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Post your comments on the original thread.

Originally shared by Fraser Cain

Should Popular Science Shut Down Comments?

Should any site? Should every site?

In case you haven't heard, Popular Science recently shut down the comments on their website, encouraging people to take their conversations to other platforms. Apparently, comments can distort the public's view of the original science.

Comments are definitely broken

I've been wrestling with this challenge on Universe Today for years. We've gone through many iterations of commenting systems, policies and moderators. Automated systems barely keep the spam bots at bay, moderators can help with the trolls, but there are armies of people trying to market their own personal agendas - and they're impossible to keep at bay.

We've dealt with people trying to sell their crap, promote their personal theories, or campaign for their religious doctrines. It absolutely wears down moderators, but if it's left unchecked, it utterly destroys the quality the content, and drives away your dedicated readers.

But Comments Are Necessary

Even though dealing with comments is like wrestling with a kraken, there's something really wonderful about the genuine insights and comments you get from an article.

Our readers have caught countless mistakes, made us aware of insights and breaking stories we weren't aware of, and generally developed our skills.

Every time I write an article, I think to myself, "what will the commenters say?". And then try to cross my "t"s and dot my "i"s.

Commenters have turned into casual acquaintances, and turned into genuine friends who I've visited. You can see the friendships get made on the site that continue on into the future.

+Mathew Ingram thinks that shutting down the comments is a big mistake.

So What's the Solution?

I recently switched off the Wordpress/Disqus comment system for Universe Today, and switched to Google+ comments only. If you want to comment on a story, you've got to have a Google account. You've got to be willing to use your real name and stake your reputation on the things you say.

My readers can mark any comment as SPAM, and I'm hoping that the data will help make it difficult for trolls and spammers across all sites.

I'm not the only one moving in this direction. YouTube has announced they're switching to Google+ for comments. Will all comments run through Google+ in the future?

What do you think? Do you keep comments going on your site? Should we all hire full time moderators just to deal with trolls? Does it make sense to outsource your comments to a service like Google+?