PopSci Readers Comment on the Removal of Comments

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As you may have already heard, Popular Science took the controversial step of closing their comments section yesterday. In a delicately worded article, online content director Suzanne LaBarre laid out the magazine's rationale, insisting that comments can be "bad for science." If you haven't read it yet, I suggest you do so.

Though the comments section was disabled on LaBarre's article, many PopSci readers shared their thoughts on the magazine's decision in the still active comments sections of preceding pieces. Here's a sampling of the replies, some of which have been condensed for conciseness or trimmed to remove overly disrespectful language:

From adaptation:

You could have taken a measured approach, disabling comments for certain

posts or initiate a user moderated comment section. But instead you

come out and tell us that our comments have negative value.

From Paul_Pence:

The purpose of peer-reviewed journals is to add credence to the

presented information. A journal that not only has no peer review, but also

bans feedback has no credence at all. Today, PopSci eliminated feedback

from readers. :(

From jefro:


of sad Popsci isn't open to readers opinions anymore. Also sad that

they were starting to be more interested in non-science topics.

From SilentBeam:

Popsci could not have called its own readers "idiots" anymore than

they have just done. Popsci now thinks its readers are small children

who are incapable of determining the truth for themselves. A very

patronizing and condescending decision. Message from Popsci: We don't

like people thinking for themselves.

From paulcrosoft:

How is cutting off comments (even by trolls) anything but insulting all

their readers? They are saying that we can't tell the difference between

an argument and trolling, are they not?

From free_thought_initiative:


PopSci has so cowardly disabled comments on the article discussing the

disabling of comments, thereby giving a massive middle finger to all its

readers' opinions on the subject, I suppose we can have our

conversation here, on the last PopSci article with comments enabled.

Is it possible that comments influence readers? Of course it is. But

you know what a responsible solution to that problem would have been?

Being active on your own website and responding to the negative comments

so that readers can see both sides of the issue without being wholly

colored by the negativity.

Of course, I'm not surprised that this high road was ignored; in

truth, PopSci probably disabled the comments because they just never

cared about them anyway, given that there was an untouched spam post on

almost every article for the last year or so that no moderator bothered

to remove.

This is wrong. This is limiting. This violates the notion that you

support free thought, regardless of your justification...

...So long, Popular Science, and thanks for all the conversations. It's too bad you no longer wish to hear us.

From drchuck1:

Thanks to all the hate ridden relentless attackers spewing their

nonsense towards Popsci. I won't miss you uneducated idiots or trolls,

whatever category fits you the best.

From PopSci_is_cool:

Hey, does anyone know why there's just a blank space after the stories now?

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