Traverse City News and Events

Ticker Comments: Yes Or No?

June 4, 2019

From the beginning, The Ticker has valued having a comments section, and we’ve never censored the voices. Last month we switched platforms from Facebook to Disqus in an effort to make the comments section available to more people and easier to moderate. But now we’re on the fence.

Some national data suggests that readers learn more from a news story that doesn’t include comments with it; indeed several major news outlets have abandoned their comments sections. Our inclination has always been to make The Ticker a platform for news and lively debate. Let people share their opinions openly; censor or shut down the controversial ones and they’ll “go underground,” becoming even more dangerous. Sunlight is the best disinfectant.

We’re here to inform and to raise the level of conversation in and about Traverse City. Is our comments section helping do that? Many Ticker comments are insightful, some kind, some off-topic, and some crude or just dumb.

On the table are three options:
1) continue our open comments section with complete free speech, only moderating threatening language or profanity
2) much more aggressively moderate our comments, banning those users who abuse the openness or aren’t contributing to the debate
3) eliminate our comments section altogether

Please share your opinions here and encourage other readers to do the same. Or email us. We’ll be making our decision in the coming weeks.

Thank you.

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