Washington post turns off readers

As of yesterday at 4:15 pm EST, the Washington Post editors have turned off their readers. Well… They turned off their comments on their blogs. Same difference really. In this day of digital enlightenment, one of the larger media companies to join the blogosphere is taking a major step back.

Because a significant number of folks who have posted in this blog have refused to follow any of those relatively simple rules, we’ve decided not to allow comments for the time being. It’s a shame that it’s come to this. Transparency and reasoned debate are crucial parts of the Web culture, and it’s a disappointment to us that we have not been able to maintain a civil conversation, especially about issues that people feel strongly (and differently) about.

It is a shame. It is a shame that they still don’t get it. While it is important to moderate comments to some extent, it is difficult impossible to expect it to be easy or all-reaching.

In the form of a large blog, the comments are where the true conversation happens. Very seldom can a person have a transparent and “reasoned” debate about hot button topics. Censorship of the more unreasonable comments isn’t going to make it any better. The people who are censored are simply going to go somewhere else. Somewhere where they can have a heated debate if necessary.

We removed [Censored] hundreds of these posts over the past few days, and it was becoming a significant burden on us to try and keep the comments area free of profanity and name-calling.

I can see the aversion to profanity. I try to avoid it myself. But name-calling? Are we still in 3rd grade? If so… Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.

Get over it Jim Brady. Get over it Washington Post. Let the conversation continue on your blogs. Or it will continue without you.

Other conversation (possible name-calling and profanity) on this topic:

Transparency at the post: Q&A

WAPO: Payback’s a bitch

Trolled to Death

Comments turned off

Quote of the Day and NYTimes gets it wrong

Washington Post deletes hundreds of comments

Tell Ombudsman to do her job

You can also follow it on tech.memeorandum.com and at memeorandum.com

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About Shane Ede

Shane Ede is an IT guy by day and a Entrepreneurial Blogger by night. You can follow him here on Thatedeguy or over on Twitter and Google+.

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