The comments feature of an on-line newspaper had to be suspended “because of abusive comments and personal attacks posted on our Web site.”
Although this strategy will dampen the idiot winds for a while, the new information order calls for interactivity on the web. This is another example of how we are going kicking and screaming into the future…
It shows that adults, as well as students, have significant learning curves when it comes to responsible communication and representation on the interactive web. It also shows that he who holds the keys to the kingdom (in this case, the press) can and probably should make the rules when necessary.
You can go to almost any on-line news story today and filter through the comments for the stories (and agendas) behind the stories.
Will Richardson takes a much deeper dig on this topic in a post called “Norms of Participation“. It is interesting to compare the quality of his commentators vs. the quality of commentators in a general news article. Perhaps context is the key.