Critical Mass is a blog about
academic freedom and freedom of expression on college campuses. One of
the best things about the blog was the comments section, which often
served to host spirited debates about the ethics of free expression, the
limits of government and college board intervention, and the place of
free expression in education.
Today, however, Erin (the blog owner) decided to
comments for her stories. Comments already posted were preserved,
but no new comments can be posted.
I understand the motivation for her to do this; there were a few people
trolling the comments, which turned some threads into shouting matches.
But it's still unfortunate.
It does bring up the question: are comments doomed on popular blogs?
Most of the "A-list" blogs don't allow comments already, and it seems
that it only takes a slight uptick in popularity for a blog to attract
trolls and other undesireables. It would be nice if something like
Slashdot's karma system or Kuro5hin's ratings could be made to work
across blogs; this might give blogs like Critical Mass the ability to
open up again.
UPDATE: Linked to wrong story, fixed. Sorry to all of you following the
TrackBack from the Citrus College story.