Alan and I have made the decision to turn off commenting at Command Post
until we can install Type Key. I have a feeling that even Type Key will not dispell the acrimonious air that pervades the comments over there at times. There are certain commenters (some left, some right and some moderate) who have set the tone and ruined what used to be a pretty good open forum on the day's news. Warnings, deleted comments, a new comment policy and bannings did nothing to stop the hate and ugliness that pervaded the comment section at TCP. I know the comments are what a lot of people came to TCP for. Not many news sites have such a place for open exchange of ideas and civil discourse. Of course, the discourse became rather uncivil and we will sacrifice our hit counter (which directly affects our adversting and credibility, especially in terms of getting press credentials) in order to clean out the house.
Like Alan says, it's just getting to be a pain in the ass to read the comments in order to police them, rather than reading them to enjoy them. It's time consuming, especially when most posts garner over 100 comments.
It's eventually going to happen here as well; I'll either start with comment registration or Type Key
or move to no comments and a bulletin board type place instead, where I will take no responsibility for the comments within. As it is, ASV is my home and if you do not wipe your feet before you come in here (that goes for righties as well as lefties, no free passes), I'm going to end up shutting the door to everyone.
I don't want to end up having to approve comments; that leaves too much room for people to claim that I am crushing their dissent or whatnot. It mostly makes me laugh when people say that, or call this site an echo chamber. A quick walk through the comments on any political post will prove otherwise. However, the level of civility in the comments here is shrinking down to nothing and I feel it's just going to get worse in the coming months.
I'm giving it another week before I decide whether ASV will follow the lead of Command Post.
Of course, one way to get away from the ugly commenting is to post about something besides war and politics. Which is why I was thinking about resurrecting the video game awards from last December. I think it would be a good distraction from the underlying current of antagonism that usually permeates this place. That's not to say I won't be writing about the news and politics, it just means that I'll be concentrating mostly on my new idea: In honor of VH1's new series I Love the 90's
, I'll be staging the Pop Culture of the 90's Award Show. Well, not really a show so much as a lot of polls and a lot of posts on the subject. Look for the start later on today or tonight. If that goes well, I'll think about doing the 80's. I just need a fun distraction and this just might be it.