NPR Removing Online Comments Starting August 23rd
NPR Censorship
(Last Updated On: August 18, 2016)

You won’t be able to leave a comment on the website of NPR anymore. The National Public Radio will be banning public comments.

It seems like an oxymoron but it’s the truth. Kotaku in Action spotted the news from over on the Washington Post, who in turn did an article based on a post made by Elizabeth Jensen over on the official website.

Managing editor for digital news, Scott Montgomery, explained that all comments will be prohibited from being made on the site itself but will instead be allowed through social media such as Twitter and Facebook, saying…

“We’ve reached the point where we’ve realized that there are other, better ways to achieve the same kind of community discussion around the issues we raise in our journalism,”


“In relative terms, as we set priorities, it becomes increasingly clear that the market has spoken. This is where people want to engage with us. So that’s what we’re going to emphasize,”

Most people understand that you cannot have a nuanced conversation on Twitter using expressions limited to 140 characters. Montgomery must not be most people.

Given that NPR covers various topics that culturally, politically and globally significant, one would think that they would embrace the kind of comment discussions that spawn from these topics, but they feel as if they need to move away from the freedom of expression and the ability to afford users a platform in which to critique, comment or correct the author on the NPR website.

Essentially, this means that if any of the information is incorrect or false, those visiting the site will never know since a correction cannot be made or offered in the comment section.

The site also lists another reason for the closing of the comment section: cost.

According to the article, only 0.06% of users are commenting on NPR articles, and they further state…

“NPR’s commenting system — which gets more expensive the more comments that are posted, and in some months has cost NPR twice what was budgeted — is serving a very, very small slice of its overall audience.”

Realistically, comment sections are cheaper to maintain now than ever before. Heck, many sites monetize their comment sections with the free Disqus’ Engage API.

If you’re losing money running a comment section, you’re doing it wrong.

And for anyone running to NPR’s defense… they’re already using Disqus. As stated on the article…

“All existing comments on the site will disappear. That is because while comments look as though they exist on the pages, they actually live within Disqus, an outside commenting platform used by NPR. So when the commenting software is removed, the archival comments go with it, Montgomery said, adding that it is not possible to remove the comment system but leave the old comments.”

So comments are going away, old comments are going away, and only social media interaction will be allowed.

Washington Post praised the move, which is lock-step with the current trend from a lot of Regressive sect tactics to limit free speech and lockdown opinions that don’t fit within the current media’s narrative to influence and force people into a specific line of thought.

Unfortunately NPR has been adopting Regressive talking points, even insofar as adopting the “#GamerGate is a harassment campaign”, with one article completely miss stepping the subject by a mile back in September of 2014, and another recently covering the controversy in South Korea that was published on July 29th, 2016 last month.

Sadly this is where many mainstream news organizations are heading, where censorship is the first line of defense and freedom of expression comes at the price of only expressing the “right” ideas.

(Main image courtesy of LisaM)

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Billy has been rustling Jimmies for years covering video games, technology and digital trends within the electronics entertainment space. The GJP cried and their tears became his milkshake. Need to get in touch? Try the Contact Page.

  • ForsakenEagle

    I don’t ever visit the NPR website (why would I?), but I’m willing to bet with the fast deterioration in the West the amount of “thought-crime” in their comments was making their “unbiased journalism” look bad.

  • Bitterbear

    Hey! It’s only censorship when the government does it-wait.

  • scemar

    there’s some logic behind it but it’s still a terrible move, it’s still something that would not benefit the the ideals of open communication

    the problem is simple, they now rely on a third party as means of communication
    that means people will need to engage through those platforms and we have seen how biased and unfair they are, they are shamelessly pushing agendas all the time by banning and shadow banning people not for the right rule violations, but for saying the wrong things that piss the right people, the rules are only used as an excuse to censor ideas or users out

    twitter is corrupt
    facebook is corrupt

    those are not open and fair spaces for discussion, they do not accept all opinions there equally

  • anopolis

    it’ll be ok, as they descend into obscurity the left will make damn sure they continue receiving tax dollars to keep them afloat long after they’ve taken on enough water to sink to the very bottom. After all, the world “needs” them…much like pbs..

  • Hawk Hopper

    Are they also going to stop reading the strongly worded letters they’ve received from grandpas?

    • Probably stopped doing that a long time ago. I imagine some of them got triggered from the ancient quill used by grandpa… the thick ink likely reminded them of The Patriarchy.

      • Hawk Hopper

        But grandpa isn’t a quitter. He knows they don’t read his letters, but he writes and sends them anyways.

  • giygas

    Comment sections at regressive mainstream media outlets are overflowing with dissent. The regressives realize they can’t control discourse or maintain their echo chambers in the comments any more so they pick up their ball and stomp their way home like a petulant child.

    I’m not too worried about it though. The MSM is also losing relevance and credibility in the eyes of the public by the day. Their hubris has allowed alternative sources like the right-leaning Breitbart to kick their asses.

    • Ha, look at NBC scrubbing at the bottom… wow.

    • ForsakenEagle

      The pendulum is swinging the other way. The Old Boys are the modern censors, prudes, and out-of-touch traditionalists who can’t- rather, won’t see the general public will not buy their bull much longer. Let them go down with their illiberal ships.

  • Gorgon

    I really hate websites that force users to use facebook and twitter for feedback. It usually means they don’t really give a fuck about what you want to say, they just want free publicity and advertising through social networks.

  • Always a Sisyphus situation for GamerGate.