To our readers,
Starting this weekend, the Chicago Sun-Times and the other titles in the Sun-Times Media group will temporarily cease to run comments with our articles.
The world of Internet commenting offers a marvelous opportunity for discussion and the exchange of ideas. But as anyone who has ever ventured into a comment thread can attest, these forums too often turn into a morass of negativity, racism, hate speech and general trollish behaviors that detract from the content.
MORE: Fark weighs in on our decision. Join their discussion.
MORE: Reddit has taken on the subject of our comments policy. Join their discussion.
In fact, the general tone and demeanor is one of the chief criticisms we hear in regard to the usability and quality of our websites and articles. Not only have we heard your criticisms, but we often find ourselves as frustrated as our readers are with the tone and quality of commentary on our pages.
To that end, we are working on development of a new commenting system we hope will not only allow for free discussion, but encourage increased quality of the commentary and help us better police the worst elements of these threads. We’ll have more in the weeks to come on this development. In the meantime, we encourage you to connect with us on Facebook and Twitter to offer your thoughts, feedback and suggestions. This is your site and your voice is an important part of how we work as a community to better serve Chicago.
Again, we are not doing away with comments. But we do want to take some time and work on the qualitative aspect of how they are handled and how we can foster a productive discussion rather than an embarrassing mishmash of fringe ranting and ill-informed, shrill bomb-throwing.
Craig M. Newman
Chicago Sun-Times and suntimes.com