One of the unique features of Disqus is that in addition to having the API installed on a website so you can comment with others, it also had a community channel feature with sub-pages for different sites and homemade groups. Well, starting September 1st, those communities are going kaput.
The news rolled out over on the Disqus blog, where they explained why they were getting rid of the communities, with Sabra Mwaura writing…
“Over this time, we’ve seen an increasing number of Terms Of Service violations in the channel sphere, which requires increasing resources from the Customer Support team. Due to the high volume and nature of the Terms of Service violations present in the Channels system, we ultimately decided to remove Channels from Disqus entirely. We made this decision with the goal of keeping everyone’s best interest in mind. Our Customer Support team is dedicated to improving the Disqus experience for both commenters and publishers, and removing Channels will allow them to devote more time and effort to this objective.”
So basically, they couldn’t dictate and control what you said and how you said it so they called it a “Terms of Service” violation and opted to completely shut down the group channels.
If you’re unfamiliar with how the channels worked, there’s a video that explains it.
Beyond the larger channels were there also sub-channels and sub-communities as well. Instead of simply letting them be, Disqus decided to completely shut them down.
As noted, you can’t export any of the channel data and you won’t be able to save any of the comments or communities. In the post Mwaura writes…
“All Channels aside from Discuss Disqus will be deactivated on September 1st. Please keep in mind that Channel content will not be exportable, so users wishing to continue the experience they had on Disqus channels are encouraged to do so in the context of a full website. New Disqus sites may be registered here and can be installed to a variety of platforms.
“As we understand that many of you have developed real bonds within channels, we are giving this notice one month before we take all Channels offline.”
Disqus is likely trying to curb any kind of dissenting speech spreading through non-controlled, non-mainstream channels, especially with the 2020 elections on the horizon. Big tech are circling the wagons and moving in aggressively against freedom of speech.
The only good news here is that the API embedded on websites will still be active. So that means you’ll continue to be able to comment on websites that have Disqus installed… for now.
(Thanks for the news tip BitterBear)