|Source: Wikimedia Commons|
I think that instead of taking comments down, websites should just moderate their comments for profanity. Some big news sites, like the New York Times, have even hired people to delete comments if they are uncivil. They will delete the comment if they do any of these things:
“You called someone an idiot, a moron, a dope, a dummy, or something else uncivil. No name-calling and personal abuse.”
“You used profanity. Our rules forbid even mild oaths and vulgarities that are now common on TV and the web. We know people talk this way every day, even in our newsroom, but certain words do still offend and anger people, or at the very least make them less likely to come back here. If you wouldn't say it in front of your mother, a minister or a 5-year-old, think twice about saying it here.”A new way that website owners are trying to make comments more civil is that they are making people who comment login from Facebook, or make an account with them just so they can leave comments. They do this so people can not be anonymous if they comment inappropriate content. I don’t like this idea because if I want to comment, I don’t want people to see my name out there, I would rather stay anonymous as I think a lot of people would as well. Plus I don’t want people to have a link to my facebook so they can creep on me. Instead of doing this, I think website owners should pick the comments that get shown on the site as some already have like the New York Times. Another commenting issue that is being resolved right now is the commenting on social media websites like Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube. Whenever I scroll through Youtube comments, I see terrible comments everywhere, and I wonder why the person that posted the video doesn’t delete the comments. Sometimes comments even get disabled on certain videos that usually involve kids or something because they know that people will probably go and say terrible things about the video.
In order for all of these problems to be fixed, I think that people should just moderate their comments for trolls and comments that may cause a stream of negativity to start, because comments can be helpful to the producer, and also they can create helpful conversations among people on the topic. I don’t think that people should just delete their comment streams because that is not really fixing the problem.
Update: November 14, 2013
I believe that comments still should be moderated for uncivilness. One comment I have gotten asks whether I think people should moderate the comments or should the creator of the website or whatever it is moderate the comments. This made me think because I had never actually thought really hard about who should moderate the comments nor talked about it much. I concluded that the creator should moderate them because they should be the ones to decide what the people are going to read, whether it is helpful feedback or not or if it makes the source look good. If people moderated them, they could just delete whatever they wanted, so a lot of people would delete the good comments and leave the bad comments unmoderated, which would ruin the point of even moderating comments. I also got an interesting perspective from someone saying that if comment streams were gone, they would just read a book because if it's and article or an online source without comment streams, then it basically is a book, it is just electronic. If I had a choice of reading a book/article or reading something online, I would choose the book.