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Irish Times website no longer allowing comments

  • 27-05-2022 12:28pm
    Registered Users Posts: 432 ✭✭ iffandonlyif

    It seems commenting under articles won’t be possible anymore after a website redesign. There were a lot of cranks down there, but I enjoyed being able to give my opinion and gauge others’.

    Threadbanned users:


    Post edited by Chips Lovell on



  • Registered Users Posts: 6,827 ✭✭✭ growleaves

    I thought the comments on the IT web site were in general much sharper than the Letters to the Editor. It's rare that a letter printed in the Irish Times displays any wit or discernment.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,723 ✭✭✭ Ubbquittious

    It is a conspiracy theory. The increase in censorship is all around us though. It's such a change from the 'Wild West' days of the internet with unmoderated USENET groups and what have you

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 30,643 CMod ✭✭✭✭ pixelburp

    That may be so, but can only imagine the work needed to moderate the trolls and bad faith merchants. If it's anything like Boards then to be fair the obvious question in the Irish Times becomes "why bother?".

    Censorship is state control, by definition; newspapers are private enterprise so they're entitled to dictate their user engagement. And as pointed out, they have had that for decades with Letters. And given the heavy editorial policy of tabloids in particular, shuttering comments sections is small potatoes in regards to opinions that are publicised. In any case, the Wild West was a time of lawless chaos, if we run with the metaphor. Why would that be something celebrated, or desired? Comments sections on websites are hot garbage, Christ Boards is barely one step above it, still requires moderation.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 14,782 ✭✭✭✭ Loafing Oaf

    Noticed that with Breda O'Brien's piece today. They often turn of the comments if it's guest columnist or about a legal issue or something but I'd never seen Breda's screeds cut off before. I do like to look at the feedback but I can understand why the IT decided it's not worth the hassle.

    Edit: apparently comments

    will return in the near future for subscribers.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,318 ✭✭✭ gipi

    This is what the IT said in their article on Wednesday, introducing the new website -

    On-site functionality allowing readers to comment on selected articles has been under review and will return in the near future for subscribers

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,216 ✭✭✭ CPTM

    Oooh, funnily enough that would encourage me to subscribe and actually look at the comments section. I feel like a lot of trolls would be weeded out by the subscription fee.. interesting.. I must look at the subscription fee.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,420 ✭✭✭ fly_agaric

    The subscription fee is probably not going to keep out those (real or automated somehow?) that are being funded to go about their work.

    It's good Irish Times closed it and that it might be more restricted/controlled if it comes back again. Not much of value is being lost from what I've seen. Warning - May contain Nuts.

  • Registered Users Posts: 22,483 ✭✭✭✭ Strumms

    I’d rather I had the ability to read something which I vehemently disagreed with and the ability aim a retort then have the option removed altogether.

    problem for the site probably with life being id say at an all time controversial setting with the Ukrainians coming to enjoy our benefits, services, security, cash and accommodation plus. , Covid and everything that entails…. There will be undoubtedly certain passionate responses….from both sides of these and other debates… that might require a certain level of moderation which The Times might be unwilling to facilitate as it might alienate certain clients..

    from the Times website…

    • In pursuance of the foregoing and to enable readers of The Irish Times to reach informed and independent judgements and to contribute more effectively to the life of the community, the following principles govern the publication of The Irish Times: news shall be as accurate and as comprehensive as is practicable and be presented fairly; comment and opinion shall be informed and responsible, and shall be identifiable from fact; and special consideration shall be given to the reasonable representation of minority interests and divergent views.
    • We welcome readers’ views - be it to the Letters to the Editor page; by letter, email or fax. We encourage readers’ participation by way of user generated content, social media posting or comment at the end of an article through Readers can also express their views by way of postal or telephoned response to The Irish Times.

    they encourage reader participation ? Really ? Might as well change the URL to spoofdotcom.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,705 ✭✭✭ CrabRevolution

    The comment sections never resemble anything like the idealised discourse you describe though, where there's well argued points that I may disagree with. It's a moronic cesspit of posts with nothing worthwhile to add.

    You could programme a bot to just post the same statement under every article insulting the greens, politicians, the government, the EU etc. and it would utterly hoover up likes.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,301 ✭✭✭ Snickers Man

    One of the ways the Irish Times "moderated the trolls and bad faith merchants" was to make commenting on its website contingent with having a subscription to the service. So it would at least have known, or had genuine e-mail addresses (and bank or credit card details) for anyone posting on their site. Twitter it certainly was not.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 6,293 ✭✭✭ MrMusician18

    I wonder will it be the same near future that is operating in when it comes to the return of old features

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,293 ✭✭✭ MrMusician18

    Without below the line, the scutter that's often above the line gets presented as a societal fact, or the correct opinion to hold.

    Comments are good.

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 30,643 CMod ✭✭✭✭ pixelburp

    A newspaper's editorial policy isn't offset by reams of inane comments amounting to low-effort variations of Fúck the Government/EU/UK/Sinn Fein/etc. etc. Whatever you think amounts to "societal fact" I've read the same rubbish in the Comments sections of the Daily Mail, Telegraph, TheJournal, and so on. The "wisdom" of the crowd seems undimmed by ideological leaning. It's no bulwark

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,705 ✭✭✭ CrabRevolution

    Again, you're presenting some ideal that doesn't bear any resemblance to reality. Comment sections aren't full of relevant articulate counterpoints to the topic contained in the article. They're just endless iterations of "government bad".

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,293 ✭✭✭ MrMusician18

    They are not all, but some are.

    The Guardian generally has a good comments section for example.

  • Registered Users Posts: 29,987 ✭✭✭✭ Hotblack Desiato

    Reading usenet back in the day was - with a few exceptions - like trying to pan for gold in a sewer pipe.

    Censorship my... foot. Nobody is or can be obligated to publish your opinion on your behalf. If you want to use someone else's platform you're playing by their rules. Boards deleting your comment or banning you is no more censorship than a newspaper making a decision on how to run its BTL comments or to have them at all is.

    Especially when the IT is giving its weekly soapbox to Breda O'Brien or the odious Maria Steen.

    Defund Alcohol Action Ireland

  • Registered Users Posts: 824 ✭✭✭ Caquas

    The IT has every right to exclude comments in its new website just as its subscribers have every right to cancel their subscriptions but it is a sad day for public debate in this country. I don’t think any of our major media have comment sections now. That is censorship, even if you think it justified because many of the comments should not be published.

    Do people actually write letters to the Editor? With a €1.25 postage stamp and all?

    Good news for Boards. Where else to vent after reading nonsense in the major media?

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,919 ✭✭✭✭ elperello

    It's not the job of the IT to provide a platform for people to "vent".

    Not providing a platform to anyone is not censorship.

    Most letters now would arrive by email, many from abroad.

    Not necessarily good news for Boards if it becomes a haven for "venters".

    Where do we go after reading nonsense on Boards?

    (Just for clarity I'm not suggesting that your post is nonsense)

  • Registered Users Posts: 29,987 ✭✭✭✭ Hotblack Desiato

    You have heard of email? [email protected]

    Nice try but I didn't say that many of the comments should not be published.

    Defund Alcohol Action Ireland

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  • Registered Users Posts: 824 ✭✭✭ Caquas

    As I said, the IT has every right to shut down its comment section. But it is a form of censorship. Not State or official censorship, not ecclesiastical censorship but it is a form of censorship in this digital era which all our major media have decided upon i.e. to shut down a channel for public comment.

    Is this censorship justified? Perhaps, but could the IT not have exercised a more judicious control of these comments? It seemed to me that they were allowing more outrageous comments in recent months, and from the same few posters.