PopSci Readers Comment on the Removal of Comments
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:
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.
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. :(
of sad Popsci isn't open to readers opinions anymore. Also sad that
they were starting to be more interested in non-science topics.
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.
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?
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
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.
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.
Hey, does anyone know why there's just a blank space after the stories now?