12.16.2015 11:20 AM

My comment is that it is commendable for the Star to cancel comments

Because, in fairness, I didn’t permit comments for the longest time – which itself gave rise to a separate web site, not affiliated with me, so that people could comment on my commentary. Seriously.

But now I have some of the best regular commenters around. They span the ideological spectrum, and they have very different personalities, but they’re great. I very rarely need to invoke the “comment rules,” found here.

That all said, I sort of understand where the Star is coming from:

Toronto Star closes commenting on thestar.com: We have turned off commenting on thestar.com effective Wednesday, Dec. 16 and instead we’ll be promoting and showcasing the comments our readers share across social media and in their letters and emails to our editors.

When you eyeball the cyber-sewer found beneath most mainstream media web site stories, I frankly don’t blame the Star for taking this action. Who wants to provide a forum for the libel and hate spewed by dickless, gormless wonders who wear their jammies all day and live in mommy’s basement? Not the Star. Not me.

But, on this here web site, not blog, you smart folks out there are always welcome.

But behave, okay?

19 Comments

  1. billg says:

    Much like Playboy, I only read the Star for the comments.

  2. cgh says:

    Umm, no. The Star is closing its comment section because it’s now getting well and truly hammered, and legitimately so, for advocating policies now slammed by the Auditor General of Ontario.

  3. Liam Young says:

    Comments are vital to discourse and democracy. The Toronto Star decision should be considered a fail and reversion to ‘old ways’ of managing content: what I say, goes. Only paywalls are a worse strategy for controlling the message.

    My current beef? The CBC today basically copy/pastes comments (ie. Twitter feed) to their site as ‘content’ (it looks like this will be the same strategy for the Star). That, or they copy/paste from Canadian Press, which is own form of media control. OR … they post basically ‘inflammatory’ articles without commenting at all, leading to inconsistent policy on content or accountability by way of feedback.

    I say good luck. I haven’t visited the Star site in years and this won’t entice me to come back.

    Instead, I’ll keep on keeping on with WK’s commentary on the world as it is 🙂

  4. Al in Cranbrook says:

    CBC would be well advised to do the same, particularly considering that it functions on the public’s dime, and thus has no business in acting as a subsidized parallel universe in which devotees of Rabble.ca indulge themselves and their virulently rabid socialist fantasies.

    As I’ve said before, to drift into a comments section on just about any news outlet’s webpage is to end up with a burning urge born of depression to find the nearest faraway cave and wait for the inevitable end of the world.

  5. Darren H says:

    It does get a little out of control sometimes. As a general rule I’ve found that the quality of commenting is reflective of the quality/bias of the website (Huffpost is horrible). The arguments can get very childish therefore I try not to partake. I get frustrated when people argue blind ideology against facts and common sense.

  6. P. Brenn says:

    Hay hay whats wrong with my star wars jammies and my mom’s basement ..what does gormless mean….I agree with star and others media outlets..stuff is outrageous….in many cases good discussion gets overwhelmed by hate and garbage …when you see an article followed by 100’s of comments you know to give it up and not go there..

    Also cost to vet the garbage in terms of staff time and impact crap must have on people that need to read to vet is not worth it…

  7. Dork in East York says:

    Great to know there’s at least ONE place I can spout by belief that Kathleen Wynne is part of a giant Zionist conspiracy controlling virtually every aspect of our lives.

  8. doris says:

    The only thing here is that it is probably a cost cutting move after all why do you need a public comments editor if thare are no public comments. Personally I have no qualms about using a real name and if the TO Star backed away from its cowardly policy I would provide mine at any time I can. After all you can only be entered in the RCMP watchlist once and I am sure that the Star only sells its database to reputable vendors and thus the junk emails do not come fast.

    So to sum up if the Star insisted on real names and no more anonymity then the crap and hatemongers would not proliferate.

  9. Ronald O'Dowd says:

    Warren,

    Wow. That screen capture is before my time. I started reading at the tail-end of the No Comments Policy.

    Funny how Harper never picked that up — we could have had A No Comments Government! LOL.

  10. Maps Onburt says:

    Thank you Warren for giving us the opportunity to do this in a “safe” place. I’ve completely given up even reading the comments on most MSM sites because of the trash that goes on there. There may be one in 30 that is worth reading. What I like about this site is that you have a wide range of opinions so that one really can learn where other people are coming from. Sometimes we even change each other’s opinions! Generally if someone is too partisan or just posting crap, they quickly get called out. The National Post USED to be like that… but no longer. G&M and CBC forget about it. The Star had widely varying opinions but they’d generally shut things down within 24 hours so half the time you couldn’t even get to comment on a piece. The Sun papers had crap from both sides frankly but they shut things down before the Star did.

  11. G. McRae says:

    I come for the comments and stay for the vocabulary…. “gormless”…. learned myself a new word.

  12. Curt says:

    Hey Warren,
    Thanks for telling everybody about how good my comments are. Oh shoot maybe you weren’t talking about me. Ah you must have been talking about my great comments.

  13. Jack D says:

    I’m not all that surprised. I read the comment section on the Star a few times during the election just to gauge where the un-inhibited observer was thinking, and my god it was profoundly ignorant. For people that are supposedly readers that absorb information regularly, many seem less informed than YouTube commenters.

    Actually, not too long ago I recall CBC having to close the comment section on articles related to aboriginal issues on their website. The content was described as “objectionable”, ”garbage”, and “vitriolic”. Which, again, doesn’t surprise me –however, the fact that comment sections are now having to be shut down due to the utter stupidity of those finding a vehicle to spew their hostilities behind anonymity just goes to show that we need to start having an intelligent discussion about free speech.

    Personally, I’m glad to see this form of action to combat the freedom enjoyed (abused) by the un-intelligent. I think the US serves as a prime example of what happens when limitations are completely removed from public discourse. It results in nothing but further aggravating sentiments of hatred and anger.

    The reality is, some people are incapable of contributing to intelligent discussions. In this day and age where everyone has access to a medium of voicing their opinions, we need to realize that not all opinions are equally valuable to the progression of our society.

  14. Tiger says:

    I don’t blame them. As they’ve said, social media provides enough of a forum for people to show public reaction to their work.

  15. doconnor says:

    Technology can help, but these news comments boards tend to be primitive with fewer features then a Usenet reader from before the web existed. SlashDot has a sophisticated system of moderating and even meta-moderating that help promote and reward good comments.

  16. smelter rat says:

    On the plus side, gormless racist twits can still post their sewage on the rebel media site. Lately they’ve been advocating for the murder of the Alberta Premier. Good times.

  17. lou says:

    Quite hypocritical of the Star. They continue to publish Mallick whose commentaries are nothing more than name calling and stereotypes. They also continue to publish Porter who was caught flat out LYING about Ezra Levant’s treatment of her daughter. Get real Honderich. If you want to talk the talk, walk it as well.

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