24.com removes comments section
24.com is closing comments on its articles from Friday, September 11, 2015. This decision affects all 24.com sites with the exclusion of Netwerk24.
The decision is in line with international trends and years of moderation challenges. It is also part of the evolution of the 24.com brand which saw a significant investment from April this year in a national reporting team producing original content and servicing News24Wire.
Users who wish to contribute to online debates will be directed to MyNews24 as an alternative channel for news readers to submit comment for editorial review prior to publishing while other sites will invite reader contributions via email.
“While News24 is an active proponent of freedom of speech, we believe the comments sections on our news sites are not adding significant value to our content offering and the user experience,” says Editor-in-Chief, Andrew Trench.
“We have therefore made the decision to remove the comments section as a default option for users and to provide an alternative communication channel for those readers who wish to make considered contributions to debate and commentary.”
“But we will also retain editorial discretion to activate comments – which will be pre-moderated – on a limited number of articles and opinions where we think they will add value.”
24.com join many international news sites that have done the same. In April 2015, Chicago Sun-Times removed their comments section with the announcement that they were working on an alternative system that allows for dialogue. They have been joined by Reuters, The Verge, Popular Science and CNN amongst others who have either closed comments completely or open them rarely and selectively.
24.com believes social media continues to provide ample opportunities for commentary and that resources which have been geared towards moderating comments are better utilised in creating valuable content for the audience.
“This decision has not been made lightly. There is immense value in reader’s comments that are useful to public discourse and debate and we have no desire to stop these,” concludes Trench.
“We welcome reader and community engagement and dialogue and trust that the alternative submission channel, MyNews24, will prove of value for both. The editorial team moderating the comments submitted through this channel will ensure that valuable discourse will continue without the possibility of internet trolling.”
24.com platforms removing comments are: