridicule any opposing view. Commonly, our comments sections are filled with vitriol, personal attacks, profanity, and angry and hateful speech — and worse, unfortunately.

That is not acceptable.

You, our readers, local leaders, officials and everyday citizens speaking to us as sources for a variety of issues deserve better.

So we are turning off the comments.

At times, I’ve been as guilty as anyone else in sinking to a vulgar level. Yes, I’ve had plenty of company in doing so . . . I support the Daily Camera’s editorial decision 100%, and nobody will miss characters like “heinlein” or “bleeth” or “coskibum” or “randomdancer” — or me, either.

Interestingly, the Longmont Times-Call (the DC’s sister publication) is apparently continuing with online commenting by readers. This just goes to show that it’s folks in Boulder who are unwilling to play nice with each other.




3 thoughts on “‘Daily Camera, BuffZone end story commenting’

  1. Renee Thompson

    Oh, no! I enjoy reading the comments and sometimes they offer more information about a story than is printed by the DC.

  2. PIBoulder

    The DC website didn’t allow comments for a long time. I recall they did a couple experiments with it, and finally allowed it on all their articles, I think starting in about 2007. Most of the conversations on there were not worth my time, now that I look back on it. Hardly anybody was interested in a real discussion. People just wanted to spout off in an echo chamber. After a while I really wished there was a “block” option, so that I could not see comments by certain people who just wanted to troll. The only bright spot was I met a couple fellow Boulder residents on there whose conversation was really worth my time. It was striking how rare that was. We call ourselves an educated city, yet most of the conversations felt like they were with 5-year-olds whose only argumentative skill was they knew how to write in complete sentences with good spelling. Their inanity was sometimes jaw-dropping. It used to drive me up the wall, until I learned to laugh at it. I guess that’s why Boulder is called “Twenty-five square miles surrounded by reality.” That used to sound so idyllic. This experience changed my view of Boulder, and not for the better.

    A year ago, I seem to remember the question came up of whether the DC should continue allowing comments, and I said I wouldn’t mind if they went away. They were of hardly any use, in terms of discussion, though I felt much more informed about what was really going on with city policy as a result of a few people who actually had thoughtful arguments to contribute, with personal, or cited expert opinion. It’s just that the spitball-to-thought ratio was about 2:1. It was a place where supported criticism went to die. So, I just assume the place die.

  3. homelessphilosopher Post author

    The thing that always made me chuckle, in any “discussion” following stories in the Daily Camera on homelessness, was the criticism directed at me for telling it like is in my firsthand experience; one guy even accused me of being an impostor!


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