Popular Science Gets Rid of Comments -- What this Means for Social-Media Learning

Will Thalheimer, New Republic, Sept 27, 2013
Commentary by Stephen Downes

I have long held that a discussion list is ineffective for large audiences. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the comment thread below articles of major publications like Popular Science. So now the magazie is removing the thread. "You'd think the U.S. Government was going to go into default or something. Popular Science decides to get rid of its comments--fearing that good science was being misperceived because of online comments," summarized Will Thalheimer. He adds, "I wish someone who studies this issue intensively would create a rubric, helping us understand when and how comments can be valuable--and when they cause more harm then good." I don't know whether a rubric would do the job.

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