The Daily Maverick’s response to trolls

SkinHead by JonasMF, licensed CC BY-ND 2.0

The Daily Maverick informed its readers that it is shutting down comments on its site in response to an unfortunately common phenomenon: trolls. It isn’t the first publication to do it and won’t be the last.

Over the past six years, we have worked painstakingly hard to build a legacy brand of which we could be proud. Unfortunately, our comments section is tarnishing that brand. As of today, we are suspending our comment section until such time as we can either moderate away those who feel entitled to spew hate speech on our property, or come up with some other solution that fosters genuine engagement rather than reductive trolling.

Shutting down comments won’t stop trolls from being trolls but it will force them out into other fora and deprive them of the opportunity to spoil an otherwise valiant enterprise.

As disappointing as it is, I’m kicking myself that I didn’t take better advantage of the comments section in the past to share my non-trollish thoughts about the great stories TDM publishes. That said, there are other ways to share your thoughts with the editorial team and The Daily Maverick’s readers. You just won’t be using the comments section.



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