The Comments Are Closed

Audrey Watters, Universities Canada, May 17, 2013
Commentary by Stephen Downes

I have always thought people should comment on their own site and link to or reference others. But the internet developed differently, with people (and companies) trying to draw users into theoir own sites (the better to show them advertising). Hence, the discussion list and/or comment list became a web staple. Sometimes - in places like the WELL - this worked out opretty well. Most of the time, though, unless you are activkly moderating comments, you get littered with the refuse of online activity. I recently closed comments on Half an Hour because, once I passed the million views mark, I crossed some sort of spam threshhold (which cut through Google's flimsy spam filters like a hot knife through butter). OLDaily is protected through obscurity, but even here, I have to watch what gets posted. And women tech writers face a whole range of issues I can't even bear to describe. So I am totally sympathetic with Audrey Watters shutting down comments. She can read my comments on her article here, on my site, where my comments belong, as she alway has.

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