The Reader Center is a newsroom initiative that is helping The Times build deeper ties with our audience.
Bassey Etim, our community editor, has responded to readers who questioned our policies governing which New York Times articles are opened for comments:
@nytimes cowardly disables their comments section on controversial articles. They alone choose when it’s OK for article to go unchallenged.
— James Guillochon, Cambridge, Mass., via Twitter
Who is the coward who chose not to run comments on the Silicon Valley ‘discrimination’ story? As a former journalist who began life on the Women’s Pages in the 1960s, that piece sounded so very familiar. Astonishing, in fact. The boys are spoiled brats. In 60 years, we haven’t come a long way after all.
— Sallie Fuerth, Charleston, S.C., via a Reader Center submission
Why didn’t The Times’s community desk allow comments on a Sept. 23 article about men who believe the push for gender equality in technology has gone too far?
The answer, I’m afraid, is rather dull: Our moderation resources are limited on weekends, which means fewer stories are opened for comment.
And given the volume of news over the weekend — including President Trump’s continued criticism of N.F.L. players who are protesting the United States criminal justice system, and the declining fortunes of the Republican health care bill — many worthy news items had to forgo comments.
Declining to host these discussions on nytimes.com is a difficult decision, but our research has consistently shown that Times readers prefer our moderated comments spaces. (Yes, most of our comments are still moderated by hand.) By weeding out trolling, abuse and off-topic content, we hope to create a space where everyone, no matter what their background or political beliefs, can feel comfortable sharing their thoughts.
That said, we are continually working to expand our moderation capacity. But we won’t do so at the expense of abandoning our ideal of high-quality comments sections.
Source: New York Times – Technology