CBM Community Update: Why Have Comments Been Disabled?

A quick update for the CBM community regarding the ability to leave comments on the articles on the site. What's happened to them, why has it happened, & what's next!


UPDATE

After the overwhelming community response, including many first-time commentors, and more than 12 pages of comments, I have returned my favorite feature of the site back on.

In addition to turning comments back on, I have also re-enabled the 48 hour probationary period for new accounts. This means that new users will *not* be able to comment on posts until after the 48 hour probation period has ended.

There will be some changes coming in the near future, including the ability to turn comments off for individual posts, as well as hiding entire threads that were created by users who you have blocked, as well as some new moderator features so that I can bring back the ability to have volunteer moderators.

Thank you all for your feedback, regardless of which side of the discussion you ended up on!


You've probably found your way to this post due to comments being shutdown on the site. For some it may be a surprise that the feature has been disabled. Others may be wondering why they weren't removed sooner. In any case I thought the CBM community might want to know WHY this has happened. If you're one of these that do, please continue reading.

For those familiar with the site, and the other sites that cover similar topics, news, etc., you may have noticed that CBM is one of the last sites around that actually let you comment on a story directly through the site. CBM's community is one of the unique aspects that have kept the site thriving since we opened the virtual doors back in 2003. Users being able to voice the pleasure, or displeasure as the case may be, is one of the great things about hosting a site like this. There has been passionate debate, awesome discussions, and some REALLY great GIFs shared with the community over the years. It's honestly my favorite thing about CBM. Interacting with all of you is always a ton of fun.

Unfortunately with the anonymity of the web also comes some unpleasant things. Trolls. Flame wars. Personal attacks against other users. Off-topic discussion. Thread hijacking. The list is endless.

Over the years I've tested a lot of different things including automated comment deletion and user account disabling based upon number of reports, adding additional volunteer moderators, reintroducing the "Hall of Shame" (where all reported comments get queued up for moderator review), adding the ability to "block" (i.e. not seeing comments from users how have been blocked, etc.), etc..

Despite all of this, it seems to be a losing battle. For whatever reason, some users refuse to conduct themselves in an appropriate manner, much less being respectful of other users and their opinions (especially if they disagree with them). Threads continue to be derailed with unrelated at best, purely idiotic at worst, comments, while other users refuse to the use the tools available to them.

For this reason, the comments for all articles on the site, with the exception of this post, have been disabled. Will they return? That's really up to the CBM community.

Feel free to share any suggestions or feedback below. Maybe I should reinstitute the auto account disabling for users who receive too many reports? That definitely made the job easier for moderators, but just like the Hall of Shame, it was abused and innocent users had their accounts disabled...

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