In a somewhat bizarre move, The Verge has decided to turn off comments on its articles. The Verge’s top editor Nilay Patel wrote in a blog post that the discussion on the site had gotten “too intense” and that comments would be disabled on new posts for some time.
“And sometimes it gets too intense. What we’ve found lately is that the tone of our comments (and some of our commenters) is getting a little too aggressive and negative…”
It’s unclear how long commenting will be disabled, but by the sound of Patel’s article, comments may return before the end of summer. Patel said in his post that comments would be disabled for the next few weeks. But if negative comments continue, what will Mr. Patel do next?
“So we’re going to call timeout for a while and turn comments off by default on all posts for the next few weeks.”
Many readers of the site are obviously and understandably upset by The Verge’s decision to do away with comments. Since it’s creation in 2011, the site has had a very engaged community. Just about every article published would have a pretty substantial amount of discussion at the bottom of it, in the comments section. That engaged community is what set The Verge apart from similar sites.
Why The Verge would take a break from what made it one of the most popular blogs around is anyone’s guess. To some, the move is a radical one that makes them wish Joshua Topolsky hadn’t left for Bloomberg. As someone who has been reading The Verge from the start, it’s very hard for me to imagine Topolsky ever doing anything like what Patel has decided to do.
Someone even added an entry in Nilay Patel’s Wikipedia page about the issue.
“Recently Patel has been at the core of extreme discontent with readers of The Verge due to extremely biased and ‘clickbait’ blog posts. His response was to shut down comments on the site and avoid any critique whatsoever.”
It appears as though Patel is sick of hearing what his audience is thinking. Perhaps he doesn’t care what readers at The Verge want, perhaps his mission is to destroy The Verge, who knows.
This move by The Verge is certainly a strange one. It’s also one that will likely hurt their readership.
Whether you agree with this article or not, you’re welcome to leave a comment below. We love discussion at Oatboat, and we won’t censor our readers.