Vice Embraces Censorship, Shuts Down Their Comment Section
(Last Updated On: December 20, 2016)

Vice recently published an article on December 20th, 2016 explaining that they have done away with the comment sections on their articles. Writer Jonathan Smith penned the piece explaining why they’ve decided to completely remove the comment sections on Vice’s articles.

Smith writes…

“[…] website comments sections are rarely at their best. Without moderators or fancy algorithms, they are prone to anarchy. Too often they devolve into racist, misogynistic maelstroms where the loudest, most offensive, and stupidest opinions get pushed to the top and the more reasoned responses drowned out in the noise.

 

“[…] we had to ban countless commenters over the years for threatening our writers and subjects, doxxing private citizens, and engaging in hate speech against pretty much every group imaginable.”

The article proceeds to contradict itself, stating that majority of the comments weren’t bad, but apparently the few bad apples tainted the barrel and so everyone is being punished. Smith goes on to write…

“We know that the vast majority of you are hot, brilliant non-bigots who challenge us to be better every day. That doesn’t change just because we’re losing the ugly stuff at the bottom of our articles.”

It’s an oxymoron to say that the majority of the commenters are “brilliant” but that due to the “ugly stuff” left by users they deem unsavory, they have to kill off the entire comment section. It’s a little like saying that since we get spam bots posting spam every once in a while, we need to kill off our comment section on this site to get rid of spam for good.

As far as logic is concerned the article doesn’t seem to pick a point and stick with it. Nevertheless, they mention that they will be monitoring their Facebook and Twitter feeds moving forward.

This fits in line with other sites who have also begun closing their comment sections, such as the opinion and editorial section on The Guardian, the comment sections on The Verge, and NPR, who also shut the comment sections down on their articles back in August of 2016.

(Thanks for the news tip Hawk Hopper)


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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.

  • Lucas Prilliman

    And let’s not forget they white knight Zoe Quinn by disabling comments.

  • Bandit

    Vice is supposedly against censorship and committed to delivering raw, real news. This is completely against those values and the readers will NOT tolerate it. Any “news” organization which kills the comments section is just looking to control its’ users and make them behave the way the organization wants them to.

    Look what the “news” sites did before Sir Trump was elected. They disabled comments on any article that said anything positive about him. It’s disgusting that we have turned into such a police state!

    • It’s disgusting that we have turned into such a police state!

      This is what angers me the most. The media has become the extended propaganda arm of those who want to control discussions, limit speech and dictate societal norms (many of which are disruptive and destructive).

  • Ebalosus

    Make no mistake, this is about silencing dissent more than anything else. What I find most egregious is how the people who will write this off as “no one has the right to a comment section” are the very same people screaming about Trump’s supposed plan to silence a dissenting media.

    Ok, so when Vice does it, it’s “their prerogative”; but when Trump talks about doing it, it’s “an affront to free speech and freedom of the press!”

  • Alistair

    It’s a perfect excuse to censored people opinions even though it COULD hurt your feelings.

    Even it its painful, it still legal under freedom of speech and expression. As long you dont threaten life or rape.

    Trolls likes to use sarcasm, name calling, swearing even commenting on your spelling. To trigger a response.

    It still they Right being complete utter tools online and you got the right to call out on them.

    But i see vice use that excuse for they agenda ways to silence disent.

  • MusouTensei

    Vice needs to die.

  • Minuteworld92

    Fuck censorship

    • Bandit

      ANY form of censorship should be outright banned. Don’t care if someone says they will kill another or rape their mom. Freedom of speech shall have no limit.

  • Blake

    RIP Vice 1994 – 2006

    • Blake

      Also
      >doxxing
      (sjw spelling)

  • Hawk Hopper

    Of course they didn’t show any evidence of this harassment and threats happening in their comment sections.

    More importantly, they don’t show how comment sections are helping destroy the media:

    “Consistent with the concerns of the “no anonymity” movement, we found strong evidence that anonymous posts shape the attitudes of news audiences. Specifically, we found that Internet users became significantly more negative towards the news media and USA Today when exposed to a story with an anonymous comments section. Somewhat surprisingly, we found that this pattern of negativity held even when the anonymous comments praised the media’s reporting. Below is a graph showing the average rating of USA Today and the news media in each experimental condition: In short, it makes little difference whether anonymous comments shower news coverage with uniform praise or with uniform criticism; the average rating that Internet users give to the media always suffers when anonymous comments are included alongside news reports.”

    That’s from the Washington Post!

    https://archive.is/P2OOU

    So long live comment sections, even if hipster cry babies at Vice don’t like them!

  • ForsakenEagle

    Any website that shuts down comments is trash. They always claim it’s just “trolls” trying to get a rise out of people. Whenever I do go to one of these obviously biased websites that haven’t yet remove comments, the comments that are voted to the top spots typically contradict the bias of the article. Disabling comment sections is NOT about stopping hordes of “trolls” and “hate speech”, it’s about creating an echo chamber.

    • Ckarasu

      Generally, you’re right. There are the hedge cases where the community is that bad, but usually it’s because people can’t deal with actual discussion and argumentation. It will only serve to make the places that shut down comments look worse to the average person.