When is commenting disabled?

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Once again a story about Apple and China has had commenting disabled; could we get an official explanation on how the thinking goes when you turn off commenting on an article?

(I understand how it's sometimes tempting to avoid comments to avoid a future problem of policing a thread, but now we're approaching a point where it feels like the real reason is to avoid comments on anything where people will end up criticising China…)
razorpitSpamSandwich

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 8
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,094administrator
    svanstrom said:
    Once again a story about Apple and China has had commenting disabled; could we get an official explanation on how the thinking goes when you turn off commenting on an article?

    (I understand how it's sometimes tempting to avoid comments to avoid a future problem of policing a thread, but now we're approaching a point where it feels like the real reason is to avoid comments on anything where people will end up criticising China…)
    I have discussed this at length in previous posts, but I will repeat the brief version here. AI is not a huge operation, and the forums are not what you'd call a massive income generator. When we know in advance from history that a thread will not be cost-effective to moderate, we close it from the jump.

    I tried pushing back that frontier of what starts open and what is closed from the beginning over the last few months, and forum-goer behavior got worse. So, here we are.

    If you're referring to the "rejection of voting app" story, it started open.
    edited July 2020
  • Reply 2 of 8
    svanstromsvanstrom Posts: 702member
    svanstrom said:
    Once again a story about Apple and China has had commenting disabled; could we get an official explanation on how the thinking goes when you turn off commenting on an article?

    (I understand how it's sometimes tempting to avoid comments to avoid a future problem of policing a thread, but now we're approaching a point where it feels like the real reason is to avoid comments on anything where people will end up criticising China…)
    I have discussed this at length in previous posts, but I will repeat the brief version here. AI is not a huge operation, and the forums are not what you'd call a massive income generator. When we know in advance from history that a thread will not be cost-effective to moderate, we close it from the jump.

    I tried pushing back that frontier of what starts open and what is closed from the beginning over the last few months, and forum-goer behavior got worse. So, here we are.

    If you're referring to the "rejection of voting app" story, it started open.
    Not having seen anything official, no matter how much it's been discussed, is why I asked; and not having seen the previously open thread at that story I still feel like I have unanswered questions as far as me being, or not, comfortable with what is allowed to be discussed at AI.

    But, I kinda sorta guess I did get my answer, because it will never be "cost-effective" to let people discuss such a heated subject as the implications of how Apple navigate the Chinese market/appease the CCP.

    (Interestingly enough that makes the situation here very similar to the problem that Apple has, that it just isn't financially sound to allow criticism of the CCP; which creates a form of indirect censorship of criticism of the CCP.)
    razorpitPShimi
  • Reply 3 of 8
    sphericspheric Posts: 2,048member
    The point is that once people start getting heated up over a political subject, insults start to fly and the tone gets generally harsher, requiring continued and constant attention and pruning by moderators. 
  • Reply 4 of 8
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,094administrator
    svanstrom said:
    svanstrom said:
    Once again a story about Apple and China has had commenting disabled; could we get an official explanation on how the thinking goes when you turn off commenting on an article?

    (I understand how it's sometimes tempting to avoid comments to avoid a future problem of policing a thread, but now we're approaching a point where it feels like the real reason is to avoid comments on anything where people will end up criticising China…)
    I have discussed this at length in previous posts, but I will repeat the brief version here. AI is not a huge operation, and the forums are not what you'd call a massive income generator. When we know in advance from history that a thread will not be cost-effective to moderate, we close it from the jump.

    I tried pushing back that frontier of what starts open and what is closed from the beginning over the last few months, and forum-goer behavior got worse. So, here we are.

    If you're referring to the "rejection of voting app" story, it started open.
    Not having seen anything official, no matter how much it's been discussed, is why I asked; and not having seen the previously open thread at that story I still feel like I have unanswered questions as far as me being, or not, comfortable with what is allowed to be discussed at AI.

    But, I kinda sorta guess I did get my answer, because it will never be "cost-effective" to let people discuss such a heated subject as the implications of how Apple navigate the Chinese market/appease the CCP.

    (Interestingly enough that makes the situation here very similar to the problem that Apple has, that it just isn't financially sound to allow criticism of the CCP; which creates a form of indirect censorship of criticism of the CCP.)
    You're welcome to ask whatever questions you may have. The long and the short of it is, when you folks squabble or bait each other about topics and that discourse goes beyond basic and civil disagreement, it impacts site traffic negatively for multiple reasons and it does so across multiple published items.

    AppleInsider is not a hobby.
    mtlion2020tht
  • Reply 5 of 8
    JohnDeeJohnDee Posts: 50member
    ANY comment I make seems to get the response "reactions now closed" WHY ?
  • Reply 6 of 8
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,094administrator
    JohnDee said:
    ANY comment I make seems to get the response "reactions now closed" WHY ?
    No idea? 

    The reactions you speak about are the Like and Informative buttons below the forum post text. We haven't done anything with those in literally years, and I don't believe that there is an action we can take to disable them.
  • Reply 7 of 8
    I suggest that stories about Lauren Job's political activities don't belong on AI.  If we can't discuss it, and it has nothing to do with Apple, I would prefer not to see it.  This example is like a red flag waved in front a bull:  "We can't discuss politics here, but here's an article about politics. Enjoy!"
  • Reply 8 of 8
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,094administrator
    I suggest that stories about Lauren Job's political activities don't belong on AI.  If we can't discuss it, and it has nothing to do with Apple, I would prefer not to see it.  This example is like a red flag waved in front a bull:  "We can't discuss politics here, but here's an article about politics. Enjoy!"

    It isn't politics that's the inherent problem, it's how you all treat and talk to each other on political topics.

    We have forum rules, and we moderate as is required by section 230 of the communications decency act. If the rules we've posted were consistently heeded, then comments would be open on everything.

    But, every time we try and loosen the rules, an effort that I am trying to push, we hit a wall of incivility and rule-breaking. So, here we are.

    In regards to Powell Jobs, we are very frequently requested to cover what she's doing. We understand that this doesn't appeal to everyone, in the same way that tips on how to do basic things with devices don't.

    As a reminder, AppleInsider is for everybody, and the forum-goers are a very small percentage of AI traffic. What forum folks like isn't what the non-forum goers like, and we try to appeal to both as best as we can.
    edited September 2020 avon b7
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