In which I make the case against comment sections cos I hate free speech

In the Guardian I made the case. I did! At least according to some commenters.

Yup. Free speech is bad and by removing comment sections I can magically prevent everyone in the world ever having conversations, silence their dissent and such. Did you know before comment sections, no writers or thinkers or people were ever told they were wrong? Yes! Criticism never happened in alternate ways, such as in-depth discussions, letters, and so on.

No. Only comment sections.

I had no idea that shutting off comment sections meant shutting off people’s internet access and ability to start their own blogs, use forums, etc. But as I hate free speech and am a dictator, I am obviously glad. Anyway, I have to go sit on my thrown made of the silent screams of my critics which I will never ever hear ever again because I am all-powerful and none shall ever oppose me.



  1. says

    Another point worth making is that the arguments are blatantly hypocritical.

    Freeze-Peach Warriors usually have a dual vocabulary when it comes to comment sections. When they’re in the majority (or at least when they’re active enough to dominate below the line) then their comments are the exercise of free speech, and any attempt to deny them a platform is evil censorship. When they’re outnumbered, however, the definitions suddenly change. Other peoples comments are no longer free speech, but “silencing” and “bullying” and “dogpiling”.

    I wonder if people like Thunderf00t would be such strident advocates of universal open commenting, if 90% of the comments they received were insult laden garbage?

  2. oualawouzou says

    I get the feeling that newspapers sites started allowing comments on damn near everything just because “everybody does it”, kinda like how, around 15 years ago, many businesses had a useless and broken website just because “everybody had one”. When blogs started being treated as a legitimate source of information, newspapers felt the heat and concluded (rightly? wrongly?) that what drew people to blogs was the comments section. Unfortunately, their reflection stopped there. And now, they don’t want to get rid of it because of the disproportionately vocal freeze peaches champions, but they don’t want to spend the resources needed to actually turn the comments sections into something useful. Actually… that’s not completely true. Most visitors to a news site will visit a given page once. But thanks to the incessant flame wars on some articles, the papers can count on a part of their audience visiting the same page over and over and over, which translates to more advertising money. Yeah… we’re stuck with comment hell.
    (note: I don’t have numbers to back up that affirmation… but that’s about the only rational explanation I can come up with the fact newspapers websites are not doing anything about the appalling vitriol that fills their comments sections.)

  3. oualawouzou says

    (sorry for double-post) And yes, as the article said near the end, that view about “heated” discussions bringing in more traffic, thus more money may very well be bollocks.