Chuck Carroll

Why I Don't Have a Comments Section

Published: 2024-06-30

I don't do comments on this site and there's a few of reasons for that. First of all, it adds more complexity to a website I've intentionally kept to just HTML and CSS. Sticking with HTML and a bit of CSS makes the site more lightweight and easier to manage.

Secondly, when you set up a public scribbling wall for people to write whatever they want, they will indeed write whatever the hell they want, akin to the kind of garbage you see in a public bathroom stall. That isn't to say I wouldn't get some insightful and well thought out comments, but I have spent several years moderating comment sections professionally and it's not something I have a desire to do. I did have a comments section back when this site used Wordpress, but 99% of the time all I got was spam.

Also, when people think they're talking publicly or to an audience, there's a higher likelihood they're going to be a dick (intentional or not). I prefer to handle comments, feedback, and questions via email. I'm not sure if there's data to back this up, but in my experience 1:1 interactions are much much more civil and pleasant. People are genuinely nicer - and not just online, but in real world interactions as well (probably even more so than online). Offline, peoples views are more nuanced and interesting than how they present themselves online.

I published a post a few years ago about how The Inquirer and others are removing comment sections from their website. When I visit a website to read an article, I'm there to read the author's deep dive into a particular subject, not to read some idiotic and ignorant opinion from some random jackass on the internet. Alas, many websites do keep comments turned on for "engagement" purposes, but "engagement" is not and should not be the end all be all metric and absolutely DOES NOT tell the whole story of what readers think.

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