Facebook Comments Calm the Internet

Jared Newman:

…some high-profile sites, such as TechCrunch, have switched over the new [comment] system, which is run entirely by [Facebook]. This requires commenters to write under their real names, provided they aren’t using an alias on Facebook, and by default displays the comment on the user’s wall and friends’ news feeds.

Not surprisingly, the switch had a chilling effect on TechCrunch, according to MG Siegler. Although the venomous remarks that once dominated the site’s peanut gallery are gone, in their place are “comments that gush about the subject of the article in an overly sycophantic way,” Siegler writes. There are also fewer comments overall.

It’s hard to care about the people who post some of the most vitriol, hateful, homophobic, racist and downright disgusting comments anonymously on the Internet. I don’t doubt that for some people it makes life difficult. The guy who works at a crappy job but has to stay there for some reason and can’t even make thoughtful posts on a website, for instance.

But, the utilitarian response here is difficult to ignore: more manageable and thoughtful comments. We can all use a bit more thoughtfulness these days.

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