Should the ‘COMMENT’ section on websites be removed?

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The ‘comment’ area found on most websites, blogs, facebook, any type of social media is a place where people can read something and immediately leave their opinion, critique, or support.

I have been reading and hearing on the t.v. that some writers and bloggers are saying that they personally don’t like or have the option of a comment section for their readers. The Toronto Star is debating whether to remove this area as well.

Personally I am divided on this issue.

Pros:

I enjoy reading an article than reading what other people thought about it. Do they think the same thing I did?

I get to read a different view point. Sometimes, in the comment section someone will write something that looks at the article in a different light than I had interrupted. I enjoy this as this allows me to expand my thinking and see things from different views.

People can connect with others, feel validated in their opinions and views.

Hopefully the comments can assist the writer of the article to reflect on their work.

Allows access into what the general publics’ view is on a topic.

Cons

Trolls. Not to sure why this term is used, I may have a stronger word for the people who use the comment section to launch a personal attack on others. Often someone will make a comment about an article and inevitably one person will change the course of the discussion to a personal attack. Why? Because they don’t agree with each other. Instead of sticking to the topic, they attack each other. Remember if you don’t have anything nice to say….

Political platform. I can read an article about an octopus escaping and scroll down to the comment area and more often than not someone will bring up the Liberals for or against them. Or whichever party is in power at the time. There is a time and a place for everything. Remember in the comment section it should be about the article, not your own personal agenda.

‘Haters gonna hate’. (Yes I quoted Taylor Swift.) Some people are just going to say mean things. About a person’s body, race, gender, ethnicity, politics, intelligence, etc. Why? Because they are sitting at home, behind their computer and write hateful things simply because they can. What are the repercussions to writing it? Not much. Our laws are just beginning to catch up with the internet. It does not make you smarter or better to put someone down, it just makes you a bully hiding behind your computer.

Overall

I am for Free speech. I think the ‘comment’ section should stay, however be closely monitored for abusive, inappropriate and hateful attacks. Defiantly a tall order to tackle the ‘troll’ issue that I am not sure will ever be resolved, some people are going to use their voices to express opinions in helpful or hurtful ways. It is up to us readers of the comment section to choose how to respond. Remember if you won’t say it to someone’s face than don’t write it. Also, use the comment section for what it is there for; to comment on the article not on each other.

What do you think? Keep the comment section even though it is very hard to regulate and monitor the ‘trolls’ or get rid of the comment section even though people’s voices are valuable and freedom of speech is for all.

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