Tuesday, August 23, 2016

NPR dropping comments from website

Effective Aug. 23, National Public Radio (NPR) is removing the “Comment” function from stories on its website.

NPR cited the cost of outside-platform Disqus, weighed against the concentration of commenting among a “very, very small slice of its overall audience.”

In her recent column, NPR Ombudsman Elizabeth Jensen addresses relevant issues about how this will affect reader engagement.

Having been “trolled” via a third-party platform that permitted anonymous commenting, I am concerned by the decline in civility to which online comment threads can degenerate.

I won’t miss commenting on the website.

But will relying on social media be enough to “pick up the slack” when only a portion of NPR stories are posted to its Facebook page? And what about users who don’t want a social presence?

I hope this and any further modifications to NPR feedback avenues are always done with an aim for promoting reader engagement.

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